A gentleman may hug:
1. His mother, if he has not seen her in at least a week.
2. His girlfriend, if he has not seen her in at least 3 days.
3. His ex-girlfriend, if he has not seen her in at least a month, and working on the assumption that she will not use the hug as an opportunity to run a stiletto knife into his solar plexus.
4. His girlfriend’s mother or father, under the same assumptions as above.
5. His best friend, if he has just suffered a grievous loss, such as the death of an immediate family member, the loss of a treasured mistress, or the disappearance of the chocolate lab.
6. His director, if either one has just won an Academy Award, Oscar, or Grammy.
7. His coach, upon winning the Super Bowl, Heisman Trophy, World Series, Stanley Cup, or NBA title.
8. His cat or dog, under any circumstance.
In any other circumstance, a firm, manly handshake will do.