A hug is a form of physical intimacy that generally involves closing or holding the arms around another person or group of persons. The hug is one of the most common human signs of love and affection, along with kissing. Unlike some other forms of physical intimacy, it is practiced publicly and privately without stigma in many nations, religions and cultures, within families, and also across age and gender lines.
Sometimes, hugs are a romantic exchange. A hug may also be exchanged as a sign of support and comfort. A hug can be a demonstration of affection and emotional warmth, sometimes arising out of joy or happiness at meeting someone.
Hugs can also be used as a celebration method amongst sports teams upon winning a major award, such as in Major League Baseball when a team wins the final game of a championship series, such as the World Series.
Brief in most cases, it is used to show many levels of affection. It is not particular to human beings alone, as there are many species of animals that engage in similar exchanges of warmth.
Prolonged hugging in a cozy, comfortable position is also called cuddling.
Spooning is a cuddling position, a kind of hugging when both the hugger and the hugged persons face the same direction, i.e., the front of one person is in contact with the back of the second one.
To Hug or Not to Hug: What If Rebecca Didn't Really Mean What She Said? Commentary on Paper by Stuart A. Pizer
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