The greeting hug has become a common ritual of bonding and friendship In many ways this gesture is an anomaly The torso closeness is a gesture we'd normally associate with the tightest of physical or emotional bonds and yet it's almost more common between vague business acquaintances than it is with social friends, lovers, and relatives

The business hug is all about power, not affection, although it has a dual purpose, making the huggers look amiable at the same time Think of other physical sports like wrestling and you'll get a clearer idea of the point of the hug This is generally a male thing, although businesswomen have been known to indulge . Women are often mindful of breasts, though, and so tend to place a hand on one another's shoulders to avoid bosom contact Men work in the opposite way: the chests are crushed together but the genitals kept as far apart as possible

Men also have ways of emphasizing their heterosexuality while performing what could be seen as a sexual gesture . By patting one another on the back, often quite brutally, they show off their testosterone in case anyone should get the "wrong" idea . The pat or back-slap has another very basic function: it's a signal to break the hold Whoever pats first can therefore be seen to be either dominant or reluctant

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