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Old 02-14-2013, 07:17 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Men kissing men as a greeting is common in South and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, but is practically taboo not socially acceptable in North America, northern Europe and Australia. The thing is, women in these societies do it, so there is obviously SOMETHING going on. The fact that gay men in these societies also seem to kiss each other on the cheek makes me wonder if there's some innate homophobia in these Anglo-German countries for the double standard.

I don't buy the fact that they're just more reserved, because again women in these countries do it. If neither men OR women did it then I would chalk it up to a social custom but that's not the case. HAVING SAID that, it seems I think in countries like Sweden, Germany it's kinda less common for even women to do this, am I right?

Has this always been the case? Was there every a time when men in England, for instance, would kiss each other as a form of greeting?

What about the opposite sex. Has there ever been a time when kissing a member of the opposite sex on the cheek was actually UNacceptable?

I'm also curious as to whether this custom is continuing strong among the younger generation, or if they're more influenced by American, possibly homophobic attitudes?

This doesn't seem a custom in India, where men are touchy-feely (straight men) with each other, but I may be wrong. Anyone know about this?

Also it seems this custom is gaining popularity in Asia due to western influence.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Canada
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So true! In Quebec I grew up kissing women twice, on either cheek, when greeting, and women kissed each other twice, but men? A handshake or a half hug. I think that it does come from an awareness of homosexuality and not wanting to have one's sexuality questioned. Same with the lack of speedos in North american cultures (although more common in QC, admittedly).

I don't think that other cultures do all of those things because they are less homophobic, however. I think that homosexuality is so off their radar that they're not thinking about it at all which is why they do those things, whereas North Americans are very aware of male homosexuality and it gets in the way of male interactions.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:10 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,116,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
So true! In Quebec I grew up kissing women twice, on either cheek, when greeting, and women kissed each other twice, but men? A handshake or a half hug. I think that it does come from an awareness of homosexuality and not wanting to have one's sexuality questioned. Same with the lack of speedos in North american cultures (although more common in QC, admittedly).

I don't think that other cultures do all of those things because they are less homophobic, however. I think that homosexuality is so off their radar that they're not thinking about it at all which is why they do those things, whereas North Americans are very aware of male homosexuality and it gets in the way of male interactions.
True. I mean Saudi Arabia isn't exactly gay friendly. It's just not even seen as a gay act.

I'm a bit surprised about Quebec. Then again it IS in Canada, after all.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:12 PM
 
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
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It's also a taboo in Brazil. I don't know about other countries in Latin America.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:43 PM
 
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It's a cultural thing, most likely originated somewhere in the Mediterranean where it's very common and spread to the French and Spanish colonies.

I think most men in those cultures either do not do the gesture with other men or know that it makes men from other cultures uncomfortable so they won't do it when they are outside their home country.

I don't see this gesture as particularly shocking though. I have seen photos of former Soviet and Yugoslav leaders kissing other men on their lips. I hope that tradition is dying out or they only do it among Slavic men.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:05 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,116,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenTiger View Post
It's a cultural thing, most likely originated somewhere in the Mediterranean where it's very common and spread to the French and Spanish colonies.

I think most men in those cultures either do not do the gesture with other men or know that it makes men from other cultures uncomfortable so they won't do it when they are outside their home country.

I don't see this gesture as particularly shocking though. I have seen photos of former Soviet and Yugoslav leaders kissing other men on their lips. I hope that tradition is dying out or they only do it among Slavic men.
Several great ape species kiss others on the lips, not a sexual thing just a social bonding thing. Mothers and children as well, so I guess the practice of kissing your children on the lips isn't that weird. When you think about it there's nothing innately sexual about it.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:27 AM
 
1,044 posts, read 1,543,812 times
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Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Several great ape species kiss others on the lips, not a sexual thing just a social bonding thing. Mothers and children as well, so I guess the practice of kissing your children on the lips isn't that weird. When you think about it there's nothing innately sexual about it.
I'll go with evolutionism but do not believe that if it's not a sexual thing among the great apes, then it's not a sexual thing among humans. Anyway, am not homophobic, but I just don't feel comfortable kissing anyone on the lips if it's not a romantic relationship. There's also the question of hygiene and sanitation.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:32 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,116,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenTiger View Post
I'll go with evolutionism but do not believe that if it's not a sexual thing among the great apes, then it's not a sexual thing among humans. Anyway, am not homophobic, but I just don't feel comfortable kissing anyone on the lips if it's not a romantic relationship. There's also the question of hygiene and sanitation.
Yes but what I'm saying is, it's sexual because of the association. If rubbing noses was sexual, you'd probably get turned on by doing that.
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:24 AM
 
Location: Near Tours, France about 47°10'N 0°25'E
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I think that in northern European and Anglo countries, cheek kissing in general is seen a something sexual, which IS NOT at all. Since cheek kissing is nothing sexual, but just a social greeting, there is no reason to feel that doing it to person of same sex should be somthing "gay". Inversely, cheek kissing between males is something that is the norm in the "macho" cultures of north Africa, which we can't consider to be gay-friendly at all. I tend to think that it is precisely in the most "anti-macho" cultures (northern Europe, Anglo world), that physical greetings with people of same sex are thought of being "gay".

In France, cheek kissing is the norm, especially in family, among friends and schools. Between males, hand-shaking is more common, but it is also usual to kiss your close friends, brothers, cousins, etc.

La Bise en France - YouTube
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:28 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,116,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by french user View Post
I think that in northern European and Anglo countries, cheek kissing in general is seen a something sexual, which IS NOT at all. Since cheek kissing is nothing sexual, but just a social greeting, there is no reason to feel that doing it to person of same sex should be somthing "gay". Inversely, cheek kissing between males is something that is the norm in the "macho" cultures of north Africa, which we can't consider to be gay-friendly at all. I tend to think that it is precisely in the most "anti-macho" cultures (northern Europe, Anglo world), that physical greetings with people of same sex are thought of being "gay".

In France, cheek kissing is the norm, especially in family, among friends and schools. Between males, hand-shaking is more common, but it is also usual to kiss your close friends, brothers, cousins, etc.


La Bise en France - YouTube
The French seem to have a more egalitarian attitude. I remember travelling with a group of backpackers, mostly English but with one French guy in the mix. We were playing a silly game of truth or dare and someone asked if anyone had kissed someone of the same sex on the lips. There were about 4 guys and 2 girls. One of the English girls put up her hand, as did the French lad, and the English lads looked really shocked. He wasn't gay, or really bi, and he said he'd apparently been with 50 women (at age 24), but it just wasn't the done thing for straight guys in the UK to do that sort of thing. He said it was just a drunken kiss between a friend that didn't mean anything. Now i don't know if that's the norm, or if that even has anything to do with cheek-kissing, but I just thought it interested.
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