Dave Johns is a cuddle dominator. He told us so. Well, he told everyone so in Slate:
The first signs came early.
Most infants can’t do much, and I was no exception, according to grown-ups who were present at the time. But there was one area in which I dominated at a very young age: I was a crackerjack cuddler. Given a supple shoulder or a warm lap, I showed all of the necessary skills—the burbles, the sighs, the tiny hand-grabs, the determination to get cozy for hours on end. I snuggled all comers. I drooled in their faces.
The story goes on to detail his time at a Cuddle Party and the problems his cuddle addiction squeezes out of his various relationships. But here’s his cuddle-crushing question: does wanting to cuddle make you less of a man? He doesn’t think so.
A 2004 U.K. poll, for instance, found that today’s dads think they adopt a cuddlier approach to parenting than their fathers did. Films and novels today abound with sensitive, touchy-feely men. A pro-snuggle stance can even be seen in the highest reaches of government: our last president was so committed to tactile diplomacy that he could not resist giving German Chancellor Angela Merkel a hearty but poorly received back rub.
Johns even brings up the famed Obama-Rahm hug that angered conservatives who wanted a manlier show of solidarity. He asserts that this kind of umbrage may be a holdover from a previous grizzled anti-hug generation:
In fact, future generations may view the Obama-Rahm sandwich as a watershed moment in snuggling history. When CNBC’s Larry Kudlow wrote a column in October calling the embrace “a hug too far” and claiming that it “lacked dignity” and revealed weakness to the world, few commentators took his side. Most argued that Kudlow was a jackass for his sensitivity to man-hugs, and that he needed to toughen up and put on his “man pants.”
Here at GMPM, we’ve written about the cuddlier side of masculinity. But we’d still love to hear what you think, readers. Is the man-hug a sign of “behaving in an evolutionarily inappropriate—and unstudly—manner”? You tell us.