Social Kissing

Social kissing is becoming increasingly popular in Britain, but it is by no means an accepted norm, and is therefore a potential minefield.

It varies according to the age of the people involved. Older people may not want to be kissed at all and even if they do not mind they often only expect one kiss. The double kiss is the norm among younger people.

Kissing is not appropriate in many professional situations. On the whole it should only be used among friends, not at first meeting.

An air kiss, with no contact at all, may seem rude or impersonal, but at least it is not intrusive. A very slight contact is best, and no sound effects are needed.

Women routinely kiss other women and men without it denoting anything more than a social interaction. Some men now kiss socially, but kissing is rare amongst the older generation.

Hand-kissing, or rather a man bowing over the hand of a married woman, never a young girl, and not quite touching it with his lips, has never really caught on in Britain.

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