Funny article in the WSJ about the increasing acceptability of cheek-kissing:
Whatever happened to shaking hands? There is something so American about the firm control of a handshake — it’s about disarming one’s opponent and keeping him two feet at bay. Control is in our DNA. This is why travel guides must spell the social kiss out for us: In France, generally two cheeks, or four, no lips; in parts of Belgium, three cheeks, and so on.
But Americans are now learning to perform the social kiss. The dexterous cover all bases. Jim Murren, president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas gambling giant MGM Mirage, routinely cheek-kisses, then mentions his wife, Heather, to make it clear that the kiss was just a kiss. “I think it helps break down barriers of mistrust and apprehension,” Mr. Murren says.
However, he adds: “No frontal hugs!” While some men don’t mind a less intimate shoulder squeeze, Mr. Murren is backed up by corporate etiquette consultant Ann Marie Sabath, who says simply, “Frontal hugs: faux pas.”
Now, if we can just eliminate the stigma on hugs.
Check out the slideshow on the WSJ article. Great pictures of world leaders in awkward affection moments.