…and no, you don’t have to ask. For that matter you can put your arm around me, hold my hand, cuddle me and kiss me too, regardless of your biological sex, sexual orientation or gender identity!
Perhaps I’m a rarity among certain sub-classifications of the human population that I belong to by happenstance (cisgender male and autism spectrum) in that I absolutely love and thrive on physical touch. I mean I love it. I’d even say I thrive on it. To me it’s comforting and reassuring and not necessarily a romantic thing. I have no problem being someone’s “cuddle buddy” or whatever, even if that person is just a casual friend.
I know, it’s really unusual that I’m that affectionate given the two sub-classifications mentioned above. Granted, I know it’s impossible to pigeonhole people but it’s just the way I am. Now, I will say I don’t just go up to random strangers and give hugs. I do respect people’s personal space in that way but I will never turn away physical affection initiated by another person, even if that other person is a complete stranger to me.
I really can’t explain why I’m this way. I’d say it’s likely an autism thing but I know a vast majority of those on the autism spectrum are the total opposite in that they hate physical touch and it makes them uncomfortable. I’d also like to say it’s due to my sexual orientation (bi) but I know of several LGBTQ+ people who are very hands-off also. It also obviously has nothing to do with my nationality as the US is a no-touch sort of culture (as opposed to some European and Latin American countries where hugging and cheek kissing are just normal greetings).
I’ve often considered when the weather is nice (neither too hot nor cold) going out to a downtown street corner with a “FREE HUGS” sign and seeing how many people actually take me up on it. It would be just that too; just anyone, whoever it is who came up to me would get a nice, tight hug from me with no catch, cost or questions asked. I actually kind of have a bad reputation in my town anyway for the guest columns I write for the local paper; perhaps seeing that I’m just human like them would bridge the gap a bit.
I don’t know. Maybe I am totally weird. I’m just me though and I don’t feel as though I should have to make excuses for it or apologize for it.