Just as you can read a woman by the way she hugs you, you too can let her know how you feel. Here are just some of the messages that you can communicate through hugs.
You like her
There are many ways of doing this depending on your level of subtlety. If you are a rambunctious ‘gambler’ sort of character, then you can cup one of her rear-cheeks, and pinch. I call this The Clamp, but I don’t recommend it. The problem being that ever since Emily Davison died under a horse, women are upset by it.
My preferred method is to find some appropriate poetry that best describes your feelings for her, and whisper it to her as you embrace (my friend Andrew swears by Keats). Nobody has ever been prosecuted for sharing a rhyming couplet.
Telling her to back off
If one of your lady friends is coming on too strong, and you want to let her know without causing offence, then I suggest The Pat. The Pat is a very condescending hug where you lightly hit them on the back. It is avuncular in nature, and gently intimates that you could only think of them as family, as opposed to bedroom partner.
You’re not ready for commitment
Press only with your hands, and make no actual body contact, maintaining the slightest of distances between you.
Your parents wouldn’t approve
Thrust anxiously three times, then hold them at arms length.
You’re anxious about the war in Iraq
Push your crotch tentatively into her, then guide her hips with yours in a counter-clockwise motion for one single rotation. Start weeping.