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Hand Kissing questions

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  • Garrett
    Greetings Mi Lords and Ladies, Alright, I know this sounds silly but I have some questions and i hope the wisdom of the board can help me. When I first started
    Message 1 of 11 , Jan 15, 2004
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      Greetings Mi Lords and Ladies,

      Alright, I know this sounds silly but I have some questions and i
      hope the wisdom of the board can help me.

      When I first started in the SCA 14-15 years ago, I was in college,
      single, ect ect. I loved kissing the hand of a lady I met. When
      ever I was introduced to a lady or introduced myself I would kiss her
      hand if she offered it.

      I fell off of the world for some time and after being gone ten or so
      years I am just now coming back to the SCA. I'm now married and a
      father of three kids. I'm not comfortable with the hand kissing
      thing now. My Lady often does not attend SCA functions with me.

      So, what are the norms or unwriten rules of hand kissing. Is
      it "proper" to just shake hands when meeting a lady for the first
      time? Do ladies expect to have their hand kissed and are surpised
      when a gentleman does not kiss her? Am I getting more worked up
      about this then I need to be? (ok I already knew the answer to that
      one..)

      Thank you one and all
      Eric von Wald
    • Iustinos Tekton called Justin
      ... I m sure the ladies will weigh in on this one, which is a Very Good Thing (TM). But I d also like to give my perspective from the point of view of a man
      Message 2 of 11 , Jan 15, 2004
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        On Thursday 15 January 2004 07:25, Garrett wrote:
        > I fell off of the world for some time and after being gone ten or so
        > years I am just now coming back to the SCA.  I'm now married and a
        > father of three kids.  I'm not comfortable with the hand kissing
        > thing now.  My Lady often does not attend SCA functions with me.
        >
        > So, what are the norms or unwriten rules of hand kissing.  Is
        > it "proper" to just shake hands when meeting a lady for the first
        > time?  Do ladies expect to have their hand kissed and are surpised
        > when a gentleman does not kiss her?  Am I getting more worked up
        > about this then I need to be?  (ok I already knew the answer to that
        > one..)

        I'm sure the ladies will weigh in on this one, which is a Very Good Thing (TM).
        But I'd also like to give my perspective from the point of view of a man who
        is very happily married.

        Hand kissing, and for that matter, flirting in general, can be done on very
        different levels. I kiss a lady's hand if she offers it, without a shred of
        guilt or hesitation. My wife knows I do this, and indeed I do so in her
        presence. Likewise, she is free to offer her hand to a gentleman if she wishes.
        Our understanding is, "we're married, not dead." Neither of us would even
        dream of being unfaithful to the other, which is exactly why we trust each
        other to flirt lightly with others.

        In my experience, being married -- and having just about everybody else KNOW
        that you're married -- is wonderfully liberating. Ladies feel very "safe"
        flirting with me, because they know that it isn't going to go anywhere. It is
        just lighthearted fun, with no sexual undertones. Milica (my wife) has said
        that she feels the same. It doesn't bother me a bit when men flirt with her;
        in fact, I welcome it because it makes her feel attractive and popular, and
        I rejoice in anything that makes my beloved lady happy.

        There are ways to be disgusting about hand kissing, though. I know of one man
        who lives near here (not, thankfully, in my shire!) who thinks he's some kind
        of Casanova. When he kisses a lady's hand, he does it in a very vulgar way,
        with a lot of tongue and...well, you get the idea. What he doesn't realize
        is that he's not turning the ladies on with his behavior -- he is driving them
        away. Every lady I know who has experienced this kind of thing has been utterly
        revolted by it. In one case, he did this to a member of my household who was
        only 18 (he is forty-something). She wanted to slap him, but had too much
        class to let herself succumb to anger. She just yanked her hand away and told
        him to bugger off. His attempt at suave ends up being pathetic and sophomoric.

        It can also happen gender-reversed. I was introduced to a woman at Pennsic
        a couple of years ago. She stepped forward to hug me, something with which I
        and my lady are quite comfortable, but the hug turned into a neck bite with a
        hickey before I could stop her. I was extremely offended. I wasn't worried
        about my wife distrusting me -- in fact, she was the first person I told about
        the incident -- but I felt very much that this stranger had invaded my personal
        space and had taken liberties that were not hers to claim. Even my close
        friends would not have done something like this, and as a total stranger, she
        stepped way over the line.

        I think there are basically two key things to establish with regard to SCA
        flirting. First, talk openly about it with your wife, and make sure both of
        you know where the lines are drawn and are comfortable with that. It is not
        considered improper for a married man to kiss the hand of a lady other than
        his wife, nor for a married woman to have her hand kissed -- but the feelings
        of your spouse are infinitely more important than any SCA custom in our
        pretend world! Second, make sure your flirting partner knows where the
        boundaries are, and make sure you pay attention to hers.

        If you feel more comfortable just clasping an offered hand warmly, rather
        than kissing it, then I doubt most ladies would be offended. I'll leave it
        to the ladies on the list to address that question, though. :-)

        Justin

        --
        ()xxxx[]::::::::::::::::::> <::::::::::::::::::[]xxxx()
        Maistor Iustinos Tekton called Justin (Scott Courtney)
        Gules, on a bezant a fleam sable, on a chief dovetailed Or, two keys
        fesswise reversed sable.

        Marche of Alderford (Canton, Ohio) http://4th.com/sca/justin/
        justin@... PGP Public Key at http://4th.com/keys/justin.pubkey
      • Len Stewart
        One female s opinion: Hand kissing is nice. It makes me feel attractive but in no way am I offended if someone does not do it. Usually I assume that they are
        Message 3 of 11 , Jan 15, 2004
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          One female's opinion:
          Hand kissing is nice. It makes me feel attractive but in no way am I offended if someone does not do it. Usually I assume that they are with someone or have more important things on their mind then flattering a girl and I take no offense to that. So as much as what Justin says is completely correct about still hand kissing when married but knowing the bounds, you need to decide what you and your spouse feel comfortable with. I also think you need not worry too much. Take your spouses opinion into account but as far as we go don't worry too much about if some ladies will get offended because in the end we aren't that important in the scale of your life. The important things are that your spouse doesn't get hurt and you are able to lossen up and have fun at the event.

          Len

          Garrett <garrett241@...> wrote:
          Greetings Mi Lords and Ladies,

          Alright, I know this sounds silly but I have some questions and i
          hope the wisdom of the board can help me.

          When I first started in the SCA 14-15 years ago, I was in college,
          single, ect ect. I loved kissing the hand of a lady I met. When
          ever I was introduced to a lady or introduced myself I would kiss her
          hand if she offered it.

          I fell off of the world for some time and after being gone ten or so
          years I am just now coming back to the SCA. I'm now married and a
          father of three kids. I'm not comfortable with the hand kissing
          thing now. My Lady often does not attend SCA functions with me.

          So, what are the norms or unwriten rules of hand kissing. Is
          it "proper" to just shake hands when meeting a lady for the first
          time? Do ladies expect to have their hand kissed and are surpised
          when a gentleman does not kiss her? Am I getting more worked up
          about this then I need to be? (ok I already knew the answer to that
          one..)

          Thank you one and all
          Eric von Wald





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        • Tina Paxton
          on 1/15/04 10:22 AM, Iustinos Tekton called Justin at justin@4th.com wrote: Thanks Justin for your POV. That was very insightful. I m going to incorporate my
          Message 4 of 11 , Jan 15, 2004
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            on 1/15/04 10:22 AM, Iustinos Tekton called Justin at justin@... wrote:

            Thanks Justin for your POV. That was very insightful. I'm going to
            incorporate my thoughts in amongst your, Mi'Lord.

            First, I should say that I am a single lady so I have no issues with a
            jealous spouse. I think Justin's percautions to be sure your spouse is
            comfortable with it is wise.

            > Hand kissing, and for that matter, flirting in general, can be done on very
            > different levels. I kiss a lady's hand if she offers it, without a shred of
            > guilt or hesitation. My wife knows I do this, and indeed I do so in her
            > presence. Likewise, she is free to offer her hand to a gentleman if she
            > wishes.

            I'm still getting used to the "lady-like" way of offering my hand. I forget
            myself sometimes and go for the strong handshake that I'm used to giving.
            Sometimes, the gentleman simply shakes my hand, other times the gentleman
            will turn my hand so he can kiss the back of it. I must say I do enjoy that
            bit of chivalry. ;-)

            > There are ways to be disgusting about hand kissing, though. I know of one man
            > who lives near here (not, thankfully, in my shire!) who thinks he's some kind
            > of Casanova. When he kisses a lady's hand, he does it in a very vulgar way,
            > with a lot of tongue and...well, you get the idea. What he doesn't realize
            > is that he's not turning the ladies on with his behavior -- he is driving them
            > away. Every lady I know who has experienced this kind of thing has been
            > utterly
            > revolted by it. In one case, he did this to a member of my household who was
            > only 18 (he is forty-something). She wanted to slap him, but had too much
            > class to let herself succumb to anger. She just yanked her hand away and told
            > him to bugger off. His attempt at suave ends up being pathetic and sophomoric.

            I have encountered a similar problem though thankfully not quite so gross.
            The gentleman in question didn't seem to want to let go the hand and what at
            first was a pleasurable bit of flirtation became an uncomfortable experience
            and one that resulted in my wanting to keep my distance from this gentleman.
            He seemed quite harmless and just desiring of being a proper gentleman but
            he just went too far.

            > If you feel more comfortable just clasping an offered hand warmly, rather
            > than kissing it, then I doubt most ladies would be offended. I'll leave it
            > to the ladies on the list to address that question, though. :-)

            I take no offense if the gentleman opts to clasp my hand rather than kiss
            it. I think it is more in the manner to which to do either the clasp or the
            kiss that matters. Eyes and body language has as much to do with it as the
            action itself. Sometimes, offering to help or otherwise acting chivalrously
            toward us means more than kissing our hand.

            YIS,

            Cristiane de Paxtoun
            MKA Tina Paxton
            Shire of Seareach
            Apprentice, Companions of the Silver Spindle
            Atlantian Embroiderer's Guild
            Keepers of the Clewe
          • Susan King
            I’m going to go ahead and put in my opinion on hand kissing, mostly because I don’t care for it myself. Having a strange man kissing my hand isn’t
            Message 5 of 11 , Jan 15, 2004
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              I’m going to go ahead and put in my opinion on hand kissing, mostly
              because I don’t care for it myself. Having a strange man kissing my hand
              isn’t something I’m comfortable with. I will always offer my hand to be
              shook, which is perfectly fine. But I have had men grab my hand and then
              kiss it, which is rude. I generally don’t make an issue of it, I just
              put more space between myself and that person rather than be put in that
              position again. My opinion is if the lady doesn’t offer her hand to be
              kissed, don’t assume its ok to do so.
              Lady Alvör


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Katie Pleasance
              I completely agree. Wait for the woman to offer her hand AND watch her reaction. This might take a little practice and a lot of quick judgement, but ... her
              Message 6 of 11 , Jan 15, 2004
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                I completely agree. Wait for the woman to offer her hand AND watch her
                reaction. This might take a little practice and a lot of quick judgement,
                but ... her body language will probably give you an indication of whether a
                kiss on the hand is welcome or a handshake would be more congenial (and
                possibly safer ... There is one creature of the male persuasion with whom I
                will shake hands to be friendly in public but if he *ever* tries to kiss
                even my hand, he will find himself rolling on the ground holding his
                precious private parts.)

                I'm married and way over flirting age. Kiss my hand and you will leave me
                smiling all day (unless you are the guy mentioned above). For me, it has
                nothing to do with marriage or hoped-for seduction. It is a custom, a
                politeness, an appreciation of my femininity -- appropriate in certain
                *limited* circumstances.

                And for gawds sake, keep it saliva-free and quiet -- your lips don't even
                need to touch her hand. It's the CHIVALROUS GESTURE that counts.

                As always, my opinion.

                Katherine de la Pleasance

                Lady Alvör wrote:
                >My opinion is if the lady doesn’t offer her hand to be
                >kissed, don’t assume its ok to do so.
              • Ld. Dylan
                Another alternative to kissing the hand is to touch the back of the proffered hand to your forehead...I have seen this done...and even once, after having
                Message 7 of 11 , Jan 16, 2004
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                  Another alternative to kissing the hand is to touch the back of the
                  proffered hand to your forehead...I have seen this done...and even
                  once, after having kissed the ladies' hand, the lady in question
                  returned the gesture by this forehead touch (the back of MY hand to
                  her forehead). There have been instances when the lady kissed my hand
                  as well...see, it goes both ways. In any case, hand kissing is quite
                  proper if done correctly. And I agree that slobbering is a definate
                  no-no. BTW, has anyone ever seen a hand-kiss to the PALM of the hand
                  rather than the back? Again, I have seen this and interpret it to
                  mean that there is more between the two people involved than mear
                  friendship. Remarks to this?

                  Dylan


                  --- In scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com, Katie Pleasance <katie@k...>
                  wrote:
                  > I completely agree. Wait for the woman to offer her hand AND watch
                  her
                  > reaction. This might take a little practice and a lot of quick
                  judgement,
                  > but ... her body language will probably give you an indication of
                  whether a
                  > kiss on the hand is welcome or a handshake would be more congenial
                  (and
                  > possibly safer ... There is one creature of the male persuasion
                  with whom I
                  > will shake hands to be friendly in public but if he *ever* tries to
                  kiss
                  > even my hand, he will find himself rolling on the ground holding
                  his
                  > precious private parts.)
                  >
                  > I'm married and way over flirting age. Kiss my hand and you will
                  leave me
                  > smiling all day (unless you are the guy mentioned above). For me,
                  it has
                  > nothing to do with marriage or hoped-for seduction. It is a custom,
                  a
                  > politeness, an appreciation of my femininity -- appropriate in
                  certain
                  > *limited* circumstances.
                  >
                  > And for gawds sake, keep it saliva-free and quiet -- your lips
                  don't even
                  > need to touch her hand. It's the CHIVALROUS GESTURE that counts.
                  >
                  > As always, my opinion.
                  >
                  > Katherine de la Pleasance
                  >
                  > Lady Alvör wrote:
                  > >My opinion is if the lady doesn't offer her hand to be
                  > >kissed, don't assume its ok to do so.
                • bridgetthestargazer
                  I have to say that I agree with the replies thus far. I remember having a discussion about this a number of years ago with friends in Atenveldt. There are
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jan 16, 2004
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                    I have to say that I agree with the replies thus far. I remember
                    having a discussion about this a number of years ago with friends in
                    Atenveldt. There are several factors in how a lady's hand is treated
                    when offered to a gentleman. One of the most important ones is for
                    both parties to be paying attention (which you should be doing anyway
                    if being introduced or greeting someone). There have been a few
                    gentelmen to whom I have been introduced that when I offered my hand
                    I let them raise it only so far. A little pressure downward as the
                    hand is being accepted should be enough to let the gentleman know
                    that the preference is for him to kiss the air above the hand or
                    simply bow over it.

                    Depending on the situation, you can always bow over the lady's hand.
                    After all, you never know when you might be coming down with a cold.

                    This is one custom that can make both the lady and gentleman involved
                    feel more like a lady and a gentelman than the mundane world
                    sometimes allows IF they are both attentive to and respectful of each
                    other's boundaries. I am fortunate enough to have never had my hand
                    slobbered on. The genetlemen I have met have all been courteous.

                    As others have mentioned, establish your own boundaries based on your
                    comfort level and that of your wife. Those are the most important
                    factors.

                    Hope this rambling made some sense,
                    Bridget the Stargazer
                  • chemistbb3
                    Don t do much hand kissing myself, unless it is someone I am involved with, and that included non-SCA Ladies also. Both sides of the hand are fair game in
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jan 19, 2004
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                      Don't do much hand kissing myself, unless it is someone I am involved
                      with, and that included non-SCA Ladies also. Both sides of the hand
                      are fair game in that case. *grin* I have kissed a hand when it was
                      requested for a photo op at an event for a couple of Ladies who were
                      newcomers and checking things out. Normally, instead of kissing a
                      hand, I will grasp the Lady's hand as I would to kiss it, cover it
                      with my other hand, bring it to my chest height and eloquently tell
                      her how my day is now much brighter by getting to meet her.

                      William

                      --- In scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com, "Ld. Dylan"
                      <lddylanmacleod@y...> wrote:
                      > Another alternative to kissing the hand is to touch the back of the
                      > proffered hand to your forehead...I have seen this done...and even
                      > once, after having kissed the ladies' hand, the lady in question
                      > returned the gesture by this forehead touch (the back of MY hand to
                      > her forehead). There have been instances when the lady kissed my
                      hand
                      > as well...see, it goes both ways. In any case, hand kissing is
                      quite
                      > proper if done correctly. And I agree that slobbering is a definate
                      > no-no. BTW, has anyone ever seen a hand-kiss to the PALM of the
                      hand
                      > rather than the back? Again, I have seen this and interpret it to
                      > mean that there is more between the two people involved than mear
                      > friendship. Remarks to this?
                      >
                      > Dylan
                      >
                    • SCARayne@aol.com
                      William, You have a most wonderful solution!! And I would be very pleased to have someone greet me this manner. I do not like hand-kissing and my husband
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jan 20, 2004
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                        William,

                        You have a most wonderful solution!! And I would be very pleased
                        to have someone "greet" me this manner.

                        I do not like hand-kissing and my husband does not like hand-kissing.
                        If it is, but a quick brush on the top of the hand it will "slide",
                        but any long lingering action with get you confronted by an irate
                        "Mi'lord, I think you have introduced yourself quite long enough!".

                        Rayne
                        Meridies

                        Normally, instead of kissing a
                        > hand, I will grasp the Lady's hand as I would to kiss it, cover it
                        > with my other hand, bring it to my chest height and eloquently tell
                        > her how my day is now much brighter by getting to meet her.
                        >
                        > William
                        >
                      • chemistbb3
                        ... kissing. ... it ... tell
                        Message 11 of 11 , Jan 20, 2004
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                          --- In scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com, SCARayne@a... wrote:
                          > William,
                          >
                          > You have a most wonderful solution!! And I would be very pleased
                          > to have someone "greet" me this manner.
                          >
                          > I do not like hand-kissing and my husband does not like hand-
                          kissing.
                          > If it is, but a quick brush on the top of the hand it will "slide",
                          > but any long lingering action with get you confronted by an irate
                          > "Mi'lord, I think you have introduced yourself quite long enough!".
                          >
                          > Rayne
                          > Meridies
                          >
                          > Normally, instead of kissing a
                          > > hand, I will grasp the Lady's hand as I would to kiss it, cover
                          it
                          > > with my other hand, bring it to my chest height and eloquently
                          tell
                          > > her how my day is now much brighter by getting to meet her.
                          > >
                          > > William
                          > >
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