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Re: [SCA Newcomers] Hand Kissing questions

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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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