It used to be that you could give a hug to anyone at anytime. Kids, people of the opposite sex, people of the same sex, old people, young people, friends, acquaintances, geez...even a stranger could get a hug just for the sake of giving one. If the time was right - you hugged! In certain societies it's just part of a greeting. Italy is a prime example. And yes...right here in the good 'ol U.S.A. it's often used as an expression beyond "hello."
But, not so fast my friends. Hugs can cause legal problems, get you into lots of trouble, even cause you to get fired from your job. Yep...we've become so serious, litigious, and uptight, that a hug can be a dangerous thing! What has happened to our capacity to show love? Of course, they'll always be a goofball or two who take it a bit (or more than a bit) too far - grabbing things they shouldn't grab and doing things they shouldn't do. This, my friends, has led us into "The Land of Less Hugs." Sad - yeah...I know. However, it's true.
There are ways to mitigate this problem in some instances (but before you do it, make sure that the other person is of sound mind and body - and certainly, of legal age). Ask them, "Is it okay if I give you a hug?" Yes...it kinda takes the loving emotion right out of it, but...it does enable you to put some back.
So, hug proudly (and legally) folks. We need more hugging. More sharing of that energy that says, "I really like you." or "I love you." More warmth from that thing we also call an embrace. Maybe, just maybe...more hugging will lead to more caring, more peace, more love, higher self-esteem, and a better world. Because - "A hug is a blanket of kindness."