Yesterday I did my first man-bisous. Fortunately I’d read about it and seen it done, otherwise I would have been quite embarrassed. I didn’t find it too bad though, as you can turn your head away when you do it.
What was your “first time” like?

Just don’t use your tongue and you’ll be fine :joy:


My first time was about 12 years ago in Marseilles when going to church with a friend. I little weird but went with the flow, one on each cheek IIRC, but not down the middle. No-one has tried to do it recently.

The only male person with whom I do this always seems to have three day’s beard growth, when I complain, his other half usually says, “You said you were going to shave this morning.”

By contrast , I love shaving ( a good English badger, a German Muhle razor and ‘Feather’ the best Japanese blades) and if we’re going out for dinner with the likelihood of le bis, I’ll have a second shave.


As a stiff upper lip, non touchy-feely hetrosexual man, I remember seeing in the New Year with friends, and a gay male friend (who I hadn’t known that long) came in for a non-sexual kiss, but I didn’t know what was going on, so I literally took a step backwards before I realised it was midnight and it was just their way of welcoming in the New Year. Talk about awkward. After that he and his partner took to shaking my hand, but I managed to get past it, and we went back to the whole man-bisou greeting thing. :smiley:

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First time was in Spain, actually. It seemed peculiar, but I’m not a particularly tactile person.

Hugs and kisses are fairly common in the circles I move in - church and music - and I don’t really like to have a bristly cheek rubbing mine, but the gesture is important I think.

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Only my son, who is 45 but I brought up in the family fashion for it from an early age.
But then, a couple of months ago I met again a French friend and his wife after long absence and he greeted me with it. On leaving too some hours later. :grinning:

Yes, not really something agreeable for people from countries where this is never done, I would prefer alternative methods of greeting to be honest, but we have to adapt to the culture we live in.
In the first years of living in France it rarely happened for me, but now it happens all the time with many different men, habitants of my village and other friends. In fact there’s no doubt that it’s a sign that you are considered to be a real friend, so I’m more than happy with it for that reason alone.
Of course a bit like the debate of when to change from “vous” to “tu” usage, the change from handshake to kiss is highly complex for foreigners (perhaps for the French too). I guess you let the French take the lead in both cases and then you follow. It would be foolish and un friendly not to follow.

We both get hugged and kissed by our crowd when we meet up… and it’s a really lovely feeling of friendship/togetherness… :+1: :+1:

Ha ha ha! My husband always gave my bro a hug so I don’t think there were problems. However he did get caught out in France a bit. Soon got used to it and I find it rather nice that men can do this without any problem. It’s friendship and to be applauded

If it’s any consolation there are plenty of French who don’t like the whole bisou thing either - especially if you enter a room with 20 acquaintances and have to go about kissing every last one. For some, the whole Covid thing was a relief, because now you can hold back with the kisses and not be thought of as rude.