Login or register to post.
Login to reply  Page: « < 1 of 5 > »
13 Jun 2011 - 18:0259726
Free hugs! Among other signs...
I saw this somewhere ages ago and i wanted to give my opinion about it. Someone said that people who wear free hugs signs and the like are just attention seeking saddos with no life and that kinda upset me because i know me and lots of my friends sometimes wear them. It's how i met the people i cosplay with now and i'd like to think we're not attention seekers. I wore it a few times because i was nervous and i knew i probably wouldn't dare go up to people and ask them about their cosplay so i put a free hugs sign up because it helped me gain confidence while hugging and chatting to random cosplayers. I'm more confident now so i will go up to people now but i still want to wear free hugs signs because it's fun for me, not because i'm an attention seeking whore

Uh... rant over sorry if i annoyed anyone etc


Click the banner to be taken to our Youtube Channel and check out our Crap Rocket Productions websit
13 Jun 2011 - 18:1759731
I am pretty outspoken on the subject, just anyone who's been on the Expo forum. I hate the damn thing. It is pathetic. It's only done by people think that they are being cool and quirky. I really don't want to be at an event and get hassled by these guys as I have been in the past. I've gotten abuse for saying 'No'. Ive seen kids just walking around the Expo floor screaming 'Free Hugs' in people's ears.

One of the worst things about this is that it was started by an Austrilain guy with some serious emotional problems. Also it is pretty creepy as well.

I would really like kids to get the message that having one of these signs does not make you a proper cosplayer/anime fan/whatever. It's fine not to. Please just let this stupid fad end.

13 Jun 2011 - 18:3659733
I'm pretty sure Iv'e voiced my opinion on this before and it's pretty close to Ice Climbers.

You yourself Crap Rocket Red, might not neccesarily be the typical steryotype of a free hugger but you need to understand that the people who hate them, people like myself and Ice Climber have actually had verbal, almost physical abuse for saying no.

I got an earfull of "f you you fing b**ch" for saying "no" at one of the last expos I attended.

Iv'e had people FORCE hugs on me when I have specificly refused and then be suprised when I push them really hard.

It's not wanted, you diddn't get permission it's bordering on assault.

Like Ice Climber says, kids walking around screaming in peoples ears. I have to honestly say, if someone does that to me, they'd have a pretty bad situation on their hands given I have tinnitus which triggers vertigo and because of that I have very very sensetive hearing, so screaming in my ear causes agonising pain to which I usually either scream back or hit whatever it is that's caused it. A kid used to do it to me at school, until I punched him in the mouth, then he stopped. If you don't know what Tinnitus and Vertigo are, google it.

The type of behaviour associated with free huggers is generally bad, you might not be one of them and you might not get nasty if we say no, but when it's 9 times out of 10, you'll have to excuse us for hating it.

Also, there are people out there who really REALLY shouldn;t be doing it.....like adults, creepy adults with free hug signs walking around expo hugging underage people. AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO SEES A PROBLEM WITH THAT?

I can't be.

The longer it goes on for, the worse it's going to get. SOMETHING is going to happen and everyones going to be "omg I diddn't think a free hugs sign would have caused this"

THINK about it. Your wearing a sign that says free hugs.

Free means there is no contract, payment, exchange, PERMISSION granted to the individuals. It's essentially a free pass to press your body against whoever is wearing a free hugs sign.

THINK about how that could ever possibly go wrong and you'll realize just why some of us find it creepy and worry about some of the young kids doing it.

13 Jun 2011 - 18:5259734
Completely agree with Ice Climber and Lulu Rose. I think there are other ways to gain confidence and be social at events. Sometimes the free hugs signs are innocent and sweet enough (I generally look around bemused and pretend I was daydreaming in an attempt not to hurt the feelings of the free hugger) but I shouldn't be made to feel bad for not wanting contact forced upon me. Some people are very persistent and demanding and people shouldn't have to deal with what can sometimes be harassment from free huggers who cross the line and start yelling. Not to mention it can attract the wrong attention to younger naive cosplayers =/.

I know at events it can be hard to mix with people and I can be pretty shy myself but there are lots of other ways to interact and build confidence. Even giving people a smile and saying you like their costume as you walk past is a nice ice breaker =).

'You have to get to know her' "She eases up does she?" 'No but you get a better sense of when to duck'
13 Jun 2011 - 18:5559735
There are a few people that abuse the "free hug" signs.
I think its now just a tarnished fad that's also getting a bit old.
Same with the "will dance for free food/yaoi for yuri/hug me i couldnt afford a cosplay" etc type things.

Although I have never been personally harassed by people with such signs, I find that its rather distracting and annoying as you end up being stopped as you're walking along trying to get to a photoshoot/go shopping at the stalls/dealing with other business. Sometimes its just inappropriate.
Though there have been a few times where I have liked free huggers - those that have clearly paid more attention to their cosplay and their own behaviour than the sign itself. Those who dont sue it as an excuse to punce on others but instead use it as a way to say "Its okay to hug me if you want to." I have no issue with that...but it seems those that are doing it responsibly are getting ignored thanks to those that have ruined it.

Perhaps there should be more events.
Events are a much better way of building confidence and meeting like-minded people than just free hug signs.

In fact, I'd feel better if there was a specific event for these free huggers to hug it out specifically at their own meetup and then leave those who are uninterested alone.
But I doubt thatll ever happen.

Pip - Member of the Übern00brigade
dA: http://sunflowerguardian.deviantart.com
13 Jun 2011 - 18:5859736
I'm just gonna point out now that ive never forced a free hug on someone or deliberately walked over to people and demanded hugs etc.

Ahem, continue.


Click the banner to be taken to our Youtube Channel and check out our Crap Rocket Productions websit
13 Jun 2011 - 18:5959737
I had this discussion with a friend recently and honestly? If you wanna wear a sign, and hug people that wear the sign then that's your prerogative. Go ahead, I couldn't care less.

The problem (speaking for me) lies in the type of free-huggers who do not ask permission before hugging people who do not carry around a sign. Or becoming rude/violent when they are told 'no'. I was extremely upset with a man at the last convention I went to, he had overheard me and my friend discussing this, and came up yelling and cursing us for being derogative to free-huggers, and horrible human beings. When we asked why he'd been eavesdropped to our private conversation he became upset and stormed off. I don't personally care for people who run up to me and throw their arms around me, especially if I don't know the person or if I'm wearing an elaborate costume that might get ruined. But it's not like I'm able to say no to a cute little kid running up to me and saying she likes my costume.

tl;dr - If you wanna hug people, hug away, just make sure you ASK before you hug people who aren't wearing the sign, or wearing cosplay (both simple and elaborate). That's what I think at least. Just some manners basically, which of course goes for the non-huggers as well! ^^

13 Jun 2011 - 19:0759740
I think before this goes further we should clarify that, although the OP does wear free hug signs and whatnot, the views, experiences and comments of the people responding and debating aren't a direct insult to the OP or to any specific individuals unless otherwise stated.

So in short, try not to get your feathers ruffled because you disagree with anothers view. It's not a personal slight against you.

I for one get it ALL THE TIME because I'm so blunt and sarcastic. So I just thought I'd throw that ball into the court before it turns ugly.

Anyway, we do know that not ALL of the people who have worn, wear or partaken in free hugging, the signs or whatever behave in the way that the less savoury people in the community with free hugging do. The sign doesn;t automaticly mean that person will scream in your ear and force a hug on you but what alot of people don't think about when debating these subjects is that unfortunatly it seems like the MAJORITY of people behave this way.
So for some of us who have had numerous bad experiences with them, upon seeing the sign, unless you know the person well, it means we avoid them and tend to ignore or get snappy when they ask for hugs because we expect some sort of namecalling or something to ensue.

Old habits die hard.

13 Jun 2011 - 19:2959751
See, I've never had a free hugger issue. Properly because I'm a really huggy person naturally. However, there are types of free huggers I avoid, such as the girls which are just bellowing "FREE HUGS" at the top of their lungs. I dislike the extremeness of it.

Another type of hugger I don't like are the ones that don't ask for permission. Frankly, it can be classed as assault, as the person it getting very close without permission. The only time when this hasn't pissed the hell out of me was when I turned round and it was a youngish girl who looked really embarrassed that she had done that, and said "I'mreallysorrybutyou'recosplayingmyfavouritecharacterever.I'mreallyreallyreallysorry" in a rather meek voice. So I let the slide.

And gave her a hug.

I'm not the sort that would parade around anywhere with free hug signs. I've asked for epic cosplayers if it would be okay if I was careful. but never "advertised" it.

One Expo i went to had a different... craze... It's was the free "f*cks and kisses"

To me... that's just. No. Just no. I only ever kiss my parents/siblings good night/bye. I'm not kissing a stranger. Not even if you paid me.

Ayacon Plans
13 Jun 2011 - 19:4259755
Free hugs I was ok with for the first...three expos I went to. I was very nice and civil to people and then there was a convention when I was bursting for the toilet and someone shouted "FREE HUGZ!!!!111one!!" in my ear and I said, "If I see you later, right now I'm kinda-"

Before I even finished the sentence I got, "FINE! Fucking piece of shit, you're such a c**t..."

From then on, I made it a point to avoid those with signs, especially as they started to become "Free kisses!" "Free Yaoi!" "Free sex." and "£10 - Sex!"


I am completely against them but thankfully I only have to suffer them at Expos ^_^

CosplayIsland Staff Member

13 Jun 2011 - 19:4959759
I should probablly say that even though I am very against it. If someone comes up to be, is polite and courteous and asks nicely. I do concider it, if I don't want to, I tell them in a polite manner. Sometimes I feel too sick to do it. I'm chronicly ill so yeah, sometimes I really really don't want to hug people.

If someone asks me for one because I'm cosplaying their favourite character ever then I might say yes, again it depends how I'm feeling but I'd refuse outright if it was delicate or a more revealing costume to be honest.

If it's for a photoshoot, I'll do it as long as people don't try any funny buisness!

I guess it's just another thing people just don't think about. What if there is a valid reason for the person saying no? Like a chronic illness or something. Maybe they have a bad cold and don't want to infect you, maybe they are very frail and hugging actually hurts.

13 Jun 2011 - 19:5459762
Quote sjbonnar:
From then on, I made it a point to avoid those with signs, especially as they started to become "Free kisses!" "Free Yaoi!" "Free sex." and "£10 - Sex!"

Free sex or any signs to do with sex is forbidden at Expo. People seen with them will be taken into a office, grab the person's details, throw them out and ban them for a year.

Been told by a staff member who's my friend that 3 people got thrown out last October for demanding girls free sex by using signs as advertising.

Continuing on the topic. Everyone above has basically said what I'm gonna say. Instead of repeating like a broken record, I'm going to get straight to the point.

Seeking attention by holding a free hug sign, Free hugs signs thrown into faces, Unexpected glomps, insults to refusal = NO! BAD FREE HUGGER! VERY BAD FREE HUGGER! YOU DON'T DO STUFF LIKE THAT!

Ask before hugging = Good free hugger, you should be awarded. Here, have a biscuit. Also don't take rejection hard. Just because they say no, doesn't mean they don't like you.


Last edited by Petchy-mon (13 Jun 2011 - 20:00)
13 Jun 2011 - 20:0459765
I have had nothing but bad experiences with these guys. Also most other signs I've seen have been woefully inappropriate.

It would be nice for this stupid fad to end. You do not need to do it to have a good time at an event. If I were running an event there would be a ban.

13 Jun 2011 - 20:1259767
Can I also just add, if someone comes up and politely asks for a hug, I almost always say yes. I'm a huggy person in general so I have no issue with the actual hugging.

It's the ones holding signs...

CosplayIsland Staff Member

13 Jun 2011 - 21:2859774
I wouldn't carry one around myself, but I don't really have anything against anyone who does unless they're being obnoxious about it.

I generally won't go up to a free hugger, but if they come up to me I'm usually too polite to decline. I don't really mind though, they're quite nice actually and can add to the friendly atmosphere.

14 Jun 2011 - 00:2659785
Admittedly I did have a sign last time I was at Expo, but it was my first one to be fair.

However, people were really nice to me about it, gestured to me before hugging, if they were behind me they'd tap my shoulder and ask... so yeah... Not a bad experience in my opinion. Just the exhaustion of holding a sign along with a prop.

Only problem I have against signs is when people are bellowing at you to hug or whatever, or glomp you without asking or anything like that. So yep

14 Jun 2011 - 01:3159786
I wouldn't carry one personally (a bit too attention seeking if you ask me) but they're starting to get everywhere! I even saw someone take a free hug sign into Primark for goodness sakes (and there wasn't a con on at the time)! No con whatsoever. Though I only find them annoying though they're not the most harmful thing in the world.

If someone asked me politely for a hug then sure I'll give them a hug. Kids, certainly as long as they weren't annoying. But people glomping you out of the blue? Nope, especially when something delicate's destroyed. Though this is sort of like gunning down a dead horse.

14 Jun 2011 - 02:1059787
Quote Drutt:
I wouldn't carry one personally (a bit too attention seeking if you ask me) but they're starting to get everywhere! I even saw someone take a free hug sign into Primark for goodness sakes (and there wasn't a con on at the time)!

IIRC the free hugs thing wasn't a con thing or anything like that. I believe it was just random people standing out on streets in towns looking to hug people to bring a bit of happyness () to people's lives[1].

Personally I don't mind random people walking around with the signs. If they're being loud and obnoxious I have the same opinion of them as anyone that's being loud and obnoxious whether they're holding a sign or not.

Attention seeking? yeah definitely but that's not necessarily a bad thing; in this world of cosplay is it not about that? If you've spent months on a cosplay I'd definitely want to get some attention.

It's always a case of respecting peoples' space. Generally, like the glomping, if you're not a dick about it no one really cares. So the lesson for today..erm...tonight...this morning kids is don't be a dick

14 Jun 2011 - 02:1359788
Ahhhhh this delicious lil thread again.

My view:

Free huggers + their signs = desperate teenagers/loners longing for the touch of another human being.

Originally i was ok with it seeing one or two people doing them and being alright people. Now you just have faggishly annoying people who:

A) Hugging you when you:
AA) have a cosplay you dont want touched like armour or some sorta flimsy frame.
AB) touch you with out permission, it does feel like you are violated in someways.

B) TACKLE YOU when : Options AA and AB again.

C) ACTUALLY JUMP ON YOUR BACK ASKING FOR A FUDGING PIGGY BACK RIDE (this has actually happened ¬_¬) when : AA and AB again.

It was cool at first when people were respectful of other people and not bothering them and so on. Now you have some hyped up teens who go "WOO ITS EXPO NOW TO MEET FRIENDS" as they down 2 litres of Mountain Dew, if they wanna make friends they should try the way of the older people or try some other gimick because frankly its getting annoying and stale and no friends will be made from doing it.

Sorry if people who do this "free hugging" feel offended by these words but this is plain old reality. If your lucky to get hugs its because the person is exactly like you, and need the touch of another human. Thats cool you then have a friend. But dont force yourself upon others ffs!

/end vomit of hate

Mess with me, your life is as good as gone

Last edited by JakeX (14 Jun 2011 - 02:16)
14 Jun 2011 - 02:1459789
I've never been inclined to have a free hugs sign. Like said previously, they can lead to trouble (glomping, people getting annoyed, general pain in the arse).

I'm happy enough for free hugs. Hugging is nice~ but I wouldn't want a sign inviting everyone and anyone to give me a hug. Personal preference. I'd dislike the lack of permission - I know the sign in itself is "permission" but I'd rather know when someone's gonna hug me. That's why I prefer to be asked other than have an advertisement for it.

And don't even go there with the "Will yaoi for yuri!" and so on. Just blaaahhh.

I love signs when they're related to cosplay though! I'm planning on making a sign for my Gary Oak cosplay 8D signs are fun.

14 Jun 2011 - 05:4959791
whatt !!! ... iv never had a problem with free hugs - i always thought it was cute.

yes i agree that demand hugs are kinda not right and harsh glomping isnt right but for me just wearing a free hug sign is ok - there shouldent b so many rants -and yes same situation as crap rocket red most of my friend wear them - whats all the fuss about - there just being friendly - soz RANT ABOUT THIS OVER - hugs x

14 Jun 2011 - 06:4659792
I'll copy and paste this from my coscom comment:

I don't necessarily mind the "free hugs" signs, as long as they aren't made out of cheap, shoddy cardboard and written in plain black marker. Make it creative, not tacky.
But the only thing I dislike about some free-huggers is when they throw a hissy fit when you decline a hug, even when you do so politely. Calm down dude, don't take it personally.

I don't hug some of the free-huggers, unless they're from a series that I like or I know them. The last times I've hugged somebody, they haven't bathed. I'm sorry, but I don't want my costume to smell and feel sick for the rest of the day. (Not all free-huggers are like this, I know).

But I do HATE the signs like "Will do [insert retarded type action here] for money".
People, why the hell are you at a convention without any money. You are not a homeless person, you're just an idiot for attending something that is going to cost a lot of money.
No, I will not pay you so you can have food, no I will not pay you so you can get that shitty action figure in the dealers room.

I've seen some topless guys at Expo do this, they were asking for money so they could do backflips, INDOORS.

*Slow clap*

Well done, you've just looked like a delusional outcast who will be kicked out of the con by security in 3, 2, 1...


Last edited by Mameido (14 Jun 2011 - 06:54)
14 Jun 2011 - 07:4359798
The screaming, the complete disregard for personal space and the hostility at a refusal is what has come to me disliking free huggers so much.

In the past I've been given dirty looks for not accepting hugs from people and I've been lifted off my feet without any sort of warning. On that particular occasion, this guy wouldn't let go until I told him to "Put me the f**k down", then had the nerve to glare at me as if I'd done something wrong! I can deal with the dirty looks because really, I'm never going to see the majority of those people again after the day, but when have so much lack of respect to go so far as to completely ignore the no that you so forcibly put across, you end up treating everyone with the signs the same just to avoid experiences like that one.

It annoys me because none of the people running around screaming at an expo would do that in real life. People seem to think that because they're at expo, they're suddenly allowed to act like a complete idiot and literally throw themselves at people for no reason. If you met one of these screaming idiots in the street, it's more than likely that they will just behave normally which is what irks me so much.

You may not be one of the annoying ones, btu there's no denying that the majority of people with a 'Free Hugs' sign are not nice people to deal with. You can see the evidence in this thread.

14 Jun 2011 - 10:0159807
Quote rosieroo:
whatt !!! ... iv never had a problem with free hugs - i always thought it was cute.

yes i agree that demand hugs are kinda not right and harsh glomping isnt right but for me just wearing a free hug sign is ok - there shouldent b so many rants -and yes same situation as crap rocket red most of my friend wear them - whats all the fuss about - there just being friendly - soz RANT ABOUT THIS OVER - hugs x

I laughed LOL

Can I just say, have you actually read the experiences people are mentioning?

Also, what is the point of your free hugs signs? What is the reason for carrying them?

CosplayIsland Staff Member

14 Jun 2011 - 10:4459810
Free Huggers should just not be allowed end of.. unless you group them altogether in a pen and then they can hug each others. IMO.

Anyway apart from that free hugs at first your like sure.. just the one.. then it gets too much the more and more expos you go to. Then it gets out of hand no permission is asked just HUG!

Back in May 2010 My Pyramid Head was hugged by two girls dressed as pikachu's i think couldn't see well... All i heard was PYRAMID HEAD they run towards me and actually forced me nearly to fall over.. now wearing 8 inch platforms one gave way and my ankle become sprained thus giving me a limp for the rest of the day. Luckily it didn't break.

Second attempt was later during the day. someone shouted free hugs run up behind me and then as they run off punched the helmet causing it to shatter so i had to go make a repair.

So yer ¬¬ not happy with that i'm already worried about my Robotech Costume sustaining damage. "/


Login to reply  Page: « < 1 of 5 > »