Advice from certified lady-person and Kempt friskonomy expert Michelle Ong.
Knowing when it’s okay to initiate physical contact with a woman should be common sense. Unfortunately, most guys are total dingbats when it comes to getting touchy-feely, confusing creepiness for charm. [Ed. Note: We would add “most guys of a certain age.”] At best, unsolicited caresses, rubs and pats are supremely annoying. At worst, you come off as the grossest kind of predator—the kind we scuttle away from and warn our friends about. It doesn’t matter if you just meant to be friendly. Unless you’re my date, physical expressions of affection should be kept to a minimum. (I guess if you’re my dad, that’s okay, too.)