A kiss on the cheek — or a kiss on the lips, for more intimate friends — is how we say hello. One of the sweetest hallmarks of gay culture is the broad spectrum of intimacy within “friend.” It’s a loosely defined label, one I ascribe to my casual bar buddies and my greatest loves.
For queer men, “friends” include fuck buds, gym buds, daddies, mentors, lovers, handlers, boys, pups, sirs, subs, betas, alphas, exes, and old flames. Most friends get cheek kisses, while a small handful get a full-on lip lock (if they want one) before we launch into the cursory greeting: “How are you doing?” “Good, good.” Some have boyfriends; others are happily partnered.
A friend kiss doesn’t threaten their primary relationship(s) or lay claim over them. It’s just a greeting — one that says, “I think you’re awesome.”