Hugs occur between two armed adversaries. Hug logistics is the discipline of planning and carrying out the body movement of hugs. They deal with conduct of an engagement: initiation, surface area contact, arm placement, and duration of embrace.
It is best to utilize a dynamic strategy that is sensitive to your opponents' arm geometry. The most common arm formations to look out for are horizontal and diagonal. Both situations sound simple enough, but have many embedded layers of complexity. If you are are dealing with horizontal arm to arm combat you have to decide whether to go over, encirclement of the neck, or under, encirclement of the waist. Also you must decide how much pressure to apply. Usually height, sex, and intent will influence these decisions.
Hug conventions to consider:
Male-female hug with female arms on top
if both parties are friends--cute
if female is not you and male is your boyfriend-- slut
Male-female hug, crisscross arms
If both parties are same age-- awk
If one party is significantly older than other-- acceptable
Male- Male hugging -- always endearing
if one or both parties squeals- annoying
if you are one of those females squealing-- awesome, now everyone sees how
adorable you and your girlfriends are
The above has only considered mutual (agreement could be implicit or explicit) hugs, but for a comprehensive study we must consider antipositional hugging (when your opponent is lying or sitting and you are standing) and of course non-reciprocated hugging. Antipositonal hugging is always awkward do not do it, unless you are visiting someone in the hospital, then its still awkward but just do it.
Non-reciprocated hugging does not necessarily mean that your hug will not be returned. This terminology encompasses those hugs which are initiated by one side and are often returned, ambush hugs, and those hugs which are not returned, frontal assault hugs. When ambush hugging it is important to employ a coup-de-main attack, confidence and commitment are key. Any hesitation is seen as a sign of weakness and could result in the dreaded Hug-to-High-Five situation. You can easily tell if your ambush hug is actually a frontal assault hug becuase your opponent will immediately start the extraction process, or will pat you on the back with one hand. In this situation, its best to admit defeat.
If you want to be a winner at hugging. Only hug people you know will hug you back... your mom, anyone working for a tip, and Europeans.