Sometimes a kiss is just an air kiss 

Source: The Ottawa Citizen, 18 Jan 1997 

Author: Guy Saddy 

Vancouver- It wouldn't have been so bad if she had known him a little better. Or even if they had known each other at all. But the extent of their contact was limited to this one meeting, which had been strictly business. So when it was finished, the woman was completely shocked when she was aggressively grabbed by the shoulders, pulled toward her male business associate, and assaulted with a sloppy kiss on both cheeks.

Sexual harassment? Hardly. It was simply an air kiss - albeit one which was disastrously executed. "His lips actually touched my cheeks," the woman recalls with shudder, "and I was mortified! I thought he was coming on to me." Her confusion was understandable. It was her first time, so to speak. "It was only after a year in the fashion industry that I began to realize what was an appropriate air kiss and what was not. And his was definitely not," she huffs.

But the air kiss is not limited to fashion's bon vivants. You, too, could encounter the air kiss. Be warned. Too much lip, and you could get slapped. Too stiff, and you leave yourself open to charges off anal retention. Too slow on the uptake and you could leave the air kisser dangling in mind-flight, lips pursed six inches away from your uncomprehending eyes. Obviously, there's room for much confusion here. Here are a few things you should know.

Be warned: Some go directly from a standard handshake to the air kiss by pulling you toward them. If the kiss takes place on both cheeks., this manoeuvre can descend into the dreaded "lumberjack greeting," wherein the participants rock back and forth like a couple of tree cutters tethered to opposite ends of the same saw.