don't touch!

WATCH: Is gay comic Michael Henry right or wrong about overly-touchy friends?

Michael Henry hugs a friend in his latest video
Michael Henry hugs a friend in his latest video (Photo: YouTube)

We love it when YouTube comic Michael Henry challenges us to think about some of the things gay men do.

His latest video offers fewer punchlines and poses more of a moral quandary. Or is it all a question of good manners?

In the film, he’s seen shooting a video with two friends. After they finish, one friend—a buff guy with muscles—hugs Michael and gives his chest hair an admiring rub before walking away. When his other friend—without the muscles—does exactly the same, a clearly uncomfortable Michael chastises him for being too touchy-feely.

The friend, offended, points out that he’s done nothing more than the other guy did: Why was it OK for one friend to do it but not him?

Michael says he’s the only one who can decide who he wants touching him. But is the friend right to feel a little offended?

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Many viewers have chipped in with their thoughts, acknowledging that what might feel comfortable with one friend may not be so comfortable with another.

“It’s not really about hotness in most cases, there’s just… like, a vibe?,” said one on YouTube. “You know, something that clicks that makes physical contact with a certain friend super comfy and safe and pleasant, while with someone else it just isn’t … it’s just how we’re wired, I think… but definitely not something I’d do on purpose to hurt someone. Your character was definitely bitchy about it though.”

Another, being blunter, said, “Consent given to one person doesn’t immediately apply to everyone in the same area.”

One man shared a heartbreaking story from his own life. “In college, I had a friend. We both came out to each other at the same time. He was my first gay friend. One day afterwards, we were walking with two of our girl friends and we all had to split up. He goes to hug both girls and when I go for a hug he says ‘I don’t hug guy friends.’”


“One of the girls knew about our sexualities,” he continued. “And I wouldn’t have made much of it except I had seen him hug his other guy best friend before (hence why I too went for a hug) and seen him hug random guys at clubs before and after this incident.

“Needless to say, this affected me A LOT and I’d be lying if I said it still doesn’t affect me to this day many many years later. Imagine your first gay friend, the first person you told, telling you this rejecting statement in public in front of others. It really has strained my future friendships with gay men … I NEVER initiate hugs anymore.”

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Another person said both Michael and his friend in the video were correct … in their own way: “YOU indeed get to decide how you feel about being touched by one person versus another person, and how assertive you’re gonna be about it, but HE’s also right and entitled to his opinion about your reaction, especially after him witnessing your reaction to the other guy who touched you exactly the same way. You’re both right.”

A fan of Michael’s said touch was a very tricky subject, and it would have been better if Michael hadn’t responded in the dismissive way he did to his friend.

Michael himself responded to this, saying, “You’re right. It could have been discussed further but I wanted to play the scenario as authentically as possible. And I think if this interaction really did happen, something like this would have transpired. Clunky execution and one person leaving feeling angry and embarrassed and the other feeling like maybe they should have said things differently.”

What do you think?