I wrote a lot in another thread, I will try to consolidate it here:
Until I ran into the discussion in the other thread, it never occurred to me that a handshake might be a sexual gesture. I have shaken hands literally hundreds of times, perhaps thousands of times, usually in business settings. Everyone present shook hands with every everyone else (or with people they were meeting for the first time) without regard for sex or gender.
Twice in my life, I’ve had someone offer a handshake that did have a sexual component. One time, a guy wanted to flirt, in a situation where flirting was not unexpected. The other time, a woman wanted to show my how a different guy was harassing young women in the group. (He was subsequently thrown out, for creating an uncomfortable environment.) But in those cases, the sexual component was “added on” to the handshake. Like you could sit next to someone and also bump your thigh against their thigh – it’s the thigh-bumping that is sexual, not the sitting nearby. Similarly, it was, um, thumb action, that was sexual, not the basic handshake. And I’ve never run into anything like that in a business setting.
I understand that there are some cultural groups in the US who prefer not to shake hands, or at least, not to shake hands across the sexes. But shaking hands in a business setting is so ubiquitous that I think if you want to decline it for a reason like that, you would be wise to tell the other party why you are declining, so as to make it clear you are not rejecting THEM, but simply prefer not to shake hands with any man. (or perhaps, any person.)
(apologies if I didn’t quote that quite right, it’s awkward moving from forum to forum)
I completely disagree. That would just be weird. You see, we have a social convention to ask people if they would like to shake your hand. It consists of reaching out your hand partway between you and the other person with your palm open, ready to accept their palm. It is a well known and well understood gesture. You are allowed to decline, without being touched. Yes, it is unusual to decline. And as I said above, I think you will be better accepted if you offer the guy a reason why you are declining, but there is no requirement that you accept a proffered hand.
If, in a business setting, a guy asked me is I shake hands prior to offering his hand, I would wonder about it, and tell my husband about the strange interaction I had at work. If the person who asked me were an important or powerful person, I would fear that he viewed me as a foreign being, not as an ordinary colleague. It would definitely make me uncomfortable.