Tickle Me, Tickle Me!
Remember those wholesome tickle fights you had at sleepovers? It all might sound like wholesome fun to some of us, but to others…it’s sexy as hell.
It’s well known that us horndogs can make ANYTHING into a fetish: feet, bees, falling down the stairs. You name it, and someone finds it sexy. Which leads me to our latest fetish spotlight: tickling.
What is it?
Knismolagnia is a big word for a simple sexual fetish: arousal by tickling. People who experience knismolagnia get turned on by tickling others, being tickled, or watching someone be tickled.
There’s two types of tickling: “knismesis,” which is a light touch that typically doesn’t induce laughter, and “gargalesis,” the heavier kind that can make you giggle so hard you pee your pants. Or maybe….climax!
Now that I’ve gotten you all hot with these big words, let’s look a little closer at this fetish.
Why Is Tickling Sexy?
Now, if you haven’t gotten into a tickle fight lately, let me remind you what it’s all about. It’s a light touch on sensitive parts of your body that results in a tingling, and more importantly, laughter, joy, and even sexual arousal. Some people find tickling such a sexual experience that they can climax from it alone! Others involve it as foreplay in a larger sexual or BDSM experience, and it’s easy to see why.
Tickling exists on the edge of pleasure and pain, and people have harnessed its powers for centuries. Roman soldiers used to use it as a torture. They’d dip a prisoners feet in salt and then have a goat lick the salt, letting the sensation go from ticklish pleasure to pain. Definitely don’t involve your goat in your sessions (that would borderline on animal cruelty). But here are some ways to include it in your own sex life.
Ways To Tickle
People with a this fetish may want to engage in it with or without sexual contact. Like all fetishes it varies person to person. Some people can climax from tickling alone, without nudity, sexual context or even being tickled themselves. If you’re interested, communicate this with your partner and take some time to explore all aspects of the fetish to see where you land.
If you’re looking for a timeless technique, you can give your partner a wiggly little finger to the armpit! If you’re dealing with a ticklish knee, start with all fingers in the center of the knee and slowly drag them outwards for a tingly knee-gasm. Another heavy hitter is the good ‘ole light finger swipe on the bottom of the foot. No matter the tickler or ticklee, these three moves are a sure fire way to elicit some laughs and maybe more.
You can vary up your tickles by using vibrators, brushes, acrylic nails, or feathers. Anything that ups your sensation and (maybe even) turns you on. Try using them in any sensitive spot: armpits, knees, elbows, belly, feet, inner thigh, ribs and genitals are all good places to start. You can even turn tickling into a game or an endurance test. With this, as with any kink: whatever turns you on, do it.
If you’re into the involuntary reaction part of tickling, it might be a good idea to focus on that by restraining your partner. This can also keep you from getting hit involuntarily in the face if they have a strong reaction. You can include bondage, rope or handcuffs to keep your partner from protecting their sensitive spots. You can also include a blindfold to increase suspense, sensation, and surprise. Tickling can easily be folded into any sub/DOM dynamic. You can engage in tickle torture by restraining your partner and tickling them beyond where they feel physically comfortable. Only do this if you’ve communicated about it before at length, and always have a safe word. As with all fetishes: do what your heart desires, but always communicate and have consent.
Just A Little
Not completely sold on tickling as a sexual act? You can include it in small ways that focus on increasing sensations, rather than fetishizing the act alone. From tickling your lover’s nipples with a feather duster, to breathing on their neck, there’s a lot of ways to include light touches to increase arousal.
Remember, if you’re turned on by tickling, you’re not alone. While there’s not a whole lot of visibility or research around this particular fetish, it’s pretty popular! You can find tickling porn, tickling forums and even a documentary about competitive tickling that could always substitute for tickling porn in a pinch. Sexual tickling isn’t for everyone: not everyone is ticklish and some people are even afraid of it! Definitely talk to your partner before your try out tickling in the bedroom: you don’t want to get an elbow to the eye if someone has a really strong reflex reaction. Or hey, maybe you do!
More than anything, tickling fetish is about unadulterated fun and arousal. So just let go, and have fun! You just might like it.
Tessa Skara is a writer and comedian. She is bravely bicoastal. She loves all things queer, including, but not limited to sex. Follow her on Instagram @tessafuckinskara.