Well, my plan to write more has been working to some extent. I’ve been working on a kind of big “theory” post that deals with a concept that I’ve been struggling with for some time. As such, it’s hard to get through the writing. I keep going back and forth on what I want to say.
Because of this, I haven’t had a full post for you since the last Kink of the Week (le sigh!) but I can promise an interesting one soon. Not that KOTW isn’t interesting.
So, onto the post!
The KOTW topic this week is tickling.
I’ve always had a very neutral feeling towards tickling. I’m rather ticklish, but I don’t particularly dislike being tickled. As a child, I found tickling to be a pleasant interaction, although I grew up in a family where that was considered a bit too much physical contact to be appropriate. As I grew up, it sort of stopped being something that I thought of very often.
From time to time I meet people in the scene who sort of roll their eyes at my spanking fetish.
“Spanking? Really? That’s hardly even kinky. That’s so childish. That doesn’t even hurt,” they say. Then I get all kinds of flustered and annoyed and defensive. Let me tell you a long list of reasons why your wrong. But this hardly matters, because the person with this opinion just doesn’t “get” spanking or understand what it means to be a spanko, so they can’t really be convinced.
In the process of brainstorming for this post, I discovered that my feelings towards tickling were quite similar to the feelings that I hated having directed towards spanking.
In my mind, tickling is a tender, playful interaction that doesn’t feel kinky to me. There’s something that seems sort of unappealingly childish about it to me (and I’m sitting at my very small desk dressed in my fuzzy nightshirt which is printed with cartoon owls and a pair of Hello Kitty panties with my hair in pigtails, typing this on my sticker-covered laptop). I decided that these feelings aren’t really fair for me to have, and they certainly aren’t very educated.
I decided to start looking at some Tickling sites to learn a little bit more about it. A lot of them presented tickling in a way sort of similarly to the way I was imagining it: two girl-next-door types gently rough-housing and tickling each other in their lingerie, sometimes using colorful feathers. The presence of the feathers connected it to something else in my mind: “sensation play.”I originally thought that sensation play was a pretty milquetoast idea, as well. This was during a period of my life when I was very focused on submission as being challenging and where I frequently intentionally denied myself the enjoyable side of things like spanking. The idea of “things which feel nice” seemed, well, lame to me. Later on, I started to break down the barriers between things being “nice” and things being “kinky” and I discovered that I like quite a lot of sensation play. I like the feeling of something cold being placed on my bottom after a spanking, or the startle of it touching me on my unaffected skin. I like soft materials on my body and especially on skin that’s sore. I like the feeling of pressure as something weighted is pressed against me. I like focusing only on my body, and making my world very small, and sensation play lends itself to that very well. Just as pain is a focusing device, so can be any sort of touch. I often find gentle touches with a single finger being run slowly over my body to be some of the most erotic. This motion when repeated over and over can become a slow tickling sensation. I can see how this would be enjoyable, positive and nice.
But tickling fetishists don’t always think that tickling is nice, right? Sometimes tickling is a torture. I think the primary reason that I can’t imagine tickling as being particularly kinky is because I’ve always had tickling stop before I even got particularly tired of it. I’ve never been held down, restrained and tickled until I wanted it to be over. I know that many people enjoy combining tickling with bondage, and I can imagine the point where anything becomes unbearable and apply that to tickling to create a scenario which is not unlike the point in a spanking where I feel like it’s difficult to endure it any longer. This is the place where submission is required, where I have to focus on passivity and give myself over to the spanking. I can imagine that tickling can come to require a similar kind of submission.
Then there’s the idea of tickling as being a rougher, harsher activity. If you tickle someone with your nails, for example, that somewhere between tickling and scratching. If you use a rough or abrasive motion, especially on the tender parts of the body, tickling can be strangely painful. Once or twice, Malignus “tickled” me in a method that he calls “deep tissue tickling.” I don’t fully understand what he did, but I think it combined massage techniques with tickling motions to create a sensation that was similarly invasive to the pain that I felt when we experimented with bastinado. It felt like there was a creature loose inside my body, or sometimes, like I was being stabbed. It was so invasive feeling that I wasn’t able to be submissive towards the feeling. Again, we didn’t do much of this. 😛
So, at the end of the day, I can see the appeal, I think. I’ve certainly found a new appreciation for why it might be enjoyable and how I could possibly relate to what a tickling fetishist enjoys. I’m glad that I explored this because I don’t like not understanding something, and I hate to think that I’m not giving something a fair shot in my mind.
As always, I’m open to questions and comments.
I promise that there’ll be a post with spanking in it very soon. ♥