A lot of human interactions can be arousing. From hugs to neck kisses to massages to spanking—a lot of intimate contact can open a possibility of sexual awakenings. Human imagination is unlimited when it comes to what turns you on. But one of the more curious forms of arousal is tickling. This is a form of contact where you laugh so uncontrollably and have no control of your muscle function for the duration of it. So why can you be turned on by tickling?
The science of tickling
For many people, tickling is something they outgrew when they were children. As adults, it can be difficult to understand how tickling is a way to arouse. It can trigger fear, laughter, and discomfort. It is the sensation of something crawling on your skin. Some people think of bugs or questionable fabrics against their skin. Usually, when you get that tickling sensation, you brush off the bug or get rid of the tag in your shirt that’s making you uncomfortable.
However, fear is fundamentally similar to arousal. Due to tickling falling under the pain-pleasure spectrum, it can lead to sexual awakening. This is because it leads to the release of adrenalin which can manifest as arousal.
Studies show that even hyper-aware alertness while waiting for the tickling can lead to arousal. For some, it can even lead to orgasm or a more intense climax.
This is an element of a BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadomasochism) scene. Tickle play is about giving and receiving power between partners. The submissive is usually the one being tickled. They enter a space of vulnerability where they trust the Dominant to enable them to reach climax. Tickling is done with a variety of toys from feathers to fronds.
Tickle play is also considered a kink in its own right. For people who aren’t aroused by the strict control of BDSM, tickling can be a kink or a fetish. A kink means you enjoy a non-sexual object or act like leather, spanking or praise. A fetish means you need the presence of an object or sensation so as to reach ultimate arousal.
A tickle fetish can be about sensation or the power dynamic of being pinned down and your pleasure under someone else’s control. Tickling can also be part of a sexual fantasy. In addition, the laughter from tickling can release endorphins.
When adding tickling to your sexual routine you can do it as a form of consensual punishment or when one partner is tied down. It can also be used in foreplay or just before orgasm, but this is if your partner has a fetish. You also need to carefully select which area to tickle. As children, most people enjoy tickling the armpits, soles of their feet or around the ribcage. For adults in bed, tickling around the obliques may be the least awkward part. It’s important to know where your partner is most likely to enjoy being tickled.
Tickle torture is also another form of play. However, there needs to be a lot of trust and negotiation in this situation. To do this, one partner is tied down then the other partner uses toys to tickle them. It’s considered torture because the tickling is done to the point of enjoyable pain. Your partner can use a hairbrush against the more sensitive parts of your body.
But some people are still uncomfortable with the sensations that come from tickling. You must make sure your partner is completely comfortable with being tickled before adding it to your sexual routine.
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