Some navel fetishists find physical acts involving the navel to be turn-ons. Physical acts can include licking the navel with the tongue or rubbing body lotion or suntan oil. Some fetishists get a turn-on from pouring drops of champagne, honey, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, etc., into and around the navel and then licking or sucking it up. Similarly, licking or rolling the tongue into the navel while underwater can produce erotic sensations. An ice cube when rubbed over or rested over the navel can produce erotic sensations.
The navel is an erogenous zone with a heightened sensitivity. The navel and the region below when touched by the finger or the tip of the tongue result in the production of erotic sensations, and some people are very ticklish to touch in that area. Some people can be aroused by tickling, lickling, blowing raspberries/zerberts (blowing air with lips), and teasing with a feather, flower or a piece of grass, especially when the person is ticklish in the navel. Fingering the navel is also a common act.
Some prefer to perform navel torture, a series of pain-inflicting acts such as sucking or pulling the navel out (often with a syringe), dripping hot oil or wax into the navel, poking pins into the navel, and stabbing the navel.
Viewing and fantasizing activity
Some navel fetishists can be aroused by viewing a navel. In the case of a heterosexual man, women in bikini is one such example. Also women dressed in low-rise clothing like jeans, shorts etc., that reveals the navel is also considered sexually arousing. Indian journalist Bachi Karkaria once commented, "The navel is an erogenous zone. This is the reason why its exposure is always in fashion. Women have flashed it through the ages because men are turned on by it. It is shown because it wants to be seen".
Videos featuring above said physical acts are very common and are viewed worldwide. Their popularity has become more compared to regular porn videos. Fetish model Wonderhussy stated in her blog that she had performed in belly button fetish videos in which she laid back and played with her belly button,poking her finger in it and stretching it out. Other models such as Elan kane, Indica etc., have also featured in similar videos.
Belly dancers often have navel piercings or insert sequins into their navels to make it look attractive when they perform. Not only them,many young everyday women also have them to add a charm to their navels. Such decorations also arouse when seen. In India, navel exposure in low-rise saris is more common than western attire. For some Indian men, the sight of a female navel exposed in a sari is considered sexually arousing.
Sometimes just the thought of the navel is enough to stimulate. Some navel fetishists sexually fantasize about the above physical acts on a person's navel to attain sexual pleasure. The Samoan tribe people find the sight of the navel sexually arousing.
Sometimes literary works focusing on navels or which sexually symbolize navels can also act as stimuli to navel fetishists. One such work is Navel Revue by author Jay Hahn-Lonne which is an autobiographical study of a man's obsession with navels. In the Song of Songs, a book in the Hebrew Bible, there are allusions to exotic things in nature, with frequent interweaving of nature with erotic imagery. In Solomon's lavish praise of his love – the country girl, Sulaimi – the navel is mentioned as follows: "thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor:thy belly is like a heap of wheat set about with lilies." (7:2).
American poet May Swenson in his poem "Little Lion Face" wrote, "Now I'm bold to touch your swollen neck, put careful lips to slick petals, snuff up gold pollen in your navel cup." and poem "August Night" wrote, "Your navel a little pool in pulsing tide an aura round your knees".
Czech-born writer Milan Kundera in his recent book The Festival of Insignificance conveys about the eroticism of exposed female navels. Alain, one of the characters in the book, observes to his friend how most of the young women in Paris wear T-shirts or blouses that expose their midriffs, displaying their navels for all to see. The navel has become, in effect, the new locus of desire.
Robert W. Service in his short poem "Navels" wrote, "Men have navels more or less;....Woman's is a pearly ring,....So dear ladies, recognise The dimpling of your waist Has approval in my eyes,Favour in my taste......How a rosebud navel would Be sweet to kiss!" In Ancient Indian Sanskrit literature, writers like Adi Shankara, Kālidāsa etc., have symbolized and referred to the navel while describing the beauty of Hindu Goddesses.
During 1970,a short lived "Belly Button Magazine" having only two issues recovered by The Kinsey Institute had descriptions of penetrative belly button intercourse and sexual images of physical acts towards belly buttons. In 2011, MTJ Publishing which publishes adult comics released an bellybutton focused series, "NAVEL MANEUVERS 1: Bellybutton-Tickling Erotica" In 2014, a Kindle erotica eBook titled "BELLYBUTTON FETISH: Erotic and naughty stories for bellybutton lovers" was published online through Amazon Digital Services, Inc. In the same year, MTJ Publishing released a second edition of NAVEL MANEUVERS series.
Connections to other fetishes
Navel fetishism often co-exists with stomach fetishism or alvinolagnia. Navel fetishism may co-exist with sadomasochism since some navel fetishists prefer to perform navel torture. Some prefer to engage in physical intercourse, which is commonly linked to weight-related stomach fetishes like BBW,feederism, belly expansion.
Prevalence in the Internet
During the late nineties, there was a small but thriving online kingdom of belly button fetish sites. These sites were maintained by individuals and usually hosted on third-party forum sites like ProBoards or InsideTheWeb. Each forum catered to a unique variation on the fetish, but were mostly the same in that they had individual boards for celebrity photos, candids, erotica, and personal stories. As the internet outgrew forums in favor of social networks and corporate porn sites, these sites began shutting down one by one.
Mike Brooklyn, a belly button lover explained,"Now all those forums mentioned are closed, either because the sites that hosted them went down, or the people in charge of the forums didn't want to maintain them any longer." Subsequently, the site The Original Bellybutton Forum (OBF) became popular but got shut down due to admin-related problems. It reconvened with the name BellyLove but met the same as OBF.
Currently, the new sites that are active are BellyInc and Navelicious. These sites consists of members sharing YouTube video links of bellybutton fingering, pictures of midriff-baring celebrities and navel erotica. As of January 2015, the most popular celebrity navels on BellyInc belonged to Emily Ratajkowski, Paris Hilton, and Vanessa Hudgens. BellyInc admin Mike Brooklyn stated that more violent and explicit belly button infatuation porn can be bought for a price at clips4sale.com, or can sometimes be found circulating on the Navelicious forums. A Navelicious user from the Phillipines stated , "Honestly, the navel fetish community has gotten pretty toxic and it brought a sense of shame and otherness around the fetish can sometimes leave belly button lovers feeling victimized".
The following are some celebrities who have a fixation for navels.
- Renowned singer Madonna in an interview for the May 1985 edition of Spin had said, "My favorite button is my belly button. I have the most perfect belly button: an inny, and there’s no lint in it. When I stick my finger in my belly button, I feel a nerve in the center of my body shoot up my spine. If 100 belly buttons were lined up against a wall, I could definitely pick out which one is mine." Displaying her bare navel during performances became her trademark.
- American actor Sal Mineo had a fetish for navels. His partner Courtney Burr had once commented in an interview that he came to know about Sal Mineo's navel fetish. In the book Sal Mineo: A Biography, author Michael Gregg Michaud wrote, "Sal had an insatiable sex appetite."We were physically opposite," Courtney explained, "but we were completely compatible sexually. We'd go at it for the longest time, take a 20-minute break, and do it again. When we had the chance, we'd do it all day. I discovered his fetish for navels. He loved mine. And he had a strange recurring dream that he was being chased and then stabbed in the navel."
- British actress Billie Piper stated that her bellybutton is one of her favorite erogenous zones. In an interview for the June 2000 edition of Maxim, she is quoted as saying,"My bellybutton is also very sensitive and ticklish, which is quite a turn-on too."
- American actress Rebecca Romijn stated her bellybutton was ticklish in the popular TV show The Tonight Show with Jay Leno during 1999. She was quoted as saying,"Yeah, actually it tickles a lot on my belly button. That is all I am saying. It tickles around my belly button. It did."
- British actress Keira Knightley claimed that her navel piercing won her a role in the film Love Actually since its director Richard Curtis was obsessed with her navel. She once commented in an interview,"My mum always wanted it to be my little secret, but it's become a bit of a trademark. Apparently Richard Curtis fell in love with it when he saw BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM. That's how I got to be in his film Love Actually. So when my character got married in Love Actually the wedding dress was designed to expose my bellybutton."
- Shannon Sutherland, a blogger for Huffington Post, wrote in her blog that her daughter is obsessed with belly buttons and she becomes excited whenever she sees a glimpse of a bellybutton. To make her happy, she had exposed her own bellybutton in public to show it to her art teacher.
- Geordie Shore star Gary 'Gaz' Beadle's girlfriend Lillie Gregg in an interview said,"Gary's so sweet, considerate and really patient. Oh, and I love his bellybutton"
- Canandian nutrionist and yoga expert Gillian Brown stated that her bellybutton is her favorite body part.
- Lisa Donahue, the winner of Big Brother 3 (U.S.) had once commented in the show, "I can orgasm just from my navel being touched the right way" and later in an interview had said,"Many ask if I can really orgasm with my navel..well, no I can't....I just really like my navel played with!!".
- Chilean writer Isabel Allende in a chapter on eggs on one of her books had said, "I like a raw egg served on my lover's navel, with chopped onions, salt, pepper, lemon and a drop of Tobasco".
- Telugu movie director Raghavendra Rao has a huge fetish for the navel since his movies always have guaranteed navel show of the heroines. He used to include the navel of the heroine in every possible frame and exploit it in song sequences such as dropping of water, flowers, fruits, ice cubes etc., on the navel. Legendary Telugu actor & director Dasari Narayana Rao had once commented, "When you see a heroine slightly removing her pallu to show her inside assets, you don’t feel ashamed of it because of the artistic way in which Ragahvendra Rao projects it on the screen. Especially heroines' navels look most beautiful in his movies".
American TV personality Maria Menounos told on the The Howard Stern Show on June 11, 2012 that she had been sexually abused by multiple doctors during medical examinations and specified about a male gynecologist who had touched her belly button after commenting on how "hot" her belly button piercing was. She had said that she did not want to press charges and make the situation worse.
- Navel in human culture
- Navel piercing
- Belly dance
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