Tickling game

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Tickling games are interpersonal or social activities involving the tickling of one person by another. Some people find tickling to not only be a pleasurable experience, but also an erotic one. They may be sexually excited by being tickled or by tickling another person.[1] Some engage in tickling games as part of a social act.


Knismolagnia is the experience of "arousal from tickling".[2] Acarophilia, often confused[citation needed] with knismolagnia, refers to arousal from scratching.

Excessive tickling has been described as a primary sexual obsession and, under these circumstances, is sometimes considered a form of paraphilia.[3] People whose sexuality is based almost solely on tickling can be said to have a tickling fixation. This fixation may also exist outside of sexual contexts.


Consensual tickling can be regarded as a form of physical intimacy as it involves the touching of one person's body by another. It could serve as a bonding experience between friends, or a simple act of familiarity and trust. Between adults, it sometimes functions as an outlet for sexual energy, with erotic games, foreplay and sex being the primary methods of doing such.

Tickling games[edit]

A woman being tickled at EXXXOTICA New York 2009

Some people take part in tickling games or contests which test their endurance to being tickled, for amusement, erotic pleasure, or other reasons. These games may involve some form of physical restraint of the person to be tickled to prevent them protecting the ticklish spots or otherwise interfering with the game. Common positions for tickling are the over-arm tie, the hogtie, spread-eagle, with the person being tied up, cuffed or in stocks. The restraints may be left loose to increase the amount of possible movement, but short of the person being able to protect the ticklish spots. On the other hand, some participants prefer very tight bondage. The tied person may also be blindfolded to increase the anxiety and surprise element.

The objective of such games is to generate uncontrollable writhing, struggling, laughing and vocalizations etc., from the person being tickled, while the person tries to control such reactions, without the ability to physically defend the ticklish spots.

In dominance and submission scenarios, sexual partners may agree upon a safeword such as "falafel", "watermelon", or "bicycle" to signal that tickling should stop.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Love B., Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices. New York: Barricade Books Inc.; 1992. p280-281.
  2. ^ Aggrawal, Anil (2009). Forensic and Medico-legal Aspects of Sexual Crimes and Unususal Sexual Practices. Boca Raton: CRC Press. p. 375. ISBN 978-1-4200-4308-2.
  3. ^ Ellis H. Studies in the psychology of sex. Vol. iii. Philadelphia: FA Davis Co.; 1926

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