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Titillatio
November 20, 2013 5:39 PM   Subscribe

A Philosophy of Tickling. As Nietzsche put it, in an ironic jab at eudaimonism: “What is the best life? To be tickled to death.”
posted by Rumple (26 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
“What is the best life? To be tickled to death.”

I want to see this alternate universe version of Conan the Barbarian.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:41 PM on November 20, 2013 [9 favorites]


Tickling Rats For Science
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:47 PM on November 20, 2013


I hate being tickled. It hurts, but to everyone else it looks like I'm having fun. I spent my early childhood trying to figure out ways to not get tickled, and none of them worked, because everyone loves tickling children.

Tickling is the worst.
posted by GrumpyDan at 5:59 PM on November 20, 2013 [12 favorites]


*advances with wiggly fingers* who's a GrumpyDan then, who's a GrumpyDan?
posted by unliteral at 6:02 PM on November 20, 2013 [9 favorites]


Yeah.. I'm with GrumpyDan, I -literally- can not breath if tickled. It rather causes me to be involuntary violent because it feels like I'm going to die. I no longer get tickled and have to say it's one of the rare pleasures of being an adult.
posted by edgeways at 6:13 PM on November 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


The perfect crime.
posted by unliteral at 6:37 PM on November 20, 2013


When someone tries to tickle me I involuntarily attempt to smash their face in. I had nightmares about being tickled to death for years on a daily basis. I don't begrudge people who enjoy it, but for me tickling is anathema to the "best life."
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:38 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


HARD. LIMIT.

No tickling ever.
posted by Space Kitty at 6:39 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


A girl I dated told me her sister "cured" her of ticklishness by tickling her until it hurt.

Refusing to believe this, over a period of months, I attempted to tickle her until she laughed again.

It worked.

I am a much better person, now, and would probably not wake that particular sleeping dragon, if confronted with it today.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 6:48 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I hate being tickled. It hurts, but to everyone else it looks like I'm having fun.

I grew weary explaining to people that being tickled causes me literal pain. Some friends once held me down and tickled me, thinking I was joking, and not only did I shriek like a banshee, I kicked the tickler in the face. They were all very angry with me, and the person I kicked in the face stopped speaking to me. (Good riddance to bad rubbish, if you're going to deliberately cause me pain.)

These days, I BITE. It's very effective.
posted by MissySedai at 6:59 PM on November 20, 2013


I'm with GrumpyDan. tickling was a borderline abusive part of my childhood. I HATE it and warn all potential ticklers in my life that I WILL become violent, and unapologetically so....
posted by supermedusa at 7:01 PM on November 20, 2013


I've mostly grown out of being ticklish, but a few years ago my very ticklish then-girfriend retaliated against me by dragging one finger upward and outward over my ribcage and making every motor neuron in my shoulder fire at once. We soon arrived at a truce.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:25 PM on November 20, 2013


It's not as much fun as some of the other lattio's.
posted by anothermug at 7:37 PM on November 20, 2013


Anyone who cannot control their ticklishness at will should not be trusted.
posted by poe at 7:46 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Terri Tickle
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:55 PM on November 20, 2013


Lost a friendship (when we where both in mid-teens) when I warned a friend--repeatedly--not to walk up behind me and jab me in the sides or she would be punched. I considered side-jabbbing (then as now) as lightning bolt-stage tickling. The last time she did it, she got punched. I'm so sorry she didn't believe me.

Another friend of mind looooooved being tickled. Go figure.

Curiously, even hearing people mock-threaten other people with tickling is (for me) a serious trigger.
posted by datawrangler at 7:55 PM on November 20, 2013


I'm probably blowing any shot of my landing a security clearance in the future by admitting this, but if you're ever in the position of needing to coerce information out of me, forget waterboarding, forget battery clamps on the nipples, the only tool you'll need in your torture repertoire is a wiggly finger for jabbing into my armpit. If I'm properly restrained, and can't get at you with my feet or fists, I'll start singing like a bird within 30 seconds. Family secrets, bank account numbers, nuclear launch codes, whatever you need, I'll spill it. When I was a kid and still believed in Hell, you can bet I knew exactly what it would be: an eternity of non-stop tickling. Just imagining it is enough to make me consider going back to church.
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:13 PM on November 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Tickling is the worst.

It's a form of abuse! /grandpasimpson

but no, so seriously, I have the world's most hair trigger startle response and tickling is NOT COOL NOT COOL AT ALL. I can't breathe, I cry. It's awful. We have an understanding in this house, my SO is supremely untickleish. So, he cannot do it to me because I have no way of doing it to him.

I won this argument by saying that if I can't use things learned in boxing class + my much larger build to subdue him, he can't fucking tickle me. It's only fair.
posted by The Whelk at 8:25 PM on November 20, 2013


Anyone who tickles me gets punched in the head, hard. Sorry, out of my control.
posted by sweet mister at 8:27 PM on November 20, 2013


I'm seriously wondering if anyone read the article.
posted by Rumple at 9:14 PM on November 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Are you a fishy?

I've long thought of it as... "Oh, did you forget who your parents were? Did you forget that you are a fishy? Let me show you your lateral line..."

Nerves and reactions you didn't ask for. But nerves that you have, even if you don't know what purpose they serve.

Because evolution.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 9:47 PM on November 20, 2013


I'm with GrumpyDan. tickling was a borderline abusive part of my childhood. I HATE it and warn all potential ticklers in my life that I WILL become violent, and unapologetically so....

Physically and emotionally abusive father used to tickle me to make me laugh after he did something completely horrible as if it made everything okay. The fact that my body gave me no choice but to smile and laugh was such a horrible betrayal of self, that my body was not in sync with my feelings only grew into a deep dark rage. But dad thought everything was okay.

Thankfully, tickling from my partner and other close friends don't have that baggage, or it has long since warn away, but I can easily see how it wouldn't.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 12:27 AM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I used to be so ticklish that you just had to gesture like you were going to tickle me and I'd curl up laughing, but then I was prescribed Paxil for depression in college, and it had the weird side effect of making me completely non-ticklish. It was totally bizarre. I'm no longer on Paxil, and I'm ticklish again, but much, much less ticklish than I used to be. So for all you people who hate being tickled, talk to your doctor about Paxil today.

Side effects may include night terrors, anorgasmia and getting really fat.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 2:11 AM on November 21, 2013


That was an unexpectedly great article! I learned a lot.
posted by painquale at 3:47 AM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I kept expecting a joke, but this is a serious essay: "like Lacan says, enjoyment begins with a tickle and ends in a blaze." The joke is that it exists?
posted by anotherpanacea at 3:52 AM on November 21, 2013


"I forge recklessly into the paleohumorology fray, proposing my candidate for the most ancient joke—the feigned tickle."

It's got to be either that or the "taste this soup" joke, right?
posted by .kobayashi. at 4:01 AM on November 21, 2013


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