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Introducing someone to tickling

At some point you may decide that there is someone you’d particularly enjoy tickling, but you want to do it in a way they don’t mind – either because you’re not cruel, or because this is someone you care about and you don’t want them to get annoyed at you! Or perhaps you wish to find out if they might enjoy being tickled. Some people out there seem to think that this can’t be done without being aggressive, intimidating or inappropriate. They are wrong! There are ways of doing it without being an annoying jerk!


1.  Firstly, it’s useful to know where, if anywhere, this person is ticklish. If you start tickling them and they just have no reaction, it’s far more likely to be annoying than fun for them! So take your time in getting this information and planning what you’re going to do, if you want to succeed.


2.  Ask yourself, is this person going to be comfortable with me tickling them? This is not a question of whether they’ll enjoy being tickled or not, it’s a question of whether you have a close enough relationship with this person to be touching them.


3.  Remember that this whole thing is probably a bigger deal for you than it is for them! This means you don’t really need to be nervous when trying to introduce them to the idea of being tickled for fun. They’re not going to read much into it. You can also gain some confidence from the fact that a surprising proportion of people (especially women) like being tickled but may not know it until given the chance to find out! Also, there are some situations where people expect to be tickled occasionally – for example, it’s rare to find a couple who never tickle each other, so it’s not going to seem strange in that situation.


4.  Don’t actually try to tickle them until you’ve got an opportunity to tickle bare skin. In our experience, the vast majority of people who like being tickled enjoy it far more when they’re not being tickled through clothes. And there is not just a small difference in how enjoyable it is, but quite a large one. This means that for someone who isn’t used to being tickled, tickling their feet through socks, for example, might just be annoying, whereas if you did the same thing on bare feet they might decide they really like it. So take it from us, it’s just not worth trying until there’s an opportunity to tickle bare skin.


5.  Don’t be aggressive! Keep it playful. The person you are tickling is unlikely to enjoy or even go along with it if they feel intimidated.


6.  There are some parts of the body that more people enjoy having tickled than others. Feet, stomach, sides and behind the knees are commonly liked. We’re not sure if this is true for everyone, but in our experience females are more likely to enjoy having their feet tickled than any other place. 


7.  You’ll need to make a judgement about how intensely to tickle them – and this can be very hard. For some people, your best bet is to just start tickling them fairly gently but quickly make it more intense. This is hard to describe, but perhaps think of it as the same way you would tickle a kid. For other people, it’s best to start slowly stroking an area and keep it gentle. This is just a judgement you’ll have to make. If in doubt, start off with the gentler type, and if this doesn’t get you to reaction you want, tickle harder. But remember to keep it lighthearted!


8.  One method that has actually been shown to be effective in introducing someone to the idea of being tickled for fun is this: wait for a time when this person is lying down with bare feet (they don’t have to be fully lying down, as long as their legs are fairly stretched out it’ll work). Preferably on their stomach but even on their back is ok. You move over to their legs and sit on top of them. Now there are two ways of doing this – you can either just sit on top of the calves, or you can put your thighs above their calves and your calves below theirs, with your knees on the outside of their legs. This lifts the feet up a bit and makes it easier to tickle them, so it’s preferable. And you might think that there’s no way they’d let you get to that stage – but if they don’t know what you’re going to do, there’s a strong tendency for them to just let you, because they’re curious to see what you’re doing! So once you’re sitting on the legs, start tickling their feet. And if you think it’s a good idea, tickle more intensely. It sounds very complex or awkward, but it’s really not – and it has a high rate of success. 


Now, there’s a chance they’ll actually say they like what you’re doing! But it’s more likely that if they do like it or don’t mind it, they won’t say that, they’ll just stop telling you to stop. Also, when trying to figure out if someone may like being tickled, it’s worth actually stopping for a few seconds – they will often say something like “Keep going!” or they won’t say anything at all. If they don’t say anything at all, start tickling them again and then give another pause. If they’re not telling you to stop, they’ll generally be enjoying it but too shy to admit it! Sounds farfetched, but it’s true! Now remember what we said about keeping it playful? A good way of getting more insight into what the ticklee is thinking is to say during a pause, “Having fun there?”. It’s very simple but gives you valuable information. If they give a neutral response, this also could mean they’re enjoying it. In fact, in our experience, a neutral response most often means they are enjoying it, but they’re not prepared to admit it at this stage.


So what do you do if you find someone who enjoys being tickled? It depends on your relationship with that person. You might tickle them more then and there, or you may just leave it and start tickling them again another day. This is where we can’t give you much more advice, because what you should do depends on your relationship with the person, how ticklish they are and how much and where they enjoy being tickled. But we do have two very simple guidelines to successfully introduce someone to tickling;

1.  You’ll often have a choice between tickling them more or less often, or a choice between making the tickling more or less intense. If in doubt, always make it less intense or less frequent, until you are sure about what they like or tolerate. Introducing someone to tickling can be a long process. Take your time! You may find someone who really wants to be tickled heaps the first time they encounter it. But normally, tickle them a little bit today, a little bit more next time you see them…if you want to be successful, make it a gradual process.

2.  At all times, make sure you are not intimidating them. Even if you think they are getting used to being tickled, this is still important.



But the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING to remember when trying to introduce someone to tickling, or when tickling someone because it’s fun for you, is this: they are your friend or loved one, not your victim! They are under no obligationto let you tickle them! Now most people are going to protest when you start tickling them. That doesn’t mean you have to stop – people tickle each other all the time despite this. But you do have to stop when they are getting genuinely annoyed at you, or freaked out (actually, hopefully you’ll stop before it gets to that). We know most people will do this anyway, but for the few that may not think of this: respect the person’s boundaries and levels of tolerance!


And finally, if you find someone who is really comfortable with the whole thing, consider either showing them this site or explaining the information on here to them, as it really will improve the experience for both of you.