Tickle torture

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Tickle torture is the use of tickling to abuse, dominate, harass, humiliate, or interrogate an individual. [1] While laughter is popularly thought of as a pleasure response, in tickle torture, the one being tickled may laugh whether or not they find the experience pleasant. [1] In a tickling situation, laughter can indicate a panic reflex rather than a pleasure response. Tickle torture may be a consensual activity or one that is forced, depending on the circumstances. [2] In a consensual form, tickle torture may be part of a mutually fulfilling, physically-intimate act between partners. However, forced tickle torture can cause real physical and mental distress in a victim, which is why it has been used as an interrogation method or to simply show dominance over another person.

Contents

In history

Chinese tickle torture is an ancient form of torture practiced by the Chinese, in particular the courts of the Han Dynasty. [1] Chinese tickle torture was a punishment for nobility since it left no marks and a victim could recover relatively easily and quickly. [3] [ self-published source ]

Josef Kohout, a man persecuted in the Flossenbürg concentration camp during World War II, witnessed Nazi prison guards perform tickle torture on a fellow inmate, followed by various other tortures which resulted in his death. This incident is described in Heinz Heger's book The Men With The Pink Triangle: "The first game that the SS sergeant and his men played was to tickle their victim with goose feathers, on the soles of his feet, between his legs, in the armpits, and on other parts of his naked body. At first the prisoner forced himself to keep silent, while his eyes twitched in fear and torment from one SS man to the other. Then he could not restrain himself and finally he broke out in a high-pitched laughter that very soon turned into a cry of pain." [4]

An article in the British Medical Journal about European tortures describes a method of tickle torture in which a goat was compelled to lick the victim's feet because they had been dipped in salt water. Once the goat had licked the salt off, the victim's feet would be dipped in the salt water again and the process would repeat itself. [5] However, it remains unclear if this method was ever used in practice as it is only described in the 1502 Tractatus de indiciis et tortura by the Italian jurist and monk Franciscus Brunus de San Severino - a treatise that actually cautioned against torture in general - and while it seems clear that Franciscus Brunus had not made up this practice, the issue is left open whether the inclusion in the treatise is based on hearsay, (reliable) eye-witness accounts or personal experience. [6] This uncertainty does not preclude this anecdote from being repeated in popular culture, for instance during a 2013 episode of the British satirical quiz show QI. [7]

In ancient Japan, those in positions of authority could administer punishments to those convicted of crimes that were beyond the criminal code. This was called shikei, which translates as ‘private punishment.’ One such torture was kusuguri-zeme: "merciless tickling." [8]

In his book Sibling Abuse , Vernon Wiehe published his research findings regarding 150 adults who were abused by their siblings during childhood. Several reported tickling as a type of physical abuse they experienced, and based on these reports it was revealed that abusive tickling is capable of provoking extreme physiological reactions in the victim, such as vomiting, incontinence (losing control of bladder), and losing consciousness due to inability to breathe. [9]

There is currently no evidence that tickle torture was ever widespread or was practiced by governments. The very small amount of related documentation discovered thus far originates from England and the United States.

A 1903 article described an immobilized suicidal patient at the Hudson River State Hospital who was tied to a bed for his own safety. While he lay helpless, the patient's feet were tickled by one of the hospital attendants, Frank A. Sanders. "Sanders is said to have confessed that while intoxicated he amused himself by tickling the feet and ribs of Hayes and pulling his nose." Sanders also gave his restrained victim a black eye. Another hospital employee came upon Sanders while he was entertaining himself at his patient's expense, and the criminal was brought before a grand jury. [10]

An 1887 article entitled "England in Old Times" states "Gone, too, are the parish stocks, in which offenders against public morality formerly sat imprisoned, with their legs held fast beneath a heavy wooden yoke, while sundry small but fiendish boys improved the occasion by deliberately pulling off their shoes and tickling the soles of their defenseless feet." [11]

During the 20th century, the Chatouilleuses helped Mayotte stay French by using tickle torture on local political leaders.

Other uses and meanings

The term tickle torture can apply to many different situations that do not include the aforementioned acts of either sexual gratification or malicious torture.

Tickle torture can be an extended act of tickling where the recipient of the tickling would view it as a long time or tickling of an intense nature. This can be due to the length of time they are tickled, the intensity of the tickling or the areas that are being tickled. This can simply be a 30-second tickle applied to the victim's bare feet, which can seem like a much longer time if the victim's feet are very ticklish. While the palm of the hand is far more sensitive to touch, other commonly ticklish areas include the armpits, sides of the torso, neck, knee, midriff, thighs, navel, and the ribs. Many people consider the soles of their feet the most ticklish, due to the many nerve endings located there: this explains why tickling one's feet against their will is the most common example of "tickle torture". [12]

"Tickle torture" may also have other uses, including the act of tickling a person as a means of humiliating someone, or even an interrogation method. This may not be extreme tickling, but could include prolonged tickling upon a sensitive area until the victim has released the required information. In the former case, it could be used as a way of humiliating a person, as the act of being tickled can produce many sounds and sensations that could be viewed as being embarrassing to the victim. In this way, the tickling can continue to the point where a certain reaction is revealed.

This method of "humiliating" could also incorporate the use of physical restraint or restraint using materials. This would be done to leave a desired area of the body bare and vulnerable to the tickling, in a way that the victim would not be able to remove this area from the tickling, and would have to simply endure. This can also be seen as "punishment" or "payback" as the tickler could be using the tickling as retribution from a previous tickling experience or "humiliating event".

Consensual

A woman being tickled at EXXXOTICA New York 2009 Tickling fetish.jpg
A woman being tickled at EXXXOTICA New York 2009

In sexual fetishism, tickle torture is an activity between consenting partners. A torture session usually begins with one partner allowing the other to tie them up in a position that exposes bare parts of the body, particularly those that are sensitive to tickling. Though many parts of the human body are deemed ticklish, tickle torture is commonly associated with the tickling of the bare feet or armpits.

The bondage methods of the tickling usually follows the same basic methods. The object of the bondage is to render the victim unable to remove themselves from the tickling, as well as rendering the ticklish areas of the victim vulnerable. The victim is usually bound in a sitting or lying position rather than a standing one as to expose the soles of the feet which are often among the areas upon which tickling is inflicted. The restraint of the arms above the head leaves the upper body and underarms susceptible to the tickling. This enables the torturer to use whatever they want, e.g. fingers, tongue, beard, feathers, brush, pine cones, salt sticks, electric toothbrush or a hairbrush.

In fiction

In VeggieTales's Esther... The Girl Who Became Queen , King Xerxes disposes of criminals by banishing them to the Island of Perpetual Tickling, to which Death, wielding a scythe-sized feather, escorts them. Thus, tickle torture serves here as a family-friendly depiction of capital punishment.

The TV series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had a recurring character named Don Turtelli whose main form of torture was to take a feather to the soles of the feet of his captives.

Tickle torture has become the subject of many fetish/sexual publications. These fictional writings can portray a fantasy of a desirable character, often a celebrity, being restrained and interrogated. These stories are not always sexual, although they are mostly the object of sexual fantasies and dreams. Because of the fantasy element of the plot, the characters are often magical or the circumstances are completely imaginative.

In one of the light novels of the Naruto Secret Chronicle series, the shinobi Sai uses tickle torture on an ANBU member he was interrogating, as the man had been taught to withstand traditional torture. The action succeeded in them finding the location of their comrade, Sakura Haruno.

See also

Related Research Articles

Torture Intentional infliction of physical or mental suffering upon a person or an animal

Torture is the act of deliberately inflicting severe physical or psychological suffering on someone by another as a punishment or in order to fulfill some desire of the torturer or force some action from the victim. Torture, by definition, is a knowing and intentional act; deeds which unknowingly or negligently inflict suffering or pain, without a specific intent to do so, are not typically considered torture.

Flagellation Whipping as a punishment

Flagellation, flogging, whipping or lashing is the act of beating the human body with special implements such as whips, lashes, rods, switches, the cat o' nine tails, the sjambok, the knout, etc. Typically, flogging is imposed on an unwilling subject as a punishment; however, it can also be submitted to willingly, or performed on oneself, in religious or sadomasochistic contexts.

Physical restraint

Physical restraint refers to means of purposely limiting or obstructing the freedom of a person's bodily movement.

Humiliation Abasement of pride

Humiliation is the abasement of pride, which creates mortification or leads to a state of being humbled or reduced to lowliness or submission. It is an emotion felt by a person whose social status, either by force or willingly, has just decreased. It can be brought about through intimidation, physical or mental mistreatment or trickery, or by embarrassment if a person is revealed to have committed a socially or legally unacceptable act. Whereas humility can be sought alone as a means to de-emphasize the ego, humiliation must involve other person(s), though not necessarily directly or willingly.

Tickling

Tickling is the act of touching a part of a body in a way that causes involuntary twitching movements or laughter. The word "tickle"  evolved from the Middle English tikelen, perhaps frequentative of ticken, to touch lightly.

Stocks

Stocks are restraining devices that were used as a form of corporal punishment and public humiliation.

Strappado

The strappado, also known as corda, is a form of torture wherein the victim's hands are tied behind their back and suspended by a rope attached to the wrists, typically resulting in dislocated shoulders. Weights may be added to the body to intensify the effect and increase the pain. This kind of torture would generally not last more than an hour without rest, as it would likely result in death.

Public humiliation form of punishment whose main feature is dishonoring or disgracing a person

Public humiliation or public shaming is a form of punishment whose main feature is dishonoring or disgracing a person, usually an offender or a prisoner, especially in a public place. It was regularly used as a form of judicially sanctioned punishment in previous centuries, and is still practiced by different means in the modern era.

Cock and ball torture Form of sexual play

Cock and ball torture (CBT), penis torture or dick torture is a sexual activity involving application of pain or constriction to the penis or testicles. This may involve directly painful activities, such as genital piercing, wax play, genital spanking, squeezing, ball-busting, genital flogging, urethral play, tickle torture, erotic electrostimulation, kneeing or kicking. The recipient of such activities may receive direct physical pleasure via masochism, or emotional pleasure through erotic humiliation, or knowledge that the play is pleasing to a sadistic dominant. Many of these practices carry significant health risks.

Torture, the infliction of severe physical or psychological pain upon an individual to extract information or a confession, or as an illicit extrajudicial punishment, is prohibited by international law and is illegal in most countries. However, it is still used by many governments. The subject of this article is the use of torture since the adoption of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which prohibited it.

Prisoner abuse

Prisoner abuse is the mistreatment of persons while they are under arrest or incarcerated. Prisoner abuse can include physical abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, torture, or other acts such as refusal of essential medication.

Erotic humiliation Consensual use of humiliation in a sexual context

Erotic humiliation is consensual psychological humiliation performed in order to produce erotic excitement or sexual arousal. This can be for either the person(s) being humiliated and demeaned or the person(s) humiliating, or both. It is sometimes performed before spectators, including pornography and webcam viewers. It may be part of BDSM and other sexual roleplay, or accompanied by the sexual stimulation of the genitals of one or both parties in the activity.

Interrogation scene

An interrogation scene is a form of BDSM roleplay in which the participants act out the parts of torturer and victim. As in real life torture chambers throughout the world over, the "torturer" uses threats, humiliation and physical pain to extract whatever information he/she believes the "victim" possesses. The game is over when the victim has broken and divulged the secret. The length and severity of the scene will vary according to the temperament of the players. Dedicated players attempt to replicate the atmosphere of a real torture session and, as in real life, the "victim" can expect to be stripped naked, tied up, mocked and abused.

Foot whipping

Foot whipping or bastinado is a method of corporal punishment which consists of hitting the soles of a person's bare feet. Unlike most types of flogging, this punishment was meant more to be painful than to cause actual injury to the victim. Blows were generally delivered with a light rod, knotted cord, or lash.

Knismesis and gargalesis are the scientific terms, coined in 1897 by psychologists G. Stanley Hall and Arthur Allin, used to describe the two types of tickling. Knismesis refers to the light, feather-like type of tickling. This type of tickling generally does not induce laughter and is often accompanied by an itching sensation. Gargalesis refers to harder, laughter-inducing tickling, and involves the repeated application of high pressure to sensitive areas.

Torture and the United States includes documented and alleged cases of torture both inside and outside the United States by members of the government, the military, law enforcement agencies, intelligence agencies, health care services, and other public organizations.

Tickling game Interpersonal or social activities

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, some people like being tickled on their genitals, their waist, their feet, their underarms, their anus or their breasts while others prefer to tickle and some like doing both. Some engage in tickling games as part of a social act.

Western Cyclone is a 1943 American Producers Releasing Corporation Western film of the "Billy the Kid" series directed by Sam Newfield. The film is also known as Frontier Fighters.

Israel and torture in the Occupied Palestinian territories refers to the use of torture and systematic degrading practices on Palestinians detained by Israeli forces in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The practice, routine for decades, was eventually reviewed in the Supreme Court of Israel (1999) which found that "coercive interrogation" of Palestinians had been widespread, and deemed it unlawful, though permissible in certain cases. Torture is also practiced by the Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

References

  1. 1 2 3 "Death By Tickling: The Horrible Torture Method That Can Cause An Aneurysm". culturacolectiva.com. 2019-03-28. Retrieved 2020-05-25.
  2. Carol Yoon (June 3, 1997). "Anatomy of a Tickle Is Serious Business at the Research Lab". New York Times.
  3. Irene Thompson (March 2008). A to Z of Punishment and Torture. Book Guild Publishing. p. 183. ISBN   978-1-84624-203-8.
  4. Heger, Heinz. The Men With the Pink Triangle. Boston: Alyson Publications, 1980.
  5. Yamey, Gavin (2001). "Torture: European Instruments of Torture and Capital Punishment from the Middle Ages to Present". British Medical Journal. 323 (7308): 346. doi:10.1136/bmj.323.7308.346.
  6. Cohen, Esther (2009). The Modulated Scream: Pain in Late Medieval Culture. University of Chicago Press. ISBN   978-0-226-11267-1.
  7. Guide, British Comedy. "QI Series J, Episode 17 - Jolly". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  8. Schreiber, Mark. The Dark Side: Infamous Japanese Crimes and Criminals. Japan: Kodansha International, 2001. Page 71
  9. Wiehe, Vernon. Sibling Abuse: Hidden Physical, Emotional, and Sexual Trauma. New York: Lexington Books, 1990.
  10. "Treated Patient Brutally". New York Times. September 6, 1903.
  11. Ker, David (November 13, 1887). "England in Old Times". New York Times.
  12. Harris, Christine R. (1999). "The mystery of ticklish laughter". American Scientist. 87 (4): 344. Bibcode:1999AmSci..87..344H. doi:10.1511/1999.4.344. Archived from the original on 2017-05-20. Retrieved 2008-11-09.