When jumping into erotic exploration, most people don’t think about tickling as a way to build energy and connection.
But think about it. What jumps into your mind, and what memories jump “into your body,” when I ask you to remember the last time someone tickled you?
As an embodiment coach (someone who encourages you to stay connected to your body, mind, and spirit), I believe strongly in experiencing every practice before I encourage others to explore it. I want to know what it is like, so I can decide if it may help others and be able to explain what benefits were helpful to me.

Wait… tickling can be sexy?

Before I began exploring tickling, my only memories were unsurprisingly negative. As a scrawny little kid, my cousins would ambush me regularly and tackle me to the ground, then tickle me relentlessly until I was out of breath, exhausted, and often angry. It was “fun” for them – perhaps an easy expression of dominance, but inevitably there were elements of love and belonging involved. I mean, why would anyone who didn’t like me tickle me?
When I first chose to meet ERIK11, it wasn’t because of his interest in tickling. In fact at that time I didn’t know much about what a fetish was, or what the world of BDSM play was about. All I recall was that I found him sexy and his conversation intriguing, and I wanted to learn more about him.

Beginning the journey; appreciating the guide

When we met for the first time, I was astounded by how intelligent, open, and clear he was about his interests and what he was seeking. We spent a considerable amount of time learning about each other, but what stood out was that unlike my interactions with others, he wanted me to know EXACTLY what his interests and desires were, and that I was always in control of my experience.
Although I didn’t know it at the time, he was one of my first teachers about the gifts that many (although not all) in the kink community give to the world—specifically, the gifts of learning how to be clear about interests, desires and limitations, about how to co-create experiences, and how to show true love through unwavering practices around explicit negotiation and consent.
When he first invited me to submit to a session of tickling, I was not exactly enthusiastic. How could tickling be “sexy,” I pondered? All I could remember was that my previous experiences in tickling ended in an having an aching and tender midsection, a feeling of humiliation, a lack of breath, and a feeling of abandonment.
What I found, as I explored tickling as erotic play, was a way to let go, a way to reconnect to the joys and freedoms I recall as a young boy, and ultimately, as a way to feel a sense of belonging and love.

And now the book, and all the knowledge that it brings

Well now, my mentor ERIK11, has published what I believe to be the definitive guide on tickle play. The Dom’s Guide to Tickling is now available on Amazon.com in both print and Kindle versions.
As he states in the introduction, his work results from exploring tickling in erotic play with a wide variety of men; Individually, in structured spaces, in small groups, and at parties and events.
One of the most powerful sections of his book are the discussions related to the neurological, physiological, and pyscho-socio-cultural aspects of tickle play, and why it can be an effective way to connect to the self, elevate energy, and build intimacy. He spends considerable time inviting new explorers to consider that past tickle experiences could be based in trauma and violations of consent. He explains to the reader how to honor those experiences by not engaging in play with those individuals, and instead finding other ways of connecting.
The book also provides lots of valuable practical advice about techniques, tools, approaches, scenes, and building and maintaining safety. He also shares information on how to find fellow enthusiasts, how to create fun and creative experiences, and how to perform after-care-a critical, and often overlooked necessity in the world of erotic play. 
Most of all, he clearly shares that not everyone is into tickling as fetish play. No one should be expected to explore it. But for those who are willing and curious, it can be a wonderful way to expand your connection with your partner or partners.

So if you’re strangely curious… even just a little…

So if you have any curiosity about the benefits of tickle play in creating intimacy, erotic energy, and connection with others, I highly recommend you read this book.
And remember, it never hurts to laugh a little. And perhaps, it feels good to laugh a lot.
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash