Ear pulling is a technique for forced motion and for corporal punishment in which a person's earlobe or earlap is taken between one's thumb and index finger and is pulled. The pulling can be slowly but firmly in any direction, e.g. upwards or sideways; it can also involve pinching or twisting the earlobe to cause a sharper pain.
Ear pulling is typically used for either of two purposes:
- To get an unwilling person to comply - the ear is pulled to subject the person to immediate and steadily increasing pain until the person submits verbally.
- As a painful and humiliating way to pull/drag the person somewhere, e.g. to a place where an offense has been committed, or to a place where punishment will be given.
Since the pain caused is in directly relation to the force of the pull, the person will usually do their best to not resist the pulling grip but to follow it, even if this requires awkward moves and poses (such as standing on tiptoe or with one's head held at an odd angle).
Ear pulling can have humorous connotations, depending on the context. It is often seen in movies, cartoons and comics.
In an Indian (Maharashtrian) wedding ritual, a touch of humour is added to the ceremony with the bride's brother twisting the groom's right ear to remind him of his responsibility towards his sister.
- Come Along For Your Spanking, ear pulling photo (M/F) on The Spanking Blog
- Drømmen - a 2006 Danish movie in which an abusive headmaster pulls a boy's ear so hard he nearly rips it off
- Ear pulling photo (F/F, Warning: ), close up
- Vintage caricature (untitled drawing by Grandjouan L’Assiette au beurre n° 155, 19/3/1904, FF/m)