Tickle torture is a supposed form of torture where a victim is subjected to tickling over a prolonged period of time.
Tickle torture involves restraining a person and then subjecting the victim to prolonged tickling.
Evidence of tickle torture
There is a small number of documented instances of tickle torture. They happened in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In these instances restrained victims were tickled, in all cases upon the bare soles of their feet, apparently against their will and for the pleasure of their tormentors. In one instance the unfortunate end result of tickle torture was the insanity and confinement of the victim, a spouse that the tickle-torturer had found troublesome.
Possible further tickle torture forms
"Chinese tickle torture" is a term used in Western Society to imply an ancient form of torture practiced by the Chinese, in particular the courts of the Han Dynasty. Chinese tickle torture was allegedly a punishment for nobility since it left no marks and a victim could recover relatively easily and quickly.
Another example of tickle torture was used in Ancient Rome, where a person’s feet are dipped in a salt solution, and a goat is brought in to lick the solution off. This type of tickle torture would only start as tickling, and in the end wind up being extremely painful.
The stocks are perhaps a device which gives credence to tickle torture as an actual torture method in that stocks are designed to restrain a person’s ankles, exposing their bare feet, thus allowing passersby to laugh and torture the soles with various methods such as tickling.
As physical abuse
Although consensual tickling can be a positive, playful experience, non-consensual tickling can be frightening and painful for the recipient. Therefore, non-consensual tickling can be categorized as physical abuse, and sources indicate that tickling has been used as torture. Heinz Heger, a man imprisoned in the Flossenbürg concentration camp during World War II, witnessed Nazi prison guards perform tickle torture on a fellow inmate. He describes this incident in his 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, while the tears ran down his face, and his body twisted against his chains. After this tickling torture, they let the lad hang there for a little, while a flood of tears ran down his cheeks and he cried and sobbed uncontrollably."
An article in the "British Medical Journal" describes a European method of tickle torture in which a goat was compelled to lick the victim's feet after 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. In ancient Japan, authority figures 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."
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 loss of consciousness due to inability to breathe.
Consensual tickle torture
In the world of fetishism, tickle torture may be found as an activity between two partners.
A torture session begins with one partner allowing the other to rope them up in a position that leaves parts of the body particularly sensitive to tickling vulnerable