I can remember extremely far back to my childhood when I knew being tickled was something that made me feel "excited", but back then I had no idea really that I was gay, or what tickling meant from an erotic point of view. I just knew that I would watch cartoons and movies where men would tickle each other and I felt that funny feeling in my stomach and pelvis, that one might feel when going down a rollercoaster! I think that in some ways, that sort of erotic attraction to tickling is almost genetically wired. I believe it's a fairly small percentage of gay men who share this fetish. In fact, I think the word "fetish" does not really cover the art and science of tickling, and what it means to people in the community who participate in it. There are "tickle "subs", such as myself, who enjoy being tickled, and tickle "Doms" or "ticklers" who enjoy doing the tickling and who get very aroused from that, then there are a smaller number who get turned on by both. It's not limited to gay men either, there are straight men and bisexual men who have the same arousal and erotic feeing from tickling or being tickled
What I feel I would want the Recon reader to truly understand about tickle bondage or tickling is that both tickler and tickle are really driven to participate. There is this feeling and need to have this in our lives, or our lives are not complete. It includes sex life, but this goes beyond that to what tickling is really about, which is the deepest form of intimate communication with another human. Getting aroused and feeling sexual is just one more area of great excitement
Tickling drives us as a community. I remember a long time ago (20 years ago) I met a man online who lived in Orlando while I was in Melbourne, some 2 hours away. When he heard I was a tickle sub he told me he dropped the six or seven men he had considered meeting for sex in order to meet me to tickle me, it is that strong of a drive.
This drive is, in fact, so strong that I am only truly able to have a satisfying sexual experience when it is with someone who has a shared interest. You can sort of teach it to someone who does not, but it's just not the same as being with someone who knew their whole life that it was a part of their core, and that they're wired this way. I can have an orgasm without tickling being involved or without watching one of the many thousands of tickle videos (many of which incorporate bondage), but it's just not the same - the orgasms I have whilst watching or being involved in ticking is a thousand times more intense.
Ask anyone who's really involved in the tickle community, and who knew they were into it from a young age, and they will tell you the same thing: tickling is truly about communication, feeling, emotion and INTIMACY. It is true that ticking whilst restrained can be devilish or semi-sadistic, but that can make it even more fun. Yet any tickle Dom or sub who tells you it's not about intimacy and communication at its core, is either not being truthful or simply unaware as to why it turns them on and drives them to the degree that it does.
In the end, however, there is a truly sad aspect to this type of lifestyle, which is the very, very small percentage of men who have the intrinsic interest and drive for tickling. This means we can't often meet others to experience what we want the most, and that we must travel - sometimes thousands of miles away. I am going to tickle fest in Las Vegas - 2000 plus miles away from Florida - just to participate with men who want to tickle or be tickled, because we are almost never able to find men in our local communities. Finding someone to partner with who has this interest would therefore be almost impossible, although meetings of this sort help men locate each other and learn more about other guys with this interest.
I hope I have been able to convey a rather unique and small sub-fetish, that is more of a lifestyle and a way of feeling in regard to living, emotion, physicality, sexuality and arousal. Something that crosses over all forms of male orientation from gay, to bisexual and straight men.
If you'd like to share your personal fetish journey in a Recon article, send your ideas or a first draft to: firstname.lastname@example.org