In thinking this tickling is inappropriate

(157 Posts)
Cococo Fri 09-Aug-13 02:59:26

BIL is staying with his dd (my dn) who is 10. She is sharing with my dd age six. Before bed my dn asks for tickles which BIL does all over her tummy, arms etc in quite a slow, strokey way. I'm sure it's completely innocent but makes me feel v uncomfortable. My dd is then begging me to tickle her like that which I am not going to do, and then her cousin says its ok, she will tickle her like that - luckily they fell asleep before any more tickling occurred but it has made me feel a bit sick. They are staying and the girls sharing a double bed for the week. Want to say something to bil but he will think I'm mad and probably be offended. Probably just sees it as something innocent that his dd likes. My DH thinks I am totally unreasonable and neurotic to even worry about it. What should I do/say?

piprabbit Fri 09-Aug-13 03:11:37


A dad is tickling his daughter. You don't need to say or do anything. She obviously enjoys it as she asked him to do it. Presumably he has found that that way is more tickly to her. Try it on your arm and you'll probably find it ticklish! I agree with your husband, it sounds like you're being neurotic and very unfair to your BIL. Personally I find it very sad how suspicious we are as a society of men being around children. Would you feel the same way if it was your niece's mother doing the same thing? I assume you have no other reason to suspect something untoward is going on or you would've mentioned it in your post.

evelynj Fri 09-Aug-13 03:15:19

Nothing. Or if u must, maybe just say I only do fast tickling like this & tickle fast while manically giggling

Idocrazythings Fri 09-Aug-13 03:15:40

Sounds like a type of massage called effleurage . How lovely for your DN to have that before bedtime.

massagegirl Fri 09-Aug-13 03:19:41

I used to love being stroked to relax me as a child, still do, nothing sexual! Similar to a massage. Nothing wierd. Sad that you have jumped to this conclusion. Glad your DH has his head screwed on.

Cococo Fri 09-Aug-13 03:37:45

Thanks, good to get some perspective on this. I don't at all think anything sinister is going on with bil, I think it is innocent on his part but just that to me, this sort of stroking under the night clothes looked sexual enough to make me feel uncomfortable. I would have felt the same if my sil were doing it so nothing to do with him being male and I would not like any adult to be stroking my dd like that. I also don't really want my dd and her cousin to be lying in bed stroking each other. I guess my concern is that I think it's slightly sexual behaviour but they don't realise it. Happy to be told I'm sad and wrong to worry about it!

foxy6 Fri 09-Aug-13 03:52:04

my children love being tickled like this but it's not really a tickle move of a sort or massage that they find soothing

MrsMongoose Fri 09-Aug-13 03:54:44

This is you putting your adult interpretation onto something completely innocent. Your problem, not theirs. Very, very sad really. Don't say anything.

As a family we all tickle each-other like this, it's a gentle stroke.

We do our backs.

It's a lovely thing.

My Mum says when she were a lass, three generations of women used to stroke each other's back in bed.

My husband did the same with his European family.

I can see if your family is not physical in this way it may seem strange.

I used to ask my Dad to 'Give me excitement all over my body', there was nothing sexual in it, my children now love the same gentle srokes. It really isn't sexual - please don't be freaked out by it.

RafaellaNhaKyria Fri 09-Aug-13 04:14:12

Exdh and I have always tickled dd this way. She calls it "back tickles" since its primarily a soft stroking motion over her bare back (she pulls her nightshirt up under her arms so we can get at her back. Sometimes on her sides or arms as well. When she's done it to me it tickles ferociously.

There's nothing untoward about it. People crave human touch much more than our clenched society thinks is "normal". Try to relax a little, and realize that human touch is a very real emotional need.

GiraffesAndButterflies Fri 09-Aug-13 04:18:12

Yabu. I used to absolutely clamour for this as a child, nothing was more soothing/relaxing.

GiraffesAndButterflies Fri 09-Aug-13 04:19:38

Think of it as the natural extension of baby massage, which is very similar smile

garlicagain Fri 09-Aug-13 04:55:41

You don't want two little girls to stroke each other? Oh, dear, how very sad. I found the way you said it - 'lying in bed stroking each other' - quite strange: is it the being in bed while stroking/tickling that bothers you? If they were out on the lawn, would it be okay?

This is very much about your projection. I really do feel it's sad, but harmless, as long as you keep your lewd thoughts away from children. Innocent tickling is innocent smile

WeAll Fri 09-Aug-13 05:01:33

This was my favourite thing as a child and if I could get my Husband to do it now my life would be five times happier.
Oh I wonder if I could train the Children to do it!?

WeAll Fri 09-Aug-13 05:02:11

Incidentally, my Kids aren't fussed about it!

Eye, We Alll.

garlicagain Fri 09-Aug-13 05:07:53

I think you lot have explained the worst massage I ever had grin Despite my trying to encourage her to give it some welly, she kept on stroking and it tickled! I was most put out - I'd spent a small fortune on a pamper weekend for my stress, and came out of the massage feeling even more irritated!

I've just tried it again on myself and, while it tickles a bit, don't find it all that soothing. I prefer my strokes firm. My cat likes this light-fingered style, though, so I do it for her smile

Poppanicolino Fri 09-Aug-13 05:12:06

This sounds lovely. I think I'll try it with DD tonight. Thank you for bringing it to my attention OP.

BatCave Fri 09-Aug-13 07:01:32

My dearly missed dad used to give me 'tickle back' before bed every night when I was a child and it was just lovely and completely not inappropriate. Like a previous poster pointed out, it's not really tickling, it's massage. I do it for my daughter now. It's very relaxing and has made me a very tactile person. Give it a try smile

Oh also, I still love it now and often bug ask my DH to do it, and it is very removed from anything sexual, if that helps xx

My dh does this to my girls, they love it. I would hate for anyone to think he was inappropriate. It's a relaxi g thing before bed and gives them time to catch up when he's been at work all day.
Just because you don't understand it, doesn't make it wrong.

SucksToBeMe Fri 09-Aug-13 07:22:26

We do this all the time in our family. DS will cuddle up to either one of us before bed time and ask for 'tig tigs'

LovelyMarchHare Fri 09-Aug-13 07:26:36

Say nothing. If you do you run the risk of making him feel terrified of giving perfectly normal affection to his own daughter. It will never be the same again. If you've witnessed it it's clearly not anything he currently feels is inappropriate. You could cause a terrible rift in the family if you voice your (misplaced) anxiety.

Optimist1 Fri 09-Aug-13 07:27:29

Back tickling - delicious! Can recommend a Tickling Circle for all the members of the family who enjoy it ... everyone sits sideways in a circle so that each person can tickle and be tickled simultaneously. smile

Jinty64 Fri 09-Aug-13 07:27:29

Ds3 (7) loves me to tickle him like this or rub his back, which I do. I certainly don't think this is a problem

starsandunicorns Fri 09-Aug-13 07:28:57

I used to do this when dc were little we called mouses and a hard stroke was rats my mum gets my dad to her back still my dc used fall asleep when I did it when dd 15 is ill she still asks for mouses on her fore-arm

Tee2072 Fri 09-Aug-13 07:31:31

The fact that you saw anything sexual about it at all makes me question you, not him.

Were you abused as a child?

bubblesausage Fri 09-Aug-13 07:36:50

YABU You say yourself that you're sure it's innocent and that BIL sees it this way too, so I'm not sure what you'd gain by saying anything, other than making everyone uncomfortable. If you don't want to do this with DD then don't.

Isatdownandwept Fri 09-Aug-13 07:38:03

My son is dyspraxic and needs this stuff. It's well known as a therapeutic technique. My daughter doesn't need it, but loves it more than cuddles.

Mind boggles at why someone would be uncomfortable with this.

JourneyThroughLife Fri 09-Aug-13 07:44:03

My sister and I used to do this when we were young. I came from a very 'uptight' family, we had hardly any physical contact from our parents at all, so much so that I guess my sister and I could have been called "physically deprived". Touch is very good for human beings, especially children, non-sexual touch is healthy.
My sister and I used to lie on the lawn and take turns to 'stroke' each other. It wasn't sexual, just touch, probably we were trying to make up for the lack of interaction from our parents...looking back, quite sad as our parents didn't cuddle us or anything. Once my father found us and thought we were being disgusting and was very angry, we had no idea what we'd done wrong.
As a parent myself I took great care to touch, cuddle, stroke my own children lots. I have also given a 'stroking' massage to friends who find it utterly relaxing.
I can understand that you feel uncomfortable if you don't come from a touchy sort of family but it is sad when 'touch' gets confused with inappropriate sexual contact....

DanceLikeJohnTravoltaNow Fri 09-Aug-13 07:51:22

My DD 18mo has these sorts if tickles when she goes to sleep, she says more and moves your hand to the bit she wants doing, usually her back, stomach and legs, but anywhere will do!

It's made me feel a bit sick that anyone watching my DH do this might think it creepy and sexual. It's just how we relax her.

I suppose its just an extension of the skin to skin that happens in the early days.

Whothefuckfarted Fri 09-Aug-13 07:53:07

I LOVE being 'tickled' like you described, very slow and light, anywhere, back/neck/arms etc etc, my mum used to do it to me, it is soooo relaxing and just feels so nice. My DH and I both do it to our DD who is 17 months. As soon as we start it she goes completely still and stares off into the distance and totally relaxes. If we stop mid tickle she lets us know she's not happy and to resume immediately!

Absolutely say nothing! To be honest, I'm kind of weirded out by your thought process in this...


carabos Fri 09-Aug-13 07:55:09

DS2 is 20 and he still likes to sit on the floor in front of me or DH and have his back stroked or "tickled" as he persists in calling it grin. It's more like a sweeping massagey movement which makes him relaxed and sleepy. As a small child it was the only thing that would get him to sleep, so clearly has very nice connotations for him.

I agree with poster up thread who said we aren't nearly tactile enough, and I think this is especially true for adult children. If they aren't in a relationship themselves, who cuddles and hugs them?

livinginwonderland Fri 09-Aug-13 07:56:52

Oh, I love this! It's so relaxing. Please don't say anything, it's innocent.

TheFallenNinja Fri 09-Aug-13 08:03:43

It's unfortunate that we have come to this.

Would you think the same if her mum did it?

Whothefuckfarted Fri 09-Aug-13 08:09:59


OP stated up thread that she indeed would feel uncomfortable if it was mum doing it too.

Sad. It really is one of my favourite things that my mum did for me. Best feeling ever! So relaxing.

glendatheveryexcitedwitch Fri 09-Aug-13 08:11:36

Yabu - my 7 yr old dd loves having her back tickled before bed and snuggles up with me or dh while we stroke her back. My 8mth old dd drifts off to sleep only if she's being sung to and having her tummy/back stroked.

I love nothing more than having my back stroked by dh - and it's not a sexual thing - it's a relaxation thing!!!

Don't say anything.

There is nothing sexual about it. I believe it's a form of bonding, when we had thicker body hair we needed touching like this to help keep us clean but also to calm us and to make/ reaffirm bonds. We might have reduced the need to keep clean but the other aspects are still very much needed.
I still stroke my arms when I'm sleeping, my DH thinks I'm pretending to shower, but I usually do it if I am having a bad dream.

Ledkr Fri 09-Aug-13 08:22:24

I spend half my life trading tickles with dd we do each others arms when watching tv.
The other day she mentioned her father tickles her arm and I loved it because he's otherwise useless pretty detached and unemotional.

Sleepyhead33 Fri 09-Aug-13 08:29:08

my dad used to do this to wake me up in the morning. It was lovely. I loved being woken up having my back stroked. I do this to my children if the are laying across me while watching TV or something.
Definitely don't say anything.

MonstersDontCry Fri 09-Aug-13 08:29:49

I do this every night to my DD in bed before she goes to bed. It's very relaxing for her.

MoreThanWords Fri 09-Aug-13 08:37:51

I used to do this to my DDs - either with fingers or my huge blusher brush - lovely sensation smile

gamerchick Fri 09-Aug-13 08:38:13

Gawd my kids love it.. My husband even does it to me. Its very relaxing.

Do you like getting your hair played with OP?

wanderings Fri 09-Aug-13 08:40:30

I thought this thread was going to be about the other sort of "wrong" tickling: forced, vigourous tickling to somebody who doesn't like it!

Notsoblonde Fri 09-Aug-13 08:41:33

my dds love it, dh and I are always getting asked to tickle their backs it totally relaxes them .

misterkite Fri 09-Aug-13 08:44:32

YABU. Such a sad OP

madbutnotbad Fri 09-Aug-13 08:48:24

My friend used to do this to me when we were young it was lovely and I used to scratch her back (at her request) as she found that relaxing! It was totally innocent and I'm sure its contributed to our life long friendship.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Fri 09-Aug-13 09:04:00

It's a funny thing, when I read the OP, thinking about my upbringing, my knee jerk reaction was to agree (!) - but that is because I was not touched by my parents at all growing up and they'd have thought it was 'dirty'.

Bit of a shock to have that reaction actually, as I thought I'd shaken off my parents influence on me years ago. Strange what stays with you. [bemused]

I remember my mother sneering with an intense vicarious delight/ horror about how a dad at church was a disgusting man who loved his daughter inappropriately... Because he carried her and tickled her lots and swung her upside down showing her tights! I know the girl still and it was definitely my mothers lurid hang ups. (not levelling the same accusation at you OP! Just a really vivid recollection about an unhappy childhood)

I cuddle my son loads and tickle him and still cosleeps with me half the time. I vowed not to bring up my child in an affection / physically close starved way as it was really damaging. I'd be horrified if anyone thought I was bring inappropriate.

minouminou Fri 09-Aug-13 09:12:58

God....many moons ago when I used to go to all-nighters, there'd always be an ad-hoc massage area, and there'd be friends, partners, vague acquaintances, and complete strangers all massaging each other's necks, shoulders and backs.
Obvs the MDMA helped, but it broke down the inhibitions we all felt.....nothing sexual at all.

Random memory - We used to argue in primary school about who got to sit at the front at story time with whoever was behind "drawing" on the child in fronts back. Another similar kind of thing, me and my sisters still ask our mum/each other to play with our hair smile

ginmakesitallok Fri 09-Aug-13 09:31:45

My mum used to tickle my back while we sat watching coronation street, and now dp tickles my back pretty much constantly if we're watching telly. I love it, nothing sexual in it. My youngest dd likes it too, but dd1 hates it.

TroublesomeEx Fri 09-Aug-13 09:38:24

Both of my children like this type of 'tickling'. From both my and their dad.

My son is 15!

It's really good for you. They've found that babies in incubators make better progress and have greater immunity if they are stroked.

My children and I are physically very close.

Your BIL sees it as something innocent because it is something innocent!

TroublesomeEx Fri 09-Aug-13 09:38:34


woahthere Fri 09-Aug-13 09:43:40

I do this to my son up and down his back, we call it the stroky tickles. He loves it and it makes him go all dreamy and sleepy and relaxed. I find it odd, that you think it is odd...and a bit sad.

TobyLerone Fri 09-Aug-13 09:45:23

My sister and I do this on each others' arms when we're sitting next to each other.

candycoatedwaterdrops Fri 09-Aug-13 09:54:30

I'm sure the OP now realises she is BU but I do think it's sad that she even had to ask.

ShabbyButNotChic Fri 09-Aug-13 10:29:08

My dad used to do this to me as a kid. He discovered the only way to get me to sleep as a baby was to rub my head, he carried on doing this as i got older then it progressed to back stroking as i got bigger. I loved it! make mental bote to train dp to do this

Fond memories of the time i was dying of a hangover at about 17 and my dad came in my room and silently sat on my bed and rubbed my head til i fell asleep. Bless him.

thegreylady Fri 09-Aug-13 10:32:18

I tickle my two little grandsons like this if they are tired or feeling a bit ill. They love it and it relaxes them. I can't believe anyone would be disturbed by this. I know my dsil does the same if the boys are finding it hard to sleep. A cd of Mrs Tiggywinkle and a gentle stroke and they are asleep. They are 6 and 4.

thegreylady Fri 09-Aug-13 10:34:02

I also play "round and round the garden" with the belly button as the centre which makes them very giggly!

thebody Fri 09-Aug-13 10:37:39

dh massaged dd(14) over her back, arms and feet. it helps her relax and is invaluable in treating her PTSD.

op this is a bit wierd of you.

Ev1lEdna Fri 09-Aug-13 10:46:10

My eldest has loved being 'tickled' like this since he was young. If he cannot get to sleep or is unwell or has toothache he always asks for 'tickly scratch' to calm him down. It makes him feel loved. I think it is a shame that you thought it inappropriate and even more of a shame that it made you feel a bit sick.

runningforthebusinheels Fri 09-Aug-13 10:47:05

Dh has done 'tickle back' on all the dc when they were young. Youngest still likes it and is most put out when he's not home at bedtime. I do it wrong apparently.

TheFantasticFixit Fri 09-Aug-13 10:53:46

Oh god. Please do nothing and unclench. Many children - mine included - like soft tickles on their torso and arms to relax them. I personally love it. It is not sexual.

Seriously, paedophile paranoia does my head in.

SoniaGluck Fri 09-Aug-13 11:02:52

Seriously, paedophile paranoia does my head in.
Yep, me too. It seems like nothing can be innocent anymore.

My dad used to do this when I was little. I have done it for my own kids. My DH does it for me when I am especially tense and it really helps if I have a headache. I would do it for him, too but he finds it irritating and too ticklish.

Coopercream Fri 09-Aug-13 11:08:09

We are a massive tickle/stroke family.

The kids are constantly lying on my lap and asking for tickle back...which is exactly what you described a soft slow stroking (DS likes a lite scratch), there's nothing weird or sexual about it, humans need physical touch. The fact he did it in front of you just shows there is nothing sexual about it.

Whilst waiting in the walk in centre with a very poorly DS he asked for tickle back and laid on my lap. An old woman tutted and told me she didn't think it was appropriate hmm

Madlizzy Fri 09-Aug-13 11:17:41

My kids love a tickely back, and they're 14 and 20! My daughter will undo her bra and present her back to me or her dad. DH loves it too. There's nothing sexual in it whatsoever. It's lovely, comforting, tactile and gorgeous. Say nothing to your BIL.

tedmundo Fri 09-Aug-13 11:28:18

I also love to wake the DSs up with gentle arm strokes (on the rare occasions I wake before them!) and they uncurl from sleep like happy cats!

DH strokes my forehead when I have a bad head as it helps me relax while the codeine kicks in.

Such a lovely lovely way to spend quiet time together. Please don't say anything, there is nothing to comment on!

ImperialBlether Fri 09-Aug-13 11:31:26

I think you should get your DN one of these for Christmas.

Has anyone used them?

My 8 year old DS loves this he totally zones out...I do it when he's being over dramactic or stressy about something. Apparently only I can do it though he says his Dad is rubbish.

His brother hates it & it irritates the hell out of me grin

ImperialBlether Fri 09-Aug-13 13:56:23

It makes all my hair stand on end!

WhiteandGreen Fri 09-Aug-13 14:27:28

I am so glad you asked on here before saying anything. If you are sure this is innocent then how horrid it would have been to potentially spoil something so nice for no good reason.

TroublesomeEx Fri 09-Aug-13 15:36:13

Imperial I knew it would be one of those before I clicked the link.

They are just divine! grin

itsblackoveryonderhill Fri 09-Aug-13 16:08:23

you should say nothing. it seems all innocent to me.

Cococo Fri 09-Aug-13 22:54:12

Thanks all - put it into perspective for me, so much appreciated and I will definitely not say anything. FWIW, I was not, as one poster asked, abused as a child. I have a close family who are very tactile (cuddles, massage - of the firm, getting rid of knots in your shoulder variety, etc), but definitely not ticklers - anyway, this was new to me in this context as I'd only ever experienced that kind of 'tickling' with a partner - so good to know it is not something to worry about.

littlewhitebag Fri 09-Aug-13 23:00:52

My girls loved a 'scratchy back' when they were little. It soothed them and would send them to sleep. It was 'scratchy' because I used my nails in a soft stoking movement to enhance the loveliness. Nothing sexual at all.

Sidge Fri 09-Aug-13 23:01:39

If I won the lottery I would pay someone to do this to me!

When I was little my cousin and I used to tickle each others backs until we fell asleep (she's 5 years older than me) - we'd share a bed purely to facilitate the back stroking!

FloweryOwl Fri 09-Aug-13 23:05:38

I used to ask my mum to tickle my back like this most nights. My dd now asks me to do it for her, there's nothing weird about it! You need to think of it like this, its his daughter! What you are thinking won't even be crossing his mind.

DD2 sleeps naked at the moment. Tonight at bedtime I licked her armpit (to make her giggle, she has the best laugh). She's 7.

looks over shoulder tearfully for paedo police

softlysoftly Fri 09-Aug-13 23:11:02

I'm glad ((in a weird way)) that I read this thread, my instant reaction to the op was a bit uncomfortable YET I do stroke the DDs backs to sleep at night.

Its not something I would have done in my family who are very hands off, but DH started it (Asian muslim family yet way more tactile!) and the girls love it, and it felt so natural that DD1 asks me to "scratch back" or "draw" every night for sleep and I do the same thing to sooth the baby (and DH).

There is nothing at all sexual in it, its so relaxing I usually fall asleep with them.

I have however realised i'm the only one who never gets my back stroked hmm

MollyHooper Fri 09-Aug-13 23:16:29

My best friend used to love this.

Every sleep over we had we would fall asleep with me tickling her arms.

I'm glad your mind has been put to rest Cococo.

My 10 year old dd loves having this slow stroking tickling done to her. She will quite often ask for it as we are snuggled up on the sofa watching tv in the evening. I gently stroke / tickle her arms, her legs and her back, neck, temples, cheeks and forehead. I She absolutely loves it and it relaxes her which is brilliant as she can be a bit on the intense / anxious side. I did not know it had a name though.

thornrose Fri 09-Aug-13 23:33:32

Cococo, I'm glad you've been given a different perspective and you feel more comfortable now.

I used to do this with my sis and cousins. We also used to "write" words on each other and stroke each others hair. We used to lay with our head on the others stomach listening to the gurgling sounds.

I've done all these with my dd and she loves it too.

countrymummy13 Fri 09-Aug-13 23:36:15

You won't stroke your 6 yo to sleep after she's asked?! That's a bit mean.

Are you a non-touchy person?

I stroke my 3yo to sleep every night (or DH does). It's part of a finely honed bedtime routine.

I wish someone would stroke me to sleep!

Chippychop Fri 09-Aug-13 23:49:57

My dc love being scratched tickled and not ask for it. Sometimes we tell
Stories at the same time .." Two children are walking up a hill,( use two fingers to walk up back when the sun comes out (draw a big circle
On back with finger) all of a sudden it starts to rain ( pitter patter with finger tips) etc etc we all love this

RoxyFox211 Fri 09-Aug-13 23:53:16

hmm Yabu.
I think it's a shame people are missing out on the tender relationships and intimacy they could have with children because of all this stigma.
As a child (around age 8 or 9) me and my male friend used to play a game called "injections" before we went to sleep at sleepovers. This involved tickling and stroking each others arms and was a really relaxing and pleasant feeling. It may seem a bit odd now, but it was completely innocent at the time in that we didn't understand about what sex was all about, or involve sex bits. But I always felt our friendship was intimate because of this.
If there is nothing else dodgy don't think anything of this tickiling/stroking thing. Some parents give their kids massages etc if they have trouble sleeping or whatever and I don't really see how this is too much different.
You don't have to like it or do it with your dd but I wouldn't say anything about it. A vague insinuation of child abuse is probably not something a relationship could ever fully recover from.

Quaffle Fri 09-Aug-13 23:58:11

DS2 loves this on his back. He says it gives him a "fizzy face" which I suspect is his way of describing ASMR (I get it too).

When I win the lottery I will employ someone to tickle my back all the livelong day. Bliss.

OxfordBags Sat 10-Aug-13 00:08:56

My Gran has always stroked my face and arms very slowly in the manner the OP describes. There are pictures of me as a pregnant woman of nearly 40 laid with my head in her lap so she can do it. Sadly, she has dementia now and doesn't seem to recognise any of us... and yet, when I go visit her in her care home and sit with her, she takes my arm and strokes it gently, just like always. If that's sinister, then let it stay sinister.

LongGoneBeforeDaylight Sat 10-Aug-13 00:09:35

My dad used to tickle me so much I used to have to use the toilet beforehand as otherwise I'd almost wet myself laughing! I loved it. Bet she will have happy memories of this.

softlysoftly Sat 10-Aug-13 00:11:35

Oh Oxford that's sad but so lovely.

GreenSkittles Sat 10-Aug-13 00:49:17

Is this something like ASMR? Look it up on YouTube if you haven't heard of it, lots of people react really well to whispering, stroking, certain sounds. It's supposed to be relaxing. I have a friend who listens to whisper videos to fall asleep. Maybe bring the subject up with your BIL, your DN may have it and enjoy other types.

Quaffle Sat 10-Aug-13 03:18:24

I just resurrected a thread on ASMR - I only realised a couple of years ago that other people get it!

TroublesomeEx Sat 10-Aug-13 07:04:40

softly you need to train your children.

My children stroke my arms sometimes (they offer - I don't force them !)

MammaTJ Sat 10-Aug-13 07:36:41

I would be more concerned by your reaction to it than the tickling itself.

My DD has ADHD and sensory issues. The only way I can get her to sit still is to cuddle her to me and stroke her legs, arms, tummy and back. You would be very worried if you saw us like that. hmm

softlysoftly Sat 10-Aug-13 11:53:02

Would a star chart based on back stroking be wrong? grin

MunchkinsMumof2 Sat 10-Aug-13 12:02:34

My Dad tickled my and my db's backs so much as newborns that we both ask our respective partners to tickle our backs regularly. It's a lovely soothing feeling and really helps with bonding. You are projecting your own fears inappropriately and your dh is right not to entertain them.

Turniptwirl Sat 10-Aug-13 13:55:55

Nothing remotely sexual and you shouldn't raise it with the family!

If it was anything dodgy he would not have done it in front of you. If the thought had even crossed his mind that it could be interpreted as dodgy he would not have done it on front of you.

If you're so paranoid about two little girls stroking each others backs I'm surprised you let them share a double bed!

GameSetAndMatch Sat 10-Aug-13 16:42:37

OP you're uncomfortable enough to post this thread so if you have natural uneasy instincts then Id just suggest keep an eye on things.

I used to be 'tickled' by a relative when in bed and it was NOT fun and it was NOT innocent.

FrussoHathorAKADaisythecow Sat 10-Aug-13 17:04:21

My dcs like the slow tiggley/stroking. As does DH.
I can't bear it being done to me; it hurts my skin.

Littleen Sat 10-Aug-13 17:10:18

how sad that you find this inapproproate! It's just tickling!

MissMuesli Sat 10-Aug-13 17:38:33

My 2 year old loves having her back tickled and asked for it often, especially if poorly or tired. It's something I lie to and my DP often strokes my face and nose if I'm struggling to fall asleep

Littleen Sat 10-Aug-13 19:45:33

Don't think the niece would ask for tickles if it was of the unappropriate kind

Meid Sat 10-Aug-13 20:00:09

I agree with Gamesetandmatch. If it makes you uncomfortable then trust your feelings over this.

I don't think the OP is suggesting that all tickling is inappropriate, just this particular tickling bothers her.

I think it is unfair to suggest the OP's reaction is sad. We can't, after all, see what she can see.

I don't think the OP should say anything. Not at all.

digerd Sat 10-Aug-13 20:08:49

My DM sis and DD loved their feet being stroked - I hated it as was irritating. Also some older women liked friends to stroke their arms. I found it odd and weird. But for them it was soothing and nothing sexual.

HollaAtMeBaby Sat 10-Aug-13 22:03:47

It would make me queasy as well, OP... I'm not a tactile person. It's not even that I think it's sexual, it just reminds me of animals grooming each other and it gives me the creeps when humans do things like that. But based on all the posts above, lots of people are into this so YWBU to say anything. But no need to feel pressured to do any of this weird shit feathery stroking with your own DCs if you don't want to.

Whothefuckfarted Sat 10-Aug-13 22:13:33


Seriously? Weird shit?

Fuck you.... hmm

It's not weird, I'm offended by your post.

ouryve Sat 10-Aug-13 22:19:07

I didn't know there was a name for it, but DS2 likes being stroked like this.

I can't stand it. Touch my arms, especially, like that and it takes a great deal of self control to not whack you. I'm very sensory defensive and it's just too strong a sensation for me.

WhiteandGreen Sat 10-Aug-13 22:19:59

'Fuck you'

Really? Seems a bit strong.

FrussoHathorAKADaisythecow Sat 10-Aug-13 22:41:05

ouryve like a burning sensation? I can't quite describe it, a bit like stroking sunburn with a sharp object.

Say nothing op, it's sad that something so innocent between a father and child has made you this uncomfortable!! It's also sad that you don't allow this type of thing with your child.

My dh still gets me to do this most nights to his back to fall asleep, its something he's had done since he was a toddler.

Our dd3 loves either me or dh to do this to her back, it really relaxes her she goes into a wee tance and the expression on her face is adorable. She also loves us to do lots if little kisses over her back. She's 18 month'sand the thought of someone seeing this and thinking along the same lines as you is both sad and worrying that people can no longer see the innocence in something that comes natural to the vast majority of parents.

nannynewo Sat 10-Aug-13 22:43:26

Yeah I agree YABU and have nothing to worry about! When I was a kid I used to jump into bed with my dad every night and watch a half hour or so programme while I gave him a back scratch and vice versa. He's be in his underpants! It definitely wasn't wrong or anything sexual in any way at all! Just a nice father daughter tradition.

garlicagain Sun 11-Aug-13 00:05:28

GameSetAndMatch, I'm sorry you went through that. I think most posters have assumed this was innocent pleasure because the child asks for the 'tickles' and clearly enjoys it. I do hope you didn't feel obliged to feign enjoyment ... sad

Ouryve, I go through phases of being 'burny' like that! As a rule, I'm sensory seeking (and deprived) but, when I'm run down, my skin can feel like the nerve endings are much too close to the surface ... at those times, light touches are miles worse than firm ones. At the same times, whispering irritates me in a 'hurty' way, too! Aggravates me, that's what my Gran would have said smile

OxfordBags Sun 11-Aug-13 00:15:54

Um, Holla, this weird shit you describe is one of the major ways that has made the human race become what we are now. We stroke each other and the like precisely because we are animals who evolved the ability to make connections with other through our way of grooming. Thinking it is weird for humans to be like other mammals when it comes to very basic things is what's weird. Does breathing, eating, sleeping, voiding one's bladder or bowels, etc., count as weird when humans do it? I just don't get that mindset.

Cococo Sun 11-Aug-13 08:27:44

Just to clarify, I would not have been weirded out had the stroking just been on the face, head, back, arms etc - it was the fact that it was ALL over a child's body, pulling up night clothes, over inner thigh, chest area etc. I did think it was innocent but thought inappropriate as I think it is possible to feel sexual pleasure from this. Just wondered where people think the line is? You say it is appropriate for a parent to do this, but could an aunt/uncle/teacher do this because a child has asked them to? Someone mentioned that they used to ask their father to 'excite their body all over' and someone else that they had a more 'intimate' friendship with a male friend because they would stroke each other in bed during sleepovers. While I'm sure those were completely innocent, it does sound like they were experiencing their first intro to what sexual contact might be like. I'm sure you lot will give me a bashing and tell me I am sad or weird for even thinking this, but would be interested to know where others would draw the line. Is it only if a child says no, but as long as they are enjoying it or ask to be stroked in that way then you are sayng it is fine?

my mum used to do this to my back when I was a child and if she stopped I would nag her to carry on!
my nine year old son now loves me to do this to him.
how is it any different to a nice relaxing massage?

Sianilaa Sun 11-Aug-13 10:45:19

I used to ask my dad to do that on my back as a child, it always sent me to sleep. I now nag my DH to do it smile

My children also love it and constantly nag me to do it to them too! As a baby, I used to stroke his forehead and nose if he cried and it soothed him. He still asks me to do it at bedtime. It's lovely. I hope he still asks me when he's grown up smile

babyboomersrock Sun 11-Aug-13 11:59:20

Just to clarify, I would not have been weirded out had the stroking just been on the face, head, back, arms etc - it was the fact that it was ALL over a child's body, pulling up night clothes, over inner thigh, chest area etc

I have to say, OP, I've been surprised that everyone thought that the stroking of the areas you mentioned was ok. My children always loved the stroking thing - but, in common with most posters' stories here, it was confined to the back, shoulders and head areas as they got older.

I do think it's quite unusual to be stroking a 10 year old child on the tummy, chest etc. Many 10 year old girls will have budding breasts - is the father going to announce one day that he can't do it any more? Far better to have a natural, gradual acceptance that some parts of the body are more "private" than others.

As a family we are very cuddly, and my children would ask me to massage their heads/shoulders even when they were in their teens, but there are natural cut-off times for certain kinds of touch. I'd blow rasberries on my babies' or toddlers' tummies, but not my 10 year olds', for example.

ExtremeCouponQueen Sun 11-Aug-13 12:11:50

Going against the grain here and saying yanbu. I dont like the sounds of any parent softly stroking intimate body parts of a 10 yr old like you've described. Intimately stroking inner thighs imo is inappropriate whether the child likes it or or not.

I think the use of the word tickle has made these actions more legitimate than perhaps they could be.

garlicagain Sun 11-Aug-13 13:57:26

While I'm sure those were completely innocent, it does sound like they were experiencing their first intro to what sexual contact might be like.

I'm glad you stated this, Coco, as I'm unlikely to be the only other poster who finds it interesting. The lines between different kinds of physical excitement are ever so blurred - and where do you draw the demarcations for sexual contact, assuming we want them quite far ahead of genital involvement?

I tend to feel the girl's response will change when she first feels a 'grown-up' sexual reaction, and the tickling thing will then stop or be modified. But I don't know if that's reliable. Children do understand the "wrong touch" thing, as a rule, but there are lots of exceptions.

Muddying the waters still further, I've just remembered the tongue-licking craze that characterised my primary school years. We licked each other's tongues like loons but, at various points with different children, it would just start to feel wrong and yukky, so gradually petered out as more & more children felt that way.

GameSetAndMatch Sun 11-Aug-13 19:06:19

Thank you Garlic. I did try and tell someone but was told I was making it up! and yes i had to pretend I enjoyed it.

Op the way you described the 'tickling' as to where she was being touched just sounds wrong, and the fact he was doing that in front of you and your child frankly sickens me as if he thinks theres nothing wrong.

and what babyboomer said in her last post.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 11-Aug-13 19:28:22

Yeah, I actually can see where you are coming from OP.
I used to do this kind of stroking with girlfriends at 10/11/12, and it was a sort of intro to sexual touching. My first inkling of sexual feelings happened during this kind of stroking.
That is totally normal, and fine between children. The road to sexual maturity is long and gradual, and stroking and intimacy among children is innocent-they are at the same level iyswim.
However, a father stroking his 10 yr old dd's inner thigh and chest??
His intentions may be innocent, but I think it's creepy if her first feelings of a type of sexual enjoyment are generated by her father.
My family is huggy and kissy etc, but no adult ever stroked my inner thighs at ten.(or in fact at any age)
It's also a fact that children who are sexually abused by trusted and loved adults often do experience sexual feelings from the inappropriate touching as they enter puberty, and that this very fact just adds to the later feelings of shame and guilt.
I am not saying that OP's BIL is a molester, but I do find it very odd, and can understand her discomfort.

babyboomersrock Mon 12-Aug-13 10:30:34

I'm interested to know whether any of the earlier posters (not the last few) have changed their minds about this?

I know the OP has added further details in her latest post, but even so - what most posters were describing as "normal" stroking was not what the OP described - she said clearly in her first post that the father was stroking the 10 year old daughter all over her tummy. The fact that the daughter asked him to do this, and that it was in public, is irrelevant.

Most posters then described the sort of stroking/tickling which happened with my children too - on the back, the arms, head, etc - I don't think anyone else described stroking a 10 year old on the front of the body. I'm amazed that no-one could see the difference.

As for the OP's concern about her 6 year old daughter sharing a bed with this 10 year old and perhaps experiencing this "tickling" - OP, you're right to be concerned. As a child of your daughter's age, I was allowed to share a bed with a cousin who was 3/4 years older and believe me, I really needed a mother to care for me the way you care for your child.

On most parts of MN, posters will tell you to trust your instincts. I'm not sure why this thread has been different.

Quaffle Mon 12-Aug-13 11:21:58

I have.

Stroking backs/arms - fine.

Tummy - borderline.

Inner thighs - no no no.

thornrose Mon 12-Aug-13 11:27:48

Hmm, I'm seeing it in a different way now than when I was on the thread earlier.

Tummy is fine IMO but inner thighs seems far too intimate!

ViviPru Mon 12-Aug-13 11:37:16

This thread has played on my mind a bit as I can't help but feel the OP has had a bit of a rough ride but I've not been able to fathom my own perspective clearly enough to contribute. But in light of recent posts I agree that the crucial thing is there IS a line.

In my own experience, I've never experienced growing up (in a close, tactile family) the 'feathery stroking' described here, so I empathise with the OPs bewilderment, I had no idea how common it was. My only identification with this is remembering how I would launch myself on my Dad as a child and demand a back scratch, which was a vigorous nail-scratch confined to the back that would evoke in me the rapturous response as describe by other posters on the thread. Close and enjoyable, but utterly innocent.

It's IfNotNows post which strikes a chord. I too remember vividly this form of touching going on among girlfriends from age 10 upwards and there was a definite blurred line between innocent bonding and the very first stirrings of sexual awareness. I remember feeling uncomfortable with it then and not getting involved, but this was probably partially due to not being familiar with it from my parents. I also remember around the age of 9/10 one girl confessing that she was upset that another girl was always stroking her arm and she didn't like it but was scared to say anything.

I also agree that it is crucially down to which areas of the body are involved and at what age. Chest and inner thighs being accessed under the pyjamas at age 10 does feel like it's crossed the line to me, even if the intention is completely innocent.

DanceLikeJohnTravoltaNow Mon 12-Aug-13 11:42:25

I posted upthread saying YWBU to say anything, but in light of the most recent post the inner thigh thing would bother me. For me, tummies and belly buttons are ok, inner thighs and chest are not ok for a 10 year old.

ouryve Mon 12-Aug-13 11:46:55

Inner thighs definitely a no no. If the boys have restless legs, I will squeeze and knead their thighs at the sides, above the knee, but it's a pain relieving, rather than an actively pleasurable sensation.

I was wearing a bra at 10.

MunchkinsMumof2 Mon 12-Aug-13 11:52:01

To be the fair to those of us who said the Op wbu, she witheld the tickling of intimate or inapropriate areas in the original post so yes, I have changed my mind and think the Op should trust her instincts as she feels uncomfortable enough to post on here. I think you could talk to Bil and say that as his dd is approaching puberty, it's time to limit the massaging to her neck, back or feet as other areas should be private. Good luck.

runningforthebusinheels Mon 12-Aug-13 11:52:16

I was also a yabu poster earlier - this inner thighs/chest thing put's it in a whole different light imo.

Most of the posters were talking about back tickles, mainly, iirc. As was I. Chest, inner thigh tickles/strokes on a 10 year old is a no for me.

I think it would be time for the bil to put a few boundaries in place - ie back & shoulder tickles only.

ExtremeCouponQueen Mon 12-Aug-13 13:46:46

IMO a father "feathery stroking" even of the back and stomach area of a 10 year old girl in inappropriate.

Hugs and cuddles, totally fine. A back rub to relieve a pain/knots etc, again fine. Light, feathery stroking sounds too intimate in my opinion, and think even before the revelation this was going on in the inner thigh region I thought this was inappropriate. I was surprised that so many posters thought this was okay.

Again I think the word "tickling" makes it sound innocent and makes ppl defensive because they tickle their children. But there is a huge difference between fun silly innocent tickling, and sensual, light, massage-like strokes that should be reserved for adults only, and certainly not for a parent and child.

GoodTouchBadTouch Mon 12-Aug-13 13:54:26

Haha. Mine ask for "good touch" sometimes I tickle them, and they scream "Aaaah, bad touch BAD TOUCH!"

Cracks me up imagining what anyone overhearing must think.

Catnap26 Mon 12-Aug-13 13:57:48

What a terrible society we have become when a dad can't touch his daughter without being accused of being inappropriate,it makes me very very sad.

I'm another one coming back to change my U to an NU in light of new information. Inner thighs and chest definitely a step too far.

Gruntfuttock Mon 12-Aug-13 13:59:40

Catnap you think a father stroking his 10 yr old daughter's inner thighs is appropriate?

garlicagain Mon 12-Aug-13 14:00:37

See, I'm not so bothered about the nature of the strokes; the range of personal preferences has been made clear on this thread. Another poster mentioned "round and round the garden", which definitely starts off with more of a stroke than a tickle. And I pay strangers to massage me, inner thighs inclusive, for totally non-sexual reasons. Say BIL was a masseur by profession, would that alter your perception?

But, yeah, maybe BIL should be leaving the inner thighs and breast areas out of it. Don't know how you'd broach it with him - could DH speak to BIL while you speak to SIL? Or would it make more sense to talk to your niece about it first? In your shoes, OP, I'd be extremely cautious about projecting your discomfort onto the child if you do talk to her. It would be horrid to contaminate an innocent pleasure, but also horrid to stand by if she's being sexualised too early.

garlicagain Mon 12-Aug-13 14:02:10

... I should have elaborated: there is a danger of sexualising an innocent pastime, with your very concern. It is a delicate issue.

Catnap26 Mon 12-Aug-13 14:18:07

Grunt-I have just read op addition and I don't think it is appropriate to be stroking inner thigh,shame op could not have been more descriptive in the op!!!

kali110 Mon 12-Aug-13 14:19:33

Yabu. Perfectly normal. My dad used to do it when i was little nothing inappropiate

Catnap26 Mon 12-Aug-13 14:21:26

Maybe the father doesn't think that it is inappropriate as his daughter grows older.most men find it difficult to accept their daughters are growing up.

ExtremeCouponQueen Mon 12-Aug-13 14:25:40

catnap I don't think stroking inner thighs of your children is ever appropriate no matter what their age.

garlicagain Mon 12-Aug-13 14:26:50

Really, ECQ? confused What do you do if they have a rash?

Catnap26 Mon 12-Aug-13 14:30:06

ECQ-r u saying that baby massage is inappropriate then???

ViviPru Mon 12-Aug-13 14:31:57

I find the word 'tickling' peculiar too in this context, but now appreciate that this could well be due to my family conventions being different to others. In my earlier post I referred to a girl who used to do this 'feathery stroking' to another girl and I remember her calling it tickling and little 9-yr-old me thinking hmm that doesn't look like any 'tickling' I've ever seen before

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 12-Aug-13 17:48:37

Those of you who think it's inappropriate, have you never had a full body massage? It's amazing! I've had massage therapy, been touched by a stranger all over. It's relaxing.

Only rid op, isn't it sad when one mis interpurrets something so innocentsad
Don't say a thing, tickling is just that, tickling, nothing more nothing less.
There is nothing sordid about this at all!

read not rid

GameSetAndMatch Mon 12-Aug-13 18:48:54

And yet there are STILL posters saying this is okay.

Bowlersarm Mon 12-Aug-13 19:07:27

I don't think it is necessarily sexual at all. I love the feathery stroking and the compromise with DH when we are NOT about to have sex when we are in bed and he wants to read, that he strokes me (we call it tickling) and I try and go to sleep and he does it to me whilst reading.

I used to do it to my DC but they don't like it anymore.

GameSetAndMatch Mon 12-Aug-13 19:55:48

cvan you 'okay' people please read ALL the OPS posts, especially the last one, she forgot to mention something in the opening post. I think maybe you're not rteading the last one of hers.

SuckAtRelationships Mon 12-Aug-13 20:12:28

It's a very sad day when someone feels this normal behaviour to be inappropriate. I do this for my son and still enjoy someone doing this to me (neck, arms, hands, head, etc). It's not sexual at all (can be, but isn't usually).

sad I feel sorry for you OP. It is a shame you have lost touch with what normal behaviour is.

SuckAtRelationships Mon 12-Aug-13 20:13:28

OK seen recent posts. Will read it all, but NORMALLY I would say this behaviour was totally normal.

SuckAtRelationships Mon 12-Aug-13 20:19:32

OK, read. Still think this is OK. Her dad is capable of deciding when he needs to stop. If she hasn't got to that stage yet it doesn't make him a pervert, it means he still feels she is under developed (sexually, emotionally, physically) enough for this. I'm sure it wont be long til he does start changing where he will 'tickle' when his daughter starts to show clear signs of development.

LadyBigtoes Mon 12-Aug-13 20:30:19

Op I'm glad some replies have taken a more understanding turn. What you described in your op certainly creeped me out. It's true that I was the victim of inappropriate touching, and I hate any kind of tickling myself. But, I really object to it being called "sad" or a sign of a terrible society etc etc that you're concerned. You are not sad, your. Have a valid concern IMO.

To the posters who said this, remember what society used to be like. Abusers had free rein to cross the line and victims were too scared to say anything or weren't believed. Now I am not saying that's what's going in with the BIL here, he may be being innocently inappropriate as it were, but being aware and listening to our instincts is parrtly what has changed, and that's a good thing.

MrBlondesFries Mon 12-Aug-13 21:37:30

suck why should the dad be the one to decide to stop? If he's being inappropriate then someone needs to bring this to his attention. Why should he be the one to decide when his daughter is "developed" enough to stop this inappropriate touching?

babyboomersrock Mon 12-Aug-13 21:59:58

Still think this is OK. Her dad is capable of deciding when he needs to stop. If she hasn't got to that stage yet it doesn't make him a pervert, it means he still feels she is under developed (sexually, emotionally, physically) enough for this

I agree with MrBlondesFries. how on earth do you know her dad is the right one to make this decision? We know nothing about him.

MrBlondesFries Tue 13-Aug-13 06:36:30

Agreed babyboomers

LadyBigtoes Tue 13-Aug-13 10:44:25

Also, I would point out that the child asking for it should not be seen as an indication that it's OK. The child may enjoy it, that doesn't mean it's right as the child only knows what they've been brought up with. It's a grey area but I would say it's a good idea to start teaching children that some areas are private and personal from quite early on, as you go through toileting and so on, and gradually make sure you're not doing anything that's invading that space.

It's much better introduced gradually to build up the child's sense of their body as their own, than to carry on this sort of touching and then suddenly decide when? at 11, 12 or 13 or something that it's not appropriate and suddenly stop. And imo it's already inappropriate at 10.

garlicagain Tue 13-Aug-13 14:02:40

This is now raising a question I can't even answer as an adult, let alone teach a child: How does one describe the difference between 'good touch' on, say, the inner thighs, and 'wrong touch'?

I wouldn't ever wish to teach a child that no-one must touch certain parts of their body! There are myriad circumstances where it's appropriate, including for non-sexual pleasure. I can't, however, describe the precise difference between, say, someone helpfully applying cream to my thighs and someone creepily doing the same thing.

It's tricky. I can remember certain adults touching me, as a child, in ways that felt creepy. That's clearly 'wrong touch'. But do children always have the instincts to tell the difference? I'm sure their instincts can be perverted, by adults with long-term access, so as to fulfil the abusers' fantasy that 'they loved it'. (Maybe they did, but didn't know it was harming them.)

confused confused confused
Does anybody know of reliable guidance on this subject?

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