Q&A: Too Ticklish

I’m not sure if this is a common issue with women, but I really struggle with being extremely ticklish. I’ve been married to my husband for two years now and I did wait until marriage  to have sex.  I thought that these tickling sensations would eventually wear off.  I am very open to my husband sexually and I try to make him happy in every way that I possibly can, but I feel like my ticklishness is really getting in the way of his pleasure.  The sensations occur while he is touching me in almost every area, especially in private places.  Sometimes the sensations are too strong and he has to stop.  I’ve tried a lot of things to curb my sensitivity like medications and herbs, didn’t help at all.  My husband and I tried to have longer periods of foreplay.  And I even tried digging up my emotional past to see if anything has caused me to be this way.  The only thing I can think of is that when I was growing up, the only physical affection I ever received was tickling.  I don’t know how
to overcome this problem.  Not only does it cause problems for my husband, but sometimes I feel like my sexuality is non-existent and I just have to grit my teeth and bare those overwhelming sensations.  It takes a long time for me to have an orgasm, probably about 30 minutes or more.  Thank God that I have such a patient and loving husband.  I would really like to be able to be free from this problem and enjoy loving my husband the way that he deserves.  Do you know of anything that could help me with this problem?

The following answer was provided by Lauren Jordan, Certified  Sex Therapist:

I can see how the ticklish problem is interfering with both your husband’s and your pleasure.

It has been said that ticklishness takes place when you can’t see the touch coming – and you can’t know or control when and where you will be touched.   So tickling can cause reactions in people because it may be experienced as being under “attack”.  People may take cover by curling up, and trying to cover the body parts that they believe the tickler is going to touch next.  If you don’t perceive the tickling as an attack – even one without any possibility of doing you any bodily harm – you will be less ticklish.

Usually a ticklish person will have a sense of being out of control, so having your partner work with you to give you a feeling of being in control can really help turn things around.    Before you even begin to be sexual, take some time to relax.  You might take a long bubble bath while playing some soft music.  Begin to visualize in your mind while you are in the tub, that you will enjoy your partner’s touch.  Pay attention to your breathing – make sure you are taking long, slow deep breaths in your pre-sex relaxation period.

When you meet your partner, stand together and just bask in the good feelings that come with holding each other fully clothed.  Listen to his heartbeat and his breathing, and continue to try to keep your breathing from being shallow.  You can then lie down – with or without clothes, whichever makes you feel more relaxed and comfortable.  Establish with your partner some predictable ways of touching you – moving slowly and gently.  You may want to talk about a plan.  You, the ticklish one, should pay utmost attention to staying calm, as your husband touches you first on the least ticklish parts of your body.  This is not the time for any jokes – that will slow your progress.  After you can relax while he touches your arms or legs, or both, you might then ask him to touch your breasts in the same way.  You get to choose how fast you move on to the more ticklish areas.   You can try to focus on his touch, saying reassuring things to yourself, like “this is nice.  Keep breathing.  Moving at your own pace through this exercise – which may need to be done over several days or weeks – is the secret to overcoming ticklishness.  Yes, you will need your partner’s patience – and you are worth it.  You will both reap the benefits.


  1. Wow, I never realized how this might be hurting my own pleasure till now!

    My husband deliberately tickles me because he likes to hear me laugh and because of my work load with college I’m usually down and not too peppy. Yet, I HATE being tickled…. yet he still does it. Any adivce to make him stop tlickling me????? He has gotten me to the point that I tense up when he places his hands on my body at all…

  2. It’s my opinion that to continue tickling someone after they have told you to stop is a form of abuse. It is a deliberate choice to disrespect a physical boundary that the person has established.
    I think you need to have a very clear discussion with him about how serious it is. Be specific. It won’t be good enough to say “I just don’t like it.” You need to find a way to communicate how important this is to you. He needs to know that all the tickling is causing you to not feel like his touch is trustworthy.
    Hope things turn around well for you both.

  3. I though this was just me! I’m extremly ticklish. When we were first married it seemed worse. I would even giggle so much we would stop before we got to far (sex). However, that didn’t stop DH from being persistant. It wasn’t every time but when it hit, I couldn’t pull myself out of it. I don’t know what changed, but I don’t have such a problem anymore.I thought maybe it stemmed from shyness or insecurities early on about intimacy. With time it just got better. I’m still very ticklish but just not during sex so much, and it it does strike I can get over it.

  4. I am INCREDIBLY ticklish also, and my DH and I both enjoy a crazy, silly, tickle fight here and there. We usually include the kids and all of us have the greatest time trying to get away from the “tickle monster” 🙂
    But I never really had an issue with it during LM. I think that the only time it has been slightly problematic is when I’m not very turned on. I find that when I’m not thinking very passionately, I tend to be more ticklish. I separate the two feelings, his sexual touches from his “silly” touches. I really never thought too much about it before, but when we are ML, he touches me in the very same places that I am normally incredibly ticklish and I have totally different sensations.
    I have memories of big tickle fights with my family when I was little, and I think it helps me separate it from sexual touching. Tickling for me was always non-sexual, it was just good fun, like reading books together, or riding bikes. For me, making love isn’t “silly” or “goofy” and therefore my mind and body change into a different “feeling” mode during sex.

  5. nothing works for me. iv tried everything and im just plain ticklish. certain parts of my body cannot be touched by anyone but me or im having a fit

  6. I am looking at your post and several posts below. Especially the ones that mention family ticking each other (kids included). In my home growing up, my mom was extremely ticklish, my dad had basically NO tickle spots (our term for ticklish areas). My dad LOVED to tickle all of us, and it was a lot of fun. However, he and my mom came up with a term she and we kids could use when we had been tickled long enough. “Stop, I love you!” We kids did learn we could not get away with saying “Stop…” if Daddy was still reaching for us, and had not actually tickled us yet, though! 🙂 Sometimes it can be too much. If you are dreading a 2 minute or even a 20 second tickle session, you can’t enjoy (or learn to enjoy) a 2 second light touch, since you are all tensed up for “torture”.

    My own husband HATES to be tickled. It certainly is a sexy-mood-killer for him, and his first reaction to deliberate tickling, since we both know he does not enjoy it, is anger and frustration.

  7. I’m pretty ticklish too, and it gets in the way for my husband and me too. I’m not as bad as I used to be …. when I was younger, I couldn’t even stand a backrub from a friend because it tickled so much. Over the years I’ve become more tolerant to touching. I still have those sensitive, wildly ticklish areas though, and it is annoying that it’s so uncomfortable to be touched there! There’s nothing as relaxing as a deep leg massage, and yet many times I can’t enjoy it because it tickles, so I immediately tense up.

    Here are some of the things my husband and I have done since we were married to deal with the ticklishness. The one that has made the biggest difference for me is keeping me warm when we are cuddling, giving each other massages or making love. If it’s cold in our room at all (and not having clothes on doesn’t help! hahaha) that can make me way more tense and ticklish. Covering me up partially with a soft warm blanket or cuddling together under our comforter helps with that.

    It also helps to get rid of some of the “surprise” factor …. my sweetie will gently “warn” me if he is going to touch one of my more private areas. We only have to do this on REALLY ticklish days, but sometimes it does help. We also give each other massages with yummy-smelling massage oil, and I think that helps me too. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable, but I try to stay relaxed because as soon as my mood changes from “It’s all good” to “I HAVE to not be ticklish!!!!” it’s a lost cause. When that happens I just try to breathe and I will sometimes ask my husband to use different massage strokes because some of them just give me fits. And it’s OK to just have a short massage and then move on to something else — over time, that has helped break down the ticklishness.

    I hope the post and all the comments help … God bless!

  8. Many times lately, my husbands kisses on my torso tickle because of his beard, it also tickles when he uses the tip of his tongue on me or just breathes on me. I think I need to to analyze the WAY he is doing it. Maybe he can do it differently to avoid tickling me. Hmmm.

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