My Ticklish Belly ButtonI noticed early on that my belly button was a little different to most. Sharing a bathtub with two sisters made the distinctions rather obvious. Their navels curved in like tiny little thimbles, while mine protruded from my tummy by a quarter of an inch. I was also slightly pudgy around the middle, which made it appear to poke out even further. We frequently speculated on such anatomical mysteries (as little girls always will), but we eventually decided that someone had simply turned my belly button inside out. There was, of course, considerable debate on exactly who could do such a thing: Tanya thought it must have been a fairy, while Lydia said it had to be an angel, but either way, it was as good an explanation as any.
Needless to say, we weren’t the only ones who took an interest in my upturned dimple. Both of my parents commented on it at regular intervals, with my Mother pointing it out to virtually everyone who walked in through the front door. We had numerous relatives living in the surrounding districts, so Mom had an endless supply of visitors to parade me before (usually with my frock held up to my chin).
I quickly learned that a pert, pouting belly button had a fascinating – and almost universal – effect on most adults. It made me a clear target for ambush ticklers of the most merciless variety; aunts, uncles and older cousins would gobble my belly for hours at a stretch whenever they caught me.
In a way, the incessant tummy-munching made up for the adoration constantly heaped on my sisters. While we were all blond haired, blued-eyed and quite pretty, Tanya and Lydia were graceful and slender, while I’d retained most of my baby-fat since infancy. Somewhat jealous of their natural beauty, I took advantage of every opportunity to compete with them, no matter how embarrassing or torturous it might have been.
I should mention that I am unbelievably ticklish, especially around the belly button. The slightest touch of a finger tip (or better still, a long-quilled feather), sends me into gales of hopeless laughter. While I can’t say I actually enjoyed being tickled, I certainly loved being the center of interest, and frequently went out of my way to “tempt” visiting relatives.
Summer heat waves made this particularly easy. During the warm weather, my sisters and I would ***** down to our panties and walk around the house half-naked. I soon discovered that my belly button was utterly irresistible to visiting relatives; all I needed to do was stand close by with my plump little tummy popping out. Within a matter of minutes, some insidious uncle or aunt would have me stretched out on the sofa for a marathon tickle-fest. It always lasted an incredibly long time – by the end, I was begging them to stop…but as soon as they did, I was begging them to do it again.
It was around this time I noticed that males in particular enjoyed “torturing” me for hours on end. I had one older cousin who used to “gnaw” on my belly button almost every time he saw me. Others used feathers, cotton wool and even sable brushes to enhance my torment. Between the nibbling teeth and the swirling fingertips, I almost went out of my mind – and yet somehow, it got to the point where I would practically dare them to tickle me after a while.
It happened so often I started to believe that tickling was performed exclusively by adults. I don’t recall my sisters tickling me at that time (we were more usually the outraged victims), and none of my younger relatives ever seemed interested in milking the giggles out of me. Right up until I was six, I thought little girls existed for the sole purpose of being tickled out of their wits.
It wasn’t until I started elementary that I realized children enjoyed tickling each other too. I don’t have any clear recollections of when it began, but it must have been around the end of the first grade. I recall I was playing on the jungle gym with some of my classmates, romping about beneath a wide October sky, same as any other day.
I was hanging upside down with my dress over my head. My vest had stretched apart from my white cotton panties, revealing my plump, round torso. One of my friends said, “Hey, look at Kristy’s belly button!” and suddenly, everyone was gathering round for a closer look.
A little surprised by all the attention, I peeked out from under my frock and asked what was wrong. Another one of my friends – Lisa Ennows, I think – pointed in wild-eyed amazement at my exposed tummy.
“Your belly button,” she gaped in open astonishment, “it sticks out! A long way!” Everybody giggled at that, and I blushed with pink-cheeked embarrassment (though I quite enjoyed being the center of interest, truth be told). Swinging lightly down from the bars, I joined my friends on the turf, where everybody was busy discussing “innies” and “outies”.
Within a few minutes we were all comparing belly buttons, adjusting our clothing for a better view. The girls wearing skirts could get away with raising their blouses a few inches, but the ones wearing dresses had to hold their hemlines up to their shoulders. Thighs and panties on display, we chattered away in fluent girlsong, oblivious to everything else around us.
There must have been at least a dozen girls of various ages, hitching their frocks up to discover matching sets. The majority were smooth, shallow dimples in ivory flesh, although a small number of “keyholes” were apparent in some of the older girls. Four of us had puffy, round tummy-pops, but everyone agreed that mine jutted out the furthest. Clustering round me in a rough circle, they asked me to hold my dress up to my chin for a closer inspection.
By this time, I was practically swooning with embarrassment (a small chain of boys had joined the group out of curiosity), but I complied willingly enough, drawing my vest and frock almost as far as my throat. Most of my body was now on open exhibition, affording everyone present a generous view. A cool breeze whispered around my thighs, raising goose pimples along my legs and tummy. I felt feverish and excited in the cool autumn breeze, standing there with my knickers, socks and belly button on show.
Lisa leaned in closer, reaching out an inquisitive hand.
“Kristy, can I touch it?” she asked, eyes glittering with curiosity. Hesitating only a moment, I nodded my answer, face burning beet-red. My heart raced with adrenaline; I knew from prior experience what to expect (though I had no idea how intense it was going to be).
Stepping carefully forward, Lisa placed her index finger square in the middle of my belly button, pressing slowly in. The effect was electrifying. Bolts of liquid fire streaked throughout my torso, tingling along the length of my extremities. It was as if my entire nervous system was hard-wired to my belly-button. The shock hit me with unexpected force: shrieking with reluctant delight, I dropped my hem and doubled over, dissolving into a mass of hysterical giggles. My knees had buckled beneath me; I would have landed hard on my bottom if the girls behind me hadn’t broken my fall.
“Don’t!!” I screamed, instinctively covering my stomach with both palms, “That TICKLES!!”
A murmur of surprise swept through the crowd, my friends goggled at each other. I could almost read the message flashing from mind to mind: THAT’S KRISTY’S TICKLE SPOT!!! All of them had witnessed my unexpected implosion; the prospects were absolutely dazzling. If a single touch had produced such a reaction, what results would a full-blown tummy tickling have?
Scant seconds later, I found myself set back on my feet, supported from behind by three or four of the older girls. The others were closing in, grabbing at my dress and telling me to hold it up again. When I refused, I had my arms stretched out and my frock lifted from two different sides. Incredibly enough, I didn’t struggle in the least, not even when my vest was rumpled up to my neck and my panties tugged down an inch to allow unimpeded viewing. I was lost in some kind of dizzy, helpless daze; I could see what was about to happen but couldn’t do anything to stop it. Despite my rising panic, I felt as if I was watching someone else being humiliated under the monkey bars. It was the strangest feeling, one which I would experience repeatedly over the years.
“Do it again, Lisa,” someone said, then everybody started chiming in, urging my best friend on in this public betrayal. I heard myself saying “No no don’t it’ll tickle noooooo,” but my words were punctuated with shrill, helpless chuckles. Nothing could save me now, Lisa was already looming forward, her finger poised inches above the target. Waves of heat seemed to pulse through my tummy; my belly-button was literally palpitating in anticipation.
Lisa’s eyes flickered up one last time, not really seeking approval, just enjoying the thrill of the moment. I had no choice in the matter: I was going to be tickled, long and hard and against my will. First by her, then by the rest of my friends; it would go on and on until I was sobbing for mercy. Bracing myself against the inevitable, I closed my eyes and wailed in shrill protest:
NO NO NO I DON’T WANT TO BE TICKLED!!!
A small, teasing fingertip skimmed around the rim of my belly button –
And I shrieked at the top of my lungs.
To be continued. Hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into my child hood. Please let me know if I should write the next section.