Eyeball licking – when kissing gets boring

By Kirstin Buick
20 June 2013

The newest craze to hit Japan has left adults baffled and ophthalmologists worried.

It’s seen as the new second base, what you graduate to when kissing gets boring, says The Guardian’s Stuart Heritage.

The peculiar practice of eyeball licking, or oculolinctus, has recently become popular among the teens and pre-teens of Japan ? Japanese website Naver Matome reports that as many as a third of a classroom of 12-year-olds had tried it.

The website reports a teacher at one Japanese primary school says a number of pupils started wearing eye patches and suffering from styes and, after stumbling upon a couple “worming”, as eyeball licking is also known, he figured out why.

"Nothing good can come of this,” ophthalmologist David Granet told the Huffington Post. “There are ridges on the tongue that can cause a corneal abrasion. And if a person hasn't washed out their mouth, they might put acid from citrus products or spices into the eye."

Worming may even lead to blindness, according to Medical News Today. “If the person doing the licking suffers from halitosis (bad breath), they are likely to have a huge number of harmful bacteria. Allow them to lick your eyeball, which has an absorbing membrane, and your risk of infection is considerable.”

Still, this doesn’t seem to be deterring the youth of Japan, who’ve taken to sites such as YouTube and Tumblr to post pictures and videos of themselves in the act. And the fetish seems to be catching on in other parts of the world.

Elektrika Energias (29), a student from the US Virgin Islands, told the Huffington Post, “My boyfriend started licking my eyeballs years ago and I just loved it. I'm not with him any more but I still like to ask guys to lick my eyeballs . . . it turns me on."

"I just love it because it turns me on, like sucking on my toes. It makes me feel all tingly."

However, she added that six years ago she was diagnosed with “some weird offshoot of TB” in her eye, which resulted in corneal ulcers and her spending a month in hospital.

"I'm just safer now, I guess . . . Live and learn. I mean they don't really make tongue rubbers, but maybe they should."

-Kirstin Buick

Sources: guardian.co.uk, telegraph.co.uk, medicalnewstoday.com, isciencetimes.com, huffingtonpost.com

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