Monday, February 09, 2015


When does a 500# gorilla pick his nose?  
Any time he wants to.

In the current great blizzard of information about sex, in particular what percentage of the population (the population being mostly white urban bicoastals with college degrees) enjoys which experiences.  These people who do surveys love the more unique, shocking and publicly forbidden pleasures..  So I was amused to run across the information that 12% of people enjoy picking their nose and secretly do it all the time.  Thus it fits the template of the disgusting and private acts of pleasure that otherwise only children and primates know about.

The enema bag used to be the most gross implement of orifice cleansing but maybe now it’s the Neti Pot, with which one pours vaguely salted water in one nostril and out the other.  Certainly the sensations are remarkable, though it takes a bit of getting used to.  I suppose water-boarding is a form of torture that locates its pleasure in the torturer rather than the victim.  Some of the victims have experienced it hundreds of times but do not report that they got used to it or that it was erotic.

Baby noses and mama noses are meant for each other.

At the other end of the scale is the rather charming idea we used to have that the “Eskimo” [sic] equivalent of kissing is rubbing together noses the way some people do with children and their flat tender button noses.  It’s clear that the practice either makes a child laugh and gurgle or scream with terror, so again it’s good to ask who’s doing it and why.

She's pretty, but maybe not so kissable her right now.

Little kids ream out their noses with their little fingers and eat the product -- after all, it came out of them so what’s the problem with putting it back in a little lower down the face?  Eroticism always seems to have a bodily product.  No one has explained whether nose mucus carries HIV but we do know that it’s a major source of flu virus and all the other airborne diseases.  Where there is pleasure there is an avid little microorganism willing to exploit it.
Grabbers for those who disregarded advice 
not to put things up their nose.

On my back in the dentist’s chair, staring up his nose, I had occasion to consider nose hairs but did not take much advantage of it.  I hoped he wasn’t thinking about my nose hairs.  I see in the catalogues for the discrete elderly there are always rotary nose hair trimmers and special scissors with round tips.  I've never had a sexy dentist.  In the movies they are sort of menacingly perverse.

Cows are able to run their tongues through their nostrils, a matter of evolution, no doubt.  An advantage when eating means keeping your face down in the dirt all day.  Fifty shades of green.  Dogs and cats, of course, derive enjoyment from licking both ends of the GI tract, their own and others.  Noses and pucker-holes.

Everyone needs a party talent.

I notice that a lot of people derive great pleasure from instructing others on how to do things properly, including bringing people to orgasm, but so far I’ve not noticed any advice on the proper way to pick one’s nose so as to derive the greatest pleasure.  The most advice most people get is “use a tissue for God’s sake!”  But my advice if you have one of those overwhelmingly wet kind of colds when your eyes and nose are positively streaming is to forget about flowered boxes of pop-up tissues and carry a roll of paper towels of a brand strong enough to survive an explosive sneeze.  Such a cold can be real suffering, but then SM extremes like handcuffing and whipping use the principle of suffering turned into pleasure.  There’s a certain amount of suffocation in having a snoot full of mucus.

Flirt these around and see what happens.

I notice that in the movies handkerchiefs are a great source of business or rather “etiquette.”  Dropped, sometimes kept and cherished and other times carefully laundered and returned, the nature of the hankie goes to character.  I rarely see anyone using the hem of their petticoat to wipe their nose but I’m aware it happens.  In fact, at my wedding I wept so much that my matron of honor said afterwards that SHE was considering ripping off a section of hem to offer me.  The groom tugged on the neat points sticking out of his coat breast pocket only to discover that the suit was so new that the hankie was only a dummy, points stapled onto a piece of paper so there would be no bulge.  Why is it that wedding dresses don’t have pockets?  Or should they be “affixed” (Martha Stewart’s favorite word) to the bouquet?  As a minister, I stuffed a couple of Kleenex up my sleeve before the ceremony.

Once a high school student asked me what an orgasm was like.  School boards do not like teachers to tell the truth in such situations, so I told her it was sort of like a sneeze: a build-up that’s not entirely unpleasant and then a sudden spasm of relief.  That was decades ago but recently she, now a seasoned high school teacher herself, told me my metaphor puzzled her for years.  She never saw sneezes from between the knees in the movies.

Just a little higher.

All this is about liquids from the nose but there are two variations of a different consistency.  One is the gel-like substance that accumulates very high in the nostril, practically into the pharynx, so gooey and sticky that it has to be scooped out with your longest fingernail, like a lemur scraping out something from a hole in bark.  The other is the little crust that can form around the rim of the nostril which means delicately picking it off, not so different from other small erotic pleasures like picking scabs and ripping off hangnails.  Like any other slightly invasive pleasure, one can go too far and damage the sensitive lining of the nostril, ending up with a nose bleed.  I once knew a man who got hooked on inhalers and was constantly sticking one of those little vapor tubes up his nose.  Since he was a minister, which means already being a little titillating, the phallic implications of what looked like a tiny dildo were kind of disturbing but interesting.

Well, I have gloves on, don't I?

So this discussion reveals that human sexuality when it’s not straightforward missionary position (see how religion keeps getting into everything?) is a combination of reflexes, expectations, inventiveness and amelioration -- and a high tolerance for disgust.  Picking one’s nose is rarely discussed but mystery is part of the allure of such practices.

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