I need to WIN
January 19, 2010 12:52 AM   Subscribe

Is there a martial-arts style (using your opponent's strength against him) way of winning at duvet-stealing, tickle fights and other such important things?

My partner is a big, muscular and entirely unticklish man. I'm a fairly petite, entirely unmuscular, extremely ticklish woman. As such he always wins/gets the duvet/manages to imprison me in his preposterously tree-like arms.

Are there any ways of using your opponent's strength/size against him when you're both lying down? Please note that actually injuring him is out, but anything that ends up with me not getting tickled would be wonderful.
posted by teraspawn to Health & Fitness (40 answers total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
 
When laying down, put your foot firmly on his hip and just push. He'll slide right out of bed.
Use your legs instead of your arms! They are much stronger than you think. I recommend pushing his chest with your feet when he tries to hover over you. It's like the "airplane" game that people play with kids.
Also, a good last resort is to pull his leg hair. Bonus points if you can do this with your toes.
posted by idiotfactory at 1:07 AM on January 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's a nerve along the inner thigh, about an inch below the perineum/ scrotal area. Put your hand there, give gentle pressure, and pull your hand free, towards you, stroking along the thigh parallel from back to front.

This should cause his testes to briefly attempt retraction, and he will be all weirded out and cease his assault long enough for you to get the upper hand.

Ah, medicine.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 1:12 AM on January 19, 2010 [7 favorites]


Everyone is "ticklish." The trick is finding the right nerve and using the right amount of pressure. Useful areas are often found inside joints, and include

  • Inside elbows
  • Armpits (winning duvets takes sacrifice sometimes)
  • The back of the knee

  • posted by koeselitz at 1:17 AM on January 19, 2010


    I am on the other end of this sort of thing pretty often. I think your best tricks are going to be tricks that involve him using his hands/arms for self defense (thereby giving you free reign over the disputed goods)
    -Wet willys, everyone will try to end a wet willy, (double wet willys will require two hands to defend, strike when he is weak)
    -Gentle biting, if you can get a digit into your mouth, bite it. Not hard enough to break the skin, but hard enough that he can't pull it out. That will leave you with more limbs than he has.
    -Body hair plucking
    -Little itsy bitsy baby pinches, they don't hurt but they send a very tickle-like sensation
    -Ice (stash some in an accessible place, then when the target is vulnerable put it in a place where it will be had to get at, or hold it up to the skin). Again, strike while he is distracted and has less limbs than you.

    May the force be with you
    posted by milqman at 1:30 AM on January 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


    squirm and twist - whatever direction force is being applied to you, move sideways to it - if he's holding your wrist turn your arm like it's a propeller at the end of his arm (that's the best way I can think of describing it, but it is a great way to break a grip) Use leverage - brace yourself against a wall, and push him off the bed with your feet. My big brother was always a hell of a lot bigger than me, so I know these ways well. My biggest defense as a kid was just to decide to not be ticklish anymore. (I think I must have been a very weirdly determined kid, now that I think about it)
    posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:49 AM on January 19, 2010


    I think you are looking at this the wrong way (disclaimer: I am, in my own relationship, the big strong man that you are trying to resist).

    First, as you are well aware, you have been impertinent and/or naughty, and that requires a thorough tickling. Trying to physically resist your deserved punishment will only add to your crimes, requiring a longer and more thorough tickle session at some nearest future.

    Let's just say that you do manage to temporarily dislodge him or thwart his attempt at dispensing justice. Do you think that will make him stop? Of course not, it will only redouble his efforts to see your punishment carried out, probably with additional bum pinching, a longer tickle, a deeper armpit invasion, rasberries, or other further enhancements to the initial sentence.

    Resistance is futile - best accept your just punishment with an aim towards reformation.

    If it is any consolation it hurts him more than it does you - know that he is only doing this out of love, with your own best interests at heart.
    posted by Meatbomb at 2:02 AM on January 19, 2010 [22 favorites]


    Everyone is "ticklish." The trick is finding the right nerve and using the right amount of pressure. Useful areas are often found inside joints, and include

    The inside of his belly button.
    posted by delmoi at 2:44 AM on January 19, 2010


    A word of caution: a few weeks ago I would have advised the "propeller twist" that was mentioned above. Then after our last tickle fight went horribly awry, I wound up spending four weeks in a splint with a wrist sprain and slight fracture and had to have an MRI to rule out the need for surgery. The propeller twist does often work (you end up putting sudden stress against the weakish thumb/finger side of his grip and breaking through) but knowing what I know now I'd only try it if I were actually being assaulted by an attacker of the non-playful variety.

    My supposedly non-ticklish husband has one particular spot that will send him to the moon if I can get to it... the crease between his thigh and groin. It takes some firm pressure to get a reaction but boy howdy, if I want to distract him for a minute that'd be the way. Of course it was multiple attempts on my part to access this spot which led to him putting my wrist in the death grip and resulted in the afforementioned wrist injury.

    On the upside, a very contrite he-man will willing perform a lot of tea-fetching, household chores and store runs for ice cream, so there's that.
    posted by Serene Empress Dork at 2:50 AM on January 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


    Get a cat. Then watch and learn.

    You will, over time, understand that the way to beat a larger, muscular competitor is to strike a happy balance between inordinately cute and occasionally sharp.

    In duvet terms, make it appear like a crime against the highest level of ethics to disturb you, let alone steal your share of the duvet.

    To combat tickling, have something sharp and dangerous in both hands, and preferably on both feet, at all times.
    posted by MuffinMan at 3:26 AM on January 19, 2010 [7 favorites]


    You gotta get there first. Tuck your end of the duvet under the left side of your body(assuming you sleep on the left side of the bed), then clamp down hard with your right arm and roll to the left. You should now have a "burrito" of a blanket around you. He'll have to completely unroll you to get more real estate.

    The other option is to have two blankets, and then steal his while he's asleep.
    posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 4:19 AM on January 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Get a bigger duvet. Also, it's hard to tickle a well-oiled woman.
    posted by pracowity at 4:38 AM on January 19, 2010 [8 favorites]


    Please note that actually injuring him is out
    Pshaw. No-one ever tickled me again after, in an attempt to thrash and squirm away I landed a very solid kick to my ticklers bollocks. This technique wins you the war, not just the battle.
    posted by Coobeastie at 4:38 AM on January 19, 2010


    A girl I once dated would very gently drag her fingernails down one side of my ribcage like she was goofing around with a piano. All the muscles from my hip to my armpit on that side would fire and (for about 5 seconds) I'd be cringe-laughing hard enough that I'd have to stop tickling her.
    posted by Inspector.Gadget at 4:49 AM on January 19, 2010


    I'm in exactly the same situation. I can pin my husband if I straddle him but put my feet between his legs, so that my shins are pressing down on his thighs. Then I press his wrists above his head with my hands. Most of my body weight is on his arms, so it's harder for him to get up. It's easy to shift your body weight between his wrists and his thighs. Your feet are close enough to his balls that he might think twice about moving too much. Also, you're close enough to bite him. Or spit on him.

    best. question. ever.
    posted by desjardins at 5:23 AM on January 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Try telling the enemy what you intend to do, and show him your weapon of choice, before doing it. The more imaginative, the better. You won't actually have to do it, but the threat is there.

    "If you don't stop, I'm going to stick this finger straight up your ass. This finger, right here. Straight up the hole. And I'll wiggle it around."

    Often, this is enough. Occasionally, make stabbing gestures with the weapon to clarify the threat.

    Also, the wife always tucks her corner of the duvet under the mattress, hotel style. Always gives her a natural edge in these battles.
    posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:30 AM on January 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


    We always keep a glass of water by our bedside at night, and i've been known to use it! And i agree - everyone is ticklish, you just have to find the spot!
    posted by ukdanae at 6:33 AM on January 19, 2010


    On second thought, do what Cool Papa Bell said!
    posted by ukdanae at 6:34 AM on January 19, 2010


    Grab his nuts. Don't squeeze and send him puking to the hospital -- just a firm grip that threatens serious consequences from continued tickling. Give an instruction and squeeze slightly if you don't receive instant compliance.

    I think that if you took Aikido seriously, the various wrist-locks and so on would allow a small person to control a much larger one. But you'd have to be pretty serious about it -- it's more than "just grab here" to do it well and safely. (See above post about the wrist fracture, for example.)

    Short of Aikido or nut-grabbing, I can't think of many ways in which you'll easily be able to compensate for the strength difference. I know that I've always been easily able to pin down all of my girlfriends, even the larger and most athletic ones. In fact, I can usually do it one-handed, leaving the other hand conveniently free.

    So honestly, my heart is with Meatbomb on this one:

    Resistance is futile - best accept your just punishment with an aim towards reformation.
    posted by Forktine at 6:37 AM on January 19, 2010


    Grab his nuts.

    Oof, don't do that. The possibility of it going awry is high.
    posted by electroboy at 6:42 AM on January 19, 2010


    Hook the corner of the duvet under your arm so it's wrapped around you as far as you can go then use your legs and body to roll away. I find that this generates enough tug to either get some duvet back or wake my partner up so I can get some duvet back.

    Make use of the rolling action to wrap it around yourself, if they try to pull it back they not only have to drag the duvet but the have to roll you towards them to get it off you. Lying on top of the duvet right against your partner can make it very hard to drag any duvet back.
    posted by gaby at 6:53 AM on January 19, 2010


    If you find your head is close to his, blow in his ear just as he starts his move. It works on me anyways.

    By the way, questions like these are why MetaFilter RULES.
    posted by Hardcore Poser at 7:30 AM on January 19, 2010


    Make sure everyone is 'ok' with tickling.

    I absolutely hate to be tickled and consider it assault. It amazes me how men chose to ignore this and tickle me anyway.
    posted by shew at 7:31 AM on January 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


    I think you are looking at this the wrong way (disclaimer: I am, in my own relationship, the big strong man that you are trying to resist).

    First, as you are well aware, you have been impertinent and/or naughty, and that requires a thorough tickling. Trying to physically resist your deserved punishment will only add to your crimes, requiring a longer and more thorough tickle session at some nearest future.


    I also think you're looking at this the wrong way, but not being the "big strong man" I have a kind of different attitude about the interpretation. If you want to use aikido-style moves on him, you are generally going to have to be okay with potentially causing actual pain or at least making what he was thinking of as fooling around into something that suddenly feels more serious. I did hapkido for years and once threw a large man off me when he was jokingly pinning me down [using leverage and twisting on one joint as I moved my body in the opposite direction], and it worked quite well, and he took it in stride and wasn't hurt or anything, but it did sort of change the mood, and I imagine if he was prepared for it next time I'd have to redouble my efforts and possibly turn to real self-defense techniques. In fact he understood that I meant "actually I'm not kidding, I don't really like being pinned down."

    Games like that have to be fully consensual to be fun, and not all small women are into submission. You could try being into it, letting go and seeing if it's fun to give in, but if you don't like it, you absolutely should NOT give in to it because you cannot physically stop it. You should be able to stop it through communicating with your partner.

    Everyone is "ticklish."

    I don't think that's really true - it's largely a psychological thing, and if you're entirely relaxed and in charge it is pretty easy to not feel very ticklish. Try to tickle yourself, for instance. You can feel that it would be ticklish without actually reacting at all...
    posted by mdn at 8:55 AM on January 19, 2010


    Also, and you've got to be sure neither of you are sick first, and I hesitate to mention it, as it takes deadly aim and complete insouciance...

    Stick your tongue up his nose. This is so Not Done that he will stop, probably to stare at you in horror.
    posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:29 AM on January 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


    Or you could just get a second duvet.
    posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:10 AM on January 19, 2010


    Stroke the crease on the bottom of his butt, between butt and thigh.

    Seconding what fairtale of los angeles says, though. Tongue up the nose works well. So does picking your own nose and using boogers as a weapon.
    posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:22 AM on January 19, 2010


    The tongue/nose thing is an excellent suggestion. That will give you a huge edge unless he will do it back to you once he has you pinned.

    As far as actual wrestling-type advice, the key to defeating a bigger person is to only oppose their strength until they are about to overwhelm you and then suddenly reverse what you are trying to do moving them past you and continue the motion until you are in a dominant position.

    Watch some Brazilian Jiu-Jistu videos on youtube to get some good ideas about how to escape from different positions and how to use different positions to your advantage. The positions you should start with are mount (straddling someone who is on their back), guard (on your back with them on top of you, with your legs wrapped around their waist and half-guard (like guard but with your legs wrapped against one of theirs). Watch some videos on both getting those positions and escaping them.

    Start with this video by one of the best BJJ practitioners ever, Rorian Gracie. The other person in the video is his brother, Royce who ruled in early mixed martial arts (UFC) against opponents who outweighed him by a hundred or more pounds.

    This looks like some decent very basic instruction on half-guard demonstrated by a MMA Girls (a couple of girls that have been around the mma scene for a long time).

    Also watch what you can about Kyra Gracie. She is one of the best Jiu Jistu practitioners in the world and can take guys much bigger than her.
    posted by thekiltedwonder at 11:36 AM on January 19, 2010


    Using an opponent's strength against them tends to rely on momentum and gravity. There's a lot more instances of that sort of thing when both participants are standing. Grappling can have some pretty slick off balance moves as well, but no one's going to be able to break that down in text.

    The best tickle spot I know, is on the front of the knee right above the kneecap. Once you feel the bone narrow, squeeze.

    I too had once thought everyone was ticklish. When I was rolling around with an ex, upon whom this technique had yielded spectacular results in prior years, I was very disappointed to find that it no longer worked.
    posted by BigSky at 11:37 AM on January 19, 2010


    I wonder if jiu-jitsu and the like are going to be as effective on a soft bed as they are a relatively hard and stable surface. It's much more difficult to stabilize oneself on a soft surface (and probably damned near impossible on a waterbed). Disclaimer: I have had no martial arts training.
    posted by desjardins at 12:06 PM on January 19, 2010


    The best tickle spot I know, is on the front of the knee right above the kneecap. Once you feel the bone narrow, squeeze.

    The easiest way to locate this precise spot is to sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor, put the tip of your index finger on the top edge of your kneecap, and put your thumb on your thigh in a loose caliper-style grip, like you're going to squeeze that entire 1" or so of flesh. The spot where your thumb is the spot where you'll evoke the biggest reaction. Sometimes it works for the shin, too-- put your index finger on the *bottom* of the kneecap and take a relaxed measurement with the thumb.

    And no, I have no idea where I picked up this much dirty-fighting tickle knowledge. Mr. F is extremely ticklish; it's not like I have to work at it.
    posted by fairytale of los angeles at 12:21 PM on January 19, 2010


    I wonder if jiu-jitsu and the like are going to be as effective on a soft bed as they are a relatively hard and stable surface. It's much more difficult to stabilize oneself on a soft surface (and probably damned near impossible on a waterbed).

    I have a waterbed... yes :-) It actually works very well. The waterbed will give as you roll and can actually help your throws. You just have to watch out for the board at the edge :-/

    I've also tossed a guy who outweighed me by 80+ pounds (I'm a 140 lb guy) completely off a regular bed while roughhousing using this type of thing.
    posted by thekiltedwonder at 12:53 PM on January 19, 2010


    I assume this might be desirable, but if many of these were tried on me, it would just mean sexytime to me.

    I'm unclear on whether you're unwilling to hurt him or unwilling to injure him. If pain alone is okay, stick your thumb or even your fingers in the hollow under his collarbone. It doesn't even hurt so much as feel very alarming.

    A somewhat easier and more painful option is to grab his pectoral where it connects above the armpit. You can feel that there's a very convenient hand-shaped grip there. Also simply feels alarming, but hurts A LOT if you squeeze hard.

    Of course, any of these that you try will also teach him the same trick...
    posted by cmoj at 1:30 PM on January 19, 2010


    The easiest way to locate this precise spot is to sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor, put the tip of your index finger on the top edge of your kneecap, and put your thumb on your thigh in a loose caliper-style grip, like you're going to squeeze that entire 1" or so of flesh. The spot where your thumb is the spot where you'll evoke the biggest reaction. Sometimes it works for the shin, too-- put your index finger on the *bottom* of the kneecap and take a relaxed measurement with the thumb.

    I was concerned as I was driving home that I had not given adequate instruction in finding the spot. Thank you for stepping up.

    Saying "front of the knee" was misleading. You approach from the front, but the spot is to the side. I find it easiest to squeeze across the knee but a shorter grip along the side will also work well.
    posted by BigSky at 1:37 PM on January 19, 2010


    I let them think they've won and then lie in wait for them to fall asleep. Then I stick my horribly-icy-no-matter-what-time-of-year toes on the back of their legs, either just behind the knee or anywhere on the back of the thigh. This will make any man, no matter how large and manly, shriek like a terrified little girl.
    posted by elizardbits at 1:45 PM on January 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


    There are pressure points that only require a little bit of pressure to cause a good deal of pain, no lasting damage, only a "HOLY SHIT what did you just do to me" reaction. Poke your index finger into the hollow behind your earlobe--behind the jawline--press up and in. Press harder. Ouch. The inside of the arm, just under the bicep. Push there, and you'll feel a little zing. (If you were to be assaulted, and you struck someone there with some force, they would not be able to use the arm for some time. I do not suggest this for your purposes, but light pressure there will distract).
    Another similar spot is the inside of the thigh, a third of the way down the femur--nerve runs through there.
    The collarbone is another. Hook your fingers into it or press straight in. Lots of very sensitive nerves there.
    One last one-- a finger or the edge of your hand held up against the upper lip/bottom of the nose, press in (against the upper gums where the nose joins the face), that hurts.

    These spots are all great for actual assaults, and if you hit them, you can really hurt someone; again, I am NOT suggesting this, but these same spots, pressed lightly, will certainly distract long enough to get an edge in a ticklefight.
    posted by exlotuseater at 4:12 PM on January 19, 2010


    Meatbomb - You're my new hero! Reading your post out loud earned me folded arms and the glare of death from my significant other (who is often the target of tickle attacks). As you say, it's for her own good...

    Cool Papa Bell - What if I _like_ having a finger stuck up my ass and wiggled...?

    Seriously, though, I've gotten in all kinds of trouble for tickling too much. It's so hard to stop, though; they're giggling and squirming deliciously in your arms, making you happy, and it's easy to assume they're enjoying because... well... they're _laughing_! We finally had to come up with a "safe word" like they use in bondage and S&M play, and if at any time she uses that word, I stop immediately. This has saved me a great deal of pain and suffering, both mental and physical...
    posted by Death by Ugabooga at 6:58 PM on January 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


    My husband reminded me that a well-thrown elbow stops him in his tracks.

    (sorry about your head, honey)
    posted by desjardins at 7:19 AM on January 20, 2010


    Think of the most disgusting thing you can bring yourself to do (tongue up the nose works, so does tongue on the eye, or just dangling a ball of spit on a little thread of spit right above your attacker's face, or wet-willy to the bellybutton, or the dreaded Dutch Oven, or just slobbering on the attacker in a really disgusting way). Then do it. It will be so horrifying that the struggle will immediately cease. Even threatening to do it will give the tickler pause.

    Alternatively, submitting for a few minutes can work -- eventually, the attacker wlll let his guard down and you can stage a massive duvet- or tickle-related coup, using a cunning strategic plan that you have devised during the moments that you appeared to have given up. If you plan it right, you can end up with the duvet entirely wrapped around your body, with both ends of it in front of you, and you can curl up in the fetal position. I call this the "Armadillo Defense." A tightly-wrapped duvet is virtually impregnable to both duvet-counterstealing AND tickle-attacks.
    posted by kataclysm at 7:29 AM on January 20, 2010


    With practice, you can learn not to physically react to the tickling, which will stop it because it's not fun for him anymore.
    posted by desjardins at 8:20 AM on January 20, 2010


    Some extremely awesome responses, thanks guys. I may yet win the war.
    posted by teraspawn at 12:21 AM on February 19, 2010


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