I like to bite and I cannot lie
September 17, 2010 4:04 PM   Subscribe

I like to bite things. People, really. Yikes.

So, I really love the physical sensation of my mouth gently biting someone else's flesh. It has nothing to do with inflicting pain; I mean yeah it's wrapped up with sex at this point, since that's pretty much the only scenario play-biting another adult is acceptable in, but I can remember playing and fighting as a kid and thinking that biting someone else felt really cool (not in an arousing way, then). Skin is really...resiliant and firm and I don't know, it's really satisfying to bite. All this is in the mouthing/nipping category - no broken skin, obviously, no marks at all. Brief pressure rather than pain, if that makes sense.

I have a good sport of a partner and all this is pretty well managed, except...sometimes I am really afraid that in the heat of the moment I will bite too hard. It feels like I could; generally I apply pressure and then back off almost in the same moment. But what if I just didn't...back off? That's bad.

- Am I, like, a psychopath? Again, it's not really about inflicting pain for me - it's literally that skin between my teeth feels really good and compelling for whatever reason. But that seems pretty weird too. WTF is that about, anyway?
- How do I play with this safely? What are good ways to keep a leash on myself with something that I feel like could go wrong very quickly/from inattention or poor reflexes?
- General thoughts about this? Does this seem like a really awful quirk to you?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (28 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
posted by John Cohen at 4:07 PM on September 17, 2010

How do I play with this safely? What are good ways to keep a leash on myself

Safeword. And no, you're not a psychopath. If your partner is genuinely cool with it, you should be good to go.
posted by Gator at 4:10 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

WTF is that about, anyway?

I'm of the "don't dissect gossamer" school of "I love doing this weird thing." Will finding out why really make it better? If you think so, go ahead, but, personally, I wouldn't run myself ragged over why it's awesome. It's awesome. Leave it be.

Pick a safe word and give your brain the instruction to stick with it. You bite too hard, partner screams out safeword, you let go. That's it. That's how it works. Don't worry about biting too hard but rather worry about respecting the safeword. If it keeps happening, well, then you'll need to figure out how to deal with it. On the other hand, it sounds like you've got enough self control (as far as I can tell from your phrasing, the too-hard moment hasn't happened yet) and respect for your partner to have plenty of fun with this.

Does this seem like a really awful quirk to you?

"Awful" quirks are the ones which hurt people (in the bad way.) Do your thing and don't give a damn what it seems like to anyone.
posted by griphus at 4:11 PM on September 17, 2010 [3 favorites]

I think this is different from the previous AskMe that John Cohen linked to.

I think I feel similarly to you; it's not something I generally feel the urge to do outside of sex or making out, but yeah, it is kind of neat. Like you said, it's got some give but it's also resilient and firm. Anyway, mild biting seems to be a pretty common thing for people to enjoy (either biting or being bitten or both), so I wouldn't worry about that. As for escalation ... really? Skin isn't that easy to break, and as long as you back off if your partner tells you to, you should be fine.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 4:15 PM on September 17, 2010

You're not a psychopath, since: a) you're actually concerned for the bitee, b) haven't gone around biting folks without their consent, or c) manipulated people into accepting you biting them if they're seriously not interested.

Who knows why we get our kinks - they just are. The question is how you find ways to do it safely and with fun.

I'd look around for communities that work with biting as a kink- they've probably worked out a lot of safety measures and best practices for having a good time.
posted by yeloson at 4:19 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

I don't think it's awful. Remember practicing giving yourself hickeys as a kid (or was that just me)?.

I wonder if it's connected to those baby sensations when our teeth were coming in and biting down hard felt SO GOOD.

I think it feels kinda good.
posted by dzaz at 4:21 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

i know someone who likes this. i used to let her bite me all the time. i think it feels neat to be bitten and she likes to bite.

find a friend, it doesn't have to be a sex thing.
posted by nadawi at 4:26 PM on September 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

I like to bite too, my husband and I joke about my "bitey moods" all the time. He calls me a zombie. It does feel good to chomp down on his flesh. I don't bite hard, usually, and when I occasionally do bite more firmly I am careful not to leave deep marks or break skin. I like to get a little yelp of pain out of him once in awhile, like if we're wrestling and he's gotten a little rough with me.

The other day I was biting his forehead (don't ask me why,) but he had been telling me about a big presentation he has to make and it cracked me up to think of him going in front of all the bigwigs at work with human bite marks all over his forehead. Him trying to fend me off doing it led to a rather invigorating playfight.

So yeah, I'm weird about the playful-aggressive biting. But I also think that biting can be sexy... I'll bite his bottom lip gently when we kiss, or his neck, shoulders, the edge of his armpit, as well as more personal areas.

And I may have spent too much time around cats, but I also sometimes bite him gently as a gesture of affection. :)

Obviously, I don't think it's a horrible quirk, but I don't know how it goes over with the general population. The other day a guy friend at work was having me hold something for him while he took a closeup picture of it, and his arm was right in front of my mouth while he was finding the shot in the viewer. I said "I could bite you right now" and he looked at me like I'd lost my mind. Sometimes I forget that not everyone is as tolerant of weirdness as my husband.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:27 PM on September 17, 2010 [12 favorites]

If your partner is ok with if then fine. I once had someone bring it up completely out of the blue as though it was "Do you mind if I change the channel?". Not a good delivery. Freaked me out, I left her promising to call back but actually changed my number.
posted by Biru at 4:27 PM on September 17, 2010

Ditto the good. I sometimes curl my own index finger up and bite the fleshy part at the joint. Which is why I sadly can't ever run for president.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:29 PM on September 17, 2010

This is pretty normal between adults. As kids, we used to play with our dog -- we'd say "bite nice" and the dog would apply gentle biting pressure to your arm, and seemed happy as a clam to do so. My WAG is that it's some sort of mammalian leftover behavior involved in pack dominance.
posted by benzenedream at 4:31 PM on September 17, 2010

Definitely not a psychopath (or as definitely as one can know from reading your question, I guess). People just like different things, and some of them are kind of weird. I dated a girl once who loved sticking her tongue in my ear. It fulfilled her in the way biting seems to work for you. There was no "why" involved -- some things just work for us in weird but happy ways.

Safewords, or just really good communication so that you know the difference between "ow" that means it's ok but kind of ouchy and "ow" that means stop right now, is the key. As long as your partner is ok with things, you are good to go.

And if they are really super cool with this, you might get the green light for some kinds of (perhaps gentler) biting and nibbling outside of the bedroom. Snuggling on the couch while watching a movie, say? But again, that's about communication, consent, and respect.

You might or might not find it useful to dig through the groups at fetlife and similar kink-centric places. Mostly that is much further out there than your enjoyment of biting, but the language of negotiation and consent that goes along with (good) bdsm might have a lot of relevance for you.
posted by Forktine at 4:32 PM on September 17, 2010

Oh my! I know exactly what you mean about mouth feel, I'm a biter too and, until this question, it has never struck me as out of the ordinary at all - nor has it bothered anyone I've (gently!) bitten - as far as I'm aware.

I just thought it was an oral thing - I like texture over taste and I'm classically orally fixated. It's not a sexual thing though it does come into intimate situations because - hey! I like to nibble! The safe word sounds like a good idea if you're worried, but you sound pretty clear on the boundaries. If someone took the nipping badly they'd let you know.
posted by freya_lamb at 4:59 PM on September 17, 2010

If you're not even leaving marks, you're way, way unlikely to be causing any kind of terrible harm. It takes a lot of effort to break skin, depending where you're biting of course, and even then it's not the end of the world.

Biting hard really hurts and your partner will probably make it VERY clear that it hurts. Unless you're prone to losing control of yourself with other aspects of sexuality/physical touch then I wouldn't worry about losing control of yourself with this.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:06 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure I'd normally think of the kind of light nibbling you describe as a kink, even. It seems like a pretty common thing for people to do when physically intimate, even nonsexually (but usually sexually). Of course some people might not like it, but that's true of any act, kinky or not; as always, respect and communication and paying attention to how your partner reacts are key. It sounds like you're fine there. YKIOK.

OTOH, reading about how the (good) kink community deals with consent and negotiation and avoiding undesired injury is good advice anyway. People there have beanplated this kind of thing pretty thoroughly. Also, it's reassuring to read of people who have scarier and more extreme kinks than you might even think of and yet still manage to arrange their sex lives so that everybody's safe and happy and gets their jollies.

Even if your enjoyment of biting is the partial expression of some less acceptable desire, no, you're not a monster— you care about your partner and take steps not to hurt them, physically or emotionally; that's the important part.
posted by hattifattener at 5:30 PM on September 17, 2010

Another biter here. I wouldn't worry about it. Also, I think that the space between playful biting and causing injury is pretty wide. I don't think it would be easy to slip and really hurt someone, maybe just get a yelp out of them. Have fun!
posted by orme at 6:16 PM on September 17, 2010

Yup. To me it feels good to be on either end of it. I think more people should admit they like it. I mean, look at cats, dogs, primates, etc. I kind of miss high school, where a few of us did it (some of whom shoulders at exactly the right height :) ).
posted by salvia at 6:31 PM on September 17, 2010

You seem fine and normal. If you're in the middle of sex, bite harder. (I mean, assuming your partner doesn't tell you to stop and is into all that; but pain thresholds go way up during sex and harder can often feel better. Indulge yourself.)
posted by frobozz at 7:02 PM on September 17, 2010

I am a biter too-I don't know if you have kids but I do, they are little, and I bite on their arms and legs too. I don't think of it as sexual although I do it to my husband too-it's more like when I feel very loving towards them, I like to munch them. No marks and on the kids I'm careful not to put any pressure either-I just kind of num-num them-chubby baby skin is so munchable. Sadly, I'm going to have to stop this as my youngest has adopted my habit and she doesn't pull punches.

So no, you're not a psychopath or a weirdo-I think it's just like people who hug everyone-we like to bite-it's a way of showing affection, so long as you don't hurt someone. Obviously, biting is less socially acceptable but it sounds like you've got a good handle on it. Nthing safe word-my husband and I use one because I've chomped him too hard once or twice.
posted by supercapitalist at 7:21 PM on September 17, 2010

My oldest friend in the world will tell you that I bit her in preschool. The habit hasn't lasted until adulthood, for whatever reason, but it doesn't seem weird or worrisome to me.
posted by newrambler at 7:51 PM on September 17, 2010

I've been bitten, regularly, by several partners. On average, my biters have been substantially less psychotic than the non-biters, so I think you're probably fine.

I thought it was really flattering the first time I was bitten. Now I karate chop my partner in the head when she's biting too hard, although she still leaves marks on occasion. I imagine your partner, too, would do something to you to keep you from causing significant damage. Don't worry so much.
posted by tsmo at 8:04 PM on September 17, 2010

I bite, and am bitten by, my partner. We really like it, because it is a little erotic moment that isn't so overt. We have loads of fun with this - sometimes the bite marks last for a day or two - and it has never ever occurred to either of us that it makes us psychotic. If it is a quirk it is a charming one, I would not like to miss out on it.
posted by jet_silver at 8:26 PM on September 17, 2010

I like to bite people too, albeit in a non-erotic way. I just find the sensation appealing, in the same way that my wife - who's not crazy about the biting, but is understanding - loves to rub the satin trim of a warm, snuggly blanket against her upper lip. As long as you have someone understanding who consents to the occasional nip and respect their boundaries, you have nothing to worry about.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:26 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Now that you mention it, I've noticed that when I'm reading things (like this post) I have a tendency to bring a hand up to my mouth to gnaw on the fleshy parts with either my teeth or my lips. There is something nice about the mouthfeel of doing so. I've never paused to analyze this, but I'm pretty sure this does not make me/you a psychopath.

Just a datapoint.
posted by cheemee at 1:11 AM on September 18, 2010

This is a feature, not a bug. I loooooooove getting bites and so do many others.
posted by By The Grace of God at 1:19 AM on September 18, 2010

I like to be bitten and I like to do a certain amount of biting as well. Most of the time if I'm just feeling kinda chompy that's indicative of a level of jitteriness that can be satisfied in a variety of sexytime ways.

Might I suggest, if you don't have an amenable partner for mutual biting activities, that you indulge in a plentiful helping of bbq beef ribs? What with the chewing and the sucking and the licking of fingers, it's practically like masturbation, only meatier!

oh god why is my real name on my profile
posted by Mizu at 5:03 AM on September 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

I don't think I've ever been with a partner who wasn't into biting. I suppose I could just have a weird sample set, but all of them have either bitten or liked being bitten. I don't think this even qualifies as a kink at the point, or anything really out of the ordinary. Like Dan Savage says about oral sex, "It comes standard".

Wait, no, there was that one dude who didn't like biting. But, he also wanted me to call him "daddy", so that was a one-time thing anyway.
posted by Netzapper at 8:39 AM on September 18, 2010

Camille Paglia has some ideas about passionate sex and the act of consumption being intertwined. About two thirds of what she writes is way over my head, but this makes sense to me for a lot of reasons. Not least of which is I also like to bite as well as be bitten and scratched. Hard, even, if that's what she's in to.

Don't worry about it. Safe word. Have fun.
posted by cmoj at 9:34 AM on September 18, 2010

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