This article is part of an ongoing series in which Ravishly editor Katie Tandy explores the psychology behind a fetish, and writer Jetta Rae DoubleCakes writes erotic fiction. Named Color Me Kinky, the series refers to the "hanky code," a system in which certain colors connote one's sexual interests and proclivities in public spaces. Previously we've written about Foot Fetish (coral), Mommy Play (mint green), Armpit Worship (magenta), Uniform Worship (olive green) and even Blood Fetish (burgundy.)
Stay tuned for more science-smut next week, but right now? Stare at your belly.
Ah, the navel. We all know it's for gazing and gathering lint, but did you know it was also for worship? For inspiring great ardor and lust? For frantic, panting foreplay, and even—gird your loins—penetration and tantalizing torture?
Who knew your belly's damp divot could provide such delight? Navel worshippers, that's who.
Before I get all hot and heavy with you, let's talk a bit about how this naughty knot comes into being in the first place. This darling dimple is not without gravitas; it bears your very beginnings, the life-force that tethered you to your mother. It is, at once, a symbol of your autonomy and a daily reminder of our interconnectedness. It's also a tiny testament to the body's ability to just be. Without us dithering about with it.
I will admit—please don't throw stones—that I thought the belly button was indeed, an expertly knotted hunk of umbilical flesh, but in fact, the belly button needs no help in knotting itself at all. There is in fact, no knot to speak of! The cord is clamped, leaving a stump (sorry, I know, that's about the least sexy thing on earth) which in turn . . . just falls off! In about two weeks our tiny fourth appendage simply seals itself off—innie or outie as it were—but decidedly done with.
Anyway. The belly button—like our ears, fingertips, lips, and neck-nape (among other areas, of course) is considered an erogenous zone (stemming from the coupling of two Greek words for "love and born")—which is to say, it's highly sensitive to the touch and thus, arousal.
Known as alvinophilia, belly button fetish—like every delectable kink on the planet—manifests itself in all kinds of ways. In fact, using just the navel you can busy up the bedroom quite quickly. Some folks focus on the intersection of food; they fill it with sweet nothings like chocolate, fruit, Sriracha, or honey, and then lick their partner's clean. Others are partial to mild to masochistic torture involving hot wax, ice, and yes, even the (semi)faux drilling in with a screw driver.
Some belly-devotees want to be bound and tickled, teased with feathers or fanciful whips. But every \one is participating in what's called "partialism," defined in the 2008 book Sexual Deviance: Theory, Assessment and Treatment by Dr. Judith Milner as "the paraphilic [fetishistic] focus is on some part of the partner’s body, such as the hands, legs, feet, breasts, buttocks, or hair. Partialism appears to overlap with morphophilia, which is defined as a focus on one or more body characteristics of one’s sexual partner . . ."
Interesting enough however (if we're going to get all science-specific on your ass) is that while some researchers have placed partialism as part and parcel of a general definition of fetishism (which includes living and non-living objects) other eggheads (like those who authored the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) state that fetishism must involve the use of "nonliving objects," which, unless you're necrophiliac, would eliminate body parts from the picture.
(Oh! And there are also a whole host of people who have a phobia of belly buttons—omphalaphobiacs—stemming from childhood trauma like sexual abuse or psychotic parents telling you it's dark and dirty in there to holding an irrational fear that one's guts could pour out if their navel is touched too much.)
Before I leave you with Jetta's patented, sure-to-leave-you tingling in your trousers smut, I have to share one last fact. Researchers in North Carolina discovered that the belly button is a bona fide petri dish of pleasure; the average belly button has 67 different species of bacteria living it. Then again, the human mouth has about 500.)
What a wonderland to swap them all in sticky bliss.
She shimmered, even in retreat. My lips caught themselves poised before her placid cheek as her lips greeted the sun over us, an indifferent but invasive witness to this surrender of my restraint.
“I don’t want to fuss my lipstick. Eventually we’ll have to go back.”
She squeezed my hand, still trembling, perhaps from habit. My mind was gone, my hands now busying themselves with reciting the nightly dear diaries.
She’s so beautiful. Is this attraction? Envy? I want her to devour me. Ergo etcetera.
She draped my hand along the fabric of her dress, which had since succumbed to the wills of the spring breeze, hopelessly clinging to her skin. An unruly handful of dress was pressed along and into my fingertips. Our respective stitching acquainted, she shuddered, and I began to peel the dress of her, unveiling her waist.
I sometimes wish I could watch her do sit-ups. The thought sends me into series of knotted nerves. Is this a deviated form of arousal, or are we meeting for the first time? Ergo etcetera.
My fingernails flitted along the tender terrain of her bare navel. A moan escaped her, her lungs puncturing her tableau of graceful disinterest. Her hips buckled against the ground. I let out a small, grateful gust of breath along her writhing mahogany. Her thighs clenched and released, responding in kind.
I pressed a peck against her navel. I was greeted with a begrudged giggle. I could smell her—her joy rose from her panties like a caress of steam. I helped myself to a mouthful of her waist. She caught another moan and held it in place. I saw the ripple of her fledging musculature and thought I would fucking die.
Confessing all this to her might bring relief—but what if it’s the frustration, the invisible layer of hunger and agony beneath the veneer that I crave? Is the fantasy always better? Ergo etcetera.
I belabored her shaking body with my tongue. She choked on her own laughter, her body twisted between an instinctive aversion to tickling and a rival drive: to invite more. A long, slow lick from her navel to the brim of her panties—wet of their own accord, set forth a wave of tangled ecstasy that threw her back flat to the dirt and her arms above her face, their fingers desperately digging into her palms.
Her eyes searched through the haze for mine, now freed of the fetters of aloofness.
She wasn’t wearing any lipstick.