Feature

Why are Japanese teenagers licking each other's eyeballs?

Welcome to the new second base

Back in the day, teenagers on the way to the sock-hop would pull over their cars at a scenic overlook to neck while listening to the smooth sounds of Perry Como. Now, they lick each other's eyeballs.

Like all probably-exaggerated teenage trends, this new practice has a catchy name: Worming. It's also called "oculolinctus" or "a great way to catch pink-eye."

A teacher in Japan noticed multiple students were coming into class wearing eyepatches. No, they weren't inspired by Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie; instead they were getting eye infections from having their eyeballs licked, according to Medical Daily.

Apparently the practice isn't limited to Japan.

"My boyfriend started licking my eyeballs years ago and I just loved it," Elektrika Energias, a 29-year-old environmental science student in the U.S. Virgin Islands, told The Huffington Post. "I'm not with him anymore, but I still like to ask guys to lick my eyeballs."

So what is wrong with laying some tongue on your partner's cornea? It's covered in bacteria, which could lead to conjunctivitis, a.k.a. pink eye, as well as eye-chlamydia — which, as Robyn Pennacchia notes in Death and Taxes, you should never, ever do a Google image search for.

It's not all bad news for eyeball fetishists. Yes, you could get a painful infection, but also you could just feel really good, Dr. Robert Noecker told Medical Daily:

The cornea is the most innervated part of the body. That's why it might feel good to have it licked. It's the same thing with sucking toes — they're so sensitive because the body needs to be able to detect minor particles and other disturbances. If you're so inclined, that's the plus.

Not to be a crotchety old guy, but... I frown upon it. [Medical Daily]

Where kids got the idea to start worming is anybody's guess, although Shanghaiist theorizes that it could stem from this Japanese music video, which combines eye-licking with terrible emo music. Worming also has a precedent in Japanese manga, or comic books, several disturbing examples of which can be found on Tumblr. You've been warned.

Recommended

In the last 24 hours, 81 wildfires have broken out in Greece
A water-dropping helicopter over a fire in Athens.
fires

In the last 24 hours, 81 wildfires have broken out in Greece

Tucker Carlson's Budapest pilgrimage
Tucker Carlson.
Picture of Damon LinkerDamon Linker

Tucker Carlson's Budapest pilgrimage

100-year-old accused of once being a Nazi guard to stand trial in Germany
Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
on trial

100-year-old accused of once being a Nazi guard to stand trial in Germany

Afghan special visa applicant says U.S. withdrawal left him to make 'life-or-death decision'
U.S. embassy in Kabul.
afghanistan conflict

Afghan special visa applicant says U.S. withdrawal left him to make 'life-or-death decision'

Most Popular

Tom Brady's 'gentle' roast of Trump at Biden's White House: 'Deeply vicious'?
Tom Brady, Joe Biden
Quotables

Tom Brady's 'gentle' roast of Trump at Biden's White House: 'Deeply vicious'?

Israeli data suggest infected, vaccinated individuals have low chance of spreading COVID-19
Sharon Alroy-Preis.
sunday shows

Israeli data suggest infected, vaccinated individuals have low chance of spreading COVID-19

How sociology shows 'policy makers have been looking at vaccine refusal all wrong'
COVID-19 vaccination.
the coronavirus crisis

How sociology shows 'policy makers have been looking at vaccine refusal all wrong'