This is Acarophilia.

Feb 15, 2022

Did you know that there is now a coined term to describe the intimate and exciting feeling of being scratched by your partner during sexual activities? This is called acarophilia, and we are here to tell you all about it! 


Gone are the days when we would feel shame about kinks, sexual desires, and the way to feel pleasure. In a supportive and uplifting community where pleasure and intimacy are put first, we hope to cultivate a culture where people reject the shame thrust upon them and their sexual desires. The human mind and body can be very complex, and instead of deep diving into a rabbit hole of shame and guilt, we hope that this article brings you some clarity on why you (or your partner) would enjoy the scratching kink, also known as acarophilia, and ways on how to act on this desire safely. 


As with most kinks, we hope that you are able to communicate with your partner about what they are into and what works for them and that you can figure out the same for yourself and communicate it to your partner. But let’s say you’ve discovered that something about your partner’s nails against your skin really works for you, and you can’t seem to articulate the feeling to your partner. We can begin there. Here’s a guide to acarophilia and what to do with it now that you know you’re into it. 


What is Acarophilia? 


To put it simply, acarophilia is the feeling of being intensely sexually aroused at the thought or sensation of being scratched. This is not news, though; we have known for centuries that the human body is home to many erogenous zones that are quite responsive to sensual and exciting sensations


We know that we have the capacity and hold the capability of responding to many different cues during and before sex and that there can be many different ways of increasing and expressing arousal


Next time you’re having sex, pay attention to the zones you think you are most responsive in when your partner touches you. Do the same for your partner and notice when they respond well to your touches and where. 


It can be quite easy to track, and once you piece together whether this feels good to them – you can simply ask for further confirmation with a follow-up question like “Does this feel good?” or “Is this okay?” to make sure your partner is comfortable and enjoying the time you are spending together. 


Paying attention to little changes in the body, like how your partner seizes up or feels the release of tension in their body, can really help you figure out cues for what your partner may or may not like. Lightly grazing their back or leg, or even their arm, with the tip of your nail, can tell you a lot about whether acarophilia is for you and your partner. 


How Do I Tell My Partner about My Acarophilia Kink?


Once you have figured out whether you and your partner are into acarophilia and enjoy the sensation of being scratched, the next thing to do would be to explicitly ask if it is something your partner would want to incorporate into your sex lives together. It can be daunting to communicate about sex, particularly with the taboo and lack of sex education around us enjoying sex, but worry not! 


We’re here to break down exactly how you can have a conversation with your partner about acarophilia if your partner, or yourself, seems to enjoy it.  


The first step to having an open and honest conversation about sex and bodies is to establish a culture of love and respect in your relationship. This will help you and your partner both feel more open about yourselves and open to your partner’s preferences, too. 


This sense of comfort about being able to talk about anything under the sun without the fear of backlash, judgment, or shame can be crucial to enjoying sex together. It isn’t only about whether you are able to do things your partner likes and have your partner do the same for you; it is also about the aftercare and work that goes into sustaining longer relationships and maintaining the sexual intimacy along with keeping the excitement real and around for a very long time. 


You can begin by setting aside time to talk to your partner. Pick a time that works for both of you, and make a date out of it! Sit down with tea or coffee or a little bit of wine, and tell your partner you’d like to talk about sex earnestly. Tell them what you have discovered, perhaps about yourself or your partner, in terms of acarophilia and break it down for them like we’ve broken it down for you! 


In fact, we recommend sharing this article with your partner to help them communicate openly and honestly, too! Take a bit of time to really get to the nitty-gritty; the details are essential. Use demonstrations, don’t be afraid to be intimate with your partner while you two talk, and show them that it can really be enjoyable for both of you. Let the conversation take its natural course, and maybe if it’s leading to the bedroom, it’s a win-win for both of you! 


Ways to Incorporate your Acarophilia Kink into the Bedroom

Now that you have openly discussed what you like and what you don’t like – and you and your partner have established a clear appreciation of acarophilia and consent to experimenting with it, the question of incorporating it into your sex life still remains. 


Sure, you have talked to your partner about it, but how do you really get this to translate into acts in the bedroom? That’s what we’re here to help with. After the conversation that will clarify whether your partner is feeling up to incorporating a new dynamic in your sex life, you can begin by sharing erogenous zones on your body that you think are super responsive and would be fun to make more relevant during sex. Examples of various erogenous zones include but are not limited to behind the ear lobes, behind the knees, the inside of your elbow joint, shoulders, inner thighs, and so many more. 


Begin by gently pleasing these erogenous zones with a light scratch of the finger, and work your way through various zones on your body and differing intensities of scratching sensation. Soon enough, you will both have a perfect understanding of how to best incorporate scratching into your sex. You might even learn to be creative, like using a BDSM Pinwheel to increase the level of sensation and to amplify these scratching sensations. 


The most important aspect of all is to really just enjoy the moment and to embody the blissful ability to freely explore something new, unique, and exciting with the person you love. 

bdsm pinwheel

Notes on Kink Safety 


We are so glad that you have made it to the end of this article. Before we part ways (and see you again soon in another article to help better your sex life), we wanted to give you a few notes on safety and tips for making sure you are your partner are not in harm’s way when experimenting with acarophilia. 


Use toys like a Wartenberg Wheel to help satisfy the kink for scratches. Trim your nails regularly to make sure you do not injure your partner. Almond, round, or square nails are ideal for this. 


Check-in with your partner to make sure they are feeling okay, that the pressure is enough, and that you are not breaking through skin or bleeding in the process. It’s fairly straightforward with enough communication and excitement! Have fun exploring the world of kinks with your partner. Who knows what could be next?!


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