Lots of e-mails and Bulletin Board postings. I've gathered a bunch more for your
perusal. Hope you enjoy them.
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I've lived with a feeling of shame for many years. I did talk to a fellow thumbsucker a few years ago. It was my first experience at finding someone like me. As a youngster, I felt as though my entire family frequently ganged up on me (verbally) to get me to stop. (I guess to avoid their own embarrassment.) I did stop when I was a teenager because it got too hard to hide.
Recently, I shared my former habit with a group of fellow students (many of which are recovering addicts) in the class I'm taking, Alcohol and Drug Treatment Training. I told them stopping the thumbsucking habit was very hard since one takes their thumb everywhere with them. And there are no AA meetings for thumbsuckers. For many years I couldn't put my thumb close to my mouth for fear I would start up again. I did indulge when I was in my twenties at an extreme emotional juncture in my life. Today I hold my hand to my face as I ponder things. I know it's a holdover and the action continues to offer comfort at times of need.
This site brought up feelings of abandonment. Weeping followed. I often need to imagine going to the crib of myself as an infant. I take her into my arms to tell her that there is someone who cares. I was born when my mother was 39. The fifth child, I think she was tired and needed nurturing herself.
I sent an email about this site to my oldest friend (who sucked her fingers). I think she has stuffed all conscious memory of her habit. I told her the site was for me. She may be in denial. In addition, her husband shares the email. It's sort of sad the feelings of shame associated with his innocent habit. Thanks for letting me vent.
I agree, it's sad that there are such feelings of shame associated with this gentle habit. I've communicated with those that had carried this sense of shame into adulthood, and there are many. I believe they've done this by internalizing ideas and feelings that were accepted at an time in their lives where significant people had the power to impact them emotionally, as though this process acts as some form of emotional imprinting mechanism.
What's truly fascinating to me about some of these individuals is how their beliefs, once uncovered, defy logic; much of their feelings are so tied to their internal sense of self that facts are irrelevant to their conclusions. But, as you have found in your own experience, with some families, attempts at their child's cessation have more going on than meets the eye.
You mentioned that your family's motivation may have been connected to concern for their own feelings of embarrassment. At the site, I've discussed the idea that, often, feelings like these, from the parents, are tied in to a sense of themselves as parental failures. In this kind of situation, thumb sucking is merely the focus of that perceived sense of failure. It was very brave and helpful of you to have brought up your tsing to a group of fellow students. I've had numerous e-mails from those who, upon 'coming out', found that their thumb/finger sucking really isn't perceived by most others as very much of a big issue...at all, especially if they know the tser, not as a stereotype, but as an individual. This surprised the tser, pleasantly, because their own self concepts, formed over a lifetime and nourished upon incorrect assumptions, became skewed in a most distorted way. But this happens often and is the largest source of neurosis in our culture.
I'm trying to see if various issues of abandonment work to define the circumstances that may lead to prolonged tsing. It may, though this problem is very difficult to isolate on that indices As we mature, though, hopefully we see our parents more clearly. We learn that they are human after all and things like being 39, after having four previous children, may have been more pressure than they were equipped to handle. We may understand their resenting not living the life they may have wanted, and how that can be perceived, didn't mean that they didn't love you necessarily. We learn to identify with their feelings, or at least comprehend them better. Hopefully this understanding impacts earlier emotional notions that may have lacked the parental perspective reference point. By downplaying their role as godlike, we see that their resentment is not a reflection on our imperfection, but theirs. We learn to accept ourselves and, hopefully, see ourselves, too, more clearly.
That was very powerful, the image of giving yourself, finally, the hugs you needed through the time bridge easily created by an imagination hungry for that reality. It's a good image and you deserve it, you really do. I hope you read through all the site.
I went to your web page and, judging from what it said, it sounds like you and I feel much the same in terms of the power of loving, or accepting, oneself. Have you read my essays on embarrassment and/or the dialogue in this regard in the FAQ section?
As for your holding your hand to your face while pondering things, well, if you fell like sucking your thumb, go right ahead if it makes you feel better. I think you know by now that it doesn't change who you are! ;) H
Her final reply:
That was definitely the most thoughtful, kind and interactive email (or letter for that matter or dare I say communication of any kind), I have ever received. That says a lot about me, but more about you. Good luck in all of your endeavors. You have a gift!
I have given my friend some advice about her boyfriend that sucks his thumb since finding this site for her last week. This advice has really helped her understand.
HELP! Before two weeks ago I never knew this existed, until my best friend asked for my advice. She has been dating and yes sleeping with a man and two weeks ago saw that in his sleep he was sucking his thumb. This has since happened several times. This man is someone that she cares a great deal for and doesn't want to cause him any embarassment. She asked me what to do and I really don't know what the correct thing is. At first I said that maybe there was a way to bring up the subject and that he would probably feel relieved to know that she knew and still excepted and cared for him. The only problem is how to bring it up. I honestly never knew about it and this being the age of the talk show have never seen anything in regard to thumb sucking. I was hopeing that someone might be able to offer some advice on a gentle and sensitive way to deal with this. I don't know if this helps,but he is in his 50's. Thanks for your help.
I just posted a question to this forum. Subject: Help. About my friend who is dating a man who sucks his thumb and is afraid to let him know that she knows. When I was finished posting I went back to the forum list to read what this is all about.
I'm going to be real honest with all of you. It hurt to read what pain is involved with thumb sucking. It also seemed to me that men have a harder time dealing with this because in some of the letters posted it seems to me that it is easier to except a woman who does this than a man and that some men can even find a sexual aspect to seeing a woman suck there thumb.
I just want to give my oppinion about this and yes, this is just MY oppinion: Speaking as a woman in my 30's who has dated many men with a variety of personalities, but none perfect, nor am I. I DO NOT see this as a "bad" thing. Neither do I see this as something that I would "judge" any person, male or female, by. Just like I would not think of snoring as something to judge a person by. It's just not something that I would ever throw into the mix when summing up what I think of a person. Or whether or not this is a man that I care or don't care about. Or if this is a good or bad person.
To me, whether or not a person sucks their thumb or not does NOT count in what makes a quality individual. Just like I would hope that you all do not make a judgement about me because I'm awful at spelling and tend to go on far too long. Thanks for listening, Kathleen
I just stumbled onto this message board. and I've just spent quite a bit of time reading some of the posts going back a couple of months. I have lived this subject since before I can remember. The story I was told by my older sister was one day, when I was very young, like sitting in my stroller young, my mother saw a child sucking ther thumb and she said "isn't that cute" as she shoved my thumb in my mouth. and that's the way it's been since. I dont know the accuracy to my sisters story, I think I have some deeper issues somewhere that may be part of it. but since jr. high I've gone into the closet. Everyone that knew about it thinks that I quit years ago. but I couldn't do it, I couldn't quit. I'm so glad that I found this board. It's something that I think I need. I used to think I was pretty much alone. thanks for showing me that I'm not
I'm grateful to see that others have come out of the closet. I'm a forty-something professional, and have sucked my thumb all of my life. It's more prevalent in times when I've felt more insecure, such as before and after the birth of my child, loss of parents, difficult economic times, etc. Two of my siblings suck as well, and are as accomplished and upwardly mobile as myself. My greatest fears have been being discovered by my spouse and child (it's difficult enough to earn the respect of your adolescent).
At any rate, I thought I and my siblings were freaks, the result of somewhat neglectful and demanding parents; it's nice to see that it's much more common than thought. It's also my firm belief that it's an oral fixation and often, smoking, eating, drinking are substituted. Of course, the thumb is the healthiest option, but one must be careful with hygiene. I find that I'm more susceptible to colds & flu; perhaps as a result of this.
2/9/00 From: Lianne
Yes, I have been caught in the car. I usually don't care who sees me, so long as they do not acknowledge it. But this one time, a truck driver who was in a vehicle higher up than mine, saw me and then honked his horn and when I looked, put his thumb in his mouth in ridicule of me. I immediately gave him the finger. It was a gut reaction, and I was pissed. But then we were stuckin traffic together and I had to keep passing him. It was annoying and terrible.
My dentist told me the way I suck my thumb has made my nose tip up slightly and I wondered if that was common. Personaly I think it's cute.
I wanted to share with you the fact that since I read your information on your site, I realized that I was not still stuck in my adolescents, but rather nurturing a natural soothing habit. With your support and many others like yourself I got up the nerve to tell my fiancee that I still sucked my thumb. He was very understanding and even encouraged me to do it in front of him. I feel like a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders. But I will also tell you it was the hardest thing I have ever told anyone since I have been hiding it now for over 29 years. Thank you for all the support and sincerity that envelopes your site.
I just came across your site and I knew there had to be others like me...I have sucked my thumb all my life in addition to having a security blanket. FOR 24 YEARS! I have never stopped because it is such an integral part of my life. My parents never forced me to stop so I never did. I do not openly admit to it, nor do i deny it. It is just something that I do and enjoy very much. I guess it is just part of who I am. Well thank you again for your website.
I am 36 and have sucked my thumb off and on through out my life. I've found that I do it when i am in stress or pain. After a few years of not being interested in it, I was in a car accident and had chronic pain there after. I found that I being in constant pain gave me a lowered ability to cope in stressful situations, and I would often cry in public and at inappropriately. I found that thumb sucking was very soothing and often prevented my emotions from escalating.
Needless to say, friends who saw me do it were very disturbed. So then I became disturbed. I spoke with my psychologist about it, and how I hadn't been sucessful at giving it up. He very much surprised me when he said if I wanted suck my thumb- I should go ahead! Obviously, at 30 something, my mouth and teeth were as formed as they were ever going to be, and that it was essentially harmless. I wasn't resorting to other types of behaviors that have pervasive consequences- like drinking, smoking, spending, gambling or drugs. (My Prescription pain killers or the Street Variety) All in all, he concluded, a pretty innoucous coping mechanism. And it's free, readily available, and doesn't advesily effect your health! All in all, I think he was a very wise and compassionate man.
I really appreciate that you have the courage to host this site. I always felt like I was one of a very small number of people and that I lacked the will-power to stop, or that I was psychologically ill. Now from reading information on this site I realize that there are many factors that go into the as they say "Non-nutritive digital sucking".
I also noticed that there are many different types of assocoated habits that go along with this malaise. My particular way of doing this is to use rayon or silk ( like the inside of some jackets) and brush it against my face/skin while sucking my right index finger. Over time this has become a psuedo-sexual association and triggers the desire to masterbate. I have tried repeatedly to stop but as I am sure you know it is difficult. I'm glad I had time to share some info please email with updates or any other useful information you think could be of help.
I thought I was the only woman in her mid-twenties who felt the way you do. I have been sucking my thumb for over 20 years as well. It's provides a great soothing feeling for me. I feel the most comfortable when I am sucking my thumb. It's hard for me to fall asleep without sucking my thumb. I also have a thumbprint in the roof of my mouth. I thought I was the only one in the world
From: Sheila EMail
I have had a blanket from the time I was born. It is ragged now, and I have a shirt that I have had for a few years, but it is also falling apart. I can't suck my thumb without my blanket. I sleep with it and constantly suck my thumb through out the day when I am home. When I was younger it would make me cry when someone would wash it! One time, can you beleive this, the cleaning ladies threw out my blanket. I was 14 at the time. We had to call them and find out where it was. It was aweful. I was embaressed, but I wanted my blanket back no matter what.
A question, the answer to which got the wife very angry. Below, how it went:
I am a 23 year old male that sucks his thumb. it really gets on my last nerve when my wife keeps reminding me to take the thumb out of my mouth in front of my children, every single time I do it. I can't put my thumb in without her saying something. I like sucking my thumb, it is relaxing, comfortable, and I enjoy it. I've been sucking my thumb all my life, I would really like a solution on how to stop sucking my thumb.
Occasionally I will hear from those whose wife's or husband's are uncomfortable with their mate's thumb sucking and therefore act in one way or another to discourage the habit. Most of the time the discouragement, though well intentioned, may border on abuse, or, in the least, insensitivity. And, equally, most of the time their actions do not accomplish any other goal but achieving an atmosphere of resentment and anger.
The key is for your wife to realize that your habit is self contained, harming no other person. Additionally, it helps to soothe you in many ways, and she needs to realize that these two components are very important both to her and to you. Perhaps if she'd look at the site, particularly the Articles and Opinions Section, she may change her way of looking at it. I've had a lot of correspondence with people who have done just that, with very positive outcomes.
As for you wanting to stop, why? If your wife is uptight about your gentle and harmless comfort, isn't that her problem? Why make it yours? It's she that has to deal with her feelings, feelings which, I'd bet, are based on inaccurate stereotypes and false assumptions. Please write back and tell me how it is going, or if you have any more questions, Thanks, H
The Wife Replies:
YOU can kiss my ass. This is his wife and it is not right for our two year old to know that a thumb does not go in the mouth....my husband has a lot of emotional problems from his childhood that on a deeper level should be looked at instead of giving advice for him to continue...Obviously u suck your thumb. Your advice for my husband was just great super stupendous.........
That's wonderful when one has a problem with something u tell them ohhhhhh it's all right keep on going. I bet you're the same kind of person that would say drugs are good as long as you are only fucking up your own head...I am very much in-love with my husband and he is extremely frustrated re: thumb sucking....yes it is comfortable for him and yes it is relaxing however it is also very difficult for him and he was asking for your HELP... ON HOW TO STOP...not your ridiculous encouragement that it is OK to continue
What is your background in this area???? Are you a psychologist? I highly doubt it.....what is your education level.... let me end here....... Thank you sooo very much for making things worse for him i am sure he will truly appreciate your wonderful advice.... by the way there are several other ways to be soothed!!!
To the wife,
I am sorry if you feel that my honestly related point of view was ill advised. Nevertheless, what I had written IS what I believe and I was asked for my opinion, not yours. In terms of what you wrote, assuming everything you said is 100% accurate, if your husband has lots of emotional problems from his childhood, I agree that, to the extent that this fact interferes with his present day functioning and centeredness, it should be looked at and, hopefully, worked through so that he may realize his full potential and enjoy life. But, if these problems are not being looked at, what harm would come of things if he relieved his tension and anxieties in this harmless manner?
The thumb sucking is not the cause of his problem and may or may not be a symptom. I can think of far worse ways to deal with stress and perhaps you may consider the notion that you're lucky that, in light of those other ways, his is relatively harmless. And, yes, though you indicate there are many other healthful ways of soothing oneself, we are dealing with his chosen way, not the other ways, aren't we?
You mentioned drugs (I'm assuming you meant illegal drugs as opposed to prescribed ones) and the fact is I wouldn't advise that. The two are totally lacking in comparison and the fact that you equate them leads me to question you in this regard. If he was engaged in destructive behavior, like illegal drugs, I would advise against it, as I have always done in the past.
As for your belief that your two year old should know that "a thumb does not go in the mouth", I think you may be fighting a losing battle. Look, you are the parent and have a right to teach values to your child, but when you attempt to foster ideas that aren't based on reality, you may be attempting something that may be both impossible as well as unrealistic. I mean, after all, for many people thumbs do go in the mouth, right? Whether or not your husband sucked his thumb, that fact will eventually become quite apparent to your child.
As for my advice depicted as encouraging him to continue with his "problem", I don't think that his thumb sucking is the problem. You are the only one who has a problem with it, so it's your problem, right? Except for his dealing with your feelings on the matter, it didn't seem to me that he has a problem with his thumb sucking.
Perhaps you should consider broadening your knowledge on this subject in order to see whether, in fact, thumb sucking is the problem or not. In this respect I would advise you to read further on the subject and the ATS site may be a good start since it is the only area on the Net with abundant information on this subject. Other wives, in similar circumstances, have done so and changed their perceptions afterward, and really, isn't it your perceptions and definitions that are depicting his thumb sucking as the problem? I mean, it is clear that if you looked at it differently, the "problem" of his thumb sucking may disappear. The frustrations you write about are your frustrations, own them.
As to my background, I have a college degree in Sociology. Since college, I have studied many subjects, but in relation to this one, I consider myself one of the leading experts, often giving advice to doctors who have written me with questions. I have compiled the only database that exists on the subject of adult thumb sucking and have interviewed more ATS'ers than anyone else on the planet, ever. But, even if I only completed elementary school, a degree is not the only criteria one should use in judging the worth on one's advice. Many individuals have, due to their self taught knowledge, given the world valuable ideas and the value of these ideas are the sole indicator of their worth, the quality of which should be judged by the merits of their ideas, not in any other way. As for psychologists, there are competent ones and there are incompetent ones. Having a degree in psychology does not define ability to deal with this subject, necessarily.
If your husband was asking my advice on how to stop, my answer is that there are numerous places on the Net where that information is easily obtained.[Note, I've since cataloged these methods in the FAQ section and later wrote them to this individual, sans the comedic parts of that section.] Additionally, if he does go to a therapist in order to deal with his emotional problems, as you've observed, this advice will be forthcoming, if it is worthwhile. The purpose of my site precludes thinking of adult thumb sucking as a problem and, rather, it hopes to enable people to accept themselves for who they are, as long as their behavior isn't self destructive. As I've said already, I don't see how thumb sucking fits that criteria.
I challenge you to connect thumb sucking directly with self destructive behavior. The fact is, though, that adults who eventually stop sucking their thumb do so when THEY are ready to and anger directed at them, historically, usually adds to the factors leading to continuance of this gentle habit. If you have any further comments, please don't hesitate to reply. But, in doing so, it is my hope that you address all of the points I've cataloged in this reply to your email. Thank you, H
Question about the noise of tsing:
This is to all of you out there sucking away. I too have someone who I live with who sucks away. At most times, mostly after work while watching TV she sucks away. Most times this is done quietly but sometimes she looses suction on the thumb and im sure you all know the noise that follows. Also when she sleeps at night as she starts to fall asleep the sound happens again. This can easily be fixed by just rolling over to a new position that holds the thumb tighter that it stays in. I cant be the only one who cant stand to hear that sucking noise when trying to sleep. Slurp, Squeak, Slurp, Squeak. Your driving us crazy. Just be quite with your thumbs. lol
My first instinct is to joke around with my answer, but that may degrade things here a bit, eh? But, yes, you bring up a good point. But, see how she goes to sleep before you do? Maybe she's on to something....
One solution would be to purchase a sound machine, you know, those contraptions that fill the room with the sounds of the ocean, wind and what not. Another solution would be to fall asleep first. Perhaps another would be to enjoy it, knowing it comes from your life mate. And, on the semi-facetious side, maybe you can substitute your thumb for hers, given that yours is probably bigger, for a better suction seal (kidding, though some out there may like the idea I'm sure).
But, all kidding aside, you do make an interesting point and I wonder how others have dealt with this. I'd go with the sound machine, or those old fashion sleep mufflers, like they wore in the old 1930's movies. (They wore night caps and night gowns too. My have times changed!) Or, and here's a silly idea, you can join her, if you can't beat her, and perhaps you'll find, like most of us do, that thumb sucking makes for some deep sleep, where outside noises are wisked away like leaves in the Fall, or like light window curtains brushed by the rush of gentle wind.
I bet if she quit sucking her thumb she'd snore. Which would bother you more?
I'm definitely a closet thumbsucker. I only do it when I'm alone in private. My wife (who doesn't know about my habit) has gone out of town for a few days and although I miss her by my side, I am so grateful to have this time to myself to be able to just suck my thumb. It brings me both constant comfort and sometimes an erotic feeling depending on my mood. Thank you for making me more aware of this thoughtful contemplation.
I check out this board a couple times a day hoping for some good topic to pop up and stimulate some discussion. I finally figured out that I should participate in some way. I spent several hours last night just sitting, sucking my fingers and thinking about the comfort it brings me, the thoughtful contemplation it allows and the complexities it presents to my day-to-day life. I have never been one to be ashamed of my life-long habit but I have never shared it with anyone fully. As much as I enjoy the company of close friends and my sweet beau, I crave to spend time alone JUST so I can be alone with my fingers in my mouth. It just helps me to be more of a hermit...there is no trouble with this.....but could it possibly be one of the reasons why I have never married?
I am married and suck my thumb. My husband knows and says it doesn't bother him. we are very close but still i choose not to suck my thumb around him, except in the dark at night. i, like you, crave time to be alone so i can suck. i find myself making excuses to my kids so i can be by myself at times. i do wish it weren't this way, but i don't see myself changing in the near future. i guess i would have to say it embarrasses me otherwise i think it would not feel awkward doing it in front of them.
Just a note to tell you women thumb suckers that I once dated an attractive, intelligent, professional woman 40 years old. One night about 3am I woke up and she was lying next to me fast asleep sucking her thumb. I don't know why but it was an unbelievable turn-on to me and I'm not into kinky stuff. I woke her up and we discussed it (she was embarassed at first) but then we had the best sex I have ever known. If you are an attractive, mature woman write me; and we can talk about your habit. Go for it...sure hurts nobody!
I am 30 years old woman and still have a ruggie and suck my left thumb. I love my ruggie it smells delicious I can't sleep without it, one night my now husband had to drive for one hour to pick up my ruggie then return to me so that I could sleep. My ruggie has now been reduced to a scrap of material on a safety pin and I often fear for its safety when it has been left laying around when my sister in law is at my home. She just can't understand the concept of the ruggie and thumb sucking for a woman that is in a stable relationship, with a loving family and a four year old son. Please give me the words to explain this to her. Thanks in advance. Ruggiara
Hi there, You sent me this e-mail a long, long time ago, but I wanted to thank you for sending the link. The site really is great and is really informative.. I can't believe that such a site exists, or that there are other people my age and older still doing it. Anyhow, thanks so much for sending the link along. Bettie
I have sucked my thumb for as long as I can remember. I'm 18 years old now and it doesn't really bother me. My parents only tired to stop it once when I was 12 or 13. My sister also sucked her thumb at the time but she quit. I didn't.
I've told my boyfriends before and none of them have ever had a problem with it, and some of my close friends know. I always have to twirl my hair when I suck my thumb, and I usually do it when I'm reading, watching T.V., sleeping, or just when I'm alone. I don't think my family realizes I still suck my thumb because I never do it around them anymore because I don't want to stop.
I've tried and all it does is make me lose sleep because I can't sleep without it. I've also developed a new habit of curling my tongue inside my mouth, so that it's like haveing my thumb there. I find my self doing this when I'm around people and I can't suck my thumb. I don't really have a problem with sucking my thumb and now that I know there are lots of people out there that do I don't care what other people think. We aren't alone. It's not going to kill us, so why stop. It comforts me, and I'm happy.
I have been sucking my thumb for all my life and I love it! It has made my teeth a little bucked and my nose tips up a little but it gives me comfort. I suck my thumb all the time when i sleep, when i watch TV, and sometimes at school. I love my habit and I'm glad there are others like me that share ths wonderful way to relax.
But anyway, loved the website, do you realize it is the ONLY thing with information on adult thumbsuckers on the ENTIRE internet!!!!! I've searched & searched using all sorts of search engines, and finally came across yours!!
I first tried microsoft network, then altavista, but i was putting in "adult thumbsuckers" and finally came across a page that had a question to a doctor that said, like do you know any adults that suck their thumb, and the doctor like replyed that no, and sounded suprised, then someone else replyed to him telling him about your website. Anyway, I finally found it.
I think what i like best was that most people don't have a problem w/it, like i tell all my friends that ask why don't i stop, i say, why should i? is it hurting you? is it hurting me? Is ANYONE being affected by it at all? and they can't give me a good answer, so i win!
Although all of my friends and husband and sister know, i try to pretend my parents don't know, and of course being in the business world i don't tell my boss & co-workers outwardly, but if for some reason it came up or i was asked, i'd tell them, why not!
I also liked seeing famous people that are thumb suckers, that is kinda cool, some people "look" like thumbsuckers, like andy mcdowell!! haha funny! oh well, thanks for the response!!!
I have a small "blankie" that I call "Lillie". I am almost 25 yrs. old, and suck my left pinky finger (not thumb.) I also rub ears, while sucking my pinky (my own or other peoples)and have all my life. I never thought I'd find a website specific to this and that so many people actually share this habit. Even though it may seem juvenile and immature, it is in no way detrimental to my life or self-image, so I never intend to stop. I will be a frequent visitor to the site.
I totally agree with "Thumb One". I'm almost 25 yrs. old and enjoy sucking my finger. I am not at all embarrassed by it. I went through college, have had several roommates, several relationships, am in a sorority and have lots of friends and acquaintances and probably all of them know about my finger-sucking (left pinky) and ear-rubbing & "blankie" habit. It in no way disrupts my lifestyle or embarrasses me. I don't do it in public, for the same reasons you don't pick your nose or pass gas in public. But in private situations (at home, with my boyfriend, watching a movie with friends, riding in the car) I do suck my finger and rub my ear.
I did have buck teeth, which were corrected with braces, during which I sucked the entire time. I wore a retainer for about 1 yr. 24 hrs a day and was not able to suck. It drove me crazy, but I did stop, mainly for vanity's sake. I knew I wanted my teeth to be straight, so I restrained from sucking my pinky. But when I went to wearing the retainer part-time (which was supposed to be at night) I opted to wear it during the day, so I could resume sucking at night. Eleven yrs. later, my teeth are still perfectly straight and I'm still sucking.
I never intend to stop, and if I had a potential mate that had a problem with it or did not like having his ear rubbed, that would be a major deciding factor as to whether or not I could be with that person. That is how much a part of me pinky-sucking is. I sometimes wonder why I did not outgrow the habit, which I don't necessarily attribute to immaturity or insecurity, because I don't believe I'm either anymore than the next person. But it's just the way it is, and I'll be a finger-sucking executive, wife, mother, grandmother, etc...
When I said I wanted to quit, I guess what I am really saying is that I wish there were nothing in my life so embarassing as thumbsucking. I love sucking my thumb and as you said it harms no one, etc. But I just hate the fact that I do something I have to keep secret.
I don't really even feel comfortable sucking in front of my husband although he knows I suck my thumb and doesn't care in the least. I read on of our prior posts and you said it was embarrassing to you also. I honestly feel like I have no other habits or what not that would embarrass me or that I keep so secret.
It just annoys me to feel this way. It feels so inauthentic and disingenuous to me. If i were asked if I masturbated ever I would say sure. It is not the kind of thing I advertise but I would admit to it. However ts-ing I would not. I would avoid anyone who caught me and possibly turn down an invitation if I thought it might come out. So that's what I meant when i said I would like to quit. I guess I meant I would like to quit that part of my life.
Personally I don't think you need be concerned about your son. My kids are 16 and 13, I have sucked my thumb their whole lives. I use to suck around them when they were young, even at age 2. They seemed oblivious to it at the time and once I stopped sucking around them they seemed to ignore that as well. They have never indicated to me that they know I suck my thumb. Neither of them do or ever did. I am relatively careful, but not nutty about it. I imagine even if they did know they wouldn't care. We are very close and that just isn't the kind of thing kids care about. (Though I am sure they wouldn't want you to suckyour thumb at there highschool football game!) Good Luck!
In my contemplative state and my new-found ability to seek opinions and advice about the reality that I suck my fingers, several new issues have come into my thoughts on the 'big picture'... Since finding this site, my thoughts on my comfort habit have really been taken more seriously, examined more closely and challenged by others who have either an interest in those who partake, or those who indulge.
I myself am insecure. It doesn't show at work and it really has encouraged my interest in high-risk activities (rock-climbing, wilderness adventure, not sex)....so outwardly, no....insecurity is not me....inwardly I crave the comfort of my blankie and my fingers...and ultimately, I get it.
Since posting on this site I have had some contact and some discussion with folks and I have had some interesting similarities. Let's remember that there is a distinction between thumbsuckers and Adult thumbsuckers. It is thought of as a child's habit...but it is, as we can see from the valuable community we have found, an Adult habit as well. There is no doubt to the erotic implications sucking has...in fact, I'm sure it has enriched my sexuality. As expressed earlier...I do have some concern about my habit and my not being married...why is that? I think it's alot simpler than originally thought.
I don't want to share my habit with others because I don't want them to think I'm a baby. I don't want to be treated like a child and I definitely don't want to be thought of as a child when sex is involved.... Has anyone found that being open about your oral pleasure has caused some uncomfortable expectations sexually?
Im delighted that our site has enabled you to finally be able to address these issues with others, and to do so safely and openly. As anything human goes, our behavior is complicated with respect to our feelings about it and the underlying psychodynamics.
As for your high-risk activities, its often found that those who may normally appear confident engage in compensatory behavior that fly in the face of their inner feelings about themselves. Its as though they flirt with danger in order to assure themselves that, despite their self-doubts, they can survive difficulty. Id wager that many great things have been done by those who have tackled inner conflicts similarly.
But I wouldnt be so hard on myself and automatically define finger sucking as, definitionally, a manifestation of insecurity, though it may be. It just isnt that, necessarily. What Im trying to say is not to put the cart before the horse and conclude that if I suck my fingers/thumb I am insecure. I say this because digit habits can be a manifestation of insecurity and they can also not be a manifestation of insecurity.
If I understand you here, though, you are conflicted about the fact that your identity as a mature adult woman will be undermined by your habit in the eyes of some significant other. The confidence issue arises because , perhaps on some level, you believe that, indeed, the fact that you gain comfort from your sucking, you may be immature, and (aghast at the word) even...babyish. But your observation that this habit is also an adult habit may help to undermine this notion, at least intellectually.
The trouble comes because, despite this intellectual realization, theres still the nagging emotional aspect that has not come to terms with this yet. So you ask for the opinion of others, perhaps to confirm that its possible to be a finger sucking adult and still not be threatened with negative connotations, especially with regard to your sexual identity.
Lets face it, there will be those that will detract from your self worth with undermining verbiage and insensitive lack of empathy and there will be those who love you for who you are, sometimes especially because you suck your fingers. In reviewing the e-mail section and in my as yet unpublished e-mail correspondence I have found those for whom their habit has enhanced their sexual experience and those for whom it was something that added to distance in the relationship. Usually, though, in the negative experiences, it served as a convenient focus. What I mean by this is that usually, when relationships sour, anything, even issues that normally would be considered trivial, becomes magnified in significance. It isnt the thumb sucking that hurt the relationship, its the relationship itself that is hurtful in those instances and the thumb sucking, like other trivial issues (leaving socks on the floor, snoring, sleeping late...whatever).
The idea is to come to terms with oneself, accepting who you are because, really, not to do so is self defeating, and, if you need companionship, or a loving, sharing and caring relationship, finding a person who loves you for who you are and you can love for who they are and for what you both can bring into the relationship.
By way of encouragement though, suffice it to say that it has been my observation that most guys find a woman sucking their thumb or fingers highly erotic. Yes, as Ive already said, there are those who wont agree, but, again, based on detailed study of this subject, the great majority find this to be correct. Im not as sure about the flip side of the coin, womans feelings about male finger/thumb suckers, but theres ample evidence for mens feelings for women in this regard.
As for the baby issue, I think that, true, some people are oriented toward a preference in this way, but most of the time the guys who find this behavior erotic do so because of: 1) the symbolic phallic association, 2) the sexual tension resulting from the seemingly incongruity of innocence (as opposed to immaturity) juxtaposed with maturity, and 3) the photogenic attraction of sucking lips and self gratification. Oh yes, Im quite sure that others can add numbers 4, 5 ad infinitum. The conclusion is, though, that, ultimately, its how you feel about yourself that makes you the most attractive.
If you are searching for outer truths in order to change your inner definitions, youll be searching continuously because, in the final analysis, its those truths you feel from inside yourself that are the ones that really matter and that can only come by knowing who you are and accepting it totally. As an example of how this reality could play itself out: you say you dont want to share your habit because you fear what others may think of it. Id turn the statement around and say that Id want to share my habit because I want someone who will think well of me by it and this aspect of who I am, though a minor aspect, is important enough to be used as a filtering mechanism, if you will.
Wouldnt it be wonderful if you can find someone who loves who you are and finds your habit endearing, or even sexy? How else to find out but by risking the sharing? I can guarantee that if youll take the risk you may be in for a very, very welcome surprise, as has many others who have and been thrilled with the outcome. And actually, there is no other way.
Hello. My name is Baker. I am an 18 year old girl. I'm from Richmond, Va. USA. I have sucked my thumb since before I was born.
I really like your site. Do you know of any other adult thumb sucker pages? I looked at everything on your site. But it all took me about 4 1/2 hours and I am still taking time to read through the things I haven't read yet. I expecially liked the poems and the pictures of the guys. I liked the pictures of the guys because I've never seen any guys that really suck their thumbs and they are so cute. Because I have something in common with them and I would love to find a guy in my area who sucks his thumb for real so that we could be friends or something...I don't know its an instant connection. I just like the pictures. It shows you that guys arn't as tough as they let on.
Before I found your site I thought about writing a poem about my thumb...but I didn't do one because I'm not the best writer, but if I do write a poem about my thumb and I think it isn't to bad then I'll send you it.
Your site made me very excited. Because I got to see other people who suck their thumbs. I was looking around for things about thumb sucking on the internet and I came across a nursery ryme or something. It was pretty scary for me though. I think it is to scare children to not suck their thumbs. Anyway if you want to check it out it is at: http://www.vcu.edu/hasweb/for/struwwel/daumen_e.html .
I did your survey thing but I forgot to mention (because I was so excited that I found this site) that when I was little another way my parents tried to get me to stop sucking my thumb was to tell me that it would fall off if I kept sucking it. But I kept sucking it...and it hasn't fallen off yet. I also forgot to mention that when I was five my blankie was stolen, otherwise I would probably be sleeping with it still. I do however sleep with my Curious George doll from when I was little. my blankie was stolen. My parents have been divorced since around that time. So they say that the other one stole it. So pretty much the suspects are my parents. I never found a new blankie that could give me as much comfort as that blankie gave me so I haven't found a substitute. I've tried, but it just wasn't the same.
There is no one form of a blankie for me. I guess I have found substitutes but those are just sweatshirts that I wear when I go out. Or even one of my good guy friends shirts or sweatshirts that are lying around when I'm at their houses that I kinda hold when I suck my thumb. A thing I noticed when I was going to sleep last night is that I hold my blanket with my hand that I suck, like I do with the sweatshirts and stuff. So I guess my big blanket is also like a blankie cus I've had that since I was 6. Its kinda hard to explain. I don't have a specific "blankie" that I have to have but I do need something when I'm sleeping or not at my house.
My favorite things in life are the Simpsons, my favorite band - AVAIL, athttp://www.avail-avail.com , my good friends, my sister, slurpees, and most of all...my thumb. Who would I be without it?
I am open with my thumb sucking around my immediate family, my friends that I hang out with and their friends, and a few other people. I usually don't get big reactions to it. I usually hit them with "I suck my thumb" before they see me doing it, that way I catch them off guard before they catch me off guard and I can get their reactions face to face instead of them saying something to someone else or thinking something to themselves. When people do make a big deal about it, I don't care, so then they get over it.
Well, I'll let you go now. Thanks for reading this letter and having this site. Take Care & Have a Good Day. Love, Baker P.S.- if you write back to me try and send it to me at this address firstname.lastname@example.org . Thanks again.
Hey, I've been with my boyfriend for 3 years. I think he suspects something but doesn't know what? And even though we've been together for 3 years now and I can tell him everything, I'm just can't tell him this yet. Being interested in others that suck their thumbs, I just like to know about other adults that suck their thumbs. Like when did they start, do they have callous, bucked teeth, when do they do it, do they have a ritual along with sucking their thumb, stuff like that. It's just interesting to see that I'm not the only one. Yes, I am upset that I still suck my thumb being that it's not accepted by society and I'm very ashamed of it, but knowing that there's others like me out there, I feel better about it and I'm beginning to accept it more. No, I never be truly happy about it though. I have a baby habit and I'm 21. The only way I would be proud is if I could do it in public and everyone accepted me for it.
My mother always hated the fact that I sucked my thumb. She made me feel bad for doing it. Then I tried to hide the fact and still did it. Then I'd get caught and was made to feel even worse that I had a habit that I couldn't stop or even, wanted to. I wanted to quite for the reason of being socially unacceptable. I also didn't want to give up sucking my thumb, it gave me a security or a feeeling of well being. I really don't know. I thought of hypnosis to take care of "the problem". I'm 30 years old now and still hide the fact that I suck my thumb. I need to understand why I want to suck my thumb and how I could convince myself to stop.
Hello, Thank you for responding! What I meant when I said "I do not want my children to endure the same things I did growing up" is the taunting associated with sucking your thumb. You see my oldest son (3) has been caught once or twice sucking his thumb. He normally doesn't suck his thumb. He is just imitating me I think. I do not have a problem with the habit but with the way people are treated for it (especially boys). Its just not fair for him to have to go through that if the only reason he is sucking his thumb is because he wants to be like his father. Thumb sucking in my profession is also a major concern. My problem is I don't really want to quit. I enjoy sucking my thumb and it comforts me. I don't know how I could get along without it? It seems the only way I have to calm myself. I just do not know what I should do.
i started sucking my thumb around two years of age. i sucked it all the time, even at school until about third or forth grade, sometimes i will catch myself doing it in a public place like the store, i often suck while driving,always to go to sleep,pretty much when ever i have the chance
i have even hid out of site just to get a few seconds of pleasure.i always believed i did it to relax. my parents tried everything, socks on my arm, yucky tasting stuff, and even orthodontic appliances that would stab it when i would put it in my mouth. nothing worked, the appliance made me talk funny and i had to wear it in high school, needless to say i ripped it out of my mouth.i also removed my braces with a pair of finger nail clippers.
if someone becomes my friend they know the first few days of hanging out with me that i am a thumb sucker, better to just tell them then to get caught.
i have a one year old son and am married. i am going to college to be a school teacher.i am a very emotional , high-strung, person....
i am 24 years old. i have changed the way my thumb looks it is skinner and when forgotten about chaps like lips my thumb nail has marks on it and has lost the shine. when i paint my nails the thumb nail always wears fist i suck it right off.
i have also changed the shape of my face giving myself higher cheek bones an d the inside of my mouth goes up so high it is almost freakish i have an overbite, sometimes i put my finger over my nose, i have been known to open doors with my hand while my thumb is in my mouth. i suck my left thumb and am right handed. i believe that there is a void that i have formed in my mouth by pushing the roof up higher it is annoying when it is empty, if i cant suck my thumb i thrust my tongue back and forth on the roof of my mouth or smoke or eat.
Wow! I never new there were very many adults out there who sucked there thumbs. Well I must say it is a RELIEF to know. I am 40 years old and I have always sucked my pointer finger.I usually do it in the car or at home, I don't do it at work or out in public. I am not sure why I so but it is relaxing. I wish I didn't do it, it seems it is in my mouth all the time. I was going to see a hypnosis but I didn't think it would work. I can't believe you did an article on your show about this. I wish I would of known. But I am glad you did. I sure wish I new why I do this habit or addicton what ever it is.
Wow RELIEF is all I can say it is so nice to hear other people in there 30s, 40s, 50s, still suck there thumb. I suck my pointer finger, I have wanted to stop but couldn't. I was thinking about going to a hypnosis but didn't. I am glad I haven't, because other people have and it din't work. My real question is why do I do it, I have never understood. I suck my finger at home and in the dark when I am driving, it is very relaxing. My left arm tends to ache in the middle of the night i wander if this happens to other people. I always wonder as I get older will this affect my arm? I am so glad to know other people do it also, I would of loved to have gone on TV and shared my story.
I have sucked my thumb all my life. I have been married twice and lived with a man (between spouses) as well. I was "caught" by my live-in boyfriend. He was surprised and kind of teased me about it at the time, but he quickly dropped it. I laughed it off, but inside I felt like a secret, vunerable part of myself was exposed. I off handedly commented to my current husband that I "sometimes wake at night to find my thumb in my mouth", but that is the closest I've come to admitting my fetish to him.
For the record, I thumbsuck only when I am alone. I DO thumbsuck to mainly chill out before drifting off to sleep. I hear my husband's snoring (comforting to me too!) and then I safely indulge. I feel that to "come out" to my husband would be detrimental to our relationship in some way. Perhaps he wouldn't respect me as an adult, I don't know. but I rather like my "secret pastime". It's just one of the two things I hide from my husband, the other is my passion for thrift shops. Where else can you buy a whole wardrobe for $30.00!
Answer: From Webmaster
Thanks for writing to me your exposé. As you can see from the site, your feelings are shared by many others like yourself. The feelings you have about your thumb sucking are interesting, even if common among ATSers. I'm focusing on your statements in which your defined being caught as exposing a vulnerable side of yourself and your concern that 'coming out' to your husband may be detrimental to your relationship in that by tsing you risk being defined as immature.
These issues may be connected in that the vulnerability you referred to concerned the inconsistency between defining your tsing as immature and being, in fact, a mature adult. One of the purposes of the site is to clarify this exact issue. Though there may be ATSers who are immature in certain ways, there are non-ATSers who are immature similarly. Likewise, most ATSers are mature, functioning adults with adult responsibilities that are handled successfully. The point is redefining thumb sucking when this behavior is engaged in by the adult.
My goal is to chip away at the immaturity notion, especially since the facts do not sustain the stereotypical conclusions. Thumb sucking in adults is, for the most part, a habit that continues due to its success at being hidden from the view of those who may be judgmental and due to its ability to effectively relieve tension and/or enable the tser to sleep under a variety of condition. Though it is a habit that infants and children indulge in, its definition as an act associated with immaturity is a based on the previous notion that it is only engaged in by children. This incorrect idea is the main reason for the immaturity connection and, hopefully, in time, this idea will be corrected. The site can be useful in this way for you.
Others, in very similar situations, have written to me to say that once their spouse went through the site their negative ideas were dispelled, they looked at ATSing differently. It's simply a matter of undermining previously held assumptions. There's power in numbers and it's obvious that ATSing is much more popular than anyone would have imagined before the advent of the Internet. So I thank you for sharing with me your feelings and, if advice be needed, I advise that you be open about it and show the site to your husband. You may be very pleasantly surprised, not to mention relieved, by his reaction and you'll find it better to be yourself in your home whenever you want to be. When someone is loved, they are loved for who they actually are and what they do, especially if it isn't hurting anyone else. Write again and tell me your thoughts on the above, and, if you do show him the site, tell me how it went.
Hello, I have read your text, I totally agree with you. Society makes such a big deal out of it. Even thought we know we don't hurt anybody, we still fell bad about it. I have hidden myself during a lon time. My parents have always known it, they kept telling me that my theeth would become ugly, even thought I have always known this, I can't stop, I think that this habit can't be changed. Smokers can achieve to stop smoking, it's hard, but possible. But, stopping sucking a thumb, that we have been sucing for life is...very hard. One day, I decided to tell it to my best friend, it was ok with her. I said it to another, it was still allright. And, I had been with my boyfriend for a long time, I was sleeping to his place, he never saw me, I don't know why, but nobody that I don't want to see me, don't.But, one day I got tired to always turn around when we were going to bed and he was wondering why too. It was so hard... I made him guess, I said that's something that babies do... He finally guessed. He accepts me as I am but he doesn't let me do it often.I don't know if you are like me, but sometimes, it get so hard not to suck it, mostly when i'm in class.It so good to be able to suck it in the lady's room. Well, my e-mail must be long and boring so, I would appreciate if you could write me back. (Sorry for mistakes, My language is French).
Caught my husband the other night sucking his thumb. He has done this several times in our 13 year marriage and I have noticed that he does this only when he's sleeping. Kind of a subconscious thing I guess. I also notice he does this when he is stressed over something. Right now we are having money problems and the hours of his job have changed. I thought he was "wacky" and have always looked down on thumb sucking as a babyish reaction to situations. I'm so glad to have found this site. It's changed my whole perspective on this. As far as I'm concerned if it brings him comfort and helps him cope then I say "go for it". He is otherwise a wonderfully sensitive, giving, loving man who doesn't smoke, drink, or cheat--I don't want to change anything about him! Thanks so much for this terrific site! God bless you!
Subject: I'm not alone
Email click here.
I thought i was the only one doing it to till i found this site. I have tried to quit b4 but i have decided i don't realy care if i do. It probably will continue your whole life if u don't try to stop. It is good to know u r arnt the only one still tsucking. I feel better when i suck my thumb and it helps me sleep..it is worth it to me.
My name is Chris and I am from NC. I never used to think my habit was abnormal until i was in about 2nd grade. When kids started picking on me I stopped sucking it at school and just did it at home. I don't think my habit is really bad in fact is comforts me. I suck my thumb al the time at home when i watch tv or sleep. In fact i can't sleep if i don't suck my thumb and i always wake up ith my thumb in my mouth. I have a callus on my right thumb and my teeth are kinda bucked. My mom wants to get me braces but she says i have to quit before she will or my teeth won't get normal. Once in awhile i suck my thumb at school but only when it is safe. i really love this site and it is good to know i am not the only one out there still sucking my thumb. I am 16 and am interested in anybody that shares my habit.