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My boyfriend told me about this site after reading about it in the newspaper, it really made my day. I'm almost twenty and i suck my thumb, actually, i dont really 'suck' it, it just always has a place in my mouth, without the actual sucking. My family always makes fun of me and ask if ill walk down the aisle with my thumb in my mouth. After boyfriend read me the article, i finally understood why ill never stop sucking my thumb. After 20 years, I learned (from a comment in the article) that my thumb sucking is really a form of meditation for me. Now i finally have an answer to all those people who ask me why i do it. Thank you so much. It's a wonderful site, and im honoured to be a part of it! Keep up the fantastic work. Kim.

i have been with her for a year.. i am a woman..we are both 28...for the first 4 months i had no the am i would find a small cloth by her pillow..i thought what the hell is this? i would throw it away..then it often reappeared a few days later..i thought i was going insane...i also asked her what the bump was on her thumb...she said she smashed it.."its my bad thumb"....i never saw her doing it..since she slept with her back turned coverd with a blanket over her head..the subject then came up..she told me..she does something in here sleep..that babies do....i was at a loss..i had never heard of adult thumb suckers.....once she told me i was intriuged....i wanted to see her doing it...and then one day i came home from work late..walked in the bedroom and saw the most precious thing i have ever seen:) I stood and watched her,,when she saw me...she stopped and turned over....she is embarrased by it..since she does it in the middle of the night too.while sleeping......i often wake up and hear cute suckling noises...i then wrap my arms around makes feel sooo close to her..i dont know what it is....i love to fall asleep and wake up in the am holding her while she sleeps and suckes her thumb....i have never told anyone about this at her request so i thought this would be cool to share this with someone..even though its only through email...i now have a different opinion of thumb sucking..if our kids are (it runs in her family) thumb suckers...its ok by me...thanx for letting me share this...i think its absolutly precious...

From Angela,

I assume the sores I once got on the palate were due to the duration and intensity of the sucking habit I had at the time. I would imagine collecting data on technique might be hard but, I bet with some questions people might be able to formulate some theories in there mind about why or why not their teeth have ended up crooked. For example, I noticed right away on your site that I don't put my finger over my nose like so many others. I also suck both thumbs and do not or ever have had any calluses. I also believe from pics on your site that it is likely that I don't stick my thumb as far into the mouth as others. I believe this puts more pressure on my front teeth.

I don't believe in making children give up their thumbs. I have to many nasty memories of childhood in regards to the issue. In the end it didn't matter at all what they did to me, gave me or how much I was teased I never gave up the thumb. I think for many kids this is the case so, why should it be so hard. I have on occasion talked with children about what might happen to there teeth but, I try to pretty sensitive. I just want to inform them about what might happen. When I show them my open bite and let them know this is caused from thumb sucking. Most are pretty shocked in particular girls. I am not so sure I understood why the heck anybody wanted me to quit when I was a kid. I just thought they were being mean. Yes, I believe that most adults are too harsh with children when it comes to things in general and thumb sucking in particular.

I always had trouble not sucking even if meant embarrassment. It is like I just had to sometimes. Once I finally quit in school I pretty much continued to suck my thumb at home in front of the T.V. mostly or alone in my room. Lots of adult thumb suckers become good at hiding. I put the sheets over my head, or position the pillow just right. My girlfriends in the past saw it, of course. I don't think I can truly hide it from someone I'm sleeping with all the time. My roomates in college never saw it because I always sleep facing a wall and the sheets helped also. But, of course, I'd rather never have to hide it.

I am a bit worried about sleeping as if sucking does anything at all for me it is allowing me to go to sleep fast. At least that is what I think. I often get frustrated if I try to sleep without sucking. It takes longer and then I just end up sucking to go to sleep. The only time in my life I have truly gone to sleep without sucking is at the beginning of a relationship before I have been found out or admitted it. Well, and that short period of time I wore gloves to bed in an attempt to stop but that did not last long.

I really am curious to how people suck and don't affect there teeth. Perhaps I am a little jealous that these people seem to be able to suck and satisfy this urge, need, want and not have to suffer the consequences. I also think wouldn't it be nice to be able to tell a child well if you want to do that well do it this way and your teeth will stay straight. I guess you really think I am hung up on my teeth don't you? Your probably right. I must say for a long time it didn't seem to matter to me. And I think your right about the teeth not being the whole issue. I have always thought that there must be something wrong with me that I could not give up this habit. I have and still do feel shame and embarrassment over the habit. My room mate thinks I'm silly and that I shouldn't feel this way at all. She actually thinks I'm kind of cute and sweet looking when I'm curled up in bed with my thumb in my mouth. I think all my life I thought I must be nuts or crazy because who sucks their thumb into adulthood.

I don't think I look sweet when I suck my thumb, but I've had two girlfriends who thought I did, and said so. I found this a great relief when that's how they described it. I was far less inhibited as a result.

From Walter Kirn, author of the novel Thumbsucker, now available!!!

My novel "Thumbsucker" has been published by Anchor Doubleday, and anyone on this site should be interested. The book's about exactly what it says that it's about, the journey of a thumbsucker through his troubled teens, and I hope it will serve as a source of pride and pleasure to a much misunderstood closet community. You all would be doing me a personal favor by spreading news of the book to those you know, after all, we all start out as thumbsuckers, no matter what we eventually end up as.

From Katherine A. Dettwyler, Ph.D., Anthropology Department Writer of MANY articles on the subject

The act of thumb sucking lowers one's heart rate and blood pressure, and is therefore calming, without the negative side effects of such other habits as cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking. I would say this is more of a "social" problem -- i.e., you are stigmatized if you do it in public, than any other kind of a problem. I think that many adults suck their thumbs when no one is looking, some when they are asleep and not really even consciously aware of it. It is calming.

From Zoe, in her 20's

Re TS in public I don't do it concisously it just sorta happens and by the time I've realised I've got my thumb in my mouth its too late so I just think what the hell, strangers don't tend to say anything or stare at you, mind you this is England, I sometimes think that you could get away with having sex in public and no-body would say anything to you apart from 'put that ciggarette out this is a no smoking zone' heheh. Kids that I meet some times say something but then we just tend to giggle about it together.

As for what made me start again , I was at college, just moved out of home, didn't know any one in this new town I was in and ended up getting sexually harrassed by this guy and coz I'd been abused in my childhood and had several bad experience I didn't know how to deal with this guy and ended up in a right state and thumb sucking was just so comforting to me at this point and once I started again couldn't stop even after I left college and moved town again. The guy only stopped when the other girl he was harrassing at the same time pointed a shot gun at his bits and threatened to blow them away. Pretty exstream huh ? Well that was six years ago now

How I met other ATS, the first time I was round at a friends house TS and a lady that was there said 'Does your nail go all funny ?' and I said 'Yeah, how'd you know ?' and so ensued a discussion on TS I only met her the once though. The other one was pretty simlar, I was at my ex-boyfriends place TS and his friend Tim said that he did that himself. ( He was the guy that wanted the cafe discount for TS) We had a discussion about TS and it's benefits and now when we see each other in the street we suck our thumbs at each other like a secret (Sorry excuse the spelling I'm dyslexic and this thing doesnt have a spell checker) socity, its great fun.

The Point:

WOW!!! I never realized that (1) so many adults sucked their tthumbs and (2) that there was so much debate over the pros and cons of thumbsucking. I now feel somewhat educated on the subject after reading through some of the entries. I wouldn't be so pretentious as to suggest that it is a "bad" habit; however, why is there the need to make it socially acceptable. There are many behaviors that we human beings partake in that will never be accepted, and I believe that is ok--some behaviors I would rather not see, if you get my drift. We need characteristics and behaviors that sets us apart from the "norm", the "mainstream." Otherwise, life would be boring.

I, myself, am not a thumbsucker, but I have a habit of biting the sides of my fingers, a habit I would like to break. But I say, all the power to you thumbsuckers....


The Counter Point:

The need to have adult thumb sucking become more socially acceptable has less to do with defining our uniqueness as it does with reducing the pain that its current place in the social hierarchy causes. The point is to characterize adult thumb sucking more accurately, placing people’s attitudes more in line with reality and placing ourselves well within the cognitive framework of being mature and capable adults, opposing notions that consider our behavior as anything less. It’s a matter of reality and pride.

If you study most of the statements in the “Statements Section”, you’ll see that, for most ATSers, the pain of dealing with mislaid societal and parental attitudes and the hurt these attitudes wrought makes it worthwhile to at least chip away at them. The fact that thumb sucking in adults, as you’ve seen, is far more popular than previously known, combined with the fact that, in spite of stereotypical assumptions, most of these adults are responsible, intelligent and mature are but a couple of reasons for an effort towards social acceptance. Another is the fact that, for the great majority of ATSers, this habit has some serious benefits in terms of its ability to act as a natural tension reliever and sleep promoter.

There are many ways for a person to set themselves apart, in good deeds done for family, friends, job, the nation, but for ATSers, setting themselves more as a part of the mainstream would be far more worthwhile.

I just wanted to say great site! After finding your site I "confessed" to my husband my habit. Actually, I just prepared him that I was about to reveal something very personal about me that I've always hidden from the world. Well, since I became an adult anyway. I'm in my mid 20's. We have been together for years and he has never really caught me. Maybe once while I was sleeping but he blew it off. So I just clicked on the site and went to the embarrassing part that explains how your loved ones will not judge you.. He read it and smiled and said there's nothing wrong with that! He just couldn't believe I hid it so well. So thank you for opening a side of me up that otherwise would have been my little secret;o) Funny thing is I honest to God thought I was the oldest person to do this... This site will be big help;o) Thanks again!!

From Kelly:

I found your site tonight and I wanted to say that I really like it. I'm a young woman; about eighteen and I've been sucking for as long as I can remember. I also have a yellow security blanket. I've had it since before I was born.

The major reason I suck my thumb is because it helps me fall asleep. I also do it for comfort when I get upset or scared; and sometimes when I'm thinking about stuff. I don't suck in public. I only do it when I'm alone and when I'm around members of my family like my mother and grandparents.

I only have two problems with sucking my thumb.

The number-one problem is my dad. . .No, I take that back. He's not exactly a problem; he's kind of a hindrance. I don't know. I really love him but he drives me nuts. Dad tends to have a shit hemorrhage when he sees me sucking. He doesn't hit me or anything; he just keeps telling me to quit. I don't think he ever liked me doing that. He came for a visit last week (He's living out in Phoenix now; my parents went through a divorce a few years ago) to be with me because I had to have eye surgery. He told me that if I went out there to live with him I'd have to put my blanket in some kind of a safety-deposit box or some crap and that I'd only be allowed to see it.

Okay. Now this is what I said in a polite way: I got mad and told him to shove it where the sun didn't shine; if I'd only be allowed to look at it there was no way I'd live with him.

My other problem is grand-mal seizures. I'm on medicine for them (Dilantin) but I've had seizures with my thumb in my mouth and wind up biting the shit out of my thumb; not to mention the insides of my mouth and my tongue. When I come out of the seizure I'm in pain for three or four days after. I still have some minor scars on my thumb from a previous seizure.

Apart from those, I don't have any problems. I also wanted to add that it's a big relief for us thumbsuckers to know that we're not alone.

From Andy:

I believe that she thought that me sucking my thumb somehow kept us apart when were cuddling so she would take my thumb out of my mouth and of course I would object because it makes me feel more safe. She said that all I needed was her to make me feel safe. So one day she just put her thumb in my mouth instead and I sucked her thumb, but of course it was not the same. It only lasted for a few minutes before I would want to suck my own thumb again. I think that she was just trying to understand my thumb sucking and what it did for me and she wanted to be a part of it since I seemed to need it so much. I didn't like it much, but I dealt with it because I figured that she was just trying to get to know me better. She didn't like it but she had to deal with it because I need to suck my thumb even though I feel safe in her arms. My current girlfriend never does stuff like that she seems to accept it a lot easier.

first social acceptance at work, I work for a Large Corporation, and it can be competive, if it was common knowledge that I am a TSer I am sure it would cause a great deal of prejudices unfortunately advancement can be very political where I work, and when I say political you have to make a lot of people confident your abilities to do the job.and and just as in politics something personal like sucking your thumb can be destroying. Home acceptance, for my self is still in hiding, my wife does not approve but is very tolerant, however we have two small children and neither one is a TSer, and I do not want them to become one because they witness there father sucking his thumb. So I rarely get the opportunity to enjoy sucking my thumb. It's either at night after every one is a sleep or when I'm working at the computer or in the car.

She initially told me she sucked her thumb into her teens, and I was instantly all ears, and with a little more digging, she admitted she still did. I told her my secret too and after that, we were both very open about it. Sucking each others' thumbs became part of foreplay sometimes and it did bring us closer together. It was something we did only around each other.

i have been a thumb sucker for as long as i can remember. i am 21 years old and i do it in private or asleep or when i am in front of the puter lol.this is not some kind of sexual thing for me nor do i have any kinda fetish about it. i do have bucked teeth and an ugly smile and i do not have a callus on my thumb. i do suck my left thumb (because i am left handed) with my index finger over my nose. my hubby is not bothered by this and i am glad i am not the only adult in the world that does suck my thumb i am not alone and all my life i thought i was weird but now i know that i am not and that's a big load offa my mind. thank you for making this site.

i was wondering if there are other site like yours? i am glad you made this site i really thought i was alone on this subject and reading some of your stuff has made me more proud of what i do secertly lol angie


its me again, im on webtv and my thing wont let me submit the survey, so i will tell u a little bit about me. My name is Dawn, i am 19, and i am a thumb sucker. I always have been. i suck my left thumb, and yes, i do have a blankie. i take it with me every where, in my backpack. I suck my thumb to relive stress and for security, because i am really shy. I do get teased by my family especially by my parents.

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.

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 myself 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 "isnt that cute" as she shoved my thumb in my mouth. and thats the way its 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 iv gone into the closet. everyone that knew about it thinks that I quit years ago. but I couldnt do it, i couldnt quit. I’m so glad that I found this board. its something that I think i need. I used to think I was pretty much alone. thanks for showing me that I’m not.

I am a 34 year old mother of four, my own mother sent me the article in the paper and I will be showing it to my husband when he gets home. I have been sucking my thumb all my life, three of my children also suck their thumbs and my mother-in-law reports that my husband sucked his thumb till the age of 9. I have tried to stop several times, the only time that came close was when I had false nails put on but as soon as they came off, well, what can I say...I feel that it has given me bucked teeth and I am concerned about my looks otherwise i would not worry at all. My husband knows of course, but i know he doesnt' like it.

I appreciate this website as I can't imagine ever discussing this with anyone else in any other way. I am a professional person, and often feel the conflict between this role and my thumbsucking. I think: if my clients could only see me now! wouldn't my adversaries laugh! I guess you could call it a guilt complex. Anyway, how hard should I be discouraging my children from sucking their thumb considering the pain it caused me in my childhood? This pain would inlcude having to hide it at summer camp, during hospital stays, with husbands for the first while anyway, and the worry about social stigma in general. Ann

I'll say it was good to see the habit get a web page. Let me just say I went right over to my moms house to show her the page and tell her, see I am not the only one that still sucks my thumb (boy I wish I had a camera to take a pic of her face when she read the survey). I also showed my kids the site and told them not worry what people think and "just be you" (I figure it has to work better than all the crap my parents did to me to get me to stop). Oh I am 28.

Thank you, Thank you, I just found this wed site. I too am a ats at age of 38, married with three children. My husband as far as I know is not aware of my TS. I need help, I find so much comfort in TS that I do it most of the day when the family is away. I don't get anything done, my life is my thumb. HOW SAD! I'm upset with myself- When I am TS its like a spirtual journey in calmness. I'm so happy that I'm not alone and greatful for this site. Lisa

I am so glad I found your site. I haven't had much time to look at the entire site but I will soon.

It is pretty ironic that if I smoked I would do more harm to those around me; however, smoking is an accepted adult habit. At least more accepted than thumb sucking. I mentioned how I pretty much quit my profession. I initially quit because of my marriage caused me to move; however, I have never returned because I sensed my old boss knew I did suck my thumb. I began thinking all dentist probably know. which they do you know. Even if your teeth are perfect your mouth shape is usually not normal. I find myself wanting to return but feel like I would be a hypocrite telling all those kids not to suck their thumbs. You want to know something else. Not only was I dental assistant but a pediatric dental assistant. I dealt with thumb suckers every day. I always felt sorry for them. Especially when their parents were angry because all the money they put into the retainer wasn't working. Haven't you found that thumb suckers will find anyway to suck their thumb?

What do some of you think is the hardest time in your life to be a thumbsucker?

Certainly not infancy or pre-school, that's when it's expected. But does a 80-year-old thumbsucker have an easier time than an 18-year-old? Or harder? Does it get easier once you're out of school? Once you have your own apartment? Your own Medicare account? Or does it get harder as you age? For me, the hardest time was when I was very young, say ages 7 - 14-ish, because that's the time I had to depend on other people to know what's best for me, and they invariably thought stopping was best. Once I could treat thumbsucking as my own decision, rather than an uncontrollable habit, it got easier. Ruth

An open letter to 16 year old James from Bill

Dear James...Your annonymus e-mail to me was quite touching. I know that it took courage to write to me. I know what you are going through at that age...because I went through the same mixed emotions: embarassed by my thumbsucking at that age...yet so comforted by the relaxation, comfort and peacefulness that my thumbsucking provided. Reluctant to have friends "stay over' on the outside chance I would oversleep and they would discover me asleep sucking my thumb. What would they think1 Would they "tell!" Would it change our friendship! Certainly all natural ANY age.

Perhaps something that might be most helpful to you at your age would be for you to go to the library and to re-read the story of "The Ugly Duckling." Even much older adult thumbsuckers might do well to re-acquaint themselves with this symbolic story. Symbolic in so many, many ways. It is my guess that everyone who reads "The Ugly Duckling" can relate to this "funny bird." Why? Because every single human being IS an "ugly duckling".

Some kids are fat. They believe themselves to be an "ugly duckling".Some kids are "nerds". They believe themselves to be an "ugly duckling". Some kids are clumsy, or lousy in class, or skinny, or have braces, or freckles, or a big nose, or, or, or, or.... Ask anyone you know well (especially adults) if they ever thought of themselves as an "ugly duckling". I'll bet you a Pepsi that -- to a one -- everyone of them thought (or STILL thinks) of themselves as an "ugly duckling". We always think that it is WE who are the only ugly ducklings in the world. Everyone else seems so "normal".

How very, VERY wrong! Each one of us is an ugly duckling in some way (as described above). You (and many others, perhaps) think of themselves as an ugly duckling simply because they enjoy the simple, very harmless pleasure of sucking their thumb. Don't buy into this! You (like every other ugly duckling in the world...and they are all around you) evolve into the most beautiful waterfowl on the lake! Take pride in your uniqueness. As kids with braces should take pride in overweight kids should take pride in kids who are clumsy in sports should take pride in themselves.

You see, each one of us is actualy a beautiful swan "disguised" as an ugly duckling! A famous saying says: "Show me a hero...and I'll write you a tragedy." Be careful whom you admire. It is the "perfec" person I worry about. As you get older, you will realize the supreme truth of this saying. You look at (and perhaps envy) folks who do NOT suck their thumbs. But, believe me, son, you have no one to feel inferior to. Hopefully, you, too, will grow to become comfortable with your thumbsucking (if that's what you choose to do). You will accept it -- without apology -- as something that is an integral part of you, your character, what makes you so special, so comfortable with yourself and, ultimately, so loveable o other people. You cannot loves others until you can love yourself.

Here is yet another story that may help you to understand yourself and your thumbsucking a bit more:

A young boy came to the Elder of the town and said: "You must help me, Elder! I feel so awful! I'm embarassed all the time because I'm 16 and I still suck my thumb! No one else my age sucks their thumb! Yet I can't stop it! I enjoy it too much! I feel so inferior, so foolish, so different from everyone else my age! How can I get rid of this problem?"

The Elder said, "Alright, son, come with me," and the Elder walked with him outside of town and led him to "The Problem Tree". As the two of them stood beside The Problem Tree, the Elder said to the boy, "OK, you can stop your thumsucking by simply hanging your thumbsucking habit on this tree...but, then, you must take someone else's "problem" to replace your thumbsucking habit."

The boy quickly hung up his embarassing thumbsucking habit on The Problem Tree and walked slowly around the huge tree, looking at all the other "problems" from which he might choose to replace his thumbsucking. The boy spent more than an hour looking at all the other "problems" hanging on the tree, all kinds of problems...hung there by thousands of other people, men and women, young and old, skinny and fat, sick and healthy, black and white...examining each of the "alternate" problems carefully, comparing, thinking, wondering.

When he had made a full revlution around that entire huge Problem Tree, he rejoined the Elder, lifted his thumbsucking "problem" back off the tree and said to the Elder: "You taught me a valuable lesson, Elder. My "problem" is as nothing when compared to the problems of other people have and compared to the problems i COULD have instead! I am satisifed with myself just as I am!"

Good night, son. Sleep the sleep of the truly contented. You are wonderful just as you are!


Have any of ya'll ever had somebody stare at your teeth and then ask you if you suck your thumb? I was in class the other day and this one girl was staring at me, and then she asked me if I sucked my thumb. She said her parents were dentists and she could tell. It was kind of awkward(high school...only family knows I suck my thumb). That happened another time at the park.

ANSWER (from Meg)

i personally think it is rude to ask someone if the suck there thumb. just like i think it rude to ask someone if they have ever had sex or if they have had an abortion or if they if they pee in the shower or how much money they make. to me all of these questions along with one about thumbsucking fall into the category of private issues. i think we could use a little more privacy in our society. it is none of anyone's business if i suck my thumb or bite my toenails or wet the bed. the girl may have been trying to start a conversation or interested in orthodontia, but she needs to learn better social skills and start conversations around issues that might not be so touchy. if she is interested in orthodontia she might want to reframe her question or talk to an orthodontist. i am interested in the economy but i would ask my neighbor if he makes more money now than he did 8 yrs ago and if so how much? its maybe more of a boundary issue than one of being rude but to me thumbsucking is a private matter or one between good friends not just an acquaintance trying to satisfy her curiosity.

Question from Susan:

This is probably a strange question, but here goes... I have been wanting to pierce my tongue for quite a while but I have been concerned that it will interfere with the pleasure that I get from sucking my thumb. I suck my thumb regularly (though not openly) and get much comfort and peace from it. I was wondering if you have received any information about this topic from other TSer's who frequent your site? Or if you know how I might go about getting an answer before I have to find out the hard way!


Hi Susan, I don't think it a strange question at all. I've heard that the only strange questions are the ones you don't ask. :) There had been a small discussion on this subject at the Forum about a year ago [see below this answer]. Apparently it does interfere with the pleasure sustained from your thumb, though the individual involved stated that she found another source of pleasure by sucking on the ornament instead, which allowed for more frequent indulgence, since it's more socially acceptable, and easily hidden. My own feelings? It's been my observation that, thumb sucking or not, most tongue piercings don't last very long, and probably for good reason (comfort, enjoyment of food, awkwardness in verbalization, too much attention focused by others, etc.)

As far as finding out the "hard way"...what is the worst, typical, case scenario, a small loss of money? At least that's what I assume. If that's true, try it. If you finally come to the conclusion that it wasn't worth it, at least you got that part of what you need over with, never needing to wonder about it again, yes? Hope I've helped. H


I am a 20 year old thumbsucker...i certainly thought i was alone in my habit..and i couldnt understand why i couldnt stop? I tried many times, and although i can sleep without sucking my thumb..i find that i go to sleep alot easier and am more relaxed when i suck my thumb. And when watching tv it was only natural for me to plop the old thumb is very relaxing. Well...i was trying to find a "cure" or quick fix and i came across a great solution hehe. Now this method isnt for everyone..but it worked for me.

I went and got my tongue pierced! And although it envolves temporary works. And the barbell in my tongue ring works good cause i can suck on it while i sleep. I still however get the urge to suck my thumb once in a while..but i cant really do it cause of the barbell. SO its like renforcement to remind me not to do it and a tongue ring is definetly considered more kool than thumbsucking..hehe. So there is my story....i have always sucked my thumb and my brother use to also..(he still might be hiding it?) It became taboo to suck my thumb as soon as i became 10 or so..i realized i needed to hide it and did so quite successfully.

So i suggest this method for anyone who is a thumbsucker and doesnt want to have to be embarrassed by any misshaps with getting caught with your thumb in your mouth. Thanks for letting me share..bye for now. ps I am so glad that you have your web site!!! Sincerely, Julie

After asking what to do about her covert discovery, a girlfriend of a male adult thumb sucker wrote for advice on how to proceed:

Yes, I approached my boyfriend.......... in a really acceptable way. And he actually confessed that he thumb sucks. He also confessed that he enjoyed thumb sucking during sex. I asked him why and he said that it just made him feel comfortable.

He asked me if I was bothered to know about his thumb sucking and I replied truthfully that it really didn't bother me that I actually thought it was cute......... Well since then he thumb sucks all the time :) and he actually does it frequently.

He confessed that he was afraid that I would not accept it......... He said that one night he was thumb sucking and fell asleep. The next morning he woke up and had his thumb in his mouth and that he wanted to die........ because he knew that I had seen him. He just didn't know what to do.......

So now he is relieved that everything is out in the open.

I want to thank you for taking out the time to listen to me...... And I really appreciate the fact that you gave me good advise.

Things are much better between us, He now hugs me while we are going to sleep doesn't cover his head with the blanket. I thank you once again. Jacqueline


Hi, Starting to get worried now. I'm due to start uni in September 2001, ok ok, so im starting kinda early with this worrying thing, but at least it gets it out the way!! My problems started the other day when my mum pointed out that some universities still go with the whole "shared room" thing. Now I can check if my uni goes along with this, but I've alredy applied. The thing is I dont wanna share my room. simple as that. More to the point I dont want someone waking up every morning and saying to me "you were sucking your thumb last night" in some really patronising tone, cos after a while its gonna really wind me up, but i cant say I dont wana share a room with this person cos they patronise me etc. for sucking my thumb. can I? My brother says there is no way i should take my Blankie or dummy, well especially dummy, to uni cos he thinks I'll be crucified...usually he's always there to protect me, but now,finally, I get to stand on my own two feet.

The question is, has anyone gone through uni, or something similar, still sucking their thumb/dummy and twiddling a comfort blanket. Cos I'd really like to know how you coped, how the majority dealt with it and whether you had to room with someone and how they reacted when they found out. See that's just it as soon as I start to relax, my thumb/dummy goes in for the whole world to see, most people couldn't care cos its usually only my family/friends who see it but what if there's a narrow minded weirdo at Uni who does have a problem with it. Please dont tell me I'm destined for Hermitdom, but I'd really appreciate some suggestions.


Name: Ruth

Subject: Re: Hiding it from your roomate at University

I understand your concern about roommates completely. Here in the United States, sharing a room in college is considered the standard way, not the old-fashioned way. And believe me, people find all sorts of ways to do secret, private things without their roommates knowing, sometimes while the roommates are right there in the room with them.

I shared a room with a girl for three years in college, and sucked my thumb probably every day we were living together. I didn't really make any special effort to hide my habit from her, but if she noticed, she never commented.

Here are some things that may help:

-- put your bed higher than eye level and sleep with your face to the wall. If they are allowed, sleep on a loft. If the beds are bunked, insist on the top.

-- Everyone brings something to college that reminds them of home: pictures, care packages, high school awards, whatever. Pass off your blanket or lovey as something like this. If you tell people that the lovey is a childhood something that you brought to decorate the room, they will believe you. If you tell them it's something that you have to stroke or risk losing your sanity, they will believe that, too.

-- if you are worried about slurping or stroking noises, sleep with a fan blowing or radio playing or something.

-- Find some time when your roommate is in class or somewhere when you can have the room to yourself and you can suck away or do whatever else it is that is private.

--If the room is occupied, there is always ALWAYS a reasonably private place on a college campus. If not your dorm room, an empty classroom, study carrel in the library, vacant lounge, even a restroom stall. When you really need to suck your thumb during the day, choose one of these places instead of your dorm room. And pack your blanket or lovey in your bookbag so you will have it on campus if you need it.

-- Hang out in these public-but-alone refuges if you know you are going to be doing something that triggers thumbsucking. For example, I liked to suck my thumb and twirl my hair when I read my schoolbooks. So I studied in private, or if I had to read in public, I made sure to busy my hands with a pen or hilighter. I also really wanted my thumb on particularly stressful days, so I stayed away from the dorm until I was completely unwound.

-- realize that there is a chance you will be caught, and prepare for it. if someone catches you, don't deny it or apologize for it or swear them to secrecy or try to rationalize it. Just say, matter-of-factly that they are correct, you WERE sucking your thumb. Kind of as if they had discovered that you were left handed or double jointed or something. If they look at you like you're crazy, just act natural, like they are the ones who are misinformed, but it's not really worth your time or effort to educate them about your little quirk.

-- Understand that you aren't the only one with a secret or the only one yearning for privacy. Even if your roomate is a good friend, give them some time alone in the room, respect their rules about going through their things, and by all means learn to deal with any kind of idiosyncracies they may have without poking fun or nagging. If you know something that might embarrass them, don't even let on that you know.

Chances are, your roomie is going to great pains to keep something a secret from you that is so trivial, so unimportant, that if you found out you would forget about it the next day. My roommate, who was very small, didn't want people to know that she still wore little girls underpants with little tiny flowers or cartoons on them. This is probably what thumbsucking is to them. Nothing for them to worry about unless you are worried about it.

I'm sure I'm not the only one on this site who has been through this, and others will probably have something to add. But this should get you started.

Email: Pam

Subject: Airline Employee witnesses adult thumb sucking

Hello The other day I was chatting with a girl from British Airways, the chat was online. Thirty two years old and a stewart for the airline, I asked her if she ever saw adults sucking their thumbs during the flights. She told me.. "OH Yes!! I have seen a lot of adults sucking their thumb during the flights, men, women and young people too. " She said that it was very common because people normally get nervous on planes. So this is it. Just want to tell you all about. Pam

I'd love to see these photos.[The ones of Andrea Corr, famous singer of the Corrs] I am a big fan of the Corrs and have been since they first came to England. The only trouble is, my big sister who is 19, ( i am 17) still sucks her thumb, and when we argue i used to make fun of her. Since she found out that Andy does too, she doesn't care anymore. Thinking that Andrea sucks her thumb is just really funny to me now, and i think it is great - just like a normal person. *Jen*

Hi Thanks for your site! I'm a dental hygienist and writer for RDH Magazine, a magazine for (you guessed it) dental hygienists. Anyway, I'm doing an article on thumbsucking, which I was going to focus on children and an update on how to help them quit, as well as the dental implications. After visiting your site, I think the focus will change! Wow--I had no idea so many adults are thumbsuckers. How sad that there is such shame and embarassment associated with this habit.

I wanted to know about the dental photographs you have posted to see if we could print a couple with the article?? Not sure where they came from, but they are absolutely classic. Let me know. (The thumb callous shots were great, too.)

Thank you for being a source of so much good info...I'll let you know when the article is pulished (it is simultaneously published on the web). Cathy Alty

Subject: MOM OF THUMBSUCKER! Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2000 01:46:32 -0600 Our son has been a thumb sucker since he was born. I have even heard tales of babies sucking their thumb in the womb. He is 24 now and still sucks his thumb. We tried many things when he was little to get him to quite but nothing worked so we just gave up. The funniest was, we tried putting jalapeno pepper juice on his thumb but he decided he liked it and started putting it on everything, pizza, burgers, eggs, what ever... Sincerely, Thumb sucker's Mom

Hi, First, I have to say thank you so much for your site. I'm twenty-four and have always had a thumb sucking habit. Had braces, still have a nice smile, but also still have the calluses. This is what bothers me now. I recently went to my family doctor about any remedies he could suggest. He just became increasingly arrogant before he recomended a topical cream I'm still using. So, I chose to try this out on my left thumb first. I have not sucked this finger for weeks but I notice no difference, my skin is still very hard. (to be expected after 24 yrs.) I have no intention of going back to that same doctor ever again. But I'm not sure what to do next. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you again for your site. M

My answer:

Hi M,

I'm the webmaster of the adult thumbsucking website.

I'm pleased that you've enjoyed our site. The more you peruse it, the more you'll learn and perhaps the better you'll be able to accept your habit (even the calluses!). As far as I know, it's the only place in the world where you'll find detailed information on this little known, though widely practiced, aspect of humanity. If you haven't done so, please fill out the survey. It's the foundation for the site and helps decisively in furthering of knowledge for us all.

As for your calluses. Is it possible to send a close-up photo of both of them? I won't use it at the site, unless you request me to, but it will help in both adding to my database on the subject and answering your question.

Without a photo, though, I'd need to know how extensive your calluses are. Cream has been used by many other ATS with varied results though my own feelings on this is that it's more preventative than curative. I've also heard of someone actually using a nail file, with success (!). Additionally, there are chemical remedies found, typically, in your neighborhood drug store, usually marketed to those who wish to eliminate calluses found on feet. I'm not sure of the success of this product but, considering that it's been available for decades, there must be a profitable level of some success I'd guess. I believe it uses a mild acid, though I'm not 100% certain.

There's also the possibility of changing your sucking style, unless you indulge through the night, since the calluses are there as a result of pressure to the thumb from your bottom (mandibular) teeth.

My own, biased, opinion on the subject is, why bother? Calluses are there to protect us. They enable our sucking to be more enjoyable. Most people, if they do notice it, accept any number of "explanations" and, even if they wouldn't, typically get over the real reason very quickly. I have a callus myself and, so far, no one has ever asked me about it. It could be that, being male, they may be less inclined to notice, I don't know. Still, perhaps you may find it worthwhile to consider the advantages also. And, believe it or not, I've had correspondence from some who actually consider calluses on a thumb due to thumb sucking endearing (believe it or not, and if you don't, I'd understand, but can prove it to you by providing the email address of at least one person who has that opinion and who gave me permission to spread her email to those interested in receiving it).

Ultimately, it all depends on your own opinion of such matters. I hope, for your sake, it doesn't depend on your perceptions of other people's opinions, for many reasons. But, I hope I've helped. And, to repeat myself, if you could send me focused close-ups I'd appreciate it. Meanwhile, tell me how it goes, please, especially if you find something that works.

Thanks for your question and don't hesitate to write me anytime you have another.