Feverishly fingering that little crevice, I must have been a belly button fiend as a child. My mother used to tell me that if I played with my belly button too much, it would make me sick.
Testing the limits as a child does, it did, in actual fact, make me feel a bit queasy. There I was thinking it was yet another parental white lie, like telling me the ice cream van only plays its song when it is out of ice cream. Web of lies!
Turns out, it was sound advice because, that little cave of wonder that occasionally collects lint and some random crumbs, is home to some freaky shit.
1. Where do I come from?
Sometimes, when a mummy and daddy love each other very much, maybe in the back of an XR Falcon, they make a baby. All placental mammals that begin life as an embryo, will be nourished through their umbilical cord attached to the abdomen. After the birth of a baby, the cord is clamped and severed. The stump of the umbilical cord will naturally dry out and drop off in its own time, leaving the baby’s first scar – the belly button. How long does this take? Well, you’ll know when it’s ready because the stench of rotting flesh will have dissipated.
2. Navel Fetishism
There’s a fetish for every flavour, so of course alvinolagnia is a thing. Navel fetishists are sexually aroused by the thought, sight or stimuli of the belly button. The navel is a highly erogenous and sensitive zone. Stimulation with the finger or the tip of the tongue can result in erotic sensations, with many individuals being extremely ticklish down there. While navel fingering is relatively common, some prefer to indulge in navel torture, a series of pain-inflicting acts such as dripping hot oil or wax into the navel. Kinky.
3. Belly Button Bacterial Breeding Ground
An ongoing study into belly button microbial biodiversity has turned up some alarming results. Volunteers participated in the study by twirling a sterile swab in their belly buttons to collect their microbes. Once back at the lab, agar plates were smeared with everyone’s samples and left to grow for a few days.
Out of just 60 navels, over 2300 species of microbes were found, almost 1500 of these are new to science. On average that’s 67 different types in each person!
While some belly buttons appeared more than three times as diverse as others, such differences have the potential to influence human health and well-being. Belly button bacteria, staphylococcus epidermidis and bacillus subtilis, simply flow from the mouth like silk as I ponder, a navel fetishists desire to be tongue deep in someone’s abdomen. Gag.