Blanket tag masturbation

I have a 4 year old nephew, who, since age 2 has had a favorite blanket. It has a large tag sticking out of the end of it with laundry instructions on it. The first time I saw him do this I was stunned, but his Mother and Grandparents, who he lives with, find it the funniest thing ever.

I will attempt to describe it here. At 2 years old, he would stick the tag up into one nostril, and lightly tickle himself with it, as he moved it around in his nostril, he would "zone out" and get really glassy eyed, and would even have nystagmus, begin to shake and sometimes his eyes would roll upward slightly. He would not respond to verbal or tactile stimuli, almost as if having a seizure. He has continued to do this and is now 4 years old, but now, he sticks the tag in his eye, ear and Lord only knows where else. His body shakes a little during all this as well. I know this SOUNDS like a seizure, but the only time it occurs is then he is doing that with the blanket tag.

The adults think it is the cutest thing ever, and laugh, his Mother will even say to him if she sees him get the blanket out of the bedroom, "are you gonna get you some tag?" I wonder if this is a common thing, and should they be encouraging this? Is it a form of masturbation?

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Sep 23, 2010
re; blanket tag masturbation
by: Jill Willard

Ms. Ramirez,
I suspected it was some form of masturbation as well. Just a little background. Mother lives with her parents in a tiny home, and she has another son that is 12 years old, who lives there as well. The boys have absolutely no privacy. This concerns me, especially with the 12 year old. The room has all of their belongings in it and is extremely crowded. The Mother was raised as second generation welfare, both her parents are on disability, and anything else they can sign up for that is "free". They ALL smoke, continuously around the 2 boys and their day includes sitting at the table all day eating junk and watching t.v. The Mom has no gumption to do any type of work or get a job. She was married for 1 year to a hard working guy with a great work ethic, he works every day. They could not reconcile the idea that she was going to all the food pantry's and thrift shops and getting every free thing she could, and she signed up for food stamps behind his back, (430.00) per month at the encouragement of her mom to do so and be sneaky at it. He found out, they divorced. The 12 year old is from a fling she had years ago, his Father has very little contact. The 12 year old lies continuously, is very sneaky. He cannot sit still for 3 seconds and eats continuously after school, right up til bedtime, and I mean pure junk, anything he wants all night long. He is yelled at almost constantly to get away from the table, the Grandfather tells him all the time that he "plays with himself" in front of company and anyone who happens to be there, and also tells him he is "girlie" and that he is getting him a "pink tutu and some leotards". (makes me physically ill to witness this, but if ANYTHING is said, then we are no longer welcome there). I checked the 12 year old's blood glucose one night and it was 160, told his Mom to make him an appointment at the Doctor, she never did. Both Grandparents are diabetic and eat everything and anything, don't check their sugar, etc. The 4 year old talks non stop the entire time you are there, and if he feels you are not listening he gets in your face and holds your chin so you will look at him while he talks for 2 solid hours. He picks his nose and they all giggle while he taunts everyone while dramatizing who he is going to choose, to wipe it on. Mom says to him" what is it baby, do you got a boogie-woogie?" and it is a smash hit in the household. If the 4 year old wants to talk to you, he says your name 500 times, each time louder and louder, to the point of screaming at you, until you look at him, even if you are in midconversation with someone else. I am so concerned, but if you try to talk to any of them, it falls on deaf ears. Also, the 4 year old has a speech problem and cannot enunciate his R's or his F's. When he begins to speak, which is fairly rapid when he does, he might begin with the word "and", and he will say the word "and" 15 times before he begins his story

Sep 22, 2010
Child Sticks a Tag in His Nose
by: Laura Ramirez

You are right to be concerned that this child sticks a tag in his nose and seems to get some weird sensory satisfaction from it. I find it odd that the adults in his life seem to think it is okay for the child to stick something in a body cavity and get gratification from it while other people (who are adults!) are not only looking on, but encouraging the behavior.

Although you gave me a lot of information about this particular behavior, you didn't tell me much about the child in general. I say this because the behavior almost seems like an autism, like the kind of repetitive stimulation that you might see in a child with Aspergers Syndrome for instance. I am by no means giving a diagnosis here, nor am I qualified to do so.

Still, I would say yes: it seems to be a form of masturbation because it is a repetitive behavior that appears to create a physical release. Beyond the fact that the nostrils are not designed to be stimulated in this way, I find it weird and ultimately, unhealthy.

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