NEW ZEALAND JOURNALIST LIFTS THE LID ON ‘TICKLE PORN’


Tickled Documentary

Tickling, to some, is a fairly innocuous activity. But to others it’s form of foreplay.

New Zealand-based entertainment reporter David Farrier says he was surfing the internet a couple of years ago when he encountered an advertisement looking for men aged between 18-24 to enter a “competitive endurance tickling contest” in Los Angeles.

If selected to participate in the filmed competition, contestants were to be given $1,500, flown to Los Angeles and given a lavish all-expenses-paid weekend trip.

Intrigued by the project, David contacted one of the companies involved in making the videos, first via email then via Facebook, sharing his interest in writing a news story about the contests.

However, according to the openly gay Farrier, he was told by the company: “We don’t want to deal with a homosexual journalist.”

Tickled Trailer Screencap

Considering the tickling to be a homoerotic male-on-male activity, David was only inspired to dig deeper.

The result of his endeavours is Tickled, a documentary that pulls back the veil on the subculture and reveals an underground network dedicated to the fetish that, David alleges, is full of secret identities and murky ethics.

During the making of the documentary and David’s attempts to find out who was behind the mysterious company, he and his co-director Dylan were deluged with emails and threats of legal action from a New York attorney and a local lawyer in New Zealand, both alleging defamation.

“They sent all sorts of abusive emails about my sexuality that got weirdly racist at times,” David (pictured, below) said.

“However, hearing from a lawyer was when it became a real thing.”

But Tickled has already done rather well, screening at Sundance earlier in the year to critical acclaim, being picked up by US cable network HBO and scoring a spot at the Sydney Film Festival in June.

David Farrier New Zealand Entertainment Reporter

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