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Pinkeye Epidemic Among Japanese Pre-teens Linked to "Eyeball Licking" Sex Trend

Update Date: Jun 13, 2013 03:51 PM EDT
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Pinkeye is spreading like wildfire among Japanese preteens because of a new "eyeball licking" fetish.

The disturbing new trend, known as oculolinctus, is meant to be an expression of intimacy between young lovers. However, the bizarre sex craze has led to an epidemic of eye infections among kids as young as 12 years old. What's more, doctors warn that the strange token of affection can even lead to blindness.

The practice, also known as "worming," was revealed by the Japanese website Naver Matome, which reported that people have been posting eyeball licking videos on Youtube since 2006.

According to Naver Matome, a Japanese middle school teacher identified only as "Mr. Y" said that he noticed a growing number of sixth grade students coming to school with styes, eye bumps typically caused by mild bacterial infections.

While his colleagues didn't think much of the styes, he said it became impossible to ignore after 10 kids in the same class showed up to school wearing eye patches.

It wasn't until he walked in on two students performing oculolinctus did he finally realize what was causing his pupils' eye problems.

"After class one day, I went into the equipment store in the gymnasium to tidy up. The door had been left open, and when I looked inside, a male pupil and a female pupil had their faces close together and were kind of fumbling around. Could it be bullying? I wondered, but when I had a good look, the boy was licking the girl's eye! Surprised, a shouted 'What are you doing? Stop it at once!' and the two of them were so shocked they jumped apart. The girl burst into tears, and the boy just went bright red and was shaken up," he wrote.

When Mr. Y asked the students why they were licking each other's eyes, they confessed that like kissing and holding holds, licking eyeballs has become a popular intimate expression among students.

Mr. Y later conducted a survey among his school's sixth grade students and found that "a surprising one third of the kids had done 'eyeball licking' or had had their eyeballs licked."

What's more, it appears that the Japanese trend has spread to other parts of the world.

Elektrika Energias, a 29-year-old environmental science student in the U.S. Virgin Islands, told The Huffington Post that she loves it when people lick her eyeballs.

"My boyfriend started licking my eyeballs years ago and I just loved it. I'm not with him anymore, but I still like to ask guys to lick my eyeballs," she told The Huffington Post. "I just love it because it turns me on, like sucking on my toes. It makes me feel all tingly."

However, eye experts warn that the new method of showing affection is dangerous and can cause pinkeye or conjunctivitis, swelling of the thin, filmy membrane that covers the inside of the eyelids and the white part of the eye. Furthermore, if the person licking the eyeball carries the herpes virus, it can be passed on as well.

Dr. Phillip Rizzuto, a spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, told the Huffington Post that eyeball licking can even cause blindness.

"The bacteria in the mouth is nothing like the bacteria in the eyeball, which is why we no longer recommend people lick contact lenses to moisten them," Rizzuto explained, according to the Huffington Post.

Dr. David Granet, a San Diego ophthalmologist, agrees and worries that the news of the bizarre trend will cause it to spread.

"Nothing good can come of this," Granet told the Huffington Post. "There are ridges on the tongue that can cause a corneal abrasion. And if a person hasn't washed out their mouth, they might put acid from citrus products or spices into the eye."

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