Is there anything that really compares to the first sunburn of the summer? It’s usually awkward; a perfect inverse portrait of you wearing sunglasses or the bathing suit tan line that makes you realize how eenie weenie that bikini really was. The burn turns a vibrant red color and has its own heartbeat come nighttime. Then, the next day, you kind of look okay. The angry red has subsided, and your skin has a bit of a glow to it. Fast forward to the day after and you realize you’re peeling. Snowflakes made of you slough off and onto your clothes.
You’re immune to sunburn, you say? Well, you’re rather lucky in terms of the gene pool, but you are rather unlucky in another department: the weirdly pleasurable activity department. Let’s explore this strange utopia, shall we?
1. Peeling dead skin/Popping pimples
I’ve been told that both of these activities are not good to do and both are sort of gross. However, there is something endlessly satisfying about peeling a sheath of dead skin or popping a particularly stubborn pimple. I think lancing blisters also falls under this category, but that might just be me.
The Reason: People like to feel a sense of accomplishment. Before computers, I think popping a zit was the closest we could get to “instant gratification.”
2. Snapping Bubble Wrap
Way less repulsive than the first activity, everyone can experience some pleasure or relieve some stress by popping bubble wrap. But did you know “Bubble Wrap” is a brand name? It’s just like Xerox, Band-Aid, or Post-It! Weirdly enough, I feel especially satisfied when a bubble burst is particularly loud. Feel the urge to pop some bubble wrap right now? Do it here, virtually.
The Reason: Maybe bubble wrap is a metaphor; we let the air out to let our frustration out. Or, it’s just really, really fun.
3. Crunching Fall Leaves
Ah, the crisp fall air and the even crisper fallen leaves! When the trees drop their leaves in Autumn, I get a little sad to see the bare branches. But when I look down and see the dried, crackly leaves, I feel like a little kid again. It is very pleasurable to step on an especially brittle specimen. Like this one:
OOOOH, YES. SO CRUNCHY! (And a truly beautiful photo.)
The Reason: I have no idea. Crunchy leaves are a mystery all on their own.
4. Wiggling a Lose Tooth
Loose teeth are one of those weird pleasure pain moments. It hurts so good, sort of thing. The more you wiggle it, the more you sort of feel weird and good for doing it, which also describes about 95% of the moves I see on a dance floor in a club.
The Reason: I’m just guessing here, but maybe it has something to do with the fact that your body wants to get rid of the tooth, so it has to make it sort of interesting and desirable for you. I don’t know. Ask the tooth fairy? Or Tom Hank’s character in Castaway.
5. Smelling Books
I thought this was only me, but it turns out that many book lovers enjoy smelling their books. Don’t believe me? Check out this book perfume. It’s a bit pricey and a bit too strange, even for me, but for some book lover out there or lover of said book lover, this is paradise.
The Reason: It’s often said that there is some kind of chemical in paper that degrades and makes a book smell good. But the truth is, it has more to do with environmental factors and how the book is handled. Unfortunately, some books don’t smell all that comforting. They smell foul. So, be a cautious sniffer!
Need more weirdly pleasurable activities? Check out this Cracked article, and post your favorites in the comments!