David Farrier and Dylan Reeve’s 2016 documentary Tickled is a fascinating look into both the queasy underworld of “competitive endurance tickling” and the millionaire, David D’Amato, who was prolific in financing tickling fetish videos and intimidating anyone who sought to extricate themselves from his operation. This week, Farrier, who also hosts Netflix’s Dark Tourist, released a pair of essays that unpack some information he gleaned following the release of the 2016 film. While he says it wasn’t enough to justify a proper sequel, the information is still worth sharing, as it indicates that D’Amato’s tickling empire extended deep into the United States Armed Forces.
Farrier spoke to several U.S. Marines who participated in tickling fetish videos in Washington D.C. from 2009 to 2010, all of which were organized by people using the same aliases D’Amato was known to use—Terri DiSisto and Jane O’Brien—as well as a third, Terese DeTingo. The money, they say, was abundant, so a number of soldiers were interested in being involved. “We ended up getting a bunch of guys in my platoon and across the barracks in DC who ended up doing this,” says one of his sources. “Eight guys in my platoon, a couple of guys in other platoons, and Bravo company.”
And, just like D’Amato, they made hell for any soldiers who refused to continue making videos. In this case, that meant sharing the videos publicly and alerting their superiors, resulting in internal investigations and demotions.
“It’s an angle that we never got to put in the film because we found out about it quite late in the process,” Farrier told Newsweek in an interview. “Any solid leads we got on tickling happening in the barracks all came to us after the film was released.”
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