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Puberty is a rough age. With your hormones insisting that you’re ready to start making some babies right now, yet your mind, parents, and teachers saying you’re really not, courtship can be difficult. In particular, figuring out an appropriate way to clearly show affection, while still respecting proper boundaries, can be a real quandary. Learning to find the proper middle ground, though, is an important part of growing up.

Or you could just do the like the kids at one Japanese elementary school who said the heck with it and went to town licking each other’s eyeballs.

A Japanese website recently posted a story about an elementary school teacher who noticed an alarmingly large number of pupils sporting eyepatches. Determined to find the source of the sudden outbreak of eye ailments, the instructor started asking around, and found that a third of the 12-year-old students questioned admitted to having licked a classmate’s eyeballs.

Overseas media outlets picked up on the story, and it’s now sending shockwaves around the globe. The U.K.’s Daily Mail put out an alarmist headline proclaiming that the trend of couples licking each other’s eyes is spreading across Japan, leading to skyrocketing rates of eye infection.

As enamored as the whole English RocketNews24 team is of Japan, this is one time where we’d like to take refuge in our expat status. Except, how these kids got their freak on freaked out our Japanese coworkers just as much as it did us. And it turns out this unusual method of showing affection isn’t even unique to Japan, as an investigation by America’s Huffington Post turned up eyeball licking aficionados in the U.S. as well.

The news provider spoke to one young woman in her 20s about how she developed her unusual ocular penchant. “There’s just something I like about it. I had a boyfriend a long time ago who used to lick my eyeballs, and it just drove me wild.” she said. “We ended up breaking up, but I have the guy I’m with now lick my eyeballs too.” So no, there really isn’t any limit as to how far a guy will go if he thinks it improves his chances of getting a girl in the sack.

▼ Wait, does it make it better or worse if your date is referring to their eyes when they say “Lick my balls?”

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One thing every report includes is the common sense warning that eyeball licking is dangerous. Doctors say that if the licker is a carrier of oral herpes, the disease could be transmitted to his or her partner’s eye. There is also the risk of contracting pinkeye, and in extreme cases loss of vision may occur. Of course, if you find yourself licking eyeballs with someone, odds are you didn’t have a great deal of vision in your life to begin with, but that only makes preserving what little you have all the more important.

▼ Eyeball licker or F18 fighter pilot: you can only pick one as your goal in life

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Thankfully, Internet commentators have restored our faith in humanity by displaying the appropriate reaction: appalled horror.

”This…is just nasty!”

“Why why why are people doing this? All it’s gonna do is mess up your eyes!”

“So are they going to start selling eye condoms now?”

Sadder however was the reaction, “I like Japanese culture, but this is too much!” We’d like to stress that eyeball licking is about as close to “Japanese culture” as Rocky Mountain Oyster eating contests are to the typical American way of life. Sure, neither one is something a person can do all by themselves, but they’re both considered grossly inappropriate contact with disgusting orbs by the vast majority of the countries’ citizens.

In the meantime, remember kids, it takes two to eye lick! So if your new steady makes a move on you and you feel uncomfortable, don’t forget that as he closes in, his jaw should be properly positioned for a nice uppercut.

▼ We’re not sure which base the eyeball is, but in any case, you’re not getting there today, pal

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Sources: Mail Online, The Huffington Post, YouTube
Top image: Tofufu
Insert images: 99 Main, Very Cool Photos, Crunchyroll
[ Read in Japanese ]