Many people have an extreme distaste for certain textures. For example, the feeling and even just the thought of fingernails rubbing on some kinds of cloth makes my skin crawl. After talking to coworkers, some other examples from around the office include:

  • Putting a hand into a container filled with cotton balls
  • Bare, dry feet on wood or linoleum

Is there a term for this?

  • I think this might be an example: Chalkboard scraping: scraping a chalkboard (also known as a blackboard) with the fingernails produces a sound which most people find extremely irritating. The basis of this innate reaction has been studied in the field of psychoacoustic.
    – user66974
    Feb 3, 2015 at 20:34
  • I think that you can define then as ' irritating psychosensory experiences'.
    – user66974
    Feb 3, 2015 at 20:39
  • Chalkboard scraping may be a good example, though what I have in mind is specifically tactile, not sound-based. So it depends on why one has an aversion to nails on chalkboard - the sound's never bugged me personally but the idea of rubbing my fingernails on chalkboard sounds terrible. Feb 3, 2015 at 20:40

3 Answers 3


Aversion: a strong dislike or disinclination; someone or something that arouses strong feelings of dislike.

In this case, it's tactile (of or connected with the sense of touch) aversion, or auditory aversion.

  • Aversion came to mind but I was hoping there would be something more specific. Feb 3, 2015 at 20:38

Tactile defensiveness, or tactile sensitivity, is the term used to define a condition whereby an individual suffers discomfort, including physical and emotional pain, from contact with certain textures. This can include food aversions.

  • Yep, "tactile defensiveness" falls under the general classification of "sensory processing disorder". I don't think there's a sesquipedalian word for it, though.
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 4, 2015 at 1:51

I don't think there's a word, but we need one. I watch Andrew Zimmern's TV show Bizarre Foods, and he often mentions textural aversions to foods that are gelatinous, rubbery, gooey, .... Some such aversions he shares, but mostly he likes everything. "It's a textural thing," he'll say, looking with dismay at the remaining portion of something odd he's just eaten.

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