Search icon


16th Mar 2023

Men who blow on hot food or carry an umbrella ‘give me the ick’

Jack Peat

Madyson O’Connor says blokes who struggle to use their card on the tube is also a big turn off

A woman has shared her bizarre ‘icks’ – including men tying shoe laces, blowing on hot food, carrying an umbrella and buying toilet roll.

Icks are things everyone does, but can be massively and irrationally off-putting in a romantic interest.

Madyson O’Connor, 25, admits to having an unusual list of turn offs – and even gives herself the ick sometimes.

Thankfully her long term partner Jack, 27, hasn’t icked her out to the point of no-return – yet.


Her icks also include running for the bus, having trouble using your card on the tube, and losing your balance on public transport.

The account executive from Battersea, London, said: “I feel like icks are normal things that are embarrassing.

“It is something that is super cringey, and something that shouldn’t happen but happens all the time.”

“I don’t think anyone is immune to being icks to themselves – it does happen to me sometimes as well and I’m absolutely mortified when it does.”

Madyson’s first ick is tying shoe laces.

She said: “Personally, tying my shoes in public is embarrassing.

“Seeing someone have to stop or bend over to put a foot on a ledge – it’s not really sexy.”

Her next ick is umbrellas – more specifically bright coloured ones.

She said: “I just think if you’re an adult, you should have a black umbrella.

“Bright umbrellas are cute until you’re about 12.

“I’ve never been with someone who has a bright coloured umbrella.”


Madyson’s third ick is when someone’s card doesn’t work on the tube.

She said: “When you have someone who waits for the gate to close before they tap it, it shows that you’re not prepared for life.

“It happens every day, but it’s when they just keep trying and and they don’t move out the way to sort it.”

People running for the bus or tube also gives Madyson the ick.

She said: “I can appreciate someone committing to running to get the bus, but if you commit and miss it- ick.

“Especially because the buses and tube come every two minutes you don’t have to be weird about it.”

Blowing on hot food more than once also makes Madyson squirm.

“Picturing a guy blowing on soup on his more than once is just ew,” she said.

Also on Madyson’s ick-list is losing your balance on a train so you wobble and nearly fall and buying toilet paper.

She said: “When the train stops and you almost fall over and everyone sees what’s happened.

“You have to pretend nothing has happened and suffer in silence.

“It’s even worse when you’re on a packed tube and have to grab hold of somebody.

“Another ick is when you’re buying toilet paper and you have to walk back with a huge 16-pack of toilet paper.”

Pronouncing foreign words with the correct accent while speaking English, is another ick for Madyson.

“I went to an English speaking international school, and when someone over-pronunciates cacio e pepe or carbonara in Italian when we’re speaking English it’s another ick.

“Icks can be super light hearted – they can make fun of other people and yourself.

“It’s not mean spirited.

“As much as I hate seeing someone blowing on their hot food – I’m not actually going to never speak to them again – it’s just icky.”

Related links: