Frotting

Frotting

Reviewed by Dr. Laura McGuire
on February 2, 2021

Frotting is the practice of rubbing penises (and sometimes testicles) against another person’s body for sexual pleasure. The term frotting comes from the French word frotter, meaning “to rub.” It is also a slang version of the term frottage, which encompasses all non-penetrative sex or outercourse. It is often simply called frot.

The term is most commonly used in the LGBTQIA+ community to describe rubbing penises together consensually. Gay male activist Bill Weintraub credits himself with coining the term frotting in the late 1990s. He suggested frotting instead of anal sex, which he believed was a deviant activity. Along with other activists, he believed practicing anal sex would decline in the gay community with the growing threat of HIV and AIDS. He also believed frotting was the “true” gay sex, as it involved genital-to-genital contact.

This form of frotting usually occurs between seated or standing partners facing one another. They move close together, so the undersides of their erect penises run parallel to one another. In this position, one person usually masturbates the penises together. Alternatively, a couple may lie down in opposite directions, so their penises meet in the middle but face different directions. One person can then reach down and stroke the penises together.

The term frotting can also describe non-consensually rubbing the male genitals against an unsuspecting person’s body or an inanimate object. The person interested in non-consensual frotting usually rubs themselves against a stranger’s body, but they may also practice frotting against someone they know. Non-consensual frotting usually occurs in a crowded public place, such as on public transport or at a music festival, where many people gather.

Frotting can be seen as similar to tribbing, where couples rub their vulvas together. There are several slang terms for frotting, including sword-fighting, the Ivy League rub, the Princeton rub, and doing it Oxford style. The term frictation may refer to frottage as a whole, but can also refer to penis-to-penis sexual contact. A fetish for frotting is called frotteurism.

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