Frottage is a form of non-penetrative sex where sexual stimulation is achieved by rubbing oneself against another person or an object. It is also sometimes known as outercourse, petting, heavy petting, or grinding. When this act is performed with clothes on, it can be referred to as dry humping or dry sex.
In some cases, frottage is considered as a reference specifically to the rubbing of one penis against another, but it is not exclusive to this act. People of any gender, sexual orientation, or genital configurations can derive pleasure from frottage, with or without a penis.
It can concern the rubbing of any erogenous zone, with or without clothes on, for the purpose of eliciting erotic pleasure from erogenous zones. It can be performed with a partner or alone and it may or may not result in orgasm.
For people with penises, it can be very pleasurable for them to rub and grind their penis into different surfaces, objects, or body parts of a consenting partner. For people with vulvas, clitoral stimulation is often necessary to achieve orgasm. Frottage can therefore be a highly effective way for them to experience pleasure and reach orgasm as well.
Ways to Practice Frottage
There are many ways to engage in frottage with or without a partner:
Frottage with a Partner
Frottage can be part of a warm up with the intent to initiate sexual arousal or it can be a response to satisfy arousal that has already been stoked. It can be what starts the sexual activity, become the main event, or serve as a finishing act.
Frotting can be performed in most common partner sex positions, naked or clothed. Lube can be used to reduce the friction of skin rubbing on skin. Sex toys can be incorporated to enhance or alter the sensations for the people involved. For example, a vibrator can be placed between both bodies to provide a different form of stimulation at the point of contact.
When frottage is performed with clothes on, it is also known as dry humping or heavy petting. The implication is that bodily fluids tend not to be involved in this activity because the clothing acts as a barrier. Because of this, it is often considered a safer sex practice and also a means of preventing pregnancy.
Different materials will result in different levels of friction. For example, denim jeans will provide more friction than light cotton or silk. This will result in different sensations one might experience during the act.
Frottage as Masturbation
Frottage can also be performed alone as part of a masturbation practice. Because it is so accessible, it is not uncommon for this technique to be one’s introduction to masturbation.
Pillows, stuffed animals, the edges of furniture or a mattress, or specially designed sex pillows are common and easily accessed frotting objects. There are also sex toys available which are designed specifically with humping or grinding in mind. Some of these toys may vibrate while others remain inert.