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Frottage

Updated: SEPTEMBER 11, 2022
Reviewed by Kinkly Staff
on September 10, 2022

Frottage refers to non-penetrative sex acts that involve rubbing any parts of the body together, such as the buttocks, breasts, abdomen, thighs and genitals. Frottage can also be a form of masturbation that involves rubbing up against an object such as a pillow or piece of furniture. The term is derived from the French verb "frotter," which means to rub.

Frottage may be performed as foreplay or as a way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Frottage when unclothed, however, can result in the exchange of fluids, which can lead to pregnancy or the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Frottage may also be used by those who are looking to enjoy sexual contact while preserving their virginity, although exactly what "virginity" means is shaped by cultural, religious and personal beliefs. While frottage is often viewed as something people leave behind in their teenage years, it can be very pleasurable and lead to orgasm.

When clothed couples engage in frottage, it is often referred to as dry humping. Frottage is also related to the term frotting, a slang version of the term used specifically to refer to the act when practiced by two people with penises.

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More About Frottage

Frottage is a very accessible sexual activity. If you plan to enjoy it clothed, you can experiment with the type of clothing you and your partner(s) wear. While a rougher, heavier fabric like denim can provide pleasurable friction, a thinner, more sensitive material can provide more sensation and slide between bodies. If you're going to try frottage unclothed, lube can help provide glide and prevent painful friction, especially when sensitive genital skin is involved.

When practicing frottage unclothed, consider the risks of sexually transmitted infections. Some STIs, like herpes and HPV, can be spread by skin-to-skin contact.

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