Updated: MAY 23, 2024

Hamstering is a sex act where a penis owner positions themselves on the sunroof of a car so that the partner inside the car can fellate them (AKA give them head) through the open roof. Hamstering is sometimes called doing the thirsty hamster or simply thirsty hamstering.

While both sex acts have rodent-inspired names, hamstering should not be confused with gerbiling. Gerbiling involves placing small animals, such as gerbils and hamsters, into the rectum for sexual pleasure. Hamstering does not involve any live animals.

Hamstering is also different from hamster sex. Hamster sex is a slang term for attempted sex between people with high body mass indexes.

Origins of the Term

The term hamstering originated because the giving partner looks a little like a drinking hamster. The penis of the receiving partner looks like a water spout hanging down into a hamster cage.   

Why People Are Into Hamstering

People can be into hamstering for many reasons. They may be sexually adventurous and looking for a way to spice up their sex life or even a car drive. Some people may feel a sense of achievement after performing sex acts that are outside the norm.

As hamstering must occur outside, it may appeal to exhibitionists attracted to the danger of getting caught.

“For those who get turned on by public sex, it offers the best of both worlds: you get the thrill of not only being in a public place, but being in a position where you could actually be seen,” said Suzannah Weiss, resident sexologist for the pleasure product brand Biird. “And you also have a way to prevent people from seeing what is actually happening — so it scratches some people’s itch for risky encounters while having limited risk in reality.”

While many sex acts emphasize closeness, hamstering can be an appealing way to get some distance from a partner, Weiss explained.

“This sex act essentially separates the two people, since one is underneath the roof of the car and the other is above it. This can feel kinky, almost like you are having anonymous sex. It can also allow each person to focus internally without worrying too much about their partner or getting self-conscious.”

How common is hamstering?

As hamstering is such a new trend, it’s unclear how common this sex act is. While some hamstering videos have gone viral and clocked up more than two million views, it’s unclear whether people are using them to inspire their own sex acts or they’re simply curious about the trend. There’s also no way to confirm whether the people who claim to have hamstering experience are telling the truth or simply making on-trend content they hope will garner reactions and likes.

When asked whether she believes people are actually hamstering or jumping on board an online trend that’s got people talking, independent erotic filmmaker Erika Lust commented “You’d be surprised by how creative people can get if they put their mind to it! But jokes aside, everyone’s relationship to sexuality is unique, the same as the things we might want to explore with our partners. Human sexuality is as diverse as there are people in the world, so whether it is a social media trend or reality, people will keep on finding ways to explore the different facets of their sexuality – kink and BDSM parties have been doing it for the longest time!”

“I don’t think it’s very common just because of the logistics,” Weiss added. “First of all, not that many people have cars with sunroofs. Secondly, a lot of people get self-conscious about having sex in a public place, especially if their upper body is visible. While sexy in theory, this may make some people feel awkward, self-conscious, and afraid of getting caught.”

How did the hamstering trend start?

Hamstering entered the mainstream through discussions on X, formerly Twitter, in February 2024. Within weeks people on TikTok were creating videos focused on hamstering. Some TikTokkers said they were curious about the act’s logistics while others said they were already doing it. Content creators claiming to be experienced with hamstering offered tips for performing the sex act or created pre-act clips teasing that they’d show their partners what to do once the cameras stopped rolling.

How to Hamster

The giving person gets inside a vehicle. Then the receiving partner gets on top of the car and positions themselves so their penis hangs down through the sunroof, towards the giving partner’s mouth. The receiving partner may sit on the edge of the sunroof, with their feet dangling down, or lie face down on top of the car. The giving partner may need to perch themselves on something to reach their partner’s penis with their mouth. Once both people are in position, the giving partner can perform oral sex on the receiving partner.

A variation on this position involves the receiving person standing on a car seat and sticking their head out of the sunroof. From this position, the giving person can kneel in front of their partner to perform oral sex.  

Is hamstering safe?

Hamstering is relatively safe in most circumstances. The receiving person may need to contort their body into an unusual position to fellate their partner. They may develop cramps or neck strain, but regular breaks can ease any discomfort. Receiving partners should take care on the roof of the vehicle, as they could hurt themselves if they fall.

Parking on flat ground will help the receiving partner find a stable position. It’s smart to put the vehicle in the park position and apply the handbrake, as falls are more likely if the car rolls. Couples should also park in a relatively private location, as hamstering may violate local laws about indecent exposure and public sex.

“Depending where you live, you could be arrested for engaging in a sexual act in public, especially in a setting where you’re around children,” Weiss explained. “It’s safer to do in a setting like your own driveway where you won’t get caught. If you are going to be someplace where others might see you, avoid making it clear what you’re doing.”

As hamstering is an oral sex act, there is also a risk of transmitting STIs. Using dental dams can reduce the chances of passing on or contracting an STI during hamstering.

For first-timers, Lust suggested “As with any other position - find out if it works for you or not, and if it’s something that you actually want to do. Maybe you like the dynamic of the position but not in that context, so you can find another way to replicate that dynamic somewhere else than your car, etc. Check in with your sexual partner to see if that’s something they also feel enthusiastic about, and if you actually want to try it out, go slowly and see how it feels! Does it feel comfortable? Does it excite you? If not, as with many other things in life, it’s something you’ve tried! and if it does work for you, then you have another hot trick under your sleeve.”

Synonyms: Doing the thirsty hamster, thirsty hamstering


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