Frotteurism: Symptoms and Treatment

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Have you ever been in a place where there was a large crowd of people and you noticed that someone was touching your genitals against you? Have you traveled by public transport and suddenly you have felt like a person too close to your body to rub? This type of behavior that, at first glance, seems so unusual, unfortunately, is not so. It is called rubbing or rubbing and often causes a very unpleasant feeling in the victims.

Finding pleasure by rubbing intimate parts with another person in a pathological way is a behavioral pattern typical of rubbers or rubbers. Of course, not all people who carry it out can be considered as such. Below we explain what are the main characteristics of this type of sexual paraphilia and what are the possible treatments.

“The froteuristas look for crowded places to go unnoticed”.

What is frotteurism?

When we talk about frotteurism we are referring to a paraphillic disorder according to the DSM – V. This type of disorders are characterized by the presence of fantasies, impulses or sexual behaviors by using an unusual object or situation to obtain pleasure.

Specifically, in frotteurism the unconventional would be the action, fantasy or unstoppable desire to rub or touch another person without his consent. However, in order to be considered pathological, a period of at least 6 months must be fulfilled. And, the individual must have one of these aspects:

  • Fulfill the unstoppable desires of touching or touching another person without his authorization.
  • Sexual fantasies are the cause of a malaise that is clinically significant.
  • Sexual desire causes a deterioration in work, social or other areas of functioning.

The idea of ​​maintaining that physical contact without the consent of the other person along with his reaction is what arouses the excitement of the writer. The areas of the body to which the frictions are directed are usually linked to sexuality, such as the breasts or genitals. In addition, the memory of that situation will be used later to masturbate.

There are those who carry out this type of behavior, but it is not irrepressible or causes significant discomfort. They do it in a timely manner and for other reasons. In addition, their greatest source of sexual arousal does not occur in this context.

It is important to mention that a touch or physical contact with the couple, or with some stranger involuntarily, does not imply the presence of this paraphilia disorder. Thus, to be considered pathological, it must be sought voluntarily and without the other person authorizing it or when the fantasies cause a clinically significant discomfort or a deterioration in the person’s daily life.

How are the rubbers?

The profile of a froteurist is usually a male who begins to show this type of behavior during his adolescence. In some cases, they tend to present features of shyness, frustration or feelings of inferiority. Other important features are the following:

  • Acting without the consent of the other person.
  • Intense and recurrent sexual arousal.
  • His behavior is not part of an erotic prelude.
  • High sexual desire for the touch of their genitals or for touching someone’s.
  • Action in situations of agglomeration to go unnoticed.
  • They do not usually consult a specialist.
  • The irrepressible desires or fantasies cause significant discomfort.
  • This type of behavior usually decreases after 25 years.


In most cases, the person with frouterism or any other type of paraphilic disorder does not seek help and when he does it is because he feels great guilt.

There are different forms of treatment. In cognitive therapy for example, the beliefs of the person are evaluated to modify them through cognitive restructuring. Hence, it is important to consider what meaning the person gives to that behavior and the circumstances that lead to it, in addition to analyzing their fantasies. From psychoanalysis, emphasis is placed on the position of the person before the law, their relationship with eroticism and their shyness, among other aspects.

Now, both the causes and the treatment are still under discussion. In fact, Scott Johnson and collaborators, in their study published in the Online American Journal of Psychiatry and Law, conducted a systematic review of the research in froteurism and found that it is scarce and that it is necessary to perform a rigorous exploration on this topic to find new answers.

To conclude, mention that awareness of the disorder is essential for their treatment. And although on many occasions go unnoticed, this does not mean that it does not cause problems. In fact, in some places, frotteurism is considered a crime.