Fuzzy, Foggy, Frottage: The Intent of the Grind

By: Carolyn Schmidt

It’s Friday night. Loads of co-eds head to the clubs – imbibing, socializing, flirting, grinding, with those they know and often times with complete strangers; everyone gathered for the sake of celebrating the weekend.

Grinding.

Who knew? That song you love, with the infectious beat (the one you can’t sit still for, no matter how many times you hear it) would soon evoke an “icky” feeling. You see, it was during this song that you experienced an incident with which another clubber erotically rubbed their genitalia against your back and behind. Creating an uncomfortable scenario for you, but a pleasurable one for them.

grinding

The scenario depicted above could likely be labelled as Frotteurism by many sexuality experts. Frotteurism is defined as the act of touching or rubbing one’s genitals against the body of a non-consenting, unfamiliar person for the sole benefit of arousal (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Although frotteurs can be both men or women, research indicates that most frotteurs identify as men (Clark, Jeglic, Calkins, & Tatar, 2016).

Frotteurism, also called frottage, is one of the least understood and studied types of paraphilia (Clark et al., 2016). However, some go so far as to suggest this unwanted rubbing is the unassertive and timid “act” of choice by rapists (Horley, 2001). What little research we do have suggests perpetrators of frotteurism assault others in situations that catch the victim off guard, and leave the offender with a clear cut opportunity for quick escape (such as on public transportation modes, in malls and elevators, and on dance floors). The victims are left feeling stunned, ashamed, and unable to say anything to anyone but friends. In fact, they frequently ask themselves “what did I just go through?”

Frotteurism is not a Friday night dance floor maneuver, but rather, a form of sexual assault and punishable by law (Horley, 2001). Frotteurism is rarely reported, leaving the unsuspecting, non-consenting victim to figure out “what do I do next?” It’s impact can leave victims with loads of distress including nightmares, feelings of violation, and even psychological issues requiring medical help (Clark, et al., 2016).

Unless victims speak up about this unacceptable behavior and have their assaulters arrested, then the perpetrators next move is pretty clear: leave the club and get a late night pizza. After all, the perpetrator already finished everything else he/she intended for that evening, right there on your hip.

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References:

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5®). Washington, American Psychological Association.

Clark, S. K., Jeglic, E. L., Calkins, C., & Tatar, J. R. (2016). More than a nuisance: the prevalence and consequences of frotteurism and exhibitionism. Sexual Abuse, 28, 3-19.

Horley, J. (2001). Frotteurism: A term in search of an underlying disorder?. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 7, 51-55.

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Beyond Vanilla: Benefits and Drawbacks of BDSM

By: Loren West 

If you have ever listened to Rihanna’s song S&M and thought to yourself “You know what Rhi Rhi? Chains and whips excite me too!,” then BDSM might just be the paraphilia you need to spice up your love life! Here is a little bit of information about BDSM and the benefits and drawbacks members of the BDSM community have identified.

BDSM

However, before diving into the benefits and drawbacks, it is important to first have an understanding of what BDSM is. BDSM stands for bondage-discipline (e.g., the act of using restraints), dominance-submission (e.g., the giving and taking of control), and sadomasochism (e.g., the giving or receiving of physical or psychological pain, which includes more mild forms like light whipping, flogging, or gagging to more extreme forms like electric shock) (Hébert & Weaver, 2015). Despite the methods used, it is important to note that those involved work hard to ensure that all activities are “safe, sane, and consensual”, the mantra of the BDSM community. (Lehmiller, 2014, p. 336-337).

Now that we know a little more about BDSM and and to help with your decision to try it for yourself, it may be useful to know the benefits and problems associated with BDSM. Lucky for us, Hébert and Weaver (2015) conducted a study on this topic by interviewing 21 adults who identified as members of the BDSM community (nine of which identified as dominant and 12 as submissive). Below is a summary of their results:

Benefits

The first benefit identified for both dominants and submissives is the opportunity to please their partner. Participants in the study reported that for both partners, pleasure and arousal was valued and important in their relationship. Benefit number two was that BDSM is fun! Participants stated that participating in sexual activity that was not “vanilla” was exciting and that there are so many ways that one can get involved. This exciting new activity promoted personal growth through the act of experimenting and receiving encouragement  from their partner and resulted in increased intimacy and commitment in their relationship. Finally, participants also said that they enjoyed gaining a new sense of confidence through their BDSM play (Hébert & Weaver, 2015).

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Drawbacks

Despite the plethora of advantages to engaging in BDSM, several challenges were also exposed. First, the stigma that goes with being a member of the BDSM community was seen as a major drawback.  Many members of the community report hiding their involvement in BDSM for fear of humiliation or retaliation. Furthermore, many reported that BDSM also took a toll on their relationships because it proved difficult to find someone with the same tastes. Finally, some submissives reported that it was hard to be vulnerable and give up their control to the dominant. (Hébert & Weaver, 2015).

Now that you have a basic understanding of BDSM and the potential positives and negatives associated with this type of play, you can introduce some new toys to your routine or create your own playroom that would make Christian Grey jealous! But remember, keep it safe, sane, and consensual!

For more information on BDSM see:

Hébert, A., & Weaver, A. (2015). Perks, problems, and the people who play: A qualitative exploration of dominant and submissive BDSM roles. Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 24, 49-62.

Lehmiller, Justin J. (2014). The psychology of human sexuality. UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.