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.


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.


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.

Image result for pizza clip art


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.

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.


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:


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).



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.

Talk About A Runner’s High!

By: Ashley Thompson, PhD 

Although I am fairly certain that many of you are familiar with the phenomenon known as “Runner’s High” (i.e., strenuous exercise resulting in an extreme rush of endorphins), I would bet that “Exercised-Induced Orgasms” (EIOs) are unchartered territory. Well, if I am correct, today is your lucky day because you are about to receive a crash course in EIOs.

EIOs are defined as “the experience of an orgasm that occurs during physical exercise” and, until recently, were thought to be old wives tales or figments of people’s imaginations. However, within the last few years, two prominent researchers at the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University (Dr. Debbie Herbenick & Dr. Dennis Fortenberry) began to look into people’s experiences with sexual arousal and orgasm resulting from physical exercise.


After some extensive data collection here is what they found:

(1) Although women are more likely than men to experience EIOs, men also report experiencing arousal and orgasms while engaging in physical exercise. However, to date, the only published data has focused exclusively on women.

(2) Many activities can bring on experiences of EIOs including: climbing poles or ropes, weight lifting, running, stretching, yoga, aerobics, swimming, chin-ups, pull-ups, dance, etc. However, EIOs are most commonly a result of abdominal exercises (i.e., a coregasm).

(3) It appears as though EIOs are fairly uncommon and fairly infrequent. Although some data has been collected, researchers do not have exact estimate of how common EIOs are. However, in a sample of 5300 women who reported experiencing an EIO at some point in their lives, a sizable proportion (23%) indicated that they experienced EIOs on a regular basis.

Despite the advances in research assessing EIO, more work is needed. I should also mention that not all women indicated that EIOs were pleasant experiences. In fact, many women reported feeling embarrassed after experiencing an EIO. So, to all the women out there, do not hit the gym today with the goal of climaxing, it most likely will not happen. Furthermore, even if it did happen, you might not enjoy the experience. Think of it this way: some women are able to achieve orgasm through oral sex, others achieve orgasm through self-stimulation, and some do not achieve orgasm at all. This is likely the case for EIOs as well, all women are different and experience pleasure in different ways.

For more information check out Dr. Herbenick’s and Dr. Fortenberry’s study:

Herbenick, D., & Fortenberry, J. D. (2011). Exercise-induced orgasm and pleasure among women. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 26, 373-388.

iSex: The Use of Smartphones in the Bedroom

By: Ashley Thompson, PhD 

According to a study conducted in the summer of 2013 (surveying over 1,000 American adults), approximately 1 in 10 report having used their smartphones during sexual activity (Rodriguez, 2013). In addition, it should come as no surprise, that a larger proportion (1:5) of young adults  (18-34 years of age) report using their smartphone during sex. Although the stats may sound a bit frightening, it should not come as a huge shock considering the importance placed on smartphones (particularly by young adults) in the past decade or so. Smartphones have now been integrated into nearly every aspect of person’s life, in fact, people often report feeling “naked” without their smartphones in hand. So, why would we expect the use of smartphones in the bedroom to be any different?

Recently, it appears as though people have started taking notice of the popularity of cell phone use when in the sack, and are now creating apps to be used during sexual activity. In particular, a new app called Spreadsheets is designed to measure your sexual performance by monitoring your movements and your audio levels when “doing the deed.” According to the app’s website, it allows users to keep record of their average, peak, and aggregate performance. For example, it provides statistics on the average and longest duration of a single session, the number of days in a row, the highest decibel reached, the average and largest number of thrusts per minute, and more.

Although incredibly innovative, Spreadsheets is not the first erotic app created. In fact, there are apps such as “Sex Game” that allows users test their knowledge of everything erotic and “Vanity” that scans a user’s face to reveal just how attractive they are on a 1 to 10 scale.

With the rate technology is advancing and the rapid uptake of the population, there is no question that there is more to come. However, the question is, what will it be?

Rodriquez, S. (2013). Most adults always have smartphone close by, 1 in 10 use it during sex. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from: http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-smartphone-nearby-1-in-10-use-during-sex-20130711-story.html#axzz2nMzjzuKZ”>study

Is a Kiss Really Just a Kiss?

By: Ashley Thompson, PhD

“The most eloquent silence; that of two mouths meeting in a kiss.” – Anonymous

Although romantic kissing is often one of the first intimate behaviors performed in a relationship (commonly referred to as “first base”) and may seem to be a rather simplistic behavior, research suggests that kissing is of great importance when sizing up potential romantic partners and serves many functions. Kissing appears to serve as an important gauge when selecting a mate and can either enhance or diminish feelings of attraction to others. In fact, in a study conducted by Hughes and colleagues (2007), 59% of men and 66% of women reported that “they were no longer interested in someone after kissing them for the first time.”

These results suggest that kissing plays a huge role in mate selection for both men and women, however this is particularly true for women. This gender difference in consistent with other research suggesting that women report finding kissing more important than men (Wlodarski & Dubar, 2013). Interestingly, this study also found that men and women who rate themselves as highly attractive and with more casual/short-term relationships rated kissing as more important than those who rated themselves as less attractive and with less casual relationship experience.


So, now that we know kissing serves as an important meter stick when sizing up a potential mate, what can we do to be better kissers? What variables are important to others when kissing (especially for the first time)? In a study examining kissing preferences among young adults (Hughes et al., 2007),  (1) a person’s breath and (2) the taste of his or her mouth were important factors related to the quality of a kiss. The “wetness” of a kiss was also found to relate to the quality of a kiss, however differently for men and women. In particular, men reported liking “wetter” kisses to a greater extent than did women.

Although kissing cannot predict with 100% certainty how attractive someone finds you, it does play an important role when sizing up partners. So, next time you are preparing for a first date, be sure to bring a few breath mints!

Hughes, S. M., Harrison, M. A., & Gallup, G. G. (2007). Sex differences in romantic kissing among college students: Evolutionary perspective. Evolutionary Psychology, 5, 612-631.

Wlodarski, R., & Dunbar, R. I. M. (2013). Examining the possible functions of kissing in romantic relationships. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 42, 1415-1423.