A sign outside of a bicycle parking lot in Chiba, Japan, warns "Beware of Chikan."

Frotteurism refers to a paraphilic interest in rubbing, usually one's pelvis or erect penis, against a non-consenting person for sexual gratification. It may involve touching any part of the body including the genital area. A person who practices frotteurism is known as a frotteur. The majority of frotteurs are male and the majority of victims are female,[1] although female on male, female on female, and male on male frotteurs exist. Adult on child frotteurism can be an early stage in child sexual abuse.[2] This activity is often done in circumstances where the victim cannot easily respond, in a public place such as a crowded train or concert.

Usually, such nonconsensual sexual contact is viewed as a criminal offense: a form of sexual assault albeit often classified as a misdemeanor with minor legal penalties. Conviction may result in a sentence or psychiatric treatment.[3]



The term frotteurism derives from the French verb frotter meaning "to rub". The term frotteur is the French noun literally meaning "rubber" or "one who rubs."

The psychiatric handbook, the DSM (see below), used to call this sexual disorder by the name frottage until the second edition (DSM II). However, this term is no longer used in the United States to refer to the sexual disorder, which is now called frotteurism, as it is in the current fourth edition (DSM IV). Nevertheless, the term frottage still remains in some law codes where it is synonymous with the term frotteurism. "Frottage" is now used for consensual rubbing (a.k.a., "dry humping") as part of normal sexual activity.


The professional handbook of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, text revision (DSM IV-TR), lists the following diagnostic criteria for frotteurism.

  • Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense, or arousing sexual urges or fantasies, that involve touching and rubbing against a nonconsenting person.
  • The person has acted on these sexual urges or fantasies, or they cause the person significant distress, to a degree they are disruptive to everyday functioning.[4]

DSM IV classification

According to DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, IV edition), where all psychiatric illnesses are represented as numerals to avoid confusion, frotteurism is classified as 302.89.

See also


  1. ^ UCSB's SexInfo
  2. ^ Protecting our kids
  3. ^ frottophilia at SEX ED 601 Advanced Topics in Human Sexuality.
  4. ^ DSM-IV-TR

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • frotteurism — noun /fʁoˈtəː(ʁ)izm,fɹɒˈtəːɹɪzm/ a) The act of rubbing one’s genitalia against another’s person, usually that of a stranger. Must be non consensual and is considered a psychiatric condition as well as a criminal offense in most places. (If… …   Wiktionary

  • frotteurism — frot·teur·ism .iz əm n the paraphiliac practice of achieving sexual stimulation or orgasm by touching and rubbing against a person without the person s consent and usu. in a public place called also frottage * * * frot·teur·ism (fro toorґiz… …   Medical dictionary

  • Фроттеризм — (frotteurism) парафилия, состоящая из повторяющихся и сильных сексуальных импульсов, фантазий или поведения, включающего прикосновение и трение о человека, не испытывающего тех же импульсов …   Общая психология: глоссарий

  • Paraphilia — Classification and external resources MeSH D010262 Paraphilia (in Greek para παρά = beside and philia φιλία = friendship, having the meaning of love) is a biomedical term used to describe sexual arousal to objects, situations, or indi …   Wikipedia

  • Courtship disorder — is a theoretical construct in sexology in which a certain set of paraphilias are seen as specific instances of anomalous courtship instincts in men.[1] The specific paraphilias are exhibitionism, voyeurism, telephone scatologia, frotteurism, and… …   Wikipedia

  • Sexual addiction — is a controversial term to describe sexual behaviour that is characterized at least by two key features: recurrent failure to control the behavior and continuation of the behaviour despite harmful consequences. While this condition is not… …   Wikipedia

  • frottage — 1. The rubbing movement in massage. 2. Production of sexual excitement by rubbing against someone. [F. a rubbing] * * * frot·tage frȯ täzh n frotteurism * * * n. rubbing up against somebody (usually in a crowd) as a means of obtaining sexual… …   Medical dictionary

  • frotteur — One who gets sexual excitement through frottage. * * * frot·teur frȯ tər n one who practices frotteurism * * * frot·teur (fro toorґ) an individual who achieves sexual gratification by practicing frotteurism …   Medical dictionary

  • Groping — Grope redirects here. For the mathematics term, see Capped grope. A sign outside of a bicycle parking lot in Chiba, Japan, warns Beware of groping When used in a sexual context, groping is touching or fondling another person in a sexual way using …   Wikipedia

  • Voyeurism — Voyeur redirects here. For other uses, see Voyeur (disambiguation). Mercury, Aglaulos and Herse In clinical psychology, voyeurism is the sexual interest in or practice of spying on people engaged in intimate behaviors, such as undressing, sexual… …   Wikipedia

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