As all colloquial sex terms do, the meaning of the word 'frot' has changed over time. Before the turn of the millennium, it meant the rubbing of the penis against any surface. If you were lying on your front watching TV and felt a pang of desire, it’s because you were frotting with the carpet. If you’re cycling fast and become aroused, you’re frotting with the bike seat. In fact, it’s probably the first sex act a person with a penis will do, whether they know it or not.
The definition is sometimes broad: we have ancient Greek pottery showing one man slipping his erection between the thighs of another from behind. Sometimes we call that frotting, mostly because the phrase 'intercrural intercourse' needs a bit of a run up before you say it out loud. And when two vulvas are rubbed together, is that frotting, or tribbing? (It's tribbing.) Is frot a noun, or a verb, or both? (It's both.)
And what’s the difference between frot, fotting, and frottage? Apart from the fact 'frottage' sounds like a continental cheese, not much.
Frottage, pronounced with a French accentuation like fromage rather than baggage, is probably a holdover from frot’s French origins. It comes from frotter, "to rub", ultimately of Latin origin, fricare, and is therefore distantly related to words like friction.
So let’s take a look at frot, what it is, and what makes it so frotting good.
What Is Frot?
Today, the meaning of frotting has largely solidified. At least in the gay community, it refers to the act of a couple rubbing their cocks together. Pretty simple, then.
The word itself, in reference to the specific sex act of penises rubbing together, can be loosely traced to a gay activist who created a lot of controversy with his opinions on gay sex. Bill Weintraub was the head of Man2Man Alliance, a coalition of men who have sex with men with a focus on “phallus-to-phallus intimacy.” He attributes the creation and promotion of the word frot to himself.
His intention with his alliance was to dissuade men from anal sex and to encourage frot: penis-to-penis rubbing, “done face to face and heart to heart.” (Weintraub also had a website called Heroic Homosex, the early internet was wild.)
Despite Weintraub's initially dogmatic views, he eventually 'opened up' to anal sex and came to believe it could have a healthy and positive role in gay sexuality. In any case, the term 'frot' stuck.
Why Is Frot So Good?
Asking “why do people like frotting?” is like asking why sex feels good. It feels good… because it feels good. But that’s a little superficial, and since we’re frot experts, we’ll break it down a little more closely. Let’s go.
Frottage is a way for people to feel close to each other, emotionally and physically, without penetrative sex and all the preparation that goes with it. It encourages eye contact, kissing, talking. You don’t even have to take your clothes off.
There’s no penetration involved in the act of frotting. Penis-to-penis, skin-to-skin contact rules out the possibility of calling it 'safe sex,' but it certainly falls into the category of 'safer sex'. Introducing a frotting sex toy like ours can provide a safer sex option.
Frot is part of foreplay almost by definition. As you get close, and the temperature rises, your bodies tend to grind together. That’s basically frotting. Introduced as part of foreplay, it can ease the process into penetrative sex.
Navigating a world of different sexual role preferences can feel limiting. That's another reason frot is so appealing: it doesn’t matter if you are a top, bottom, versatile or side to find it mutually pleasurable.
Some people simply don’t enjoy penetrative anal sex. That can be for any number of personal reasons, medical or otherwise. For those people, frotting is the main event, not a precursor to 'real' sex.
The main reason behind the popularity of frotting, though, is the sensation. The pressure and friction on the penis, particularly against the sensitive frenulum, and especially as the result of contact with another person’s genitals, is just… sexy. We don’t need to overintellectualize everything: frot is hot. We should put that on a T-shirt.
How To Frot
Frotting is versatile: you can do it lying, standing, skydiving, clothed, naked, whatever. Often though, you start with kissing, and move to a lying position, naked. Apply lube to your cocks and grind them together, sliding them along each others’ lengths. Applying your bodyweight on top of your partner increases the pressure, and therefore the sensation. One of you might use your hand around both penises to hold them together or use CockBlock™ to enhance the entire experience.
A pleasure product like ours, which was specifically designed around frotting, is the natural choice for couples who love this satisfying sex act. But the use of vibrators and butt plugs can also enhance the sensations and quality of the experience.