Overview: A person who is sexually aroused by rubbing against a non-consensual person, usually in a crowded place, may have a sexual disorder called frotteurism. Frotteurism is a form of paraphilic or paraphilic interest. Paraphilia is a strong sexual attraction to atypical objects, circumstances, visions, attitudes, or individuals.

Frotteurism is a paraphilic interest in rubbing, usually one’s pelvic area or erect penis, against a non-consensual person for sexual pleasure. This can include touching every part of the body, including the genital region. A person who acts as a scrubber is known as a scrubber. Research suggests that as many as 30% of men may have engaged in frotteurism activities at some point in time. About 10 to 14 percent of adult males diagnosed with paraphilic conditions have frotteurism.

Typically, children under 12 years of age do not have Frotteurism due to a lack of understanding and maturity. Most individuals who participate in Frotteurism are between the ages of 15 and 25 years of age. Typically, the age of 15 increases and decreases after the age of 25.


Frotteurism specifically deals with the fantasy or actual behavior of making sexual contact with others in a public place. Usually, this involves rubbing one’s pelvic area or erect penis against a nonconsenting person.

Frotteurism is clinically defined as engaging in these behaviors or having these fantasies over a period of at least six months. If these thoughts or actions interfere with daily functioning, you may be diagnosed with Frotteurism.

Frotteurism is different than toucherism. That’s a condition in which a person becomes sexually aroused by grabbing or rubbing their hands on the breasts, buttocks, or genital areas of a nonconsenting person in a crowd.

Causes and risk factors

There are no scientifically established causes or risk factors for the disorder. There are, however, several hypotheses. A person who unintentionally rubbed someone in a crowd and was sexually aroused might want to repeat the experience.
Childhood trauma, such as sexual assault or anxiety.

Need help

Frotteurism is a sexual disorder that should be treated as a medical condition. Having these feelings is not your fault, but acting on them can harm others and you.

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