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Frotismo: symptoms, causes and treatment of this paraphilia

Frotismo: symptoms, causes and treatment of this paraphilia

June 12, 2024

We go by bus and suddenly we notice that someone is rubbing his genitals against us. We walk through the crowd and we feel our buttocks touching. Although it may not seem like it, these are relatively common situations in our day-to-day life, which are a crime.

Although most of those who carry out this type of behavior are carried out without suffering any type of mental problem, in some of these cases the person who carries out such touching and friction is a rubric. In this article we are going to see briefly What is rubbing and why is it produced? .

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The frotismo like parafilia

The frotismo or frotteurismo is one of the disorders classified like parafilia or disorders of the sexual inclination, group in which those disorders are grouped in which they occur of repetitive and continuous way fantasies and sexual impulses in which mediates a non consensual relation or in which one of the parties can not consent, in which the only excitement is the use of objects or in which humiliation or own or other people's suffering is required to obtain sexual gratification. These desires, impulses or fantasies generate discomfort or deterioration in some vital area in the subject that suffers them.

In the case of the frotismo, we are before a paraphilia in which the subject presents during at least six months intense fantasies related to the fact of rubbing, rubbing or touching someone against or without the will of the victim . It is the idea of ​​maintaining physical contact and the surprise and reaction generated in the victim that awakens the libido of the individual. To be considered as such, it is necessary that you have carried out the practice in real life or if these fantasies generate discomfort or limitation.

Usually the memory of this event is used as material to masturbate later, although in some cases they seek to reach the climax during the situation itself (through masturbation, not being frequent that there is a real attempt to have sexual relations with the affected person) . The rubbing is usually directed to the genital area or areas linked to sexuality like the breasts or the buttocks. The subject who carries it out can use any part of his body to rub against it, frequently using hands or genitals when rubbing.

It is necessary to bear in mind that excitement due to physical contact or friction with one's partner or even an involuntary friction with strangers is not included in this paraphilia, being necessary that it be carried out actively and voluntarily by the patient. subject the friction with unknown people who have not given their consent for it. The implementation of the fantasies of a frotteurista It is a crime against sexual freedom in many countries , being able to carry jail sentences.

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General characteristics of the writer

The rubric is usually a man who starts his activity during adolescence, usually decreasing his behavior after twenty-five years of age. It is not uncommon for individuals with a shy personality , with a high level of frustration and feeling of inferiority.

Although it can be a couple and have normative relationships with it is not uncommon that the subject can only get sexual gratification and get excited by practicing this paraphilia, being the only type of stimulation that offers sexual gratification.

Usually act in situations and crowded places , in which it is easy to escape and go unnoticed. Typical examples are discotheques, public transports, traffic lights and pedestrian crossings or commercial streets.

Possible causes

The cause of the existence of this and other paraphilias is not fully known, although different models that try to explain their origin are proposed.

Often the frotteuristas are people with few communication skills and feelings of inferiority , with which in some cases they resort to this type of practices as an attempt to make up for their shortcomings by performing risky acts. This idea is reinforced due to the fact that although it is the physical contact itself that produces the excitement, as happens with the exhibitionists, many frotteuristas also enjoy the reactions of surprise or dislike of their victims.

One of the possible explanations offered is based on the effect of exposure to similar behavioral models during childhood, acquiring and learning the behavior that in some cases they themselves have suffered. In this way could have been sexually abused , being forced to touch an adult.

From a behavioral perspective the possibility arises that we are faced with a conditioned behavior: at a given moment of great sexual excitement there was a friction with a stranger or stranger, attributing the excitement subject to rubbing and later consolidating this association through practice.

Another theory, that would account for the fact that in some of these subjects the realization of the frictions has a compulsive character, is the theory of the behavioral termination of McConaghy: the presence of stimuli associated with the practice of friction causes a high level of anxiety to appear that the subject needs to solve through the practice of rubbing. So that this tension does not reappear, the subject proceeds to replicate the behavior.


As with other paraphilias, the treatment of frotteurism can be carried out using various tactics. Keep in mind that except in those cases where guilt or discomfort occurs, usually the paraphilic individual does not usually appear in consultation of his own free will , with which it is expected that there are resistance to treatment. It is necessary to make the patient see the need and advantages that may involve their participation.

It is necessary first of all to analyze the fantasies of the subject and to what the subject attributes his behavior, if it gives him some meaning or what circumstances lead him to carry out these practices. Knowing the significance of the act is of great importance in order to be able to work it through belief modification and cognitive restructuring , at the same time that the subject can express possible conflicts that have led him to do it.

Likewise, techniques such as the modification of the parafílica sequence are usually used, in which it is intended to introduce alterations in the sequence of acts that the individual performs to carry out the touching so that the final result is incompatible with the touching.

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Bibliographic references:

  • American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Fifth edition. DSM-V. Masson, Barcelona.
  • Belloch, Sandín and Ramos (2008). Manual of Psychopathology. McGraw-Hill. Madrid.

parafilias (June 2024).

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