Archive for February 7th, 2011

On my blog entry entitled Black Swan: Movie about Mother-Daughter Sexual Abuse , readers started a discussion about “sexual grinding,” otherwise known as frottage. Here are some of the comments:

Nina’s masturbation involves grinding against the bed and bed covers; many survivors of sexual abuse engage in furniture grinding as a compulsive sexual behaviour. ~ Tara

I did not know about the compulsive sexual grinding against furniture, but I suspected later on in life that it was a sign.. I was doing it at 8 years old against the furniture compulsively and asked my mom over and over what was wrong with me, but she never said. My therapist thought perhaps my mom had buried her own abuse by her father, who later abused me. Do you know where more information on the compulsive behaviors for victims of sexual abuse might be found? ~ Deb

Hi, I only know that in the weeks and months following my friend’s suicide, as myself and her other friends tried to crawl our way through the horror of what had happened and figure out what J’s last hours had been and what had driven her to her desperate act, J’s partner told me that she used to grind herself against the furniture in a sexual and at times almost violent manner and that a therapist had told her that this was indeed symptomatic of childhood sex abuse survivors. Maybe someone else on here knows more? ~ Tara

I had not heard of this particular aftereffect of sexual abuse before. I had never heard of masturbation as a form of self-injury either until a fellow child abuse survivor shared her story. In both situations, I can see how the aftereffect ties into the history of sexual abuse. I tried to find resources online but came up empty, so I guess this blog entry will become the go-to place for people who struggle with compulsive sexual grinding or frottage just like it has served this purpose for those who struggle with masturbation as a form of self-injury.

Here is what I did find … The term for compulsive sexual grinding is frottage, which the dictionary defines as “the act of obtaining sexual stimulation by rubbing against a person or object.” Any child who is engaging in this behavior should be screened for possible sexual abuse because deriving pleasure from sexual stimulation in this manner is not normal behavior.

Any behavior that you might have engaged in as a child in reaction to the sexual abuse can carry over into adulthood, so it is understandable that a child who suffered from sexual abuse and was never provided therapy would grow into an adult who continues to be drawn to engaging in frottage with furniture, objects, or other people.

I admit that I have limited knowledge about this aftereffect of sexual abuse, so I am hoping that some of my readers will post comments on the subject. Are there any resources out there for people who struggle with frottage or compulsive sexual grinding? The only resources I could find seemed to be “kink” sites that brought people together who enjoy the activity, not healing resources.

The one thing I can tell you with certainty is that you are not alone. You are not a “freak” for engaging in this behavior. Compulsive sexual grinding or frottage is a normal aftereffect of sexual abuse, and you can heal from it.

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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