Causes of frotteuristic disorder are thought to include a combination of psychological, social, and biological factors.
A doctor diagnoses frotteuristic disorder in a person who experiences recurrent and intense sexual arousal from touching or rubbing against a nonconsenting person or has acted on those urges.
Treatment combines individual or group psychotherapy with antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and other medications.
Frotteuristic disorder is a form of paraphilia Overview of Paraphilias and Paraphilic Disorders Paraphilias are frequent, intense, sexually arousing fantasies or behaviors that involve inanimate objects, children or nonconsenting adults, or suffering or humiliation of the person or a partner... read more .
The word frottage comes from the French frotter, which means "to rub or to put pressure on someone." The term is now used to describe intense sexual arousal as a result of touching (nongenitally) or rubbing one’s genital area against a nonconsenting person. This usually involves contact with an unknown person in crowded areas such as subways, buses, elevators, sporting events, or other crowded public events.
Many frotteurs appear to be excited by the risk of getting caught in a public place. Most cases of frotteurism occur with males touching females, although there have been cases of females touching males or females or males touching males. There have also been cases of adults of either sex touching children. When this behavior is committed by adults, it is considered a crime because it is a form of nonconsensual sex.
Many women throughout the world report being the victim of frotteurs. It is not known how common this disorder is.
No one knows exactly how frotteurism develops, but the causes are thought to include a combination of psychological, social, and biological factors.
A doctor's evaluation, based on standard psychiatric diagnostic criteria
A doctor diagnoses frotteuristic disorder based on the following criteria:
The person experiences recurrent and intense sexual arousal from touching or rubbing against a nonconsenting person (in fantasies, urges, or behaviors).
The person has acted on these sexual urges with a nonconsenting person, or the sexual urges or fantasies cause distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
The condition has been present for 6 months or more.
The doctor must also specify whether the person is living in a controlled environment (for example, an institution) or in full remission (has had at least 5 years without distress/impairment in an uncontrolled environment).
Psychotherapy (individual or group)
Sometimes other medications
The typical approach to treating frotteuristic disorder combines individual or group psychotherapy with antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and other medications that reduce testosterone levels and thus reduce the sex drive. Coexisting psychiatric disorders are also treated.
People with frotteurism are usually ordered into treatment after arrest for sexual assault. As a result, they are often unwilling and unmotivated to participate in their own treatment.