Thursday, January 10, 2013

Frot and Frottage - A Second Look

Little did I know in August, 2011 that I was writing what was to become the most read blog post I've ever written. I started this blog in May, 2008; and "Frot and Frottage" was not posted until more than three years later. Yet, 14% of all the viewers who have ever viewed my blog have viewed "Frot and Frottage." The post continues to attract thousands of views every month. There has never been a month since it was posted that it has not been the most viewed post which indicates to me that there is a tremendous interest in the subject.

That being the case, I thought it might be time to take another look at the subject of Frot.

The word "frottage" is derived from the French word "frotter" which means to rub. Frot is the slang word for frottage which is more commonly used to describe the activity. Frottage is, for two men, the equivalent of the necking and petting most of us engaged in with our girlfriends as young kids. It includes everything short of penetration. Anything goes except anal, vaginal or oral sex. Aw, I remember it well. One good thing about Texas is there are plenty of country roads to park on.

My wife and I started dating at a very young age and we ended up marrying at a very young age. Yet, we both knew that we wanted more out of life than babies conceived out of wedlock. For much of our dating life, in the days just before oral birth control pills, our sex life was much like Frottage. There was nothing off limits except vaginal, anal and oral sex. Actually we found it to be quite satisfying although very messy. Since our privacy in those days consisted of the back seat of my car parked on some dark country road, getting cleaned up, straightened up and squared aways was often a considerable job that had to be completed before I could take her home. Her parents were night owls and they were aways up and wide awake when I brought her back home. Fortunately, we never ran into trouble. Well, there was that one time, but that's another story altogether .

Of course, as I have written elsewhere in this blog, as a bisexual guy, I was introduced to the world of Frot years before I started dating my wife. At the age of six years, a few older neighborhood kids inducted me into the world of Frot. We didn't know it by that name of course, but Frot was exactly what it was.

In the small country town where I was raised, with its four-room school, post office and general store, there was nothing to entertain us except each other. Boys will be boys and being thrown together 16 hours / 7 days a week there was little we didn't explore including each other. Mutual masturbation, touching and rubbing were the norm. The forbidden activities were anal and oral sex and kissing. Everything else was engaged in almost daily as a group activity. Even oral sex was engaged in one on one outside the group. My oral partner was a kid named Chris. We were somewhat drawn together because we had, by far, the biggest cocks in the group; and we loved to play with them.

Looking back on this activity (Frot), I see no down side to it at all. It was a win-win fact of life for all of us. It bonded us into strong friendships that were mutually beneficial. Everyone was equal and everyone was an accepted member of the group. There were no outcasts. Sex itself was not an outlier for us. It was just one of the parts of our lives. Like playing basketball, riding our horses, playing games in the evening twilight, it was just a normal part of our daily lives.

Looking back I see it as nothing other than absolute normality. And even more, from my viewpoint as a grown male, I still see that sort of thing as the biological norm for males. Admittedly, as I have written in other posts in this blog, I was confused for quite some time as I grew older and began to hear sex between guys described as queer or gay. I was even more confused when I began to develop a very intense appreciation for girls while retaining the appreciation for what the boys and I were doing.

At that time, all I ever heard about was straight guys and gay guys. Straight was good; gay was bad. I never even heard the term bisexual until well into my adulthood. Now, after a lifetime of my own experiences and almost three decades of very close encounters with other guys, I have a much better understanding of what it is all really about. And what I have found is that normal male sexual behavior covers a great deal of territory. I have also found that there are the biological norms of male sexual behavior and then there is the societal norms of male sexual behavior. The societal norms and the biological norms are not the same, and it is the discrepancy between biological and societal norms that cause many men (and women) a great deal of angst and pain over things that appeal to them which are biological norms but not societal norms.

My own adult experiences have taught me that a huge number of men who are capable of living straight lives and even maintaining very happy marriages are also attracted to other men as an expression of the biological norm.

In the original post, "Frot and Frottage," I pointed out that sex between males is as old as mankind itself. It is also found in many other mammalian species. The ancient Greeks and Romans lived lives in which male/male sex was not only the biological norm but also an accepted social norm. The greatest warriors the world has ever seen, the Spartans, were away from their wives for long periods of time and a male sexual partner was the norm. Their ferociousness in battle was perhaps heightened as lovers strove to protect their male lovers at all costs in battle. But open male/male sex was not just a norm for the ancient Greeks and Romans. It has been documented around the world from ancient to modern times. It played a part in the Japanese Samurai culture as well as in 19th century British and American cultures.

The Irish are credited with saving Western Civilization because of their work in copying manuscripts before the invention of the printing press and their safe guarding of world treasures during times of world conflict. No less a figure than St Patrick himself is said to have had little interest in the sexual affairs of the Irish and to have offered no condemnation of Irish sexual practices though they were quite bawdy by modern standards and included all manner of bisexual activities.

Homosexual relationships between Irish warriors on campaigns were the order of the day just as they had been for the Spartans. St. Patrick did put a lot of emphasis on pacifying the Irish tradition of almost constant fighting, and he had a measure of success in that area; but this change in traditions did little to change the sexual mores of the men.

Patrick founded monasteries all over Ireland. Even these monasteries were not noted for the chastity of the monks. Male/male sexual activities were the norm.

Among the more outlandish sexual acts that were a part of Irish culture in St. Patricks day took place during the coronation of the kings of Clan Conaill.  For centuries kings were inaugurated in the high style of their ancestors - by public copulation with a white mare. This continued  to the end of the twelfth century.

In Irish myth, one of the greatest warrior relationships was between Cuchulainn and Ferdia. Through the trickery of an enemy, the warriors are forced to fight each other in spite of their unending love for one another. The following poem speaks of their love and the aftermath of the fight.

Cuchulainn to Ferdia:
Fast friends, forest-companions,
we made one bed and slept one sleep
in foreign lands after the fray.
Scathach's pupils, two together
we'd set forth to comb the forest.
There is no man that ever ate,
no man that was ever born, 
no joyous son of king or queen,
for whose sake I would do you harm.
After he has killed Ferdia, Cuchulainn addresses the Ferdia's body:
When we were away with Scathach
learning victory overseas,
it seemed our friendship would remain
unbroken till the day of doom. 
I loved the nobel way you blushed,
and loved your fine, perfect form.
I loved your blue clear eyes,
your way of speech, your skillfulness,
your curled yellow hair
like a great lovely jewel,
the soft leaf-shaped belt
that you wore at your waist.
You have fallen to the Hound.
I cry for it, little calf.
The shield didn't save you
that brought you to the fray.
The love that one man had for another was not hidden from Irish women, neither were they jealous. In fact neither were they jealous of their husbands occasional dalliances with other women.

By 1773, Ireland was occupied by the British and had enacted the anti-Catholic Penal Laws. One of these grossly unjust laws forbade any Irish Catholic man from owning a horse worth more than five pounds. One night in 1773 an Englishman offered Art O'Leary five pounds for his splendid mare. O'Leary refused and the Englishman shot him dead. His wife wrote this lament for her slain husband:
My love and my delight,
The day I saw your first
Beside the markethouse
I had eyes for nothing else
And love for none but you.
You gave me everything,
There were parlours whitened for me
Bedrooms painted for me
Ovens reddened for me,
Loves baked for me,
Joints spitted for me,
Beds made for me
To take my ease on flock
Until the milking time
And later if I pleased
My love and my fortune
'Tis an evil portion
To lay for a giant--
A shroud and a coffin--
For a big-hearted hero
Who fished in the hill-streams
And drank in the bright halls
With white-breasted women.
My rider of the bright eyes,
What happened to you yesterday?
I thought you in my heart,
When I bought you  your fine clothes,
A man the world could not slay.
Kilcrea Abbey, County York
Art O'Leary is buried in the ruined nave of Kilcrea Abbey in County Cork. The words, carved in modern English on his tomb include three adjectives which have summed up the Irish moral code that has survived in Ireland since the Iron Age:

Lo Arthur Leary
Generous Handsome Brave
Slain In His Bloom
Lies In This Humble Grave 

Art O'Leary, only in his twenties, was known to frequently enjoy the attention of white-breated women in the pubs. His wife, who evidently loved and adored him beyond measure, clearly knew of this proclivity of his, yet she made no mention of jealousy or of feeling that he was unfaithful. In Irish culture, through much of its history, faithfulness was a virtue reserved for same sex relationships between men. Irish women were usually satisfied that their husbands came home to them and provided for their needs.

An Irish friend tells me that even in modern times, Irish sexuality maintains much of its free nature. Many married men feel more than free to enjoy the charms of women other than their wives. As to the same sex relationships between married males in modern times, he could not speak since such friendships are no longer publicly acknowledged. However, my friend is an openly gay man. He recently took a partner in a public Irish ceremony. As his guest, I went to the local pub with him and his partner to be the night before the ceremony.

The reaction of the men in the pub and their wives in the small town in which he lives was the same as it would have been for any other wedding in a small town. Friends wished the couple well and showered them with gifts and expressions of joy. There seems to be very little of the resistance to  same sex marriage in Ireland that we see in the United States.

Ireland is a traditionally Catholic country and Catholicism is still practiced; but the Irish are extraordinary realists. Their attitude is that the Church lost its authority to lecture them about sexual matters when they failed to keep their own house in order resulting in the molestation of untold number of young boys by untold number of priests.

As they are in most things, the Irish pretty laid back about sex.  I suspect with their attitudes about sex, Frot is still likely practiced by more than a few men in Ireland, just as it is in many other countries.

In recent times, a stereotype has developed about homosexual men. That stereotype is that homosexuality is defined by anal intercourse between gay men. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Actually anal intercourse between gay lovers is a very new development which only took hold in the 20th century. In ancient times, anal intercourse was only inflicted on ones enemy as the ultimate insult and the ultimate show of power. It was not something one would engage in with someone he loved. Most male/male sexual relationships through the ages have not included anal intercourse. Even today there are many homosexual relationships that do not include anal intercourse. I personally know of one such relationship among my personal gay friends. For such gay couples, Frot is the norm though many have come to accept oral play as an activity to be included within the definition of Frot.

I have come to believe that the desire for a bonded relationship including Frottage is the biological norm for men. In talking to men, I have also come to believe that many basically heterosexual men often label themselves as homosexuals because of these desires when, in fact, they are normal heterosexual males.

If this misidentification is happening, and I think it is, it is a real tragedy for the men who fall victim to it. I have always maintained that to truly find happiness, it is vital for a man to discover who and what he is. A homosexual man will never find happiness trying to live as a straight man or as a bisexual man. A bisexual man will never find true happiness if he misidentifies himself as gay. Neither will a straight man find happiness if he has mistakenly self identified as gay because of this desire for Frottage. These days far too many men say the "hate" labels. I understand where they are coming from, but over reaction to the modern need to classify and label everything can be disastrous. Certainly, no man should allow society to label him or his needs and actions; but the man who does not correctly label himself in his own mind is doomed to a less than happy and fulfilling life. Self-identification and self-acceptance of what that identification means is absolutely vital to a well ordered and happy life.

Frottage and those who practice it or would like to practice it is an area which deserves to be thoroughly studied. If I am right and it is a biological norm for men, modern men are being disastrously shortchanged by supposedly modern culture mores that conflict with biological norms. The overwhelming interest I have observed in Frot and Frottage certainly suggests that the subject is one that interests a huge number of men.

Next we'll take a look at a few men I know personally who have mistaken Frot like desires as homosexuality.

Jack Scott

* The references to Irish sexual history, though not necessarily the conclusions I have drawn, are from the book, How The Irish Saved Civilization, by Thomas Cahill, Anchor Books, New York, 1995. Click the link if you are interested in more information about the book.

Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott