A Tried-and-True Guide to Thighjobs
You've likely heard of handjobs, blowjobs, footjobs and a whole lot more. Comparatively, the humble thighjob is hugely underrated. Also known as intercrural sex, this nonpenetrative practice has a long—and queer—history.
Intercrural sex is a type of outercourse that involves using the thighs to stimulate a partner's penis, explained Isabelle Uren, of Denmark, a resident sex educator at online sex toy store BedBible. The premise is simple: Lube up liberally and thrust away. The friction generated by this hot-and-heavy humping can be wildly pleasurable for both parties.
"The thighs are a very sensitive area, so it can also be very arousing for the giving partner," Uren said.
Kissing and touching can add to the sensuality, and mixing thrusting with jerking off onto your partner's thighs can be hot, too. Squeezing your thighs more tightly can add to the pleasure, but only with a partner's consent. It might feel good, it might not. If in doubt, add more lube.
Thighjobs can lead to penetration, but Uren cautioned that consenting to a thighjob does not equal consent to intercourse.
"Be sure to discuss your boundaries with your partner and get consent before each new sexual activity," Uren said.
Thighjobs throughout history
This move is nothing new; the earliest recorded origins of intercrural sex date back to ancient Greece. Attitudes toward homosexuality were wildly different––this was millennia before the term was invented by French sexologists––but it's thought that anal sex between two men was still seen as taboo, especially for the recipient.
Yet according to horny artwork of the time, this didn't stop men from practicing intercrural sex as a means of "exploring the nature of homoerotic desire."
These queer connotations remained fixed, as sodomy laws worldwide criminalized intercrural sex. It wasn't until the AIDS crisis years in the 1980s and '90s that governments began to recognize it as low-risk sex. In 2000, the United Nations even recommended it specifically as an HIV prevention strategy.
The perks of intercrural sex
Decades later, more people understand that sex without penetration can be enjoyable as well as comparatively safe. In 2017, a landmark women's study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy found only 18.4 percent of respondents could orgasm through vaginal penetration alone. The stats cemented the rising popularity of outercourse, or nonpenetrative sex.
For 35-year-old sex worker Chris Jae Vanjie, of London, the term "intercrural sex" is new. The act, however, is not.
"Learning about it has been pretty intriguing to me," they explained. "I think queer people already have an exploratory approach to sex and fetish beyond anatomy. There's a deeper understanding that sex is about so much more than penetration."
Vanjie said some of their best sexual experiences didn't involve penetration––thighjobs included.
"I now have the language for something I've done before and found highly pleasurable!" they said.
There are other reasons someone might prefer intercrural sex, such as physical limitations, sexual trauma or conditions that cause painful penetration, Uren said.
"There's also lower risk of STI transmission," Uren said. "However, the thighs are close to the genitals, and some STIs, such as HPV, can be spread via skin-to-skin contact. You will still want to wear a condom."
Whatever is between your legs, you can enjoy a thighjob. There's historical evidence of women masturbating by rubbing their thighs against their clit to the point of orgasm. With enough lube and an open mind, you don't need a penis factored into the mix for intercrural sex to feel great.
Anecdotally, thighjobs are also pretty popular amongst transgender communities. Plenty of T4T (trans-for-trans) sex treats "foreplay" as the main course, and that includes intercrural sex. For some, but not all, trans folks, penetration can trigger gender dysphoria. It's easy for penetrative sex to veer into heavily gendered sexual scripts, and some trans people feel a disconnection between their genitals and their bodies, which can be heightened by sex.
Cole, a 25-year-old resident of the United Kingdom who requested his full name not be used, endorses intercrural sex.
"It's wonderful. It's such a great alternative to what's usually perceived as sex, which can oftentimes cause anxiety for some people," Cole said, adding that the experience goes hand in hand with the feeling of affirmation they tend to get from T4T sex.
Intercrural sex embodies this creative approach to pleasure. From its humble, horny beginnings in ancient Greece, it's been through criminalization and a kind of safer-sex redemption. Now its deliciously queer legacy lives on through the sex lives of thighjob enthusiasts worldwide.