What is tribbing?

The internet is awash with terms describing, and refencing sex of various kinds. Lacklustre sex education (e.g., sex meaning ‘P in V’) and limited online resources, have meant that terminology can be difficult to keep up with and understand. Many folks feel embarrassed to look up sexual terminology, as they are met with pages of adult videos (and maybe some Reddit threads). So, we’re here to help you understand some of these terms and phrases in a clear and shame-free way. Our topic for today is sure to rub you up the right way: it’s tribbing!



a catch-all term for sex positions which involve people with vulvas rubbing their genitals together for pleasure. 



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What is tribbing?

Tribbing is a catch-all term for sex positions which involve people with vulvas rubbing their genitals together for pleasure. It’s also sometimes referred to as Tribadism. 

The word Tribadism has its origins in both Latin and Greek. The Latin word ‘tribas’ and the Greek work ‘tribein’ mean “to rub, rub down or wear away”. So really, we’ve been at this for a long time!

One form of tribbing which is commonly referred to when it comes to lesbian sex is scissoring. However, scissoring is just one type of tribbing. Tribbing can also be used to mean when a vulva is rubbing against any other part of the body for pleasure e.g., a thigh. 

Is tribbing only for lesbians?

The short answer is no. Tribbing can be done with partners of any sexuality or gender identity. Though the term generally refers to those with vulvas, this is not a hard and fast rule, and there are other sexual organs with which tribbing is achievable, for example, certain intersex individuals.

What are Roam’s tips for tribbing?

  • Always use lube. 

Tribbing is a high friction sexual activity, as you are rubbing the genital area against another body part. To avoid any damage when first giving this a go, use a water based lubricant to help things along. You’ll find in this case that wetter truly is better.

  • Experiment with positions.

The fun thing about tribbing is there is no right way to do it. Play around and find what works for you and your partner(s). Don’t turn to mainstream porn for inspiration, as the positions in this are generally designed for the camera and not for pleasure. Here are a few suggested starting points, but we’d recommend just giving it a go and find what feels best. If it feels good, you’re doing it right.

  • Try introducing a toy!

Vibration between bodies during tribbing can heighten the sensation. We’d recommend our wand and/or pebble toy for this kind of activity.  

  • Always stay safe.

Remember that most forms of sex come with some risk of catching diseases, even when it’s not penetrative. If you want to try tribbing with partner(s), make sure you all have a clean bill of health, and have recently been screened for STIs/STDs. 

We hope this has helped explain tribbing in a simple way. Feel free to email us at orders@exploreroam.com for any questions you have (about tribbing or otherwise), and any requests for definitions and articles.

Happy tribbing!

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