Woman's thighs in black stockings with red suspenders

What is intercrural sex and why should I try it?

Intercrural sex, otherwise known as thigh sex, interfemoris, and interfemoral sex, is non-penetrative sex in which a man’s penis is situated between their partner’s thighs and thrusts repeatedly to achieve an orgasm

Although intercrural sex is practised in relationships of various orientations, it’s common in many parts of the world among both heterosexual and gay couples.


Man intimately in between woman's thighs on kitchen counter

A brief history of intercrural sex

If you’re new to intercrural sex, you might be thinking about where it came from. Well, it’s been around a lot longer than you think. 

Intercrural sex is believed to have been a common sexual practice in ancient Greek society.

This has likely spurred a cultural perception of intercrural intercourse being a practice for gay men.

Intercrural sex has also been frequently discussed by writers, portrayed in various artwork, and believed to be part of the sex lives of many notable historical figures.

In 1978, British author Kenneth Dover introduced the term “intercrural sex” in his book Greek Homosexuality. The word ‘intercrural’ partially derives from Latin, where ‘inter’ means between and ‘crura’ means legs. 


Ancient greek art displaying two men being affectionate


According to his biographer Richard Ellman, Irish poet Oscar Wilde also supposedly preferred intercrural intercourse to oral sex and was believed to have indulged in this form of intimacy so he could proclaim his innocence against homosexual allegations.

The famous Zulu king Shaka Zulu is even believed to have encouraged intercrural sex among his troops to promote intimacy and loyalty, while it’s speculated that Abraham Lincoln and Alexander the Great revelled in this type of sexual behaviour too.

While many historical sodomy laws opposed intercrural sex, others deemed it less demeaning to the receiving partner than anal sex and believed it fell short of sodomy as there was no penetration involved.

It has been highlighted by various sources that a 1997 sexual health needs report for gay men in the Calcutta suburbs discovered that 73% of men asked for or engaged in intercrural sex, which varied significantly between individual demographics: 

“Only 54% of sex workers, 50% of lower-income men and 40% of Muslims reported intercrural sex; while 82% of Hindus and 88%of middle-income men reported engaging in it.”


Parisian female sex workers as far back as the 18th century are believed to have engaged in intercrural sex, which was second to vaginal intercourse.

Benefits of intercrural sex

As thigh sex doesn’t involve vaginal or anal penetration, it is considered a safe sex practice. 

It’s a sexually fulfilling alternative to intercourse, which can help avoid unwanted pregnancies as well as reduce the risk of transmitting or catching STIs, such as HIV.

It also allows those to refrain from traditional intercourse while engaging in mutual sexual activity.

For those that have a thigh fetish, intercrural sex allows the opportunity to fulfil their sexual desire to achieve an orgasm.

Feminist sex researcher and educator Shere Hite discovered in her research on female sexuality several women who could achieve an orgasm through intercrural sex, particularly when combined with clitoral stimulation.


Man caressing woman's thigh in bed

How to have intercrural sex

Like other erogenous zones, there’s a lot more you can do with this fleshy part of the body than just caressing with your hands.

Before indulging in intercrural sex, it’s important to establish consent with your partner. 

Once you’ve both confirmed that you’re happy to try this sexual practice, here’s what to do next:

  • Set things off by gently rubbing your thighs against your partner’s genitals, or vice versa, for a bit of foreplay
  • Unlike a vagina, the thighs do not provide natural lubrication. Therefore, before having intercrural sex, it’s important to use lube between the thighs for a slippery sensation and comfort when thrusting. Silicone or oil-based lube is recommended to prevent friction and heat rashes while getting frisky
  • Next, you’ll need to get into your desired sex position. A thigh job can be performed in many different sex positions, such as missionary, spooning, doggy style and cowgirl position, and you should pick one you feel most comfortable with. When you’re more experienced in this sexual practice, you will feel more confident to use your imagination and perhaps try more non-traditional positions, such as those in Kama Sutra
  • Once you’ve established a comfortable sex position, the penis should be placed between the partner’s thighs. The other partner should use their thighs to grip the penis to keep it secured and to create friction for when the thrusting begins


Couple having intercrural sex in missionary position under blanket


  • The penis-haver then begins to thrust in between the thighs for sexual pleasure. Or, the other partner can move in motions similar to intercourse, particularly moving along the entire shaft of the penis. Clinical sex therapist Christopher Ryan Jones, PsyD, warns to be careful of clamping down on the testicles during a thigh job. Your chosen sex position is likely to depend on who is taking full control to ensure a smooth experience
  • For extra stimulation, the penis-taker can squeeze their thighs together for a tighter grip to encourage stronger ejaculation or keep it loose if their partner prefers. As well as firmness, you might want to make sure you agree with the speed of stimulation
  • Thigh sex doesn’t have to be so penis-focused. While thrusting, you can provide sexual stimulation to your partner by simultaneously fingering the vagina or anus or by using a sex toy. Depending on the sex position, they can masturbate their partner’s penis, or they can place their own penis further towards the upper thigh and vagina, so thrusting can be felt on the clitoris for arousal

If you desire, you can have thigh sex to achieve an orgasm or use it as a form of foreplay before having sexual intercourse.

Try intercrural sex today 

As you may have gathered, intercrural sex with your partner is a pleasurable yet safer option than penetrative sex. 

Believe it or not, some people even prefer this method of sex to penetration. 

Why not try it today?

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