August 4, 2021

Stop Grab Assing and Get Lucky!

So, guys, why are your spouses or long term female identified partners so often offended by, in their words, “groping,” “manhandling,” “mauling,” “goosing,” “grinding,“, and, in my words, “Sudden Onset Fondling” or “SOF”?

Read on to find out what to do instead to improve your chances of “getting lucky” (an old school phase meaning “to have sex”).


After almost 35 years of working with couples’ emotional and sexual intimacy issues, I know it’s past time to discuss acts that create unnecessary antagonism between heterosexual partners. “Sudden Onset Fondling” is uninvited and unwelcome touching especially rubbing against a partner’s erogenous areas such as breast, buttocks or vulva/vagina, or slipping an unannounced hand inside their clothing.

Here is a typical scenario I hear way too often:

She: “Why does he need to come up behind me while I’m (fill in the blank) and goose my (bottom, breast or genitals)? I’ve told him REPEATEDLY that I HATE that! And yet he CONTINUES to do it!”  And/or “It feels like the only time I get attention is when he wants sex.”

He: “Wha…? What’s the big deal? Doesn’t she know I love every part of her?” Or “Doesn’t she know I’m just playing around”? (“trying to be affectionate”?) “I don’t get it! All I know is that she used to be way more affectionate and now I feel rejected all the time. … I don’t even try anymore.”

So, friends, let me explain why this Sudden Onset Fondling (SOF) doesn’t work to engage her. Then we can look at alternatives that hold better promise.


Most of the heterosexual men I counsel are confused by the negative reactions of their female-identified partners to SOF. My clients often tell me that they use SOF to try to get reconnected, get some loving attention, engage in playful teasing, or make a bid for sex. Very few say it’s to annoy her or turn her off.

Unfortunately, guys are likely to fail in trying to connect  with SOF, especially in a longer-term relationship past the mutual “I can’t keep my hands off you” infatuation stage.

If you want to connect emotionally or intimately, please read on. If you want to annoy her, you may already be accomplishing your mission!


Why are many women, especially those in longer-term relationships vexed by SOF? Why do they wind up feeling the opposite of affectionate, emotionally open or sexy? I wish there was a published scientific answer to this question, but I don’t know that anyone has funded such a study. However, based on my years of counseling couples and reading up on the mating behavior of insects, warm blooded mammals, and humans, I’m happy to provide some theories.

1.  Many women in our culture are taught or believe that having these body parts touched is a very special interchange between people and should be consensual.  Most of us would agree.

2.  Many women have been taught or believe that sudden onset touching of these body parts is a sign of disrespect or aggression, or may even be experienced as a sexual assault. Sudden onset touching can trigger unpleasant memories of being groped by creepy clueless or toxic guys in school hallways. Not a good association. Not sexy. .

As my colleague, MichellIe suggests , talk  to your partner about her boundaries: her “no-touch-when-in-kitchen zones”, her “no-surprise-grabs-here” areas. You want to help her respond positively or figure out another time, place or method to connect.

3.  Many women have been taught or believe that when a partner touches her intimate parts in a SOF way, he is only interested in her sexual parts and not in her as a whole person.

Spending quality time together, the “C” word (communication) and the perception of partnership are also key for most women to truly feel “into you.” As an example of the partnership idea, please refer to the book Porn for Women (Cambridge Women’s Pornography Collective), a book of photos that shows a shirtless guy vacuuming. Sexy. Or how about the Viagra commercial in which they “get the feeling” while doing laundry together? It’s not the laundry, is it? No, the magic is receiving his help around the house or whatever she feels represents his investment in their partnership!

4.  Many younger men can become instantly aroused at the sight of a panty line; many women require a mind suspended of worry or irritation and 20 minutes of touching before they are equally aroused. And for whatever reason, the touching of the “sexual parts” is generally most welcome toward the end of the 20 minutes! As implied, research reveals that men are aroused primarily by sight and women primarily by tactile touch of the welcome kind.

5.  Last, but not least of my theories on the subject of SOF is the possibility that there may be an inherent brain and nervous system wiring thing involved here.  Science suggests that such universal fear reactions to potential dangers such as spiders, snakes and heights demonstrate that safety lessons learned generations ago may be stored at a cellular level and passed on to aid in our survival. In other cultures, bride abduction and the acquisition of a wife through rape has been outlawed but is still, in the case of bride abduction, ritually practiced So unless you are chasing her on the beach to throw her in the water as a consensually playful and flirtatious game, you may want to rethink those sudden moves when it comes to touch.


OK, so, what might work to help you connect emotionally, sensually and sexually?

I know this is probably something you’ve heard but the deal is to DO it! So here goes:

-Spend quality time together, communicating and participating as a partner. This is generally a prerequisite to sensual and sexual connection for most women (and lots of men).

-Compliment her -- not just her looks. Three compliments to every criticism is a good barometer of healthy relationships.

-Show affection without pushing the envelope. Desire is a form of wanting. Help her WANT you by being affectionate and teasing without trying to jump her bones every time she leans in for a kiss. Help her simmer.

-Focus on touching her from the top down, from the bottom up, and from the outside in before you get to the core. That’s right! Give her a scalp massage, a foot massage, hold her hand, move her hair from her face. Gentle touch that doesn’t set off alarms may help her relax, feel cared for and allow her to become sensuously aware of you.

Ok! Go! And let me know how this approach works!

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