FanFriction: The Sex That Wasn't.
There are sexual acts in fic that are usually quite predictable. Oral, hand jobs, fingering, all out smexin... there's usually an order these things go in. We can see it coming. Then there are those original acts that stick with us throughout time, like the "dry blow" in Saturday School. Then there are those acts that are just simply and utterly DEPRAVED (<---A.K.A. You re-read that shit like five times, don't lie). But today, I'm focusing on a very special sexual act. One that is seen (in my opinion) not nearly enough. It's the sexual act to begin all sexual acts. It is the golden child of UST and the propagator of 'morning wood in the ass crack when you wake up' everywhere.
FanFriction Dry Humping!
OMG! I am NOT doing an entire article on dry humping?!?!
Yes. I am, actually. I figure I'm allowed one non-srs bsns article per month or so, and I'm a lazy lady. Plus, I recently wrote a DH. And usually, I get my article inspiration from my time in ficdom because I always put it off until the last second and never have time to think of a truly useful topic.
That being said, it's my personal belief that dry humps are the thing of fanfiction glory. The few people I asked had a very easy time calling forth their most memorable of dry hump reads. All of these are probably well known. Some not. Either way, there's no denying that dry humps have their purpose. I think the first order of business is to define what a dry hump is.
Also, I now have "Dry Hump" in my Google search history. Thanks, Google. Thanks a lot. Explaining this to my fiance was The. Funnest. Thing. Ever. (Not.)
What is a "Dry Hump?"
1. College expression from the 1960s for masturbation against the groin of a partner. This can be done in three different ways: a) with a partner standing or reclining; b) with a partner sitting on one's lap; c) with a partner laying on a bed or table with legs in the air.
Synonyms: coitus-ante-portas ; coitus-inter-femora ; coitus-interfemoris ; college-fuck ; college-style ; dry-rub ; dry-run ; English-method ; femoral-intercourse (or coitus); Harvard-style ; interfemoral-intercourse ; intracrural-intercourse ; irrumatio(n); leg-work ; leggins ; Princeton Rub or style; rubbins ; slick-leggins ; thigh-sandwich ; thighs.
2. Copulation without lubrication.
3. Copulation without ejaculation.
4. Copulation without penetration.
5. Copulation without divestiture. (<--- looks this up, pdq.)
Why DHs are awesome:
1.) It's not sex, but it is.
UST = "Um, smexy times?"
Obviously, you get all the benefits of sex without all that skanky first-date penetration. There's proximity, and the positions mimics sex, which is fictually satisfying. We all know there's an order things are meant to follow in fic. Edward and Bella -- more often than not -- take their sexual relationship in baby steps, because it's voyeuristic to us and we like seeing that journey of exploration that brings them closer. The dry hump is a great way of resolving sexual tension while simultaneously building it up. It's a break from the blue balls, a vacay from the thigh rubbing, a... hiatus from "keeping control." Take the dry hump in chapter 10 of cdunbar's Resident Geek for instance. Bella and Edward have kissed before but haven't been intimate yet when the dry hump takes place (as is customary in dry-humpery). But, it's their first time seeing one another in the throes of any sort of passion, which is granting them a really private insight into one another. Place Your Bets does the dry hump justice in the glorious chapter 11. We've seen Edward and Bella tip toeing around their blatant UST for a good while. We're given a little relief in the form of friction, and... good lord, y'all. It's some good shit.
2.) It's a Vampward sex alternative.
"My hip thrusting is immune to your virtue!"
Yeah, yeah, Vampwards can't always penetrate. If he fears penetration, then he wouldn't use those nimble fingers of his to get the job done, we know this. It annoys us. Maybe he's mastering his control or being protective in that really annoying way that makes all girls feel perverted and skanky for wanting it that much more, but... there's an answer to our prayers, pretty ladies. The Vamp Hump. I mean, really, all he's gotta do is lay there and let Bella do her thang. It's hard and stationary and probably a lot like humping a fabric-covered slab of marble, but, hey. We don't judge, girl. Gitchya hump on. There aren't any exposed fluids or excess amounts of flesh. If Edward can stop his hips from bucking and shattering Bella's pelvic bone into a million pieces, then it can be considered a complete success, and why the fuck not?
I suppose there'd be a really hilarious debate on whether or not Edward could climax under the same friction, given that it must take the PSI of a wrecking ball just to jack him off, but for the sake of equality and mutual satisfaction, let's assume the motion of Bella's ocean could rock his stoney boat. In Angel's Creature of Habit for example, we are given a scene where Bella leads Edward, encouraging him to take things to the next level. He's frightened of harming her but ultimately allows her to lay him down and hump him sweetly. This Edward allows use of his hands and does climax. A good climax can be almost as relieving to the reader as the characters. We've waited for it, have BEEN waiting for it. We watch the UST build and Angel finally threw us a bone. (Pun Intended.)
3.) You can't fuck it up.
For the timid ficster.
Smut is some scary territory, ngl. Few things in life can match the mortification of seeing someone mock your more sensitive and artistic sexual interpretations. Having an entire group do so makes you question your sexual knowledge, even though you're fairly positive you've been doing it right for the last ten years. You'd probably doubt yourself as a writer, an artist, and a woman. ~cuts wrists~ Some people just aren't willing to stick their neck out there, and I can respect that choice.
Fortunately, the dry hump is something you can proudly stand by. Think about it. It's effortless to avoid the big bad smut terms and phrases. Really, the only things that require description are the friction, rubbing, and reactions of the characters. It can be dirtied up, sure, but it can also be tasteful and ambiguous. Facial expressions, sounds, and dialog alone can be very hot, especially if it's the height of what we're going to see in the characters' sexual relationship. Dry humping is probably the least vulgar off all sex acts in fic. You can tailor them to your comfort zone and the tone/rating of your stories.
I complied a large file of 16 dry hump scenes, from mount to climax or pull-away, and then I Wordled them into a pretty cloud.
Obviously, you can avoid cussing and buzz words like, "cock," and still have a very successful dry hump.
4.) It's an equal opportunity climaxer.
Why cross swords when you can rub 'em?
Slash fics are perfect venues for the dry hump. It's common to find the two characters a little nervous and uncertain of the pairing we've put them in. It's a natural first shot at sexploration, grinding the hips and bucking and sliding. Also, it's just plain hot. The popular one that comes to mind is Manyafandom's All I Ever Knew. We see Jasper exploring Edward's reaction, gauging what brings him pleasure, and just generally humping the shit out of him through pajama pants. I find that it's also a good start to discovering who the more natural bottom is. Like in Thank You Elvis, we see Jasper as the dominant male in this humpstravaganza. He's obviously more experienced and Edward has no clue what's happening. It's his realization that he likes these things that makes this dry hump so great. We see it through his eyes, and coupled with the discovery that it's happening with another man, we are given a healthy dose of angst that supplements it deliciously. Plus, I mean... basically the whole chapter gravitates around said dry hump. Why are you here? Go read this shit.
5.) It's the Gateway Hump.
Bella will soon be open for business.
The obvious thing here is the foreplay hump, which I'm a personal fan of. Whenever characters take it slow, you can pretty much count on some hip lifting before the clothes come off. What better way to get this smutty party started, right? My favorite example thus far would have to be chapter 8 of adoreablecullens' Silence & Security. The boxer/panty hump, making Bella climax right before the main attraction is a fabulous building for the moment. Dry humping is always a foreshadowing of bigger and better things. It's like an introduction, a confirmation, a debut. If smut was a debutante, then the dry hump is her coming-out party. We read through seven chapters of awkward touches, secrets, and "getting to know" the characters, and then we see the dry hump, and think, "Oh my. We're taking this nice and slow, aren't we, you little rascals? I'm on to you." We know that from there on out, we can expect an escalation, and this... this makes us anticipate it impossibly more. Trust me. Take chapter 3 of I Caught Myself from TallulahRemitter. We see a fevered merging of hips, the excitement of a first sexual encounter, the realization that the other is just as aroused for them, the longing for more, the pulling away before climax...
Well, I'll cover that next.
6.) No Climaxes Necessary
Can vamps get blue balls?
Thatwritr tackles the vampy blue balls issue in her chapter 40 dry hump of In the Blink of an Eye. Without going into specifics, her Edward climaxes, but does so manually, in private. The pull-away-wank hump is a thing of glory. Anyways... any penetration necessitates a climax. I mean, it doesn't always happen, but... let's face it. If we're going to the fair, we'd best ride the carousel, kwim? But the dry hump doesn't necessarily have to produce orgasm. Sometimes it's just good foreplay for later, like in Chapter 9 of High Heels and Runaway Frisbees. Of course, there's always the more common, "How did my dick get there?" scenario where Edward realizes that he's allowed his gentlemanly control to slip, and finds himself nestled snugly between two thighs, doing that delicious thrusting thing that makes Bella all gaspy. "Oh, my. What a nice... jean seam you have, Bella." This is the case in Maybe I'm Amazed by AliceDances01, which has a particularly smexy dry hump in chapter 15. Even though one of the characters pulls away for one reason or another, we're left feeling their palpable UST and waiting for more next ch apter.
7.) Dry humps are like a box of chocolates...
you eat one, and the next thing you know, you're covered in semen. Hm, wait...
Variety is the spice of hump! Sure, we'll take the ole missionary hump any day and be perfectly content. Even the faithful straddle hump is satisfying. But it's always best when shaken up a little, yes? Whitlockgirl's Desperation has the ever intriguing Jasper "thigh riding" against a naked Bella. Legal Briefs has a perfect example of a standing, non-climactic thigh ride (bonus points, bb). If I weren't so caught up in the semantics of what constitutes something as a "dry humping," then I'm positive I could mention hundreds of ass grinds, much like the one in Bittersweet Symphony's dance lesson between E/B. But I'm afraid doing this article has turned me into a bit of a Dry Hump Nazi and I find myself slapping wrists and growling, "Groin and pelvises. GROIN AND PELVISES, BITCHES!" Saturday School's dry blow isn't a hump, but for some reason has been adopted into the category and mentioned by every person asked. I think we can make it an honorary dry hump, if we really wanted to.
The easier question is... why shouldn't they dry hump?
In conclusion, I think dry humps are the best indication of a slow burn. If you're showing the individual steps of a physical relationship, why skip it? There's certainly nothing wrong with the characters jumping into smexiness head first, nor am I opposed to never seeing anything surpassing heavy kissing. However, I do believe a large niche of ficery is devoted to displaying the growing relationship between two people, from point A, to point B. It starts with a chaste kiss and -- ideally -- ends with some hardcore, yet sweet and -- lovingly -- rough fucking. There are a whole plethora of paths to take in which to depict the different stages of sexual exploration, undoubtedly. But, if you do, please don't forget our little hip shifting friend, fanfriction?
Thanks to everyone who got shamelessly harassed by me for Dry Hump recs. This fandom rallies together like a motherfucker for some scrumptious smut finds. You all rock my world like Edward between Bella's milky thighs. In... a non-creepy or gross way of course.