Historical story

"A special category of fetishists." Erotic chirping, terryism in pre-war Poland [18+]

"In public places they stand behind the woman, possibly stout" - explained the behavior of the terrestrialists in a 1933 dictionary. And the influential researcher replied:"this kind of fetishism (...) is found in a large number of young people, mainly male".

Albert Dryjski, a pre-war Warsaw psychiatrist dealing with the sexual development of adolescents, wrote that there was a special category of fetishists. He did not have a Polish name for it, so he used the French term: frotteurs . This does not mean, however, that he also based his description of deviation on research from the Seine.

Crowded tram. The perfect place for polishers. Photograph of Illustrated Daily Kuryer from 1930

It was based on native knowledge. He even emphasized the tendency of the deviants to take part in typically Polish religious ceremonies. "They like crowds, and so all kinds of crowds, processions during which they rub (...) against the buttocks, hips, thighs of women and thus receive satisfaction" - he explained in 1934.

Procession in Spała in 1935. Albert Dryjski claimed that Polish terrestrialists eagerly attend such religious ceremonies

Dryjski's achievements included a large-scale sexology survey among pre-war high school students. He asked almost seven hundred Polish teenagers about his sex life. So he had good reasons to say that:

(...) this kind of fetishism (...) is found in a large number of young people, mostly male.

Cats and sweaters. Polish names

The topic was developed by the editors of Encyclopedia of Sexual Knowledge , published in Poland in 1937. In the four-volume collection there is a separate slogan "Frotteurs". It was supposed to be:

Men who reach orgasm by touching women discreetly, unnoticed in public (...), by pressing against their bodies, or by rubbing against them , of course, without the active participation of a given woman and - more importantly - without her awareness of these practices.

Attached to the definition is a catalog of places where it was easiest to meet people who succumb to the described deviation. Streets, trains, crowded trams. There is also a translation of the term. The Polish "Frotteurs" were former "trappers". The deviation itself is called "rubbing".

Issues of sexuality. The title page of the most important works by Albert Dryjski. Its first edition was published in 1934.

These terms do not appear to have gained popularity outside the scientific community. The Polish street had its own, familiar word. A workers' glossary of erotic terms, attached to the dream book published in 1933, stated:

CAT - pervert of the category intermediate between the fetishist and the exhibitionist. The cat likes a crush, in public places it stands behind the woman, possibly fat, takes out her penis and rubs it against her neighbor's buttocks.