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Teen Grinding on the Dance Floor: Parents and Teenagers Discuss

Teens Tell Adults Not To Worry About Grinding


To grind or not to grind: that is my question. Recently, in response to an article on “Grinding” posted on the Your Teen web site, a Mom made the following comment: “No wonder we are creating a society of ill-mannered kids that think its ok to hump a girl you don’t even know. We pull our horny dogs off other dogs and tell them to stop when they do it to our legs. So we are teaching our dogs more manners than our kids.”

I know grinding on the dance floor is very popular at high school dances. Maybe it’s just a fad – like Elvis shaking his hips back in the 50’s – but honestly I tend to agree with this mother’s comment. Maybe I am old fashioned and showing my age, but I’ve always believed that sex, yes even simulated sex, should be saved for the bedroom (or some other private place). When I see or hear about teen grinding I can’t help but think, “Have some respect for your self.” To me, not only does grinding speak to lack of manners and respect, but it also takes away from the intimacy and meaningfulness of sex.


Grinding, to me, is different than intimacy or simply expressing oneself while dancing. It is sexual. Like the famous quote about pornography…I may not be able to define it, but I know it when I see it.

Grinding is also about self respect, and respect of others. It seems crazy to allow oneself to be degraded in public by either allowing or participating in this type of dancing. Would you want your girlfriend (or boyfriend) to be grinding with another guy (or girl)? I doubt it. Would you let yourself be verbally or physically abused by either a friend or stranger? I suspect not.

Manners are the way we respectfully interact with others…family, friends, and strangers. We expect to be treated appropriately in other group settings. Why not on the dance floor?


Well, I feel like, as with the many questions you have asked, it is hard to give a definitive answer. Though I will say the dog metaphor doesn’t make sense if you realize that dogs hump most of the time for dominance and not because they are horny. And I doubt that teen grinding is about dominance, so in that sense we are worse than dogs!

But seriously, I think grinding on the dance floor can be comparable to (as you put it) Elvis shaking his hips in the 50s, if it is truly just a dance move. When it comes to people who get kicked out of school dances because they are literally having sex on the dance floor, then grinding becomes something more.

It’s hard because I see your argument but I feel like it is just a fad. I mean, if this is a problem, then I would like to address the couples who kiss during slow songs at school dances. I mean, it seems harmless and actually cute, but I could argue that the couple is thinking about sex and therefore should not be allowed to kiss. And if we are going to pinpoint that then we could also just make public displays of affection punishable by suspension. It’s a slippery slope. Though you definitely have a point, I don’t know how you would enforce it without black listing teenage love in its entirety.

I don’t think you have to think of teen grinding as not having respect for yourself or lessening the meaningfulness of sex, it’s more about having a good time and having fun with your friends and grinding just happens to be the dance move of the moment. Maybe it is too much like sex but maybe you could think about it like this: This generation is more in tune with their sexuality and feels an intimacy with life, dancing, and anyone who they happen to dance with. This generation is very loving, and we only learned everything we know from our parents. Thanks parents.


As we all know, our society is not the same as it was when our parents were kids. So naturally, we are going to have different opinions on things. In this case, parents think that grinding is disgusting or inappropriate. However to kid’s these days, it’s just another way to dance. What if you want to dance with a girl, but you don’t know how to dance with someone besides slow dancing? Grinding is just another dance move that everyone can do. It’s not hard, doesn’t take practice or anything, and is one of the few dances you can do with a girl that isn’t awkward. It’s just something kid’s do for fun at parties or at dances. It is like the Elvis move in the fifties.

I don’t think you can compare teen grinding to dogs humping random objects or people. First of all, teenagers are not dogs. Dog’s don’t know when it is ok to do something. They will do what they want, when they want. Dog’s will hump in public if they feel like they want to. At least when teens are grinding on someone, they do it in a place that it would be considered ok. For example a low-lighted party. Yes I agree, it isn’t exactly something that I would preach to kid’s everywhere, but I don’t think grinding is a problem.


I think grinding is one of the cultural flops of teenage life. I have never seen such determination in teens to dance in such a way! When I was in camp as a twelve-year-old, every weekend we’d have a dance. When that time neared, all anyone would talk about was with who they were going to grind with and how well they could grind. It was such a pressure on everyone’s minds. But I don’t think it was associated with the sexual intimacy that adults interpret. In my opinion grinding on someone is silly, and as Devan said- it’s just a fad. I can speak from experience and say that with confidence. You can pretty much rest assured knowing that your kids aren’t trying to simulate sex when they grind.

Despite the fact that grinding originally had sexual representation, I see it as having become something totally different. It’s sort of the “rite of passage” for kids entering their teen years – in other words, a way for them to express themselves as they begin to turn into adults. An example would be the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Originally when it was released it was a failed attempt at a rock opera movie. But that purpose has disappeared as people cultivated it into a whacky, cult-classic experience.

Mindy Gallagher is the Social Media Manager for Your Teen Magazine. She is the assistant coach for the girls’ lacrosse team for Solon High School in Ohio.

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