…was the major overall theme yesterday in our anonymous texting service’s inbox here at Scarleteen! 

Was some misleading info about dry humping + pregnancy starring in some big TV show we must have missed last night?

Seriously though, dry humping is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.

It’s “dry” because it does not involve the potential for the exchange of bodily fluids.

 But just because we get this kind of question so often, it seemed best for a volunteer (Hey, I’m Claire!)

to try to make sure everyone ever is down with the real deets on dry humping.



The quick answer here is no!

The just-a-bit-longer answer I know you all want anyway will be illustrated

in a collection of super scientific charts and venn diagrams below.



in order for there to be a risk of pregnancy, first of all, there needs to be direct genital-genital contact.

This does not include genital and towel, or genital and shorts with holes you think are a tad on the large side.



Scarleteen’s Volunteer Assistant Director Robin posted THIS RESPONSE to a preg q recently.

(I think it’s one of the clearest explanations of why the fixation everyone has with whether or not semen

is able to soak through clothing is a little off-base.)

“They [sperm] need the properties of semen in order to move. Another way of looking at it is that if the semen makes any stops between a penis and vagina, such as on your hands or a piece of clothing, the sperm can’t then move from there to the vagina, even if the area where they landed touches the vulva (outside of the vagina) or inside the vagina itself.”

And remember, if you are scared that you must be pregnant, but your ONLY VALID reason to “back up” that being a possibility is that you are really scared about it? Well, this can be that rare scenario in which you are relieved by your lack of supernatural abilities!

To sum this all up, check out our final scientific graph for today’s post to once-and-for-all clarify the pregnancy risk of dry humping for all you visually-minded folks! It took a good hard look at all possible scenarios or situations and turned it into raw, real data!**


**Seriously though, this data is not a joke.

Do you still feel unsure about YOUR DRY HUMPING RISK? If you think you could be categorized as “other,” refer to the red section on the pie chart above to suss out the level of your potential pregnancy risk.


I sure wish this site had been around when I was first exploring these questions. Keep up the good work! Educating youth about sexual health is very necessary!

This is very well informed, i sure wish i looked at this sooner when i needed it most. Im very glad this is up and available.

Does this account for fluid soaking through? Why is there a wet patch on the outside of his sweats? Does this fluid not cause a risk?

It does, indeed, account for fluids, and no, fluids that wind up on clothing do not present viable risks of pregnancy.

Editor & Founder, Scarleteen: Sex Ed for the Real World
Author, S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and Col

so your'e saying  even if the woman panties is damp from the semen, she cant cant get pregnant?

Yes, that is what is being said in the above comment.

Just for future education purposes, does clothing include me just wearing panties and that is ok with a naked partner?

Yes, as long as said panties are not a thong (because those may shift and allow for direct contact between genitals).

For diagram 2, the one in blue, instead of mesh shorts, if it was a nylon (thin material) panty with a naked partner, does the risk remains unchanged? (no pregnancy risk)?

Correct, If material made a difference, we would note as much.

Hi, I just have a question with regards to Robin’s answer with regards to whether or not sperm can travel through clothing. Does clothing there, in that statement that quotes “if semen makes any stop between a penis and vagina e.g hands or clothing” includes just underwear without shorts? What kind of clothing is he referring to?

If you look at the other comments in this thread, you will notice that we already address this question.