Rubbing vaginas together without clothes (also known as tribbing, scissoring or smashing boxes) can potentially pass sexually transmitted infections like herpes, syphilis, pubic lice, and HPV. There may also be a low risk for chlamydia, gonorrhea, or HIV, if there are vaginal fluids or blood involved.
We recommend all sexually active people build routine STI testing into their health appointments. During a testing appointment, a sexual health assessment is usually done. This is an opportunity to let the clinician know what kind(s) of sex you are having (rubbing vaginas, oral sex, shared sex toys, you name it…) so that they can help you decide which tests are best for you. Often STI testing involves blood work or a urine sample, but sometimes it may require a swab of the throat, vagina or rectum. Being open about your sexual activity can help the clinician get a better idea of what to test for.
People can test more frequently if they have unprotected sex with a new partner or multiple partners, use injection drugs, or are thinking of becoming pregnant.
Unfortunately, there are no safer sex tools like condoms for rubbing vaginas together. We just encourage you to continue to get STI testing and talk to your partner(s) about it too.