We’ve all read enough Cosmo magazines in our day to be quite familiar with the term ‘erogenous zone’, but what are they, actually, and why aren’t they the same for everyone? In said Cosmo you may have see a map of the supposedly universal erogenous zones in an article called “20 Ways to Drive Him Crazy” or “You’ll Never Guess Where He Wants To Be Touched!”. Eeep! First of all, we should be learning where our partners want to be touched by actually talking to them and second, not everyone wants to be touched in the same places. If you’ve ever winced and shuddered as someone licked the inside of your ear, you’ll know this all too well…
In the simplest terms possible, an erogenous zone is a part of your body that feels “erotic” when it’s touched, kissed or caressed. But there are actually two kinds of erogenous zones, Specific and Non-Specific, meaning areas of the body that actually stimulate your brain’s Reward System and areas that just sort of feel really nice.
Your Specific areas, which include (no big surprise) your genitalia, also include your lips and nipples. These areas have thinner skin and the nerves are found closer to the surface. Makes sense!
Your Non-Specific areas are much more vast and varied and are pretty much any other body part, with typical skin, that turns you on when it’s stimulated. We’re going to go over some more common ones but it’s definitely not the entire list of possibilities.
Discovering erogenous zones requires slowing everything down a little. If you're with someone else, try taking turns, kissing your partner from the top of their head to the tips of their toes and then rate the sensitivity of each area. If you're solo, allow yourself the time to simply touch your own body and experience what feels nice. Maybe half this list is a total turn-off for you and you love a spot two inches above your elbow to be kissed. That’s great! Discovering these good feelings can help everyone have a more pleasurable time.
The clitoris is the reigning queen of erogenous zones, due to its high concentration of nerves (8,000, twice as many as the entire penis) packed into a tiny little space. While light touch can be nice, the clitoris tends to respond best to more firm pressure and, you guessed it, VIBRATION!
If you’re still a little fuzzy on the specifics, the vagina is the internal part ;) Whether you want to call it a ‘G-Spot” or not, there in a nice cluster of nerves along the front internal vaginal wall, thought the be the root of the clitoris, that responds, in some people, to a more firm pressure or again, VIBRATION! The entrance to the vagina tends to prefer a more gentle touch. Explore our pieces on the G-Spot and Blended Orgasms for more info on this elusive area.
We know it’s obvious, but it still bears mentioning. The super thin dermis has a high concentration of nerves (4,000) very close to the surface which is what makes it so highly sensitive. And while we’re here, let’s not forget the scrotum, an extremely sensitive pleasure centre that you’ll most likely want to be gentle with (but for some, firm pressure or a gentle tug is appreciated, communicate!). Wearing a cock-ring can help increase sensitivity in both of these areas. Read more here.
The perineum (aka, the space between the scrotum and the booty) is a hotbed of nerves and shouldn’t be overlooked! Gentle tickling can be nice, but in some people, applying a bit more pressure can begin the stimulate the prostate externally. Which brings us to...
Lips + Mouth
Have you ever thought about why we kiss? It’s pretty funny if you think about it, two people smooshing their faces together. Well, the lips are actually one of the most sensitive parts of the body, right up there with your finger tips. When we kiss someone, there’s more at play then just an erogenous zone, we use our sense of smell and taste to determine whether or not we want to keep kissing that person, aka deciding if the sensation of the kiss overcompensates for the garlic breath. Like we mentioned, the lips or actually a Specific Erogenous Zone, meaning that stimulation felt by your lips speaks directly to your pleasure centre, releasing that sweet, sweet dopamine.
While this is a huge one for most people, it’s not for everyone (looking at you, new moms). While people with male and people with female anatomy rank nipples super high in their fave erogenous zones, the male nipples are especially interesting because they don’t actually serve another purpose other than to feel really nice. While some people enjoy gentle kisses and licks others can find delicate stimulation irritating and prefer more intense pinches and nibbles. A vibrator, like the Fin, can also feel INCREDIBLE applied gently to your nips. And if you have some hairs around your nipples, leave ‘em be, they make you even more sensitive.
Neck and Collarbone
Hickies happen for a reason. Not only are they a (slightly immature) way to mark your mate, they can feel really, really nice. Just make sure you’ve got some scarves or turtlenecks on hand for that presentation tomorrow. Licks, kisses and nibbles can all be appreciated in this area. If you’re incorporating consensual breath play into your sex life, be sure to read our general safety tips.
Even though you might sit on your bum for most of the day, it still manages to be pretty sensitive. While some people enjoy some gentle tickling, others will love having their cheeks grabbed firmly or spanked. A toy, like The Annoukis X Nox Flogger can take you from subtle tease to enthusiastic thwack!
Not for everyone (nothing is!) ears are nerve packed and can be a huge source of erotic pleasure for some people. From licks and nibbles to whispering and heavy breathing. Getting up close and personal with ears is worth experimenting with.
There are a million more; from hip bones to the base of the spine, inner arms to fingers and toes. An erogenous zone is any zone that gets you going. So explore, be open and always, always communicate.