What are erogenous zones?
Where do you like to be touched? Have you thought about it before? Are there some areas of your body that feel better than others? Can you communicate this to your partner?
It is totally normal to have these questions and not have all the answers. Pleasure and the body may be something you haven’t had the chance to explore yet. When it comes to sexual health, it is a great idea to get to know the body that you’re in; this includes acknowledging yourself as someone who has the capacity to experience sexual pleasure. As humans, what we find pleasurable is connected to our senses. By using our five senses, we can begin to identify what we enjoy in the bedroom.
Erogenous zones are areas of the body that feel pleasurable to touch and elicit positive (sexual) emotions and sensations. Historically, literature about erogenous zones tells us what we might already know-that arousal occurs when genitals are touched. However, there are also other parts of the body, that when touched, trigger the same arousal response. Nummenmaa et al. (2016) found that erogenous zones increase when engaging in sexual activity with a partner versus solo masturbation. Research also showed that erogenous zones can extend to anywhere on the body, but especially “inner thighs, breasts, nipples, and buttocks.”
How can you find yours?
Here are some peak areas for erogenous zones. This is by no means a comprehensive list of areas where a person can experience pleasure. Almost any area of the body can be a source of pleasure.
You might be surprised by which areas elicit these pleasurable responses! Whether you have been in a relationship for many years or are interested in casual sex, knowing your own erogenous zones are important for communicating needs during sexual activity. Communicating sexual needs is important because your partner cannot read your mind. The beauty of erogenous zones is that you can explore on your own first to understand what you like and do not like. You can explore this with your sexual partner by guiding each other’s hands over your erogenous areas, exploring erogenous zones during sexual activity, and using self-exploration and communication. Always remember that everyone is different, and it is completely normal to feel turned on when a non-sexual body part is touched.
Nummenmaa, L., Suvilehto, J. T., Glerean, E., Santtila, P., & Hietanen, J. K. (2016). Topography of Human Erogenous Zones. Archives of sexual behavior, 45(5), 1207–1216. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-016-0745-z