We all have erogenous zones, but everyone’s different, so you may not feel all that tingly goodness in the same area as another person. That said, you likely have more of these hot spots than you know. Read on to find out which touchpoints could use a little more TLC.
The nape of your neck If you're a neck person, you know it. "The nape and back of your neck have so many nerve endings that a light touch is all that's needed to drive you wild," says Greer. Ask your partner to lightly run the tips of their fingers up and down your neck as you kiss (or do it to them to drop a hint) to hit that concentration of nerves. To heat things up, even more, establish a no-kissing-on-the-lips rule and have your partner focus on your neck instead.
The pubic mound Okay, it's not the sexiest-sounding body part, but the area above the pubic bone can be an electrifying spot when stimulated properly. “Your pubic mound is connected to your genitals and sexual response thanks to sensitive nerve endings and glands that emit pheromones [chemicals your body produces that can trigger a sexual response from others], natural body scent, and sweat,” says Shannon Chavez, Psy.D., a psychologist and certified sex therapist in Los Angeles. To activate it, have your partner start by massaging the area with light pressure, which can work to increase arousal. Lightly massaging the skin between your fingers or having your partner gently suck and pull on the sensitive skin using their mouth will really fire off some tingling sensations, Chavez says.
The inner thighs Before going straight for the main course, have your partner spend some time teasing your inner thighs. The skin here is highly sensitive and packed with nerve endings, which means it's extra responsive to your partner's nibbles, nips, and licks. If you really want to kick it up to the next level, ask your partner to "trace an ice cube up and down [your thighs] and explore that new sensation," suggests Greer.
The armpits Yes, really. If you can get past a little sweat, hair, and taboo, your armpits can be a surprising erogenous zone. Think about it this way: Your armpits are super sensitive. The same thing that makes them so ticklish can also make this spot a surprising turn-on. Here's how to explore: Have your partner take the tips of their fingers and gently brush your underarms. First, lightly go up and down before shifting to a brisk, circular motion, paying close attention to what elicits the best response. It’s playful, sure, but also seductive.
The crease of the thigh When it comes to erogenous zones for men, it’s not just all about the obvious. “A great blow job involves more than just the genitals,” says Emma McGowan, certified sex educator and author of Bustle's Sex IDK advice column. “Paying attention to the area around the penis and testicles helps build anticipation and arousal. That little crease where the thigh meets the torso is a great place to work into your oral sex repertoire.” The same is true for women. The crease of the thigh is a great hot spot to hit during oral sex regardless of gender.
The ears “Although ears are considered to be highly erotic, they are often overlooked, making them an even hotter spot when you want to crank things up in bed,” says Emily Morse, sexologist and host of the Sex With Emily podcast. “The ears are actually very sensitive to touch because there’s a massive number of sensory receptors.” Kick things off by having your partner lightly trace the C-shaped outline of your ear with their fingertips while you’re kissing. Gentle kissing and nibbling can also set off fireworks. This can be an especially powerful move when done in tandem with some below-the-belt action—it might even help you climax or intensify your orgasm.
The stomach Your lower stomach —between your belly button and your pubic area— is a surprising female arousal trigger. Why? With the right touch, you can actually stimulate the G-spot from the opposite side. Plus, the area just above your pelvis can be a major tease. Stimulating that area with your hands or mouth helps get the blood flowing to the other major erogenous zone lurking just south. This area is also great for playing a bit with temperature: Have your partner delicately place a hot or cold washcloth on the skin just above your pelvis before oral, or playfully dangle it from above to brush the skin teasingly.
The hands “The hands are extremely sensual. Even a light-tight touch can gently produce waves of sensation," says Chavez. She goes so far as to call your hands one of your most important sex organs. "When you suck them, you’re actually having a form of oral sex," she says. "If a partner sucks on a finger and massages it with the tongue, it sends the signal to the reward center of the brain similar to sex."
To explore, have your partner gently kiss the sensitive pads of your fingertips, using their tongue to draw slow circles. If you're into it, try a little light suction.
The crook of your arm “If you’ve ever had the crook of your arm stimulated the inner portion where the humerus connects the radius/ulna you’ll likely know how sensitive this area can be,” says Gigi Engle, certified sexologist, Promescent brand adviser, and author of All the F*cking Mistakes: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life. “The skin there is thin, leading to a more intense feeling.” Try running your fingers lightly along the inner arm between the wrist and the elbow to start. “If it tickles too much, you can also try massaging this area for a deeper feeling,” says Engle.
The bottoms of your feet Even if you’re not a foot person the right touch might change all that. The feet contain pressure points, which, for some, can spark arousal. The arches of your feet, in particular, are also packed with nerve endings, which means a hell of a lot of sensitivity.
Since some people are ticklish down there, you’ll want to focus on the firm, steady strokes over light, and tickly motions. Think of it more like a massage, pleasurable in any context, which can also help relaxation a key for many women to reaching orgasm.
In between your toes Speaking of feet, another erogenous zone that people don’t always think of is in between the toes. “Any area can become an erogenous zone with the right type of touch,” says Rami Najjar, a registered psychologist and clinic director of Resilience Psychotherapy. And considering just how thin and delicate the skin between your toes is, it only makes sense that it can be extremely arousing. To stimulate this hot spot, start with a sensual foot massage focusing on that ultra-sensitive skin between the toes.
The inside of your ankle Since we’re already down by the feet, we might as well cover the other major erogenous zone down there: the inside of the ankle. Similar to the wrist, Najjar points out that this particular area is definitely one that can induce pleasure when stimulated the right way with a light touch. There’s also a seductive element to it, one that might even inspire a desire to kiss and lick it.
The labia minora When we think of the vulva and erogenous zones in that area, our brain tends to go straight to the money shot: the clitoris. While that’s definitely a place to get to know—and trigger many clitoral orgasms it’s not the only place in that region worth noting. “Also known as the labia minora, the inner lips are erectile tissue,” says Anne Louise Burdett, a certified sex educator and CEO of TOCA, an organic CBD line of intimacy lubricants. “They engorge with blood and become hot, swollen, deeper in color, and very sensitive to the touch when aroused.” To target the inner lips specifically, “put your fingers in a peace sign and with lots of lube and slide them up and down on the inside of the outer lips and around the inner lips,” says Burdett. This area is highly sensitive even as far as highly sensitive areas go, so don’t stimulate without plenty of lubrication (natural or otherwise).
The lips It may seem a little old-fashioned, but your lips (the ones on your face) will always be one of the hottest erogenous zones for women. “Lips are the most exposed of all erogenous zones, and are packed with a bunch of nerve endings located very close to the surface of the skin," says Morse. "They’ve got 100 times more than our fingertips.” Even the slightest touch to your lips releases a happy rush of feel-good hormones to your brain that can affect your emotions as well as your nether regions, she explains. “Use your own lips, teeth, and tongue to lick, nibble, and caress your partner's top and bottom lip, experimenting with different amounts of pressure,” says Morse. When you come up for air, trace the outline of your partner’s lips with your thumb while locking eyes with them and then get back to it.
The scalp “Your scalp has thousands of little nerve endings, and if you’ve ever had your hair pulled during sex, you know it’s an erogenous zone,” McGowan says. “Don’t discount the value of some solid hair pulling!” If hair pulling isn’t your thing, you can still reap the benefits of all those nerve endings in the scalp. If you’re more into stroking your partner’s hair or them stroking yours, there’s still a delicious eroticism that comes with such an act.
The perineum Similar to asses (as in everyone has one), everyone has a perineum too. The perineum is that strip of skin between the anus and the genitals, and is home to the pudendal nerve, the main purpose of which is to carry sensations back and forth through the intricate network of all the other nerves down there. Basically, it’s something worth getting to know.
“It’s perfect for exploring,” says Daniel Saynt, founder of The New Society for Wellness (NSFW), a private members club hosting regular workshops and events safely exploring open love, kink, and sexuality. “Lick it, slap it, bite it, or massage it. Based on your partners’ tolerance, you can explore a lot of powerful sensations by exploring this erotic zone.”
The anus Butt stuff isn't for everyone. But for many people, the anus is a serious hot spot. "There are lots of sensitive nerve endings in the anus, so that can be a hot and heavy place for people," says Jenni Skyler, Ph.D., an ASSECT-certified sex therapist at The Intimacy Institute in Colorado. That said, what feels good for one person may not turn on the next, so play around with it and see what works for you. "For some people, this could just be caressing the outside of the butt cheeks and the rim of the anus," Skyler says. "For some people, it's licking, for some people, it's very light penetration, and for some people its full penetration." Just remember, if you do dabble in penetration, even a little bit, don’t forget the lube. 18. The butt cheeks If you’ve explored anal play and found it’s not for you, that doesn’t mean that butt play is off-limits.
A lot of people find having their butt played with, spanked, massaged, or simply just given a little extra attention really exciting. According to Najjar, that space where the butt meets the thigh is also one hell of an erogenous zone worth experimenting with.
The anterior vaginal wall For the longest time, I thought squirting during sex (also known as female ejaculation) was a myth. It was something that happened only to women who own unicorns and have cupcakes for breakfast. But all that changed the very first time I squirted thanks to the stimulation of a particular erogenous zone.
“This fleshy interior front wall of your vagina can be stimulated through light touch or through positions that allow insertables to hit its wall,” Saynt says. “While the way to stimulate varies based on preferred pressure and speed, your partner can help reach this area by creating a hook with two fingers and inserting their hand with palm facing up. Their palm and position allows for stimulation of your clitoris and labia, while they push on your vaginal wall. With the right amount of attention, expect a few fireworks. Towel strongly suggested.”
The brain According to Skyler, the brain is the most central erogenous zone for many people. If our brain is not in the mood if we're too stressed, tired, whatever—that blocks the rest of the body from being able to act on arousal, she explains. After all, sex is only sexy if you're in the right mindset. "Establishing a genuine connection before getting physical will only help make things hotter in the bedroom," Skyler says.
The earlobes Although we’ve already covered the ear, it’s important to differentiate the difference between the ear and the earlobe. Each part offers a different sensation. “Like the crook of the arm, the earlobe has thinner skin, meaning it is more sensitive to touch,” says Engle. “Have your partner give you a little nibble on the earlobe and see if you enjoy it. Some people enjoy super-hard biting on the ears and others prefer super-gentle touch. Start with gentle and then work your way to more intense sensations.”
The inner knee “The spot behind your knee may not have gotten much love in the past, but stroke it lightly with your hand—or have your partner do it—and you’ll realize that it’s much more sensitive than you realized,” says McGowan. “If you’re into it, have your partner lick it as well as caress. It’s a whole new spot that’s ripe for exploration.” And is a clear path on up to other tantalizing parts of the body.
The A-spot “Known as the anterior fornix erogenous zone, the A-spot is very close to the cervix and rests just above the bladder, past the G-spot on the same anterior wall of the vagina,” says Burdett. “Stimulating the A-spot during sex will be easiest using fingers or a toy because of its depth and angle, and positions that allow for deeper penetration.”
Burdett suggests rolling onto your stomach and approaching penetration from the back or “lifting one leg up and coming in from the side,” she says. “Deep pulsing rather than fast and hard is usually more pleasurable with this position.”
The lower back When you ask people about their favorite erogenous zones, the back often comes up. For some it’s the inter-scapular—that space between your shoulder blades that’s impossible to reach on your own. (Perhaps that’s why it’s so hot: It’s unattainable.) For others, it’s the lower back. “Your lower back, just above the crease of your butt, is a supersensitive spot,” says McGowan. “Think about anytime someone has put their hand there as you’re walking together. Hot, right? Well, it’s even hotter when they touch it naked.”
The nipples If you’ve gotten this far down on the list and wondered, Where the hell are the nipples? Don’t worry; they weren’t forgotten. A list of erogenous zones without nipples is like pizza without cheese: It just doesn’t make sense. Although nipple sensitivity differs from person to person, there’s no doubt that when it comes to erogenous zones, they’re high up there on the list. “Nipples are sensitive on all bodies, some more than others, but worth playing with to find out if it drives your lover or yourself wild,” says Burdett. Some people can even have nipple orgasms without any other type of stimulation. “This erogenous zone can often put people over the top in the very best way,” says Burdett. Because the nerves can differ, especially during a menstrual cycle or pregnancy, it’s important to communicate with your partner about what feels good and what doesn’t. While some people love to have their nipple pinched and twisted, others are content with just a gentle graze or lick.
The breasts While we already know that nipples are a major erogenous zones, the rest of the breasts shouldn’t be ignored. “The breasts have an intricate network of nerve endings, allowing them to be an area of enhanced sensitivity,” says Jennifer Dhingra, a doctor and sexual health advocate in the U.K. Although we tend to think of breasts as being mostly made up of fatty tissue, they’re far more complicated than that. Try light touching, fondling, caressing, and massaging.
The frenulum The frenulum is where the shaft of the penis meets the head (glans) of the penis. It’s on the underneath part of the penis and is extremely sensitive especially for men who have their foreskin intact. It’s visible on people who have been circumcised (those who haven’t been circumcised need to pull back their foreskin to see it). The frenulum is so sensitive that even the slightest touch can all but make the penis owner explode. This is, in no way, an exaggeration. Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration. But very slight.
The Achilles tendon According to Najjar, if you’re looking for erogenous zones that take you away from breasts and genitalia and back down toward the feet, then a spot worth exploring is the Achilles tendon. While it may come across as just a band of tissue that connects the heel to the calf, there’s more to it than that. Similar to the inside of the ankle, when stroked and stimulated in a light and playful way, the experience can become erotic.
The V-spot “The V-spot is a very important part of sexual discovery for vagina holders,” says Burdett. “This is the gateway to the vaginal canal and the entry point for penetration. The V stands for the vaginal vestibule, which is the opening/entrance into the vagina the area past the labia minora at the base of the vaginal canal.
This area is unsurprisingly packed with nerve endings. To stimulate it, says Burdett, “gently edge your fingers around your vaginal opening. Breathe deep. Move back and forth between the clitoral shaft, labia, and V-spot. Use the length of your finger and then your fingertips to outline your vaginal opening. Where does it feel best? Are you hungering for penetration?” Like a lot of sex-related acts and exploring with erogenous zones, it’s all about experimenting and seeing what feels best.
The wrist While the wrist might seem like an erogenous zone from the Jane Austen era (and it was), all these years later, it still continues to hold its charm. Delicate and fragile, there’s something both romantic and deeply erotic about the wrist. Like similar areas on the body (the ankles, the back of the knee) use light caresses to stimulate this area.
The prostate It may have taken us quite a while to get here, but finally men—straight men—are no longer shrinking in fear at the idea of putting something in their ass. Finally! “The prostate is a gland, roughly the size of a walnut, which produces fluid that contributes to the formation of semen,” says Dhingra. “The prostate is very sensitive, and stimulation of the area can lead to sexual pleasure and arousal. This may be achieved through the insertion of a finger or sex toy into the rectum, and massaging the prostate internally.” This is also a topic that Saynt takes to heart. “Seriously consider getting into butt stuff with your partner if they have a prostate,” says Saynt. “Orgasms achieved by knowing how to stimulate your prostate and taking the time to explore and train it over time are mind-blowing. From milking to multiple orgasms, the benefits don't end with pleasure. Regularly exploring this region is connected to a reduction in prostate cancer risks.” Pleasure and lowered prostate cancer risks? I do believe we call that a win-win.