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According to experts, foreplay is one of the keys to maintaining a healthy, lively sex life. If you’re looking for new ways to initiate foreplay, learning about the types of erogenous zones is a great place to start.

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Emily Morse Teaches Sex and CommunicationEmily Morse Teaches Sex and Communication

In her MasterClass, Emily Morse empowers you to talk openly about sex and discover greater sexual satisfaction.

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What Are Erogenous Zones?

Erogenous zones are areas of the human body that are especially sensitive. During sexual foreplay, stimulating these areas can encourage relaxation, promote blood flow, build arousal, enhance sexual pleasure, and help you or your partner achieve orgasm. Common erogenous zones include the armpits, lower abdomen, mouth, neck, breasts, buttocks, shoulders, lower back, and genitals. Every person responds differently to stimulation in these areas, and factors like timing, mood, partner choice, and the type of stimulation can impact your preference.

14 Erogenous Zones

Here are some of the most common human erogenous zones:

  1. Armpits: Your inner arms and armpits are especially sensitive areas where many people are ticklish. Using a light touch along this area can stimulate the nerves and prompt a desirable response.
  2. Behind the knee: Behind the knee is another sensitive, nerve-rich area of the body. Paying particular attention to it during a full-body massage can elicit arousal.
  3. Bottoms of feet: Feet have many nerve endings and pressure points, and stimulating this often-neglected area with a foot massage or light touching can lead to pleasurable sensations.
  4. Belly button and lower abdomen: The belly button and lower stomach are sensitive areas near the genital region. A touch or gentle tickle near these areas can generate a strong sexual response.
  5. Ears: From the tip to the lobe, the ears are full of sensory receptors and are one of the most sensitive erogenous zones on the body. Many people feel significant arousal when receiving light nibbles or kisses on their ears.
  6. Genital region: Genitals are the most commonly known erogenous zones and the ultimate source of sexual arousal. For women, specific erogenous zones in the genital area include the pubic mound, the clitoris, the G-spot (two to three inches inside, on the front vaginal wall), the A-spot (four to five inches inside, on the front vagina wall), and the cervix. For men, specific erogenous zones in the genital area include the head (or glans) of the penis, the frenulum (the underside skin where the shaft and the head meet), the foreskin (for uncircumcised men), the scrotum, the perineum (the skin between the penis and anus), and the prostate (reached inside the rectum).
  7. Hands: There are many nerve endings in the hands that you can stimulate during foreplay. Palms and fingertips are especially sensitive to light kissing and licking. Slowing kissing or sucking a finger can also be pleasurable for some recipients.
  8. Inner thighs: The inner thighs are especially sensitive, so using a light touch along this area, especially as you move toward the genitals, is often incredibly pleasurable for the receiver.
  9. Lower back: The small of the back (also called the sacrum) is a delicate and vulnerable part of the body for most people, so brushing or holding it during intercourse can evoke pleasure.
  10. Mouth: The mouth is a robust erogenous zone, which is one reason why kissing is such a popular part of foreplay. Lips, teeth, and tongue are all great tools to use when stimulating your partner’s mouth.
  11. Neck: The neck is one of the most popular erogenous zones, from the nape at the back of the neck to the sides below the jawline. Many people enjoy stimulation along the neck with a light touch or kissing.
  12. Nipples: The nipples and the areolas (or the skin around the nipples) are an incredibly sensitive hotspot on the body and is closely tied to the sensations in the genitals. Many people vary widely in the sensitivity of their nipples—some are too sensitive to enjoy sensations, while others enjoy rougher play such as biting or nipple clamps.
  13. Scalp: The scalp has many sensitive nerve endings, which is why scalp massages can be very enjoyable. Gentle massaging or hair pulling can activate these nerves and send pleasurable sensations throughout the body.
  14. Wrist: The delicate skin of the inner wrist is a small erogenous zone that can build toward extreme pleasure. Using a light touch along your partner’s wrist is a great way to initiate foreplay.
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How to Stimulate Erogenous Zones

If you want to learn how to incorporate erogenous zones in the bedroom, check out the following tips:

  1. Check in with the individual. While everyone has erogenous zones, the levels of pleasure that each person receives upon stimulation of these areas varies widely. These differing sensitivity levels make it difficult to predict if someone will respond favorably to stimulation in an area. The best way to enjoy erogenous zones while promoting sexual health and wellness is to talk to your partner to determine what they like, or, if you’re both comfortable with it, exploring in a safe environment to see what you both like.
  2. Experiment with different sensations. You can use your hands and mouth to stimulate erogenous zones, or lubricants and toys—like a feather tickle, a gentle nibble, a liquid lube, or a vibrator or other sex toy. You can also try temperature play—for instance, trailing an ice cube around your partner’s navel or drinking hot tea and then trailing your tongue along the nape of the neck. Your partner’s different erogenous zones will react differently to stimulus, so experiment and find what works best for them.
  3. Take it slow. The body has many erogenous zones, but that doesn’t mean stimulating them all at once is the best way to elicit pleasure. Slow, teasing foreplay can be extremely rewarding for you and your partner because it builds anticipation and elongates pleasure. As you work to stimulate your partner, go slowly, and take your time with each body part, building up the pleasure as you enjoy the experience.
  4. Explore during masturbation. Erogenous zones aren’t just useful during partnered sex—they can be a great way to become more in tune with your own body during solo masturbation. Explore different parts of your body during solo play to discover sensitive areas; it’s often a great way to achieve more full-body orgasms.

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