At times sex and erotic play can become repetitive, where it feels the same thing just happens every time. That’s where learning about your erogenous zones can help, as you can explore different areas of your body or your partner’s, which add new levels of excitement to your sex life.
What are erogenous Zones?
Throughout your body you may find that different areas respond differently when touched physically, erogenous zones are the areas that when stimulated by physical sensations add to sexual arousal. These areas are more than just sensitive nerve endings that turn us on and for some, it can be the missing part to the equation when trying to orgasm, as stimulating these areas can help add extra excitement and pleasure to sex and masturbation.
The science behind why they work?
When erogenous zones are stimulated they can help activate neurotransmitters within the brain that lead to sexual pleasure. Stimulating the nerve endings in the skin with touch, different temperatures, and other sensations can help increase the release of various feel-good hormones such as oxytocin, opioids, dopamine, and even nitrite oxide. These hormones help with genital blood flow and activation of the pleasure area of the brain which helps make sex and masturbation feel good. When multiple erogenous zones are stimulated during sex it can increase the chance of orgasm; this is why it's important to explore the whole-body during sex and foreplay as it just makes it so much better.
Popular erogenous zones
When mapping out where our erogenous zones are some people confidently say their whole body is an erogenous zone and other people may have only a select few areas they find arousing when stimulated. One study researching erogenous zones found that when asking people what their erogenous zones are they were able to label up to 41 different locations on their body that people classed as arousing to touch.
This area may seem like an obvious erogenous zone, but during sex particularly in penetrative sex it can be easy to forget to stimulate the clitoris. Exploring the clitoris with touch or vibrations from a sex toy helps excite erectile tissue and thousands of nerve endings that send pleasurable signals to the brain.
The vagina can have multiple erogenous zones and some people may find certain areas of it more pleasurable than others. Explore with a vibrator, such as the Juno Flex, to tease different parts of the vagina from the G-spot to cervix and everywhere in between.
During sexual play, there can be a lot of focus on only stimulating the parts of the penis that lead to ejaculation, but different parts of the penis can feel pleasurable when stimulated in different ways. Exploring the whole of the penis from the base of the shaft to the frenulum may lead to a more intense experience during masturbation or sex.
This is the area between the genitals and the anus. It’s packed with lots of nerve endings, with many of them also being linked to the clitoris or penis as well as the pelvic floor. Explore light stroking or stimulation from a vibrator on a lower setting to excite this nerve-ending rich erogenous zone. Stimulating this area can increase penile erections as well as clitoral sensitivity.
The neck is a big erogenous zone as not only is it filled with sensitive nerve endings that enjoy being kissed, but when a partner nuzzles into the neck they can receive a big hit of pheromones that help add to arousal.
Not only do our lips redden and become puffy when aroused but stimulating the lips with kissing or even light stroking can add to arousal and turn people on more. When the lips change like this it’s a sign that the body has released nitric oxide which helps with clitoral and penis erection. As we get closer to orgasm where there can be a surge of estrogen and testosterone this can also increase redness and swelling in the lips and make them more sensitive to stimulation.
Stimulating the nipples can help release oxytocin which can help with arousal. Using a rabbit bullet ear vibrator or vibrator such as the Je Joue Amour can help focus vibrations on the nipples.
Similar to the nipples, but can feel less intense when stimulated, massaging the breasts can help release a mixture of feel-good hormones that help with relaxation and bonding during sex.
How to find your erogenous zones?
If you’re trying to find those extra pleasurable areas that excite you, making sure you’re relaxed before exploring your possible erogenous zones is key. Take a bath, go for a walk, or do something that makes your mind feel less stressed and your body less tense.
The five senses and pleasure
Paying attention to the five senses can help awaken your pleasure spots and erogenous zones.
Whilst touch is the primary way many stimulate their erogenous zones, using different forms of touch can help excite the nerve endings differently and for some turn them on more. Explore different forms of touch with a massage candle and mix up the sensations from light finger strokes, to deeper and more intense muscle massage. You may find some forms of touch don’t do anything for your erogenous zones when other types of touch excite them intensely.
If things around you smell pleasant it can be easier to relax into exploring your body which can allow you to open up to sensations when finding your erogenous zones. Having a scented bah or candle can help some people get into the zone for erogenous zones.
When there’s too much noise or the wrong kind of sound it can add to sensory overwhelm and make our bodies tense up and not want to explore pleasurable sensations. Having the right kind of sound or very little noise can help you focus on your erogenous zones. That’s why Je Joue’s low frequency motors are amazing for exploring your body as the motors are super rumbly whilst being extra quiet.
Different tastes can make us feel good, but also some foods can help make our bodies respond better to erotic touch due to helping to increase healthy blood flow. If you’re hoping to explore food before or during erotic play making sure you focus on tastes and foods that make you feel good is important as ones that do the opposite may ruin the mood when exploring your erogenous zones.
Grabbing a blindfold to reduce this sensation may allow you to relax into different forms of touch and help you discover new erogenous zones. Allowing a play partner to explore your body when blindfolded may help you become aware of new erogenous zones you have missed in the past.
The mind - Is it an erogenous zone?
Whilst our erogenous zones are processed within our minds our mind itself isn’t classed as an erogenous zone. Adding mental fantasies when exploring erogenous can help make them more responsive to stimulation. The mind can also help us link-up emotionally association and connection with our erogenous zones, allowing us to become more sexually embodied, adding to our sexual confidence and knowledge. This can help us have a more authentic and happier sex life, whether that’s solo or coupled.
Sex toys and erogenous zones
Exploring erogenous zones doesn’t have to be just hands on, and sex toys can help mix-up the sensations received when stimulating them. Sex toys may help wake up certain erogenous zones quicker than when just using hands and other forms of stimulation as the vibrations from them can increase nerve sensitivity and blood flow to the area.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS: COOPER (SHE/HER/THEY/THEM) IS THE RESIDENT JE JOUE SEXOLOGIST AS WELL AS A CLINICAL SEXOLOGIST WHO WORKS AS A THERAPIST IN PRIVATE PRACTICE. SHE HAS TRAINED EXTENSIVELY IN THE FIELD OF HUMAN SEXUALITY QUALIFYING IN VARIOUS AREAS OF SEXUAL HEALTH, SEX, AND RELATIONSHIP EDUCATION, SEX AND RELATIONSHIP THERAPY AND COACHING. SHE HAS ALSO TRAINED WITH THE KINSEY INSTITUTE FOR HUMAN SEXUALITY AND IS A MEMBER OF THE ISSM AND AMERICAN BOARD OF SEXOLOGY.