By Faye M Smith
Erogenous zones are also known as sweet spots on the body. And, when it comes to sex, paying extra attention to them can make a big difference. We asked top sex and relationship experts to explain these lesser-known spots that can take your pleasure to a whole new level.
“The word ‘erogenous’ comes from the Greek ‘eros’, which means love,” says sex and relationship expert Annabelle Knight. “An erogenous zone is an area of the human body that has heightened sensitivity which, when stimulated, may create a sexual response such as relaxation, thoughts of sexual fantasies, sexual arousal and orgasm.”
Erogenous zones can be stimulated by touch but you can do this in lots of ways. You may want to invest in one of the best vibrators for you and your partner, or use your own fingers, a feather, ice cubes, or your tongue.
How many erogenous zones are there on the female body?
Both men and women have 25 erogenous zones, says Knight. Surprised? Often people question how many erogenous zones men and women actually have, and even if they actually exist at all. But the main reason for this confusion is because everyone is turned on in unique ways, and that is totally normal. We all have a different sex drive, and different things to turn us on and make us orgasm.
“While some women may respond to stimulation of all 25 erogenous zones, others will respond to fewer,” says Knight, who works with sex toy brand Lovehoney. Just like all of our sexual fantasies differ, the things that turn us on differ too. “Experiencing sexual pleasure is different for everyone—what feels sexually arousing for one person may stimulate no feelings for another.”
“When anybody talks about erogenous zones, their immediate thoughts go to the obvious body parts,” adds Knight. “These include breasts, nipples, clitoris, and G-spot, as these are more erogenous than others due largely to the number of nerve endings located in that area.”
Where are the erogenous zones?
Ready to explore your erogenous zones alone or with a partner, and get to know the sweet spots that turn you on? Here the experts share ten lesser-known erogenous zones, which include:
- Belly button
- Inner thighs
- Urethral opening
- Lower back
- Behind knees
- Hands, fingertips and inner wrists
1. The Belly Button
It might surprise you, but the belly button is in fact an erogenous zone. “Being close to the genitals makes this area especially arousing,” says Knight.
This is also an example of a non-specific erogenous zone. In these zones, the skin is similar to normal-haired skin and has a normal high density of nerves and hair follicles. “These areas include the sides and back of the neck, the inner arms and the armpits,” explains Knight. “And they may be highly responsive to tickling with a feather.”
2. THE COLLARBONE
“The collarbone is a super-sensitive part of a woman’s body,” says Knight. “The skin here is very thin, making every little touch seem intensely pleasurable.”
Focusing on an erogenous zone, such as the collarbone, could help build anticipation, too. “Spending time focusing on the areas of the body that you wouldn’t usually do during sex can help take your attention elsewhere,” says relationship expert Kate Moyle.
“Pressure points in the bottom of the feet can increase blood flow and enhance feelings of arousal when touched right,” says Knight.
Finding whether an erogenous zone like feet works for you is experimental. “No two people are the same, so it really is a case of experimenting and finding out where and how you or your partner likes to be touched,” Knight adds.
4. INNER THIGHS
“This is another highly sensitive area to touch owing to its closeness to the genitals,” explains Knight. That’s because there is such a high concentration of nerve endings around the vagina and clitoris. Because of this, the inner thighs are a great sweet spot to try during female masturbation.
“Vibrators can be used all over the body, and for teasing the thighs, rather than just focusing on the genitals,” adds Moyle. If you're eager to experiment, try using one of the best body wand vibrators which double up as a sex toy and all-over muscle massager. Run it all over your body (or get a partner on board) with a focus on the inner thighs and expect things to get steamy, fast.
Ankles are a pressure point for female orgasm. “The inside and outside of the ankles are sensitive spots with many nerve endings that correspond directly to the vagina,” explains Knight. But, just because they may not seem sensitive at first, you should still be gentle when touching them.
“Some people really respond to a firm touch whereas for others this can cause mild discomfort,” adds Knight. “Your skill as a lover is reflected in how well you know you and your partner’s body and exactly how best to touch.” Having an honest conversation about what you like in the bedroom is key to a fulfilling sex life and ultimate pleasure.
6. THE URETHRAL OPENING
One more unusual erogenous zone to investigate is the U-Spot. “The ‘U’ here stands for ‘urethral opening’—aka the pee hole, just above the entrance to the vagina,” says sex writer and educator Alix Fox. “This area tends to be universally ignored because it’s so strongly associated with urination but, in fact, it holds great potential for pleasure if very gently caressed.”
The U-Spot is a great erogenous zone as it’s so close to the clitoris. “The area is surrounded by spongy erectile tissue that can become ‘plumped up’ or stiffer when a woman is aroused, and it’s very sensitive to touch,” explains Fox.
Just be gentle. “Unlike the G-Spot, the U-Spot tends to feel best when treated to featherlight, incredibly delicate strokes, rather than pressure or pushing,” says Fox. “Use lashings of lubricant (see our guide to the best lube for top recommendations) and ask your partner to make stroking or small circular motions with their fingertip. Ask them to imagine that they are only pushing to ‘the depth of a single sheet of paper’—this helps illustrate the softness required.”
“With sensitive skin on the outside and hundreds of sensory receptors on the inside, the ears top the list of unexpected erogenous zones for many people,” says Knight.
“Try lightly kissing, licking, or nibbling your partner’s earlobes. You can also take advantage of those sensory receptors by whispering or lightly blowing into their ear for more tingly feels," she adds.
8. LOWER BACK
The lower back hides a sweet spot. “The nerves in this portion of the spine are connected to the pelvis, making this area extra sensitive,” says Knight. Use a feather, piece of velvet, or ice cubes to stimulate it. Even just gentle blowing can work, too.
9. BEHIND THE KNEE
“Behind the knee is another often-neglected area that’s incredibly sensitive to any kind of touch,” says Knight. “It’s even ticklish for some and responds well to massage.”
This spot is also great for both men and women. “Many erogenous zones are shared between both sexes, particularly lips, ears, scalp and the inner thigh,” adds Knight.
10. HANDS, FINGERTIPS AND INNER WRISTS
“The palms of the hand and the fingertips are among the body parts most sensitive to touch,” says Knight. “Place your hand under their hand with your palm facing up and tickle their palm with your index finger.”
And the wrist is also another great sweet spot. "Home of the pulse point, this is a highly sensitive erogenous zone,” Knight adds. “Alternating between stroking and tapping motions with your fingertips can prompt tantalizing tingles.”
Faye M Smith is an award-winning journalist with over 15 years experience in the magazine industry. Her continued work in the area of natural health won her the coveted title of theHealth Food Manufacturers’ Association (HFMA) Journalist of the Year Award 2021.
Currently Acting Health Editor across several brands including woman&home, Woman and Woman’s Own, Faye specialises in writing about mental health, the menopause, and sex and relationships. In fact, having previously been the go-to sex columnist for Now magazine, there isn't much she won't discuss when it comes to women's health. This makes her the best person to review must-buy sex toys, describe how to have a mind-blowing orgasm or explain how to navigate sex in the shower without it ending in a medical emergency.
While not anti-gym, Faye’s fitness routine is more focussed on finding inner balance rather than burning excess calories. An advocate of mindfulness, she loves power breathing, yoga and plenty of walking in nearby woodlands rather than a sweaty HIIT class. Follow her @fayetuned
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