For me, the term “erogenous zones” conjures a bygone era—one where “What do women want?!” could be a non-ironic headline uttered by a Ron Burgundy clone. It feels oh so ’80s somehow, right up there with IUDs and “What’s your sign?”
Well, life is weird. Here we are decades later, and astrology is more popular than ever. IUDs are suddenly the queen of the contraceptive world. And erogenous zones are back. As a new generation expresses female desire like never before, everybody wants to have better sex. And why not? Studies show it’s great for your physical health, your mental health, and even your skin.
If you are living in a female body (or you’re attracted to people who are), you probably are already familiar with the erogenous zones that get the most attention: the nipples, the clitoris, the vulva, and the neck. For others, a foot rub is heaven—and some people are crazy about (mutually agreed-upon) booty smacks.
“When we start to receive stimulation in areas that are not often touched, those sensations can feel heightened and can create a more exciting awareness.” —Sexologist Megan Stubbs, EdD
But sexologist Megan Stubbs, EdD, says things are not quite that simple. If you’ve got the body parts listed above in your regular rotation, she urges you to go beyond Sex 101.
“Basically, [it’s] all about touching areas that don’t frequently get as much love as the more popularized ones. When we start to receive stimulation in areas that are not often touched, those sensations can feel heightened and can create a more exciting awareness,” Dr. Stubbs says.
While science has even attempted to rank erogenous zones in order of intensity, the reality is that everyone is different—and some sensitive body parts may get overlooked in trying to formulate a Universal Theory of What Turns Everyone On.
Here, Dr. Stubbs offers her top 3 erogenous zones that don’t get enough attention—but should.
1. The inner wrist
The inner wrist is a hotbed of sensation! Look at yours right now—chances are you can see your circulatory system at work through the skin. That thin skin is ripe for kissing and licking,” Dr. Stubbs says. “It’s an uncommon erogenous zone, but won’t be after you try it. You can, of course, lick yourself, but this one may be better if done to others.”
2. The head
“Think about when you’re getting your hair washed and how good that feels. The same feeling extends to your partner. The scalp isn’t something we usually see on an erogenous zone list, but its a good one,” she says. “There are so many nerve endings in the skin, so give it a scratch or a message. A slow dry massage on the couch can be just the thing to relax yourself or your partner after a long day or a sudsy wash massage in the shower can heat things up.”
3. The midsection
“This area can include the back, side, and stomach region. Using a light touch like with the tips of your fingers or even a tickler made of feathers is a great way to activate this skin. Long strokes can create a sensation that will run up and down the body,” she says. “Don’t be surprised if you raise some gooseflesh. Our skin is our largest sexual organ, so take advantage of all of that real estate.”
Most importantly, Dr. Stubbs says: These are just suggestions. Erogenous zones are different for different people, so don’t feel limited to this list, or any other. In fact, she suggests, “Explore your body alone or with a partner to see if you can identify some new ones.” Now there’s the perfect assignment today! After all, Sunday is the best day for sex. (And can you think of a better antidote to the Sunday scaries?)
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