Your nipples, your lips, your inner thighs—you’re already well acquainted with these erogenous zones, areas of the body that when touched the right way can make you feel tingly, shivery, and very in the mood for a full-on bedroom session.
What makes them such arousal triggers? The skin here is thinner than on the rest of your body, and there’s a high concentration of nerve endings, says Sherry A. Ross, MD, ob-gyn and author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women’s Health. Period. Your brain plays a role too. If a previous partner focused their attention on one of these and it felt amazing, your mind holds on to the memory, and it’ll likely feel really good with another partner as well.
But these erogenous zones aren’t the only ones. In fact, all along your body are similar pleasure points you can tap into to turn on your partner…or have them try out on you. Start with these five little-known sweet spots.
Behind the ear
Nibbling the earlobe is a standard foreplay move. Next time you’re up for it, pay plenty of attention to the back of the ear too. The skin here is incredibly thin, and like the other body regions that involve your five senses, it’s a hotspot of nerves. “You wouldn’t think of that small space holding erogenous potential, but it’s a place that doesn’t get touched that often,” says Dr. Ross. Try kissing down the back of the ear or running your tongue along it, and wait for the goose bumps to rise all over your partner’s body.
Back of the neck
Unlike the front of your neck, the back doesn’t get much exposure; it’s usually hidden by your hair and remains unseen and untouched. But the few inches of skin from where your hairline ends and your back begins is a crazy easy arousal trigger, says Colorado-based sex therapist and sexologist Jenni Skyler, PhD.
A light, gentle touch works best with this erogenous zone. Stand behind your partner and brush your fingers up and down very softly, and then do the same with your mouth, making a trail of kisses. Because they can’t see what’s happening or guess what you’re about to do, there’s an element of surprise that heightens every sensation.
Outside the vaginal opening
Never heard of the vaginal margin? It’s the area just outside your vaginal opening at the beginning of your perineum—aka, the region between your vagina and anus. And it’s a secret erogenous zone in its own right. Science backs this up: a 2014 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine looked into various parts of the female body and found that the vaginal margin is one of the most responsive to light touch.
In the name of science and pleasure, start paying more attention to this hidden erogenous zone. Have your partner focus their fingertip or tongue here specifically, and tell them to take their time as you let sensations build. Or take matters into your own hands and graze your fingers against it, kicking off a orgasmic masturbation session.
Palm of the hand
Holding a person’s hand fosters connection and intimacy, says Skyler. But the hands are an overlooked erogenous zone as well—especially the tender, nerve-rich center of the palm. Next time you’re feeling frisky, reach for your partner’s hand and gently run the tip of your finger in a circular motion inside the palm. Start in the center and work your way outward. When you feel your partner is roused and ready, guide their hand to your breast or vulva and have them cup their palm around it, and enjoy the soft sensations.
Bottom of the foot
The feet are a prime tickle spot. But the same nexus of nerves that make this area so ticklish is also the reason it’s a hidden erogenous zone, says Dr. Ross. And according to the principles of reflexology, the soles contain pressure points that correspond to different body areas and can lead to arousal.
Instead of gentle grazing with your fingers, use a firmer touch on the feet. Press all five fingertips against your partner’s soles and use a pulsing motion, or scratch the soles with your fingernails (but not too hard). Rubbing massage oil or lotion against the soles can also feel sensual. And nibbling and kissing your partner’s toes one by one, then blowing warm air over them afterward, will give them that super pleasurable pins and needles feeling.
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