Do you recall that iconic scene in FRIENDS where Monica draws Chandler a picture and numbers seven erogenous zones? Then she proceeds to say, “Most guys will hit 1, 2, 3 and then go to 7 and set up camp. The important thing is to take your time. You want to hit them all and mix them up. You could start out with a little 1, a 2, a 1-2-3, a 5, a 4, a 3-2, a 2-4-6…5, 7, 6, 7, 7-7-7-7.” Slumping backward on the couch, she holds up seven fingers. With that vivid demonstration, Monica, Chandler, and Rachel quickly part ways.
While Monica missed some of the zones, her philosophy was on point. It’s important to explore all areas of the body. Don’t just set up camp at number seven.
What Is An Erogenous Zone?
This is any part of the body that has heightened sensitivity and responds to stimulation, which can result in arousal or orgasm. Today, we are focusing on women's erogenous zones. When these zones are touched, it can take your sexual experience from okay to let’s do that again!
How many erogenous zones are there on the female body?
There isn’t an exact number because everyone’s body is different in the way they receive pleasure. However, most people agree on 15+ zones that make their temperature rise. We’ll break them down into two categories–the primary zones (most well-known) and the secondary zones (ones you really need to try).
“When these zones are touched, it can take your sexual experience from okay to let’s do that again!”
Primary Erogenous Zones
Why do you think that the first kiss is the statement piece of every romance movie? Because our lips don’t lie. Our lips send signals to our brain and body, saying if they like what they feel. When we like it, we want more of it. Kissing is fun and enjoyable as long as you communicate what’s working and what’s not (that goes for every zone). As clinical sexologist, Dr. Claudia Six says, “It's important to know if your partner prefers licking with lots of breathing, nibbling, or deep kissing. What makes a good kisser is very subjective."
The term “necking” has been around since 1825! Why? Because even our great great grandparents knew it felt good to have our necks kissed. (Or licked or sucked or whatever else you can dream up).
For some, this spot is ticklish, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. You need to find the right technique and pressure. With our lobes being full of nerve endings, we are easily stimulated through them. So why not run your hands from the neck to the lobes, stroking them and applying kisses? “Also, the ears are in an emotionally vulnerable area of the body: close to the face. This makes touching them emotionally intimate and sensitive as well,” says Couples and Sex Therapist, Kyle Zrenchik, Ph.D. “You can also have your favorite music or even audio erotica on for a different kind of stimulation!”
4. Breasts & Nipples
This zone can be plain wonderful. Your partner could start with cupping and massaging the breasts, then move to kissing and rubbing the nipples. Licking is also a great way to stimulate arousal. If you’re up for it, have your partner bring your nipple into their mouth for sucking (you decide the intensity) and maybe try some light nibbling.
5. Inner Thighs
Since the inner thighs have a lot of nerve endings, they are highly sensitive to touch. Bonus, they lead right to our vaginal area, which makes this zone perfect for foreplay. Some ways to stimulate the inner thighs are by kissing, stroking, or even using a feather.
When our butt is grabbed, stroked, or spanked, it sends blood flow to that area, making us more aroused because it is close to our genitals. Both men and women find this zone exciting. Go on, give it a tap.
Some call this zone the “magic button.” Many scientists believe that the clit solely exists for sexual pleasure, which would explain why it has over 10,000 nerve endings in such a small space. Needless to say, a spot with this kind of sensitivity has a lot of potential! Gentle circular stroking or light licking is a good way to start. As the sensation builds, you can incorporate blowing and sucking. While your partner stimulates this zone orally, they could buddy it up by stroking the G-spot internally.
This spot is located about two inches in and one inch up inside of the vagina. "The G-spot is the urethral sponge hitting up against the vaginal wall," explains Carolanne Marcantonio, LMSW, a senior sex therapist and co-founder of Wise Therapy. "Similar to an erect penis, the sponge gets bigger when aroused, so you can find it better when you’re turned on." Once you find the spot, use deep pressure to massage it in a rhythmic circular or “come hither” motion.
Secondary Erogenous Zones
1. Lower Abdomen
"This is a very sensitive spot for both men and women," Dr. Six says. “You can give a teasing little rub or pepper kisses along your partner's lower belly for a sweet sensation.” You can also explore the belly button while in this area. Being close to the vaginal erogenous zones enhances the excitement of “working your way down.”
2. Fingers & Toes
"Try simulating a blow job," Dr. Six says. You can take the full finger or toe into your mouth or run your tongue along or around them. Why not add a little nibbling too?
3. Back of the Knees
The skin behind your knees is actually quite sensitive which makes it a great place for any kind of tickling, nibbling, or rubbing.
"The scalp is a common erogenous zone that is often overlooked," says world-renowned sexologist, educator, and consultant, Goody Howard, MSW, MPH. "It can be stimulated using nourishing hair oil alongside a finger massage with gentle pressure and kneading. Vibrating hair brushes can also be fun. Hair-pulling during sexual play is often appreciated as a result of the scalp being an erogenous zone. Licking and kissing the scalp (specifically for bald people) can be arousing for both the giver and the receiver."
5. Small of the Back
Whether you’re a man or woman, this zone is highly erotic. "The sacrum, or the part just above the butt crease, is a super-sensitive area because the sacral nerves are connected to the pelvis," says Dainis Graveris, sex educator and founder of Sexual Alpha. Dainis suggests brushing this area with your fingernails or lips.
6. Inner Arms & Armpit
These areas can be very ticklish, but when you use that to your advantage, it can be enticing and fun. "If you've tried being stimulated in the crook of your arm toward your armpits, you'll notice how sensitive this area can be. It even elicits a tickle response because of how thin the skin is here. However, you can transform this tickling sensation into a more pleasurable one with the right touch," Graveris explains. Try it out. Use your lips, tongue, and fingers.
7. The Brain
Yes, you read that correctly. The brain is an erogenous zone. Our brains translate what we see, feel, smell, taste, and touch. Everything the brain reads as arousing gets more attention. "The brain is, well, the brains of the whole sexual operation. It receives data, sends signals down the body, releases love hormones (dopamine, serotonin), and instructs the body to respond. Keep the brain happy, and the body will respond," says Zrenchik. For men and women, the way our brains “turn on” is different. Men are typically more sexually aroused by visual stimuli, while women are turned on by emotional, auditory, or physical stimulation. This is not to say that women don’t appreciate looking or men don’t enjoy touching.
"The brain is, well, the brains of the whole sexual operation. It receives data, sends signals down the body, releases love hormones (dopamine, serotonin), and instructs the body to respond. Keep the brain happy, and the body will respond.” Kyle Zrenchik, Ph.D. (Couples & Sex Therapist)
It’s important to try out these various zones to see which ones work for you. Not every erogenous zone that we listed will send you to the moon. Also, it’s important to note that while some zones might have you yelling out “Yes, yes, yes,” others might simply serve to peak your interest. And that’s okay. By mixing up the zones, you increase stimulation in a multi-faceted way so that when you hit that final note, it will be resounding.
We at Vella are firm believers that your sexual wellness is integral to your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. That is why your sex life should be a priority. Take your time in the bedroom, living room, or wherever you choose. And explore those zones!