An erogenous zone is any area on your body that makes you feel excited when it’s touched.
The genitals are an obvious erogenous zone, as are nipples and the butt. Some less obvious, but still pretty well-known, erogenous zones include the neck, the feet, the inner thighs, and the wrists.
But these aren’t the only erogenous zones. In fact, our entire body is covered in erogenous zones just waiting to be discovered!
And today we’re going to tell you how to find them.
“When we talk about erogenous zones, we’re essentially talking about the zones of the body that turn you on,” says Georgia Grace, a qualified sex coach. “But this is a really individual thing. Sure, there are some areas that a lot of people find sexually stimulating, but you’ll probably find that you have one particular, surprising place on your body that turns you on when it’s touched or stimulated.”
So maybe you’ve got a thing for having your earlobe nibbled. Perhaps you instantly get turned on when your partner touches the small of your back. Or maybe rubbing your lower stomach gets you in the mood every time. Your favourite place to be touched doesn’t have to be inherently sexual in order to be an erogenous zone.
“In the right context and with the desired stimulation, the whole body has the capacity to be an erogenous zone,” Georgia says. “Actually, context can be a lot more important than you’d think. Many of us have been in the same room as someone we’re attracted to and have experienced arousal without them even touching us. This sort of stimulation can be brought on by the heat of their body, knowing they’re close, or even touching a part of your body that’s not typically sexual, like brushing by your arm.”
That’s right—when we’re in the right mood, and if we’re with the right person, any part of our bodies can be an erogenous zone.
But just because any part of our body can be erogenous doesn’t mean that every part of our body will feel good when it’s touched. Some of us hate having our feet touched. Others find the backs of our knees super ticklish. And there’s probably quite a few of us who don’t enjoy being touched in some of the ‘traditional’ erogenous areas like our nipples, genitals, or butts.
So how do we find out where we actually enjoy being touched? And how can we uncover those hidden erogenous zones that are waiting to be discovered?
One of Georgia’s favourite exercises is called the Awakening Hands exercise—it was developed by Dr. Betty Martin, an intimacy coach and certified sexological bodyworker. It’s a way to tap into the feelings that are created when we experience touch.
“I know this practice might sound a little silly, because it’s ‘just’ touching our hands together,” offers Georgia, “But it’s a powerful way to tap into an almost meditative state and focus your attention on something with simple, easy breathwork.”
We’ll take you through the exercise now, and then explain how you can try it on any part of your body to find your hidden erogenous zones.
- Find a quiet, comfortable, and safe spot—somewhere where you can feel relaxed, where you won’t be disturbed.
- Decide which one of your hands will be the ‘giving’ hand, and which will be the ‘receiving’ hand (you can try the exercise with one, and then start over on the other hand if you like!).
- Set a timer for five minutes, and close your eyes.
- Focus your awareness and attention into your hands.
- Using the ‘giving’ hand, begin touching the ‘receiving’ hand. Experiment with different types of touches: stroking, tickling, tapping, kneading, light slapping, and massaging. You can gently tug on your fingers and softly squeeze your nails—whatever feels interesting! Continue experimenting with different touches for the full five minutes.
- Once the timer goes off, notice how the ‘receiving’ hand feels. Is it tingling? Pulsing? Or just really relaxed? How does the ‘giving’ hand feel?
This exercise can be repeated on any part of your body that you want to explore further. Set a timer and, using one or both hands, experiment with all of the different ways you can touch a particular body part. Try some different types of touches: caress the skin, massage it, gently poke it, tap it, draw patterns on it, or even give it a soft pinch.
Here are some of the areas we recommend trying, although we encourage you to come up with a list of your own!
- The arch of your foot
- Your elbow
- Your scalp
- The area behind your knee
- Your upper chest, along your collarbones
- Your stomach
- The very top of your inner thighs
- Your face
This exercise is also one that can be done with a partner. We recommend discussing with them beforehand which area of their body they’d like you to touch, and how they’d like you to touch it.
Once you’ve outlined each other’s comfort levels, you can invite them to relax, close their eyes, and focus on their breath and the feeling of your touch on their skin. Here are some styles of touch we’d try, and the places we’d try them—what would you choose?
- Tickle their kneecaps
- Massage their calves
- Softly tug on their toes
- Tap along their inner arms
- Gently scratch their scalp
- Stroke their stomach
- Lightly slap or pat their upper thighs
- Trace your fingers along their back—try tracing a message or a word, and invite them to guess what it was!
The most important thing to remember is that there’s no wrong or right way to enjoy being touched. Something that might feel great for other people may not be enjoyable for you; and something that others dislike might feel wonderful for you. Enjoy the feelings and sensations that are present in your body as you explore it, and use the knowledge you gain to build a greater idea of physical sensations you find enjoyable both in the bedroom and outside of it.