Pleasing a woman is an art form – one that you should always be working to grow and evolve. Sure, you may have a few key sex moves down that are standout hits and do the trick to get her going. But anything that becomes routine tends to lose it’s edge pretty quickly – and that goes doubly for your sex life.
The good news is that there are plenty of hotspots on women’s bodies that you likely haven’t stimulated to their full potential – the female erogenous zones.
What exactly are those, you ask? “An erogenous zone is any area that when touched or otherwise stimulated, causes sexual arousal and potentially orgasm for the person being stimulated,” says Dr. Steve McGough. “The term was first used in 1889, created by psychologists to describe areas that could induce orgasm [for women].” In layman’s terms, it’s an area on the body that feels extra good when touched.
As far as lady parts go, you’re probably familiar with the obvious erogenous zones that fall under this category – like her clit and nipples. But there are a few other surprising places that make the list – her inner thighs and lower back, to name a few.
We asked experts and women to weigh in on the top female erogenous zones. From why these parts are extra sensitive to suggestions for stimulation, and even some products that’ll help take things up a notch, here’s your guide to women’s ten favourite spots to be touched.
What To Do: “Breathe very gently over the sides of her neck and ears before circling your tongue around the edges,” says Dr. O’Reilly. Doing so builds up what’s to come, acting as powerful foreplay before the two of you even get naked. If you’re bold enough, you can even pull this move in public to get her going for what’s to come later.
What Women Say: “I once dated a guy who had this ear move that would render me completely powerless,” says Lindsay, 28. “He’d do this half breath, half tongue in my ear but not quite move, that would actually make me gasp because it felt so good.”
“I had sex with an old coworker once at a Christmas party,” says Casey, 26. “We were doing it in the most cliché way possible – in the coat closet of the venue that the party was at. I was a few drinks in, and as things got going I started to make a lot of noise. He whispered in my ear, telling me ‘Shhhh.’ Which made me moan again, because that felt so good. Then he bit my ear as a sort of ‘punishment,’ for not quieting down, and it pushed me over the edge. We didn’t get caught – but if we had it would have been worth it.”
2. Inner Thighs
What makes this spot erogenous is the sheer fact that it’s positioned so close to the clit. Touching the area right near her most sensitive spot makes the inner thighs an ideal place to tease.
What To Do: “Rub the inner (and outer) thighs firmly in circular stroking motions, running from the groin along the inside of the thigh to the knee,” says Dr. McGough. “Then return to the outer area back to the hip.” While you’re at it, making gentle strokes from her knees along her inner thigh, and then up to her groin will take this move to the next level.
Get both thighs involved by caressing them one after the other. “If she is laying on her back, try lifting both her legs up to her knees close to her chest. Then, while holding both legs up, softly stroke along the back of each leg starting with her calves running to her thighs and rear.”
What Women Say: “My husband is the king of inner thigh play,” says Marisa, 29. “Especially when we’re in public and I’m wearing a skirt or dress that allows him easy access. Whenever we’re out somewhere together and, admittedly, have been drinking, he always slips a hand in there, but will continue talking about something completely mundane, like the weather, all while keeping eye contact with me. Whenever he pulls this he knows it means he’s getting lucky once we’re back at home!”
What To Do: “Toe sucking, otherwise known as shrimping, can be very erotic to the giver and receiver,” says sexologist Dr. Megan Stubbs. “Have your partner take your (clean) feet and give you a massage to relax. Then with permission, lick and suck it for pleasure. The uniqueness of the act will definitely keep the receiver’s attention and feel amazing. This may not be for everyone, but don’t yuck someone’s yum.”
What To Use: To amplify your foot massage, Dr. McGough suggests having a vibrator (like this one) act as double duty. “You can use a vibrator along the feet as well for a different sensation,” he says. “Just make sure to wash it before it’s used for any vaginal penetration.”
What Women Say: “Whenever my boyfriend is trying to get me to do him a favour, he offers up a foot massage in return,” says Sara, 26, “because he knows I won’t turn it down. And also, that I’ll end up f*cking him. Especially if I come home from work and he sees that I wore heels that day. He just knows it’s on.”
The obvious one, but most definitely worth talking about, especially since you may not know about the science behind how it works. “The clitoris communicates with the brain via the pudendal nerve,” explains Dr. O’Reilly, “the same pathway that carries information to the brain from the penis. It serves only one function: pleasure.” And with over 8,000 nerve fibres (more than twice the amount found on the head of the penis… sorry guys) it obviously feels really good when you touch it. As long as you’re going about it the right way, of course.
What To Do: First off, you’ll need to make sure her clitoris is plumped up and ready to be touched. “Once women hit the arousal phase, there is increased blood flow to the clitoris,” Dr. Michael Ingber explains. “This is when many women will find direct clitoral stimulation pleasurable.”
So now what? “Instead of poking at the head of the clitoris, which can become so sensitive that it retracts underneath the hood, try stroking the inner shaft of the clitoris through the hood,” says Dr. O’Reilly. “Place a few fingers on the pubic mound (right above the hood of the clitoris) and pull gently following the motion of her hips.”
What Women Say: “Whenever I’m washing dishes, my fiancé likes to come up behind me and get me off with his hand,” says Makayla, 27. “He runs his hand under cold water first. The feel of the cooler temperature while he gently rubs my clit gets me off every time – no matter how often he pulls this move.”
Prepare to have your mind blown. “Now that science knows there’s a lot more to the structure of the clit than we thought (the visible portion only accounts for a quarter of it), we can understand why it can feel good to have your navel licked and touched,” says White. “The clitoris and the belly button actually grew from the same tissue and are neurologically linked.” In fact, some women say they’ve felt sensation in their clit through their belly buttons.
What To Do: Dr. O’Reilly says using your tongue to stimulate the area to reap the maximum benefits. “Spiral your tongue around its perimeter before sliding it in and sucking gently with your lips against her tummy,” she suggests.
Dr. McGough says that you can also get the lower stomach involved for an added effect. “Rub the woman’s lower belly in a slow clockwise motion,” he says. “Press deeper as you get lower, to right above the pubic bone. If you press down as you circle up it will cause the tissue to pull tight and gently tug on the clitoris along with everything else.”
What Women Say: “I learned about belly button play when a partner and I were messing around with a piece of ice,” says Kara, 28. “We were kind of half-jokingly reenacting that scene from Fifty Shades, where she’s tied up and blindfolded, and when the piece of ice got really tiny he put it in my belly button to be a jerk. But what ended up happening was that I felt it in my clit. Now we do it on purpose.”
6. Lower Back
It’s no accident that sensual dances like salsa or tango call for the man to place has his hand on the woman’s lower back. There are plenty of nerves in that area, extending down to her bum cheeks. “The sacral nerves in the small of your back basically have a direct line to your genitals and can trigger great pleasure when touched,” explains White.
What To Do: “The lower back and upper buttocks can respond to anything from light, feathery touches to grabbing and more overt slapping,” says sex therapist Dr. Kat Van Kirk. “It’s the perfect spot to start light and then build.”
Dr. O’Reilly says she has even worked with women who can reach climaxwhen this spot has been touched the right way. “I’ve worked with three women who reach orgasm from the stimulation of their lower backs,” she says. “Sweep your hands in slow, wide motions as you tease your way down to her butt cheeks.”
What Women Say: “Not only does it feel amazing, but there’s something really hot about a guy paying that extra attention to it,” says Andrea, 25, “because it’s not an obvious body part you’d think someone would go for. I like it when my partner uses his mouth there, and drags his lips along while grabbing both my butt cheeks really hard.”
The one you’ve all been waiting for, fellas. Aside from being connected to nerves that make touching them extra pleasurable, nipple stimulation also helps women reach orgasm. In fact, some ladies can get off from just nipple play alone. “The nipples and breasts can be an important region when initiating foreplay, and especially during the arousal phase of the sexual response cycle,” Dr. Ingber explains. “Direct stimulation, whether from light touching or oral stimulation causes the tissue to release oxytocin, a chemical also known as the ‘love hormone’, which plays an important role in orgasm in women.”
What To Do: “Nipples can be stimulated many ways including sucking, circling, stroking, vibration, ‘percussion’ with your partner’s mouth, or tickling with the fingertips,” says Dr. McGough. But be sure to keep in touch with your partner and take things slow at first, since this area is extra sensitive.
What Women Say: “The first orgasm I ever had was a ‘nipplegasm,'” says Nicole, 28. “The guy I was hooking up with went at my nipples forever, making slow, smooth circles with his tongue. When the build up and release finally came and went I was hooked on nipple play forever. It’s still one of my favourite things.”
The phrase ‘breathing down your neck’ usually has a negative connotation. But when the right person is dedicating their efforts to gently blowing on this extremely erogenous spot, the results can be mind blowing. “This is a highly sensual erogenous zone packed with sensitive nerve endings,” says White. The vagus nerve, packed with sensory fibres, runs along this area as well.
What To Do: “Light touch is best here, whether with your hands or your mouth,” says White “Think more gentle feather touch, less mama lion picking up her disobedient cub. If you’re using your hands, don’t forget that this leaves your lips free and the highly sensitive earlobe is… right there.”
What Women Say: “The right combination of light breathing, kissing, and gentle lip grazing on the neck gives any girl goosebumps,” says Aly, 31. “And those goosebumps go doubly if he just so happens to be putting a necklace on me in the process.”
9. Head (Scalp)
If you’ve ever treated yourself to having your hair washed when getting a trim, you know just how good a scalp rub can feel. “The scalp is a hot bed of nerve endings,” says Dr. Stubbs, “which makes it a great erogenous zone.”
What To Do: “The scalp is loaded with nerve endings that can be delightfully stimulated when massaged,” says White, “or when hair is gently tugged to stimulate the follicles releasing a wave of calming, arousing oxytocin.” Gently stroking the scalp also works to relax and stimulate a woman’s cranial nerves, which help her relax and get into the mood.
What To Use: Anything you can do to add more subtle vibrations or sensations will make this experience even more incredible. “A scalp or neck massage is a great way to help your partner relax and get comfortable,” says Dr. Stubbs. “You can use a vibrator on the neck and scalp, or use one of those wire cage massagers. Your partner will be feeling tingles in no time.”
What Women Say: “All of the shower sex I’ve had with my current partner has started with him washing my hair,” says Adriana, 30. “My guy has a way with his hands for sure, but watching him get so excited about washing my hair, picking the shampoo out from the ones that I’m always hoarding, and working his magic is a whole experience. I’m a lucky girl.”
Kissing feels awesome (duh). But you probably don’t know the science behind why. “When we kiss, our brains make dopamine and oxytocin,” says Drake, “or ‘feel good’ chemicals.” And the more you kiss, the better it gets. “Blood gets flowing and what was already an intense erogenous zone goes into overtime,” she says. Fun fact: The skin on your lips is more sensitive than on most parts of your body – over 100 times more sensitive than the skin on your fingers, for starters.
What To Do: There’s more you can do to your woman’s lips than just kiss them. “Gently nibble on your partner’s bottom lip,” says Drake. “Run your fingers over their mouth in between kisses. Bonus tip: Don’t stop kissing once you’re making sweet love. Keep close contact by locking lips at regular intervals, no matter what position.”
What To Use: If you and your partner haven’t experimented with pheromone-based lip balm, there’s no time like the present. “Apply this balm to your lips and enjoy the warm, electrifying buzzy sensation yourself, then share it with a partner,” says White.
What Real Women Say: “I once dated a guy who would pull away from kissing me and immediately graze my lips with his thumb while still cupping my face,” says Lisa, 25. “I think he must have known what he was doing, because leaving me that way kept me coming back to him over and over – even though, honestly, he was kind of a dick.”