With all the titillation surrounding us, we should be ready to rumble 24/7. Sexual innuendo has been usurped by sexual explicitness on TV and movies, as well as in song lyrics. Sexy videos of both famous and common people are available for viewing at the click of a button, and print and television ads assure us there's a pill or device to enhance our intimate encounters to levels we can't imagine possible.
According to Carla Clark, PhD, a scientific consultant, writer and researcher in a variety of fields, including neuropsychology, biotechnology and molecular biology, "Sex is all in our heads, quite literally. Our brains are involved in all steps of sexual behavior and in all its variations, from feelings of sexual desire and partner choice, to arousal, climaxing and even post-coital cuddling." But to kick-start that brain activity takes physical arousal.
That's where erogenous zones come into play. Most people know about the more popular ones like the neck, ear lobes and intimate zones but there are others from head to toe that often go unexplored. If you decide to find more zones on your own, you'll get the best results concentrating on thin skinned areas of the body where super-sensitivity runs rampant.
10 Inner Thigh
Maybe not the first spot that comes to mind, the inner side of the fleshy upper leg is extremely sensitive to touch and one of the most overlooked erogenous zones. Women, in particular, are often aroused by kisses, licks and strokes on the tender inner thigh, although males are also receptive to caresses there. Lovers can test the theory by "accidentally on purpose" gently grazing that area and noting any responsive shivers or heart palpitations. Or perhaps the answer is in her eyes or on her lips…the journey is often more exciting than reaching the destination.
Nibbling on ear lobes and running your tongue along the inner ear have been popular turn-ons since the first seduction, probably based on easy access. Often featured in make-out sessions on screen in movies and television, teenagers seem particularly drawn to the ritual, perhaps due to its simplicity. But you can arouse your partner with much less energy and saliva by simply running your finger right behind the ear by the hairline. For many, simply breathing on that small area does the trick. Who needs props and toys to reach ecstatic highs?
One of the most ignored arousal zones, the scalp is highly sensitive to touch as well as temperature. Ever find yourself a little too happy at the salon during the massaging shampoo ritual? That's why. A slow scalp massage can stimulate the hormone linked to climaxing, so this can help set the stage for your encounter. As passions escalate, a little gentle hair pulling fuels the fire. Now you know why many people pull on hair during intimacy, it may hurt but at the same time increase pleasure during the experience.
7 Lower stomach
Most people have always enjoyed having their belly rubbed. That gentle massage could calm you instantly and even bring you down from a sugar high. The reason it is so magical is the area between the bellybutton and pelvis is highly sensitive and massaging it promotes blood flow to more erogenous zones. Be gentle so the touching remains stimulating and doesn't evolve into tickling, which can quickly kill an amorous adventure.
6 Bikini zone
As the fad of over-landscaping subsides in light of reason (yes, the hair protects the body from maladies) and comfort, the bikini zone if you will, will soon have a visible resurgence. The skin in that area is highly sensitive and excitable for both sexes. Unfortunately, this region often gets overlooked in the race for the roses. Take time to linger on your trek to the nether regions; the reward sweetens with time and patience (aka foreplay).
Arm pits have never got the kudos they deserve. Often only seen as hairy or scratchy hollows that produce bad odors, underarms are one of the body's secret hot spots of sensuality and euphoria. Men are particularly responsive to underarm massage and licking, both of which simultaneously arouse sexual desire and relieve shoulder tension, a double dip of pleasure. Just be careful not to ingest any deodorant or antiperspirant residue.
Once you discover how erotic your inner elbow is, you'll never again denigrate the joint by calling it a "funny bone." Start with a soft kiss right where it bends on the inside of your arm. Follow that with a couple gentle finger strokes and for the grand finale, lightly scratch with a nicely trimmed fingernail. Foreplay you can subtly engage in at a restaurant or movie theater is always welcomed.
Massage parlors often conjure up thoughts of paid sexual encounters masquerading as therapeutic kneading and rub downs. Legit or not, back massages are sexually stimulating for both women and men. Light massage oils enhance the experience with added heat and the benefits of aromatherapy. Start with the shoulders and work your way down. The spine is a minefield of erogenous hot spots but don't go all chiropractic and start cracking vertebrae. Keep your touch light and intersperse the ritual with some soft kisses over the entire back
2 Hips and Sacrum
Although you might not consider your hips a highly erotic zone, those fleshy mounds are extremely sensitive to touch. When gently kneaded, they stimulate a plethora of nerves deliciously close to the more intimate parts. To kick the arousal up a notch, use fingertips to lightly tap the sacrum. That's not the tailbone but the large, triangular bone at the base of the spine and at the upper, back part of the pelvic cavity. You'll never interpret the term "booty call" the same way again.
Among the most surprising of the erogenous zones, the nose is also the most easily accessible spot to get your engines revved up. The reason: that proboscis is made up of erectile tissue. Test it out by lightly brushing your partner's face with your fingertips (no fingernails). End up encircling each nostril and then gently touching that tiny cleft between the bottom of the nose and the upper lip. That fable of Eskimos rubbing noses as part of their romantic ritual may have more validity than we thought.