7 Erogenous Zones You and Your Partner Should Explore During Sex

A guide to 7 erogenous zones sometimes underused for men and women that should receive a little TLC during foreplay for hotter sex sessions.


In the early days of becoming acquainted with my body, I focused my attention primarily on my clitoris. I remember being young and curious and wondering why it was touches to that area left me wrought with spasms nothing short of euphoric. That bundle of nerves is responsible for over 7,000 nerve endings and because of its high nerve concentration, it can be easy to fixate one's attention on that part of the body, but other parts of the body shouldn't go overlooked.

Involving others to indulge in and engage with my body led me to exploring other erogenous zones of my body, parts of me that felt dormant until awakened by the tender love and care of a beau. The touch from a lover can ignite a trail of fire in parts of your body you didn't know desired that kind of feeling. Tapping into the pleasure principles of erogenous zones leads to optimal arousal during foreplay, which in turn leads to a heightened sexual experience.

Read on for examples of erogenous parts of the body you and your partner should explore during sex:


“A good kisser really turns me on. I like it when they know how to kiss me just softly enough. I like sucking on one another's lips and then licking one another's lips. No tongue. Tease me with it." - Jean

The mouth is actually a very sensitive part of the body, which is why kissing can sometimes feel so damn good whenever we engage in the act with someone else. Increase how intensely you feel the sensation there by alternating in speed and depth of how you kiss your mouth. Go from soft and sensual to deep and passionate, tender and brief to purposeful with plenty of tongue.


“I love it when my girlfriend takes one of her tits and puts it in my mouth and pushes my head against her while I suck on her nipple. I can hear her moans around me and feel it through her body while I'm taking her. It's the sexiest thing and I get super turned on." - Kathy

Breasts aren't just for grabbing – suck the tit, tantalize the tit. Caressing the breasts does create pleasure throughout the body, but it's nothing like having the attention front and center on the nipple. They are a vessel of sensitivity and deserve love and affection. Incorporate them during foreplay by having your lover suck on them, flicking them with his/her tongue, and if you're a little daring, have them nibble on it a bit. The amount of pressure you enjoy varies from person to person, but the reality is the same, playing with your nipples is an instant panty-soaker.

“For me, there's nothing like getting head from my guy while he touches my nipples at the same time. It's all I need to get hot." – Elle


“I like a lot of things during foreplay. I like positions that facilitate mutual oral like 69 or on our sides. What I really, really like is my nipples being sucked by the firm lips of a woman." - Matthew

Men can enjoy receiving attention on their nipples too. As mentioned above, nipples are a very sensitive part of the human body, but because they are sexualized more so on women due to our breasts, people sometimes overlook the fact that men have nipples with pleasure-receptive nerve endings too. Trace gentle circles around his nipples with your fingers or nails to tease him. Use your mouth to outline his nipple with your tongue, practice flicking against it, bringing it into your mouth to suck briefly, and then giving a little bite. He'll hiss in delicious, agonizing anticipation.


“I like biting, compliments of how I'm such a good girl, having my hair pulled, being made to beg for it, and his hand wrapped around my neck. Yes. Take it." – Leslie

I remember being cuddled once by my long distance ex. We were in the spoon position and he suddenly started to kiss the nape of my neck. I was surprised at the way my thighs rubbed together and the sensation it sent down my spine that made me writhe against him even though he was barely touching me at all. I was a waterfall that night and it was because the nape of your neck is a center of nerve endings. Have your lover kiss, caress, nibble, and maybe even breathe languidly against that area and watch how positively your body responds to just that touch.

Men are also very sensitive in the neck area, sometimes even more than women might be. Kiss or lick his neck by gliding your tongue all over the side of his neck as a means to stimulate him. Drive him even wilder by sucking on his neck. Purse your lips against a spot there and go as crazy as you want with how deeply you suck, as long as you aren't concerned about leaving a mark. My personal favorite is a deep bite against a man's neck or shoulder blade.


“I like it when she's moving down my body to give me a blowjob and I get the sensation of her hair against my skin as she moves. I feel this intense anticipation because I know exactly where she's going and her hair acts as a tease." - Darryl

The inner thigh is an area of the body super packed with sensitive nerve endings as well. However, in order to really be affected, it's an erogenous zone that might require a little more pressure than others. Have your partner nibble, kiss, or lick the insides of your thighs. Alternate between hot and cool and add ice cubes to the mix. Have your partner trace a line along your skin with the ice and then blow behind it with their breath. The sensation plus the anticipation of your partner being so close to your center but not touching you there will drive you absolutely crazy.


“I was on my knees the other day and he was in a chair. I was supposed to be paying attention to his balls, but I went a little lower this time, and watched him as he enjoyed the pleasure I gave him by licking that area. It really turned me on and I don't think he had any idea that that was there, wanting to be played with." - Amanda

The perineum is an area of the man's body that is highly sensitive to touch and can actually be another way to increase the intensity of his orgasm if done correctly. The perineum is the patch of skin between the balls and anus and can be most easily accessed while in the missionary position. When you see him about to orgasm, reach down between his legs and press your knuckle against that spot. It's also possible to stimulate that spot during other points of intercourse, like during foreplay while you're going down on him. Open up his senses by showing the extent of how sensitive that erogenous zone of his is.


“It's hard to find a woman who knows how to describe her sexuality in depth so I really love it when a woman can talk dirty to me. The nastier, the better." - Shawn

Ears are incredibly sensitive and are responsible for your auditory senses which in turn send signals of pleasure to your brain, heightening your experience. Trace the outside of his or her ear with your tongue or finger. Fuel desire and arousal even further by keeping your mouth close to their ear as you moan or breathe. Add dirty talk while you're there to intensify the moment even further. Watch and feel the way your body pulsates in response.

“I love it when he comes up behind me to nibble on my ear, especially when I least expect it. And then when he runs a hand up along my body to cup my breast? It is on!" - Dani

What are your favorite erogenous zones on your body? What are some of your favorite zones to explore on your partner's body? Share with us below.

I think we all know what it feels like to have our favorite sex toy fail us in one way or another, particularly the conundrum of having it die mid-use. But even then, there has never been a part of me that considered using random objects around my house. Instinctively, I was aware that stimulating my coochie with a makeshift dildo would not be the answer to my problem. But, instead, further exacerbate an already frustrating situation…making it…uncomfortable, to say the least.

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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