Love & Sex

10 Surprising Facts You Didn’t Know about Erogenous Zones

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What was Monica Geller's seventh erogenous zone?

Erogenous zones are tricky things. Seemingly everywhere on a living, breathing human body and yet, we know almost nothing of them. The concept of an erogenous zone is as intriguing as it is elusive. Part mythological lady mag fodder and part scientific fact. Here are some of the few fun facts we've been able to nail down about erogenous zones so far. Let's get a little more acquainted with that body of yours.

1. There are two different kinds of erogenous zones: nonspecific and specific zones. Nonspecific zones are areas full of just as many nerve endings as regular skin and just as many hair follicles. These can include pretty normal, but still sensitive, areas like the neck, the sides of the arms, earlobes, and the sides of the body. 

2. The second group is full of areas comprised of skin that meets up with mucous membranes or sex organs, like the vulvar lips, the head of the penis, the clitoris, the perineum, and the anal region. Basically, areas associated with the sexual response cycle. In these areas, nerves are closer to the external surface of the skin. 

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3. Call it cliché, but the brain is considered to be the largest erogenous zone. All erotic feelings start in the brain.

481.5 percent of women count their breasts and nipples as a major erogenous zone that turns them on. Only 51.7 percent of men feel the same way about their chests. 

5. Contrary to what you might believe, science says that men have almost just as many erogenous zones as women.

6. Studies have shown that across genders, races, continents, sexual orientation, and ages, the most popular erogenous zones are genitals (duh), ears, inner thighs, and lips.

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7. The navel is an odd, but powerful, erogenous zone. When someone pokes inside or around a belly button, some people may feel erotic sensations. That's because the navel and genitals have a common tissue origin. For some, the stimulation feels like a tickle – down there. For others, it sort of feels like they have to pee.

8. While science can track the most "popular" erogenous zones, there's nothing hard and fast about articles that claim to know the top 10 best zones for every man or woman. People are aroused by different things. Don't assume what works for one lover will work for another. For example, a study published in the journal Cortex found that women rate the nape of the neck on the 7.51 erogenous scale (out of 10), while men only rate it an average of 5.65.

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9. Studies have found that the least erogenous zones on the human body are the elbow, shin, kneecaps, nose and forehead. No arguments there.

10. A new study in the Journal of Sex Medicine found that out of all of a woman's erogenous zones, the nipples and clitoris respond the most to both vibration and pressure. Well, that explains the sex toy industry.

And finally, here is your bonus fact: In an episode of Friends entitled "The One with Phoebe's Uterus," Monica explains that there are seven erogenous zones on a woman's body. This is false: there are more than seven. While there are speculations otherwise on the internet,  the lucky number "seven" zone that famously sent her into a happy fit was undoubtedly the clitoris, that happy, orgasm-giving place with over 8,000 nerve endings. The other six zones? You'll have to ask Chandler Bing.

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Image via Warner Bros.