AskDefine | Define erogenous

Dictionary Definition

erogenous adj : sensitive to sexual stimulation

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Sensitive to sexual arousal.

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Extensive Definition

An erogenous zone is an area of the human body that has heightened sensitivity and stimulation of which normally results in sexual response. There is individual variation in sensitive areas, , but the majority of men and women have common erogenous zones, both areas of the skin, and the penis in men and clitoris in women.


There are two main classes of erogenous zone in the skin, which are accepted.


The skin is similar to normal haired skin and has the normal high density of nerves and hair follicles. These areas include the sides and back of the neck, the axillae (armpit) and sides of the thorax. An exaggerated tickle and anticipatory response are responsible for the heightened sensual response.


These areas produce stronger sensation and include the genitals, including prepuce, penis, clitoris, vulva and perianal skin, scrotum, lips, nipple and conjunctiva. The rete ridges of the epithelium are well formed and more of the nerves are close to the external surface of the skin than in normal haired skin.

Pubic region

Female genitalia
The clitoris provides the most erogenous zone on the female body.
Within the vaginal canal there is a patch of ribbed rough tissue along the front of the canal. It has a texture similar to the palate (the roof of a mouth). This is the Gräfenberg spot, or G-spot.
Male genitalia
The penis is the most sensitive erogenous zone in the male body. In particular, the natural glans and frenulum are highly sensitive and may elicit strong sensations from the slightest touch or movement. The ridged band, theorized by John R. Taylor, is believed to be a sensitive part of the penis as well.
The skin of the scrotum is very sensitive to light touching and stroking, causing a pleasurable sensation; the scrotum may also be quite ticklish.
Males can also be aroused by light stroking and touching of the perineum (the area between the scrotum and the anus). Applying a firm pressure on it just before ejaculation can heighten the intensity of orgasm.
The prepuce, which carries the ridged band and lower frenular delta, has mucocutaneous end-organs extending from the distal margin to the point where hairy skin starts. The thin dermis and minimal subcutaneous tissue results in closely set nerve networks. Vater-Pacini corpuscles are present. The mucocutaneous end-organs are formed after birth, with few in newborn infants and many well-organized endings in adults. Winkelmann suggests that the prepuce is a "specific erogenous zone."
The glans clitoridis has the most dense nerve supply of any part of the skin, with many mucocutaneous end-organs and closely set nerve networks. The Vater-Pacini corpuscle is at the base of the clitoris and the organized mucocutaneous ending is present on the entire inner surface of the labia, with greater concentration toward the clitoris. No sign of specific nerve endings has been found in deep vaginal mucosa and no intraepithial endings are present.
Moving from the hairy skin to the glabrous skin around the anus the nerve networks rise higher in the skin and the mucocutaneous end-organ becomes apparent at the vermilion border, occurring frequently in this transition zone. The Vater-Pacini corpuscle is deep in the subcutaneous tissues, and into the anal canal. Thus the thicker the object inserted into the anus, the higher the pleasure.


In the lips there are rudimentary mucocutaneous end-organs in the superficial part of the skin. The nerve networks are close to the epithelium of the vermilion border of the lip and decrease in density toward the outer part. Toward the oral cavity the dermis becomes thinner and the number of organized nerve endings diminishes. Vater-Pacini corpuscles and the tactile disk are not present.


The oral cavity contains Ruffini and meissner corpusles and varicose expansions of nerves in the mucosa of the tongue. This is where there are a lot of tastebuds.


The conjunctival nerves mostly end in free arborisations.

Breast area

The areola and nipple contain Golgi-Mazzoni, Vater-Pacini and genital corpuscles. No Meissner's corpuscles and few organized nerve endings are present. There are concentrations of nerve tissue in the area of ducts and masses of smooth muscle. The hair surrounding the areola adds additional sensory tissue. The mass of smooth muscle and glandular-duct tissue in the nipple and areola block the development of normal dermal nerve networks which are present in other erogenous regions and the development of special end organs. Indeed, the entire breast has a network of nerve endings, and they have the same number of nerve endings no matter how large they are. Accordingly, smaller breasts are more sensitive while larger breasts can be stimulated (e.g. fondled, bitten, sucked) more forcefully. Intense stimulation of a woman's nipples may result in a surge in the production of oxytocin and prolactin which could have a significant effect on her genitals.


The fingertips have many nerves and are responsive to very light touches, like the brushing of a tongue or light fingernail or teeth stroking. The sides are somewhat less sensitive and more ticklish. Both light and firmer touches work well at the junction of the fingers.

Feet & Toes

Many people enjoy the sensation of having their feet and toes sucked or licked. For many people, however, this can be a very sensitive and ticklish area. People also enjoy the sensation of the soles of the feet being rubbed like a massage.


The inside of the nostril has many nerve endings, which are responsive to light touches, such as from a tongue or a light finger stroke. This is enjoyed by many people, although not many like to admit it, a survey showed that 94% of people found it to be extremely enjoyable and stimulatory.


Many people enjoy having their ears lightly sucked or bitten. It produces an arousing sensation throughout the body and is quite pleasurable. Also, driving the tongue straight into the ear canal is a fairly safe form of penetration, provided that both partners are healthy and not especially subject to otitis.


The neck and clavicle area is a very sensitive region. Licking, kissing, and caressing here are very arousing to many people. The neck area is very prone to broken blood vessels, and too rough of kissing or biting here can leave bruises known as love bites, commonly referred to as hickies. Additionally the back of the neck is very sensitive to arousal by lightly caressing.


This is sometimes called "foreplay for the head". A scalp massage is a way to relax someone, or arouse them.

External links


erogenous in Belarusian: Эрагенныя зоны
erogenous in Catalan: Zona erògena
erogenous in Czech: Erotogenní zóna
erogenous in Danish: Erogen zone
erogenous in German: Erogene Zone
erogenous in Spanish: Zona erógena
erogenous in French: Zone érogène
erogenous in Lithuanian: Erogeninė zona
erogenous in Hungarian: Erogén zóna
erogenous in Dutch: Erogene zone
erogenous in Japanese: 性感帯
erogenous in Polish: Strefy erogenne
erogenous in Portuguese: Zona erógena
erogenous in Romanian: Zonă erogenă
erogenous in Russian: Эрогенная зона
erogenous in Slovenian: Erogena cona
erogenous in Serbian: Ерогене зоне
erogenous in Finnish: Erogeeninen alue
erogenous in Swedish: Erogena zoner
erogenous in Vietnamese: Vùng kích thích tình dục
erogenous in Chinese: 性感帶

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