Finnish research team maps the human erogenous zones

Finnish researchers have revealed a map of bodily regions capable of triggering sexual arousal when touched

The recent results obtained by a Finnish research group show that the human body has a precisely defined map of erogenous zones, whose touching may trigger sexual arousal. The erogenous sensitivity of different bodily regions was associated with their tactile sensitivity, and the area covered by erogenous zones was larger in individuals with higher sexual desire. Erogenous zones were larger in women than in men, but their size was not dependent on age.

–– Our results highlight that partner’s touch on nearly any bodily region may trigger sexual arousal, yet the erogenous capacity of many bodily regions is more limited when masturbating. When we masturbate, we desire for immediate sexual pleasure and consequently touch on the genital regions. When having sex with a partner, touching other, non-genital bodily areas likely serves other important functions related to pair bonding, says assistant professor Lauri Nummenmaa from Aalto University and Turku PET centre.

–– The results emphasise the importance of the somatosensory system in sexual behaviours. Sexual relationships are important for well-being throughout adulthood. The present results help to understand the touch-based mechanisms related to governing sexual arousal, maintaining intimate and relationships, and the associated disorders,’ says professor Jari Hietanen from University of Tampere.

The study was conducted as an online questionnaire in which more than 700 people participated. The research was funded by the Academy of Finland and Emil Aaltonen Foundation. The results were published on April 18, 2016  in the scientific journal Archives of Sexual Behavior .

Further information

Assistant Professor Lauri Nummenmaa
Aalto University and Turku PET Centre
Tel. +358 (0)50 431 9931
[email protected]     
 

Previous related study: Bodily maps of touch and social relationships are tightly linked

The research results were published November 2015 in Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences of The United States of America (PNAS)

Brain researcher Lauri Nummenmaa combines medical imaging, psychology and computer science. His team studies the molecular brain mechanisms and functional neural networks that guide emotions and social behaviour.  Another of Nummenmaa’s key research interests lies in the neural basis of obesity and overeating.

 

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