If you want it to, sex can involve so much more than just genitals. By interacting with other pleasure centres on the body, you can excite your partner before and while you’re doing the deed, to make their orgasms more powerful, says certified sex coach Gigi Engle.
These sensitive areas, called erogenous zones, can generate sexual responses that are similar to or just as satisfying as playing with your partner’s private bits, thanks to the release of the same feel-good chemicals that are activated in the brain during sex itself. By just giving a little TLC to these special spots, you can show your partner how into their entire body you are—making them feel way sexier and motivating them to give you their all.
If all that hasn’t got you convinced, a study even backed this up, pinpointing the 10 best male hot spots. While the penis came out on top (no shocker there), there are plenty of other sensitive parts he wants you to include in the action.
I even reached out to a few sexperts to add more must-hit buttons—here are the 16 erogenous zones for men—plus a few pointers about how to stimulate each one to keep the pleasuring coming and coming and coming…
1. His Feet
Foot fetishes aside, because feet are sensitive, they can be very erotic, says Engle. Being that you're on your feet all day practically guarantees that they'll ache from time to time, so what better than a message for your partner after a long day, before getting frisky?
If you get really good at giving foot rubs, you might hit on one of the numerous pressure points that Engle says are "directly linked to the genitals." (They're different for everyone...sorry.) Top all that tootsie action off with a little toe-sucking for good measure.
2. His Belly Button
This is one area of the body that rarely gets enough attention (especially on men), says Engle. But once you've cleaned out the lint, you'll realise that this spot lends itself to sensual touch. Of course, the area won't be a turn-on for everyone, but you can quickly figure out it if it is for your partner by gently making circles inside his navel with your finger.
Didn't work? No worries. Belly buttons are great for food play, too, says Engle. Bring a drizzle of chocolate sauce into the bedroom (or bathroom) and lick it out of your partner's belly button to tease the area just above the genitals.
3. His Hands
Since you do so much with your hands during sex, it's easy to think of them as sensual parts of the body. But what you might not have considered is, because you use them for practically everything—sex-related or otherwise—they're packed with nerve-endings and hold a ton of tension that you can relieve for your partner with a hand massage, says Engle.
Once things really start heating up, focus on your partner's fingers by stroking them with your own or sucking on them with your mouth.
4. His Scalp
The feeling of fingernails gently running across the scalp is a simple move, but it's enough to send shivers through the body, Engle promises. It's an instant relaxer that warms the body up for the intensified intimacy that's coming next.
5. Back of His Knees
After asking your partner if he's ticklish, kiss or run a few gentle fingers over this unexpected erogenous zone. The skin there is super-sensitive, says Engle, so interacting with it will excite his nerves, thus exciting your partner.
6. Nape of His Neck
This might be far from the main attraction, but it can still be a v sensual spot. “Neck stimulation sends signals to your circulatory system, increasing blood flow,” says sex therapist Gloria Brame, PhD, author of Sex for Grown-Ups: A Sex Primer for the 21st Century. Try gently stroking or kissing this area during foreplay and during sex.
7. His Mouth and Lips
Most men are just as amped about kissing as you are. “The lips are just one of those very sensitive membranes of the body,” says Brame. Try biting your partner's lips, stroking them with your tongue, and gently rubbing them with your fingers.
8. His Scrotum
This soft, sensitive tissue surrounding his testicles is packed with nerve endings. “Holding, cupping, and very gently rubbing or massaging them is all very sensual for men,” says Brame. Be sure to ask him how much pressure he prefers—like with salt, it's always better to start with a little, then add more as desired.
9. Inner Thigh
This thick-skinned, muscular area can handle a little more pressure than others, so Brame suggests caressing, massaging, or lightly tracing your nails along his inner thighs.
10. His Penis
Ob-viiiiii. Instead of honing in just on the tip of the penis, though, focus on the entire shaft, says Brame. “Make a circle around the base of his penis with your hand and squeeze gently while pleasuring him,” says Brame. This will boost blood flow and sensitivity. Want to take it up a notch? Go for a slow blow—he'll go wild.
11. His Nipples
While some men have ultra-sensitive nipples, others aren’t too fond of stimulation there, so Brame suggests going slow. If he’s into it, you can try gently tracing the area with your finger or kissing them softly. To up the ante, says Engle, gently squeeze his nipples just as he orgasms to make his climax more powerful.
12. His Perineum
The nerve endings in this area actually span all the way from his pubic bone to his anus and into his thighs. One über-sensitive spot is right beneath the scrotum—try pressing very gently here or lightly flicking your tongue on this spot, says Brame. Then there's the anus itself, which houses the prostate (a.k.a. the P-spot, or "male G-spot").
13. His Pubic Hairline
You might know the area around your pubic bone is a huge erogenous zone, but it actually is for men, too. “When he’s lying down, start right under his belly button and trace circles around the area,” says Brame. This spot—right where his belt would be—is often overlooked.
14. His Lower Back
Sex can be a great stress reliever, so it's shouldn't be too surprising that massaging the lower back—a spot that endures a ton of strain (and holds a lot of tension) throughout the day can also help set the mood at night.
While you're kneading the muscles of his lower back, take the opportunity to tease your partner's butt cheeks and perineum. He'll welcome the surprise.
15. The Back of His Neck
Similar to the nape of the neck, this area is packed with nerve endings that send erotic signals to his brain. Give it some love by kissing it, massaging it, or breathing hot air down the back of his neck, says Brame. Some guys might even like a little scratching...especially if they have longer hair.
16. His Ears
Aside from whispering about what you want to do to him later (which you absolutely should do, you sex goddess), you can also caress or lightly nibble on his earlobes for an added arousal boost, says Brame.
Oh, and don't forget the patch of skin right behind his ears—kiss it slowly, just like you secretly (or not so secretly) want from him.
This article originally appeared on Women's Health US.