40 Male Arousal Triggers – A Man’s 40 Sexiest Erogenous Zones
Let’s talk about arousal. You probably already know there are tons of different ways to set the vibes before sex. Your sex playlist, where you go at it, and how you go about touching your partner(s) all play a major role in your overall sexperience. But what turns one person on might not do the job for another, which is where things can get complicated. The good news is, even though everyone’s different, when hooking up with a guy, some general male arousal triggers might really be able to turn them on. Like, really turn them on, which means you’re gonna wanna try them, like, yesterday.
First thing’s first, though: It’s important to remember that “man” doesn’t necessarily = penis. While there are some general penis-related male arousal triggers, there are even spots more that can be found on all body types. This is because many erogenous zones—areas on the body your brain deems pleasurable to the touch—are universal. And these universal hotspots are kind of like arousal shortcuts, dating coach and author of Dating Sucks But You Don’t, Connell Barrett, says. If you find your partner’s e-zones, “You can take them from zero to Oh my god! in a matter of seconds,” he explains.
Granted, you could argue that any zone on someone’s body could be an arousal trigger if treated appropriately, but there is evidence that some specific areas are worth paying more attention to than others when it comes to pleasure. That’s because some of these spots are full of nerve-endings (like your ears), while others are hot because they’re so often easily overlooked (when was the last time you kissed the *front* of your partner’s neck?).
And even though many people have similar erogenous zones and arousal triggers, Barrett notes that everyone is different, so what makes your toes curl might not do the job for your partner, and vice versa. “That’s what makes discovering male arousal triggers so much fun,” he explains. “It’s like unearthing a tactile treasure that your partner might not have even known about, which just makes it even hotter.”
To help you on your pleasure quest, we’ve rounded up 40 expert-backed areas to pay attention to when trying to find your S.O.’s secret feel-good spots. Barrett suggests just exploring the different areas stress-free, because no matter what, if your partner has a hottie like you touching them, they’re gonna be having a good time. But if you feel stuck, try the tips we’ve included for each male arousal trigger that’ll help you truly go above and beyond.
1. The Foreskin
Some people are circumcised (which is when the foreskin of the penis is cut off) and some people aren’t, and neither is better than the other. But for those who are uncircumcised, there’s a benefit: The foreskin amounts to around 15 square inches of bonus e-zone. “The foreskin is packed with nerve endings, and stimulating the thin skin in this area lends a highly pleasurable experience,” says Mia Sabat, a sex therapist at Emjoy. There’s also sensitivity on both the outside and inside surfaces of the foreskin.
Try this: Use a hand to move the foreskin up and down over the head of the penis itself, suggests Sabat. During oral, you can also focus on it by using a combo of your hand, tongue, and lips. Because of the sensitivity on both the outside and inside of the foreskin, a rolling motion on the foreskin during sex can also be quite pleasurable.
2. Lower Stomach
Another nerve-filled area is the lower stomach, says Sabat, which becomes more and more concentrated closer to the genital area. Give the area right below their belly button but above their pubic bone or genitals some extra love to show them your affection and attention.
Try this: Teasing and stimulating this area can feel v pleasurable through kissing, gentle biting, and temperature play, says Sabat. You can even experiment with some light pressure play, “but be warned: it’s best to try [pressure play] with an empty bladder,” Sabat adds.
3. Inner Arms
The thin, soft skin of the inner arms makes this area ultra-sensitive, according to Sabat. Think about it—how often do you really give attention to your inner arms?
Try this: While most of these erogenous zones can be stimulated through kissing or your tongue, the light, controlled movement of your fingers is especially great for inner arms. Stroke the skin from just inside their inner shoulder and move gently down to the inner elbow, says Sabat. If you and your partner are both into BDSM and have spoken about trying it out, pulling this move when your partner has their arms tied up (either in a fixed T-shape or just with their wrists above their head), can be really sexy too, Sabat adds.
4. Inner Wrist
Moving down the arm, stimulating the sensitive, thin skin of the inner wrist can also be incredibly pleasurable for your partner. Not only that, Sabat adds, but feeling your partner’s heart rate increase as you get closer to their pulse point can be both a turn-on and extremely empowering.
Try this: The inner wrist is a great erogenous zone you can stimulate while both of you are in public (in a non-gross) way. Simply stroking or kissing your partner’s inner wrist is a great way to show that you’re feeling sensual, Sabat says, and it’s just a pretty sweet move overall.
5. Palm of Their Hands and Fingertips
Fun fact: Hands are actually some of the most sensitive and responsive areas of the body, says Sabat. This area is full of nerve-endings—a fact you probably already know if you’ve ever been bodied by a teensy paper-cut that somehow feels like someone cut your whole finger off.
Try this: “Take your partner’s palm in your hand and gently trace along the edges and lines of their palm with your fingertips,” says Sabat. Then, turn it up by “kissing their palms and fingertips, or gently taking one finger into your mouth to suck, swirling your tongue around their finger and moving your lips along its length.”
6. Behind the Knee
Not only is the skin thin and sensitive, but it’s also nerve-packed, says Sabat. Plus it gets points for being highly overlooked because truly, have you ever considered paying extra attention to the under-knee area? I know I haven’t.
Try this: The area behind the knee can be a super versatile erogenous zone as it can be teased without being gross in public, but also focused on during sex when, y’know, you’re back in private. Sabat says to try gently running your fingers over the area, or engaging with this bodily real estate during penetrative sex with touching, stroking, or dialing the intensity up a bit by applying pressure.
While you might’ve heard about the prostate being wowza-levels of pleasurable for those with penises, even without the prostate, backdoor play can still be something pleasurable you engage in with your partner. There are tons of nerve endings in the anal region, says Sabat, and once you’ve discussed and okay-ed anal play, it can be a really hot experience for you both. Remember, as with all things butt play, the importance of lube, patience, and ongoing consent cannot be stressed enough. The anus doesn’t self-lubricate like a vagina, so lots of lube is a must for this situation.
Try this: For those who want to explore anal play but aren’t sure if they want to give or receive anal penetration quite yet, don’t worry, you can absolutely stimulate the anus without penetration. Sabat recommends starting with massaging your partner’s buttocks. “Stroke the entire area and place your hands on the folds where the legs and buttocks meet, then slide your fingers across the fold from the inner thigh to the outer area, before starting to caress the outside of the anus,” she suggests.
After that, if you and your partner have spoken about anal penetration as something you both want to do, then that’s when you can start thinking about moving towards penetration with either your (well-lubed!) finger or toy.
8. Outer Thighs
“Some of the best erogenous zones are places we can innocently caress in everyday life, and the thighs are an excellent example,” says Sabat. Thighs are similar to the groin or inner thigh, but much less intimate, so you can interact with the area in public without a hitch.
Try this: Sabat recommends lightly touching or squeezing and gently massaging the area while sitting next to your partner. Specifically, zone in on the space between their knee and halfway up the thigh, Sabat says, as this teasing movement will make them want more. When you are in private, you can, of course, cover this area with gentle licks, kisses, and even small bites, if that’s something you’re both into.
9. Inner Thighs
Relationship therapist Eboni Harris says that since the inner thigh is so close to the penis, “even without the sensation of touch, just being in that area is sure to get your partner anticipating what’s next.”
Try this: Harris suggests taking your time to kiss and lick your partner’s inner thigh before going to touch their penis when performing oral. Tease and experiment with your lips, going from light fluttering kisses to harder sucking.
“Similar to the inner thighs, this region is so close to the genitals that having your partner tease this area can be equally frustrating and satisfying,” explains Sabat. The groin, aka where your abdomen transitions into the lower body and legs, is packed with nerve endings, and it just gets bonus points for being adjacent to the genitals.
Try this: To really tease your partner, have them keep their underwear on while you run your fingers over the area slowly, before eventually moving to touch their skin, says Sabat. Once undressed, she suggests kissing and caressing the area, and especially doing so if you’re giving oral, as this can make things even more intimate.
Ears are hypersensitive to touch as there are tons of sensation receptors along the inside and outside of the ear, says sex and pleasure educator Luna Matatas.
Try this: Suck the top part of your partner’s ear and then run your tongue along the inside, says Matatas. The beauty of ear play is that when you’re that up close and personal, your hands are also free to roam the rest of their bod.
“Anywhere on the body that has thinner skin is going to have more sensitivity to sensation and more possibility of blood flow during arousal,” Matatas explains. The ribs are one of these areas, and because they’re usually covered up by clothing, there’s a touch of taboo involved.
Try this: In case your S.O. is ticklish, test the area out first with a teasing touch. Matatas recommends slowly dragging your hands and fingers down the sides of their body or leaving a little breadcrumb trail of kisses or light nibbles on their ribs.
Another sensitive spot that can also be ticklish, armpits are often overlooked but can still be super pleasurable for people. While the pits don’t have any special nerve endings, they can still be quite intimate because of their under-serviced status as an erogenous zone, says Matatas.
Try this: Go for some sucking, licking, or light, teasing touching says Matatas. Armpits can also be mutually beneficial spots to pay attention to during sex since they secrete scent—great for feeling primal when you’re getting hot and heavy.
What better place to start than the receptor points for experiencing touch? Just because you use them and they’re well, there, in every sex act doesn’t mean they can’t benefit from having the spotlight turned onto them as well.
Try this: Matatas suggests massaging their fingers (because how great is that massage part during a manicure, right?), kissing your partner’s finger pads gently, dragging your teeth along the side of them lightly, or putting them in your mouth and dragging them out slowly. All the better if you turn up the eye contact during the last part.
15. Their Beard
If your partner has facial hair, you can really work it to your advantage. Think about how sexy it feels when someone runs their fingers through your hair, says Kate W., co-founder of Pleasure Better. “For some reason,” she adds, “We never think about someone’s beard being the same way.” Shame, isn’t it?
Try this: Kate says to start at the base of your partner’s neck and trace your fingers up slowly through their beard, eventually running over their scalp. This trick feels so good that it won’t be long before their fingers are eventually entangled in your hair as well.
16. The Base of the Shaft
The penis actually extends further into the body than you might see at first glance, says Matatas, which means it’s a great place to play with pressure and increase blood flow.
Try this: Using your fingers, find the base of the penis and explore with pressure. “At the base of the penis, explore putting pressure around the shaft with your index finger and thumb in an ‘ok’ symbol, pushing back towards the body,” says Matatas. While your fingers are getting to work, use your other free hand or mouth to stimulate the head of your partner’s penis.
17. The Back of Their Neck
This is a hot spot because of the many nerve endings there, explains sex expert Antonia Hall. It’ll also give you some “under-utilized hot spot” points because it’s often overlooked when it comes to getting it on.
Try this: Hall recommends licking a trail just below your partner’s hairline, down their neck, and along the sides. You can also start with slow, sensual kisses, eventually easing your tongue to turn up any sensitivity.
18. Their Hair
You know how good it feels when someone plays with your hair? The same thing goes for guys, y’all. “Men have nerve endings on their scalp that are attached to the rest of their body, and when their hair is gently pulled when they are kissed or held, it sends stimulation to the rest of their body,” says sex and relationships therapist Tammy Nelson, PhD.
Try this: While kissing, try running the tips of your fingers through your S.O.’s hair, gently over their scalp, then a bit harder with a tug. “If they react with small sounds and pleasure moans, pull harder, then let go before they want you to,” says Nelson. This playful tease will drive them legitimately wild.
19. Their Toes
Shrimpin’ anyone? Yes, this is what it’s called when you suck on your partner’s toes (or they suck on yours). “This is so erotic because feet are a nonconventional hotbed of sensation just waiting for some stimulation,” says sexologist Megan Stubbs.
Try this: During sexy foreplay, move your kisses teasingly down their body until you’re all the way down at their feet. Stubbs suggests sucking on your partner’s toes or even gently biting each little piggie. Just maybe have ’em take a shower before?
20. Between Their Toes
You’ve already got their toes in your mouth, so while you’re there, Barrett says to pay extra attention to the area between the toes. “The skin between our toes is quite sensitive and thin,” he explains, making this spot an underrated erogenous zone to zero in on.
Try this: “Use your pinkie—not a thumb or index finger—to caress the area between the toes,” Barrett suggests. “Odds are, your partner’s never once been touched there, and they’ll be both aroused and surprised when you hit this overlooked spot.” Try switching up the pressure—like with your fingernail—to see what sends your S.O. over the edge.
21. The Bottom of Their Feet
The bottoms of the feet tend to get the most attention during foot rubs and pedicures, and for good reason. This area is covered in pressure points and arousal zones, explains Barrett, which makes the arches a super popular place people like to be touched, no matter their gender or sexual preferences.
Try this: Okay, so while this is a super sexy place to touch, it also has major tickle potential, Barrett notes, so you’ll want to avoid fast movements that flicker along the skin. “You want them moaning, not giggling. So instead, use a soft, slow, steady stroke with the tips of your fingers,” Barrett suggests. Try varying up the pressure to really get the blood flowing.
22. The Feet in General
ICYMI, the feet are kind of major when it comes to erogenous zones. Besides just feeling good, there’s a reason why reflexology massages are so popular: “There are so many nerve endings in the feet,” says sex therapist Rhoda Lipscomb, PhD—which makes for a great area to stimulate.
Try this: Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a foot fetishist to ace this. “Start by using some massage oil and massaging your partner’s feet,” says Lipscomb. Pay attention to all the areas we mentioned (toe, between the toes, the arch, the ankle dip), as well as the heel pad and the outer edge of the foot for all-over euphoria. And if you want to add some tongue and kisses to the mix, do it—just don’t forget to switch positions and make it your turn afterward.
23. The Dip Under Their Ankle
Yes, the spot that always gets fucked up when you wear new shoes! Between your person’s heel and ankle is a fingertip-size pressure point that holds “enormous passion potential,” says Laura Norman, author of Feet First. “This spot is linked to the sex organs” and “pressing it releases energy, producing feelings of pleasure,” she explains.
Try this: While in reverse cowgirl, grab your partner’s feet and pulse each pressure point in rhythm with your thrusts. Try this right before your S.O.’s about to climax to really blow their mind.
24. The Prostate
Introducing: The most underrated part of a penis-haver’s body. “The prostate gland is a huge erogenous zone,” says Lipscomb. “If properly stimulated, this can bring intense pleasure to your partner.” Think of this as your penis-having partner’s clitoris—it’s their most sensitive spot.
Try this: Run a lubricated finger around your partner’s anus to begin. This stimulation by itself may be enough, but if they’re down for more (and once the muscles have had a chance to relax), insert your index finger about two inches inside—where you should be able to feel the prostate. “Bend your finger up toward their abdomen and stroke it,” says Lipscomb.
25. Their Imagination
Okay, so maybe this isn’t a tangible thing you can touch, but trust: You can absolutely stimulate your partner’s mind, and it’s sexy as hell. “Let them have some time to consider your touch before your fingers arrive on their skin,” says Nelson. The ultimate tease.
Try this: “Whisper in their ear softly and tell them all the things you are going to do without touching a hair on their body,” says Nelson. No idea WTF to say? Just pretend like you’re sexting and say those things IRL.
26. Their Butt Cheek
Ah, the “sweet spot” of the bod. “Your partner’s going to be extra sensitive here,” says Good Vibrations staff sexologist Carol Queen, PhD. “Striking their butt cheek, even lightly, tends to stimulate the whole area.” Think of it like a slow vibration flowing through your S.O.’s insides.
Try this: If your partner is open to a little spank-y play, this is great to do while they’re on top of you in any variation of missionary. Squeeze their booty when they’re hitting just the right spot, or give ’em a quick spank if you’re both into it. “Don’t be afraid to grab or stroke there,” says Queen.
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27. The Philtrum
Sexologist Jess O’Reilly, PhD, explains that the philtrum—aka the small groove above your lips— has long been considered an erogenous zone. In fact, she explains, the word itself, “philtrum,” translates from the Latin word for “love potion.”
Try this: To stimulate your partner’s philtrum, O’Reilly suggests planting a very soft kiss on this area right before running your tongue down the groove to meet their upper lip.
28. The Raphe
O’Reilly explains that the raphe is the dividing line that runs across the middle of a penis-haver’s genitalia. This line goes from the anus to the tip of the penis, down over the perineum, scrotum, and shaft.
Try this: O’Reilly suggests using your tongue to trace over the line. To take things a step further, she suggests incorporating a lubed-up bullet vibrator to trace along the line as well while you breathe, lick, and suck in conjunction with the vibrator.
29. Bottom Lips
Harris says lips in general are one of the most sensitive parts of the body. Take your time while kissing—there’s a reason nibbling and variation in pressure can drive you over the edge when done correctly.
Try this: Harris suggests nibbling their bottom lip and possibly even going for a harder bite (if they seem receptive to it). “The sensations of going from a tender kiss to some teeth will surprise your partner and excite their brain.”
30. Those V-Lines
Besides being hot and fun for you to look at, the V-zone is a hotbed of pleasure for your partner, clinical sexologist and psychotherapist Kristie Overstreet, PhD explains. Not only is it a turn-on that your partner gets front-row tickets to watch you stimulate them, but it’s an easy pit stop to make on the way to bone-town.
Try this: Have your partner lay on their back while you get on top, straddle style. Starting from their belly button, use your fingers and nails to trace a line down from their happy trail stopping before you hit their groin. Then retrace your steps, but use your tongue to trace a V shape from their hips to right above their penis. Repeat as desired and draw it out to really tease them.
31. The Outside of Their Lower Lip
You know that spot between your lower lip and your chin where you usually break out? Yeah, the one that one hair always sprouts out of? That’s an erogenous zone! Certified sex educator Lou Paget, author of The Big O, says this tiny, delicate curve is actually packed with extra sensitive nerve receptors.
Try this: Suck your partner’s lower lip into your mouth the next time you’re making out and use the tip of your tongue to stroke this under-lip area. “That motion stimulates the whole erogenous zone in a teasing way, which will put your partner on the erotic edge,” says Paget. “And by keeping their lower lip inside yours, you magnify the sensation. It’ll feel as if electric currents are shooting from their mouth straight to their member.”
32. The Front of Their Neck
I bet you’ve never thought about your partner’s Adam’s apple as an erogenous zone, huh? In reality, the sexy area isn’t one to skip when stimulating the body, especially because the attraction to throat fruit stems from how the thyroid (just below the Adam’s apple) is “closely linked to the sex organs, according to ancient Chinese medicine,” says reflexologist Mantak Chia, author of Sexual Reflexology.
Try this: Have your partner lie on their back and lightly suck their Adam’s apple. Keep your tongue flat and light, and don’t apply too much pressure. Simply massage the area with wide circular motions to ensure you’re hitting that T-spot of the thyroid.
33. Their Nipples
While all nipples are fundamentally the same, men might experience more nipple sensitivity since they aren’t usually as used to having them touched. “For a lot of men, their nipples are uncharted territory—an erogenous zone they haven’t experimented with,” explains clinical sexologist Patti Britton, PhD, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Sensual Massage.
Try this: Britton suggests having your partner lie back and slowly lick from their areola inward (like an ice-cream cone), but never actually touch your tongue to their nip. Get closer and closer until you flick their nipple with your tongue and then gently bite it. If you wanna be really extra, you can suck on an ice cube beforehand for more sensation.
34. The Perineum
The perineum—which is the patch of skin located between a penis-haver’s testicles and anus—is right above the prostate gland. And ICYMI, this whole area has “major orgasmic power.” In fact, Tracey Cox, author of Supersex, says a few soft strokes here will drive your partner to the brink.
Try this: Press your knuckles gently into this spot and start massaging. Right as your partner’s about to orgasm, push your knuckles a little deeper to extend the fireworks.
35. The Shaft
This sex organ is, naturally, a huge part of sex for penis-havers. And while you may have mastered the typical handy and blow job, try to spice things up with something totally uncharted like a reverse finger job.
Try this: Make two tight rings around your partner’s penis with your thumb and index finger (like you’re doing the okay hand symbol 👌), stacking them one on top of the other in the middle of the shaft. Twist the rings in opposite directions moving from the middle to the top with one hand, and the middle to the base of the shaft with the other hand, both at the same time. It’s kinda like patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time, but if you can master the “torrid twist,” as Cox calls it, your partner will def thank you. Remember to use lube though!
36. The Head of the Penis
As the most sensitive part of the penis, the head can be a fickle area to master. Barbara Keesling, PhD, author of The Good Girl’s Guide to Bad Girl Sex, says it can be tricky to get the right level of pressure to send your partner soaring into ecstasy without recoiling in sensory overload.
Try this: Give your S.O. a lipstick blow job—aka where you brush your closed but relaxed lips against the head of their penis like you’re applying lipstick. Hold their shaft with your fingers, but not in a fist (avoid holding their penis like a microphone, but do approach it with the same blind confidence of a mediocre stand-up act). Keesling suggests varying the sensations by opening your mouth a bit and rubbing the penis head between them.
37. The Seam of Their Testicles
You know how socks always have a seam in them? Well, your partner’s penis has one that separates their testicles that keeps them from becoming one big testilump. Cox says it’s a nerve-rich pleasure trail that runs top to bottom along the scrotum and is vastly under-appreciated.
Try this: Cradle your partner’s balls in one hand while gently pressing the first two fingertips of your other hand into the top of the crease (close to where the testicles connect to the base of his penis). Then trace downward with your fingers until you reach the bottom of the scrotum. Don’t forget to be gentle!
38. Their Frenulum
The F-spot is the little nubbin of flesh underneath the crown of the penis that connects the head to the shaft. It’s often overlooked because it’s part of the undercarriage, but Britton says there’s actually a bundle of nerves at this point that when touched “set off an amazing chain reaction of rapture.”
Try this: The next time you’re going down on your partner, hold their penis steady with one hand while really giving their crown your all. Each time you circle your tongue around to the frenulum, flick it a few times with your tongue stiffened, and then relax and go back to licking the crown.
39. Their Lower Back
If you’re looking for a way to turn your partner way TF on without even taking their pants off, look no further. As Overstreet explains, the pudendal nerve that stimulates all the areas of the groin is located here, at the bottom of the spinal cord.
Try this: Have your partner lay on their stomach with their shirt off and their arms by their side. Hot tip: Keep their pants on, but pull them down a few inches for a tantalizing never-nude experience. Lightly run your fingers down across their lower back, stopping before you hit butt cheek.
40. Their Earlobes
We already talked about the ears, but this sensitive lil pocket of skin deserves its own section because it’s *that* erotic. Just think about how jumpy you get when someone whispers in your ear! Now take that sensation to the next level by incorporating earlobe nibbles and below-the-belt multitasking.
Try this: Overstreet suggests kissing your partner across their shoulder, up their neck, and stopping right before you hit their ear. Do this to both sides, because asymmetry is for the lazy. When they get real squirmy, start kissing their earlobes, then play around with gentle nibbles, tongue, etc. If you want to start talking dirty, now’s the time. But be warned: Only use this move if you want a quickie because very few folks can last long in bed when earlobes are incorporated.
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