THE EROGENOUS ZONES
Erogenous zones are those parts of the body possessing a great concentration of nerve endings (sometimes termed "sexual nerves") that, when stimulated, cause sexual arousal. These areas are numerous, and they are basically the same in man and womanalthough there are, of course, individual variations in the areas producing excitement and in the degree of arousal.
The French physician Ernest Chambard became in 1881 the first person to make a thorough scientific investigation into the erogenous areas of the human body, subsequently issuing a report of his findings. Since the time of Chambard, various studies have demonstrated that the surfaces of mucous membranes are important erogenous zones, and that many of these are capable of erection and tumescence. The most sensitive erogenous areas are the genitals and the areas surrounding them: the inner and outer regions of the thighs, the buttocks, and the abdomen. The nongenital erogenous zones extend over a large portion of the body, some areas being more sensitive than others. The breasts (particularly the nipples), armpits, small of the back, shoulders, neck, earlobes, scalp, eyelids, and especially the mouth, tongue, eyes, and nose are all areas rich in nerve endings.
Sexual arousal takes place when messages are sent by the stimulated sexual nerve endings to the brain, and the brain then transmits them to the centers of the lower spinal column controlling sexual impulses. These centers can also receive messages directly from the genital area without the intermediary transmission and relay of the impulses by the brain.
A psychological or physical block at some point can deter or even prevent sexual excitement. For example, messages of disapproval, unpleasantness, fear, pain, or injury can and often do delay or obstruct altogether the channel to sexual centers, thus preventing arousal. On the other hand, as was said before, pleasant messages such as a lovely sight, a gentle word, a soft touch, an exotic scent, or a harmonious sound, can easily evoke sexual feelings. Pleasing sensory stimuli may produce erotic thoughts, which in turn may cause penile erection; women, however, are apparently less responsive to this type of psychological stimulus than men are.
The erogenous zones appear to be a matter of heredity and, in general, are common to all people. However, individual differences are wide, and are largely the result of conditioning. Present scientific data indicate that there are no abnormal erogenous regions, and those that are uncommon are so simply as the result of individual background and experience. For example, if a man were to tickle the sole of his wife's foot preceding each pleasant act of coitus, sooner or later foot-tickling would come to be associated with pleasurable intercourse, and the sole of the foot would become a conditioned erogenous zone for that particular woman. Should she later marry another person, however, the conditioned erogenous zone on the sole of the foot might well appear to be abnormal to her new husband.
As with psychological factors which serve as potent erotic stimuli, mutual experimentation and frank discussion are the best ways to discover which physiological areas of stimulation are the most effective for individual sexual arousal. To repeat, the erogenous parts of the bodies of both men and women are, by and large, the same. There is, however, a marked degree of difference among members of the same sex, as well as between the sexes, in the method of, and time required for bringing about, sexual arousal. A man frequently becomes sexually excited with minimal tactile stimulation, while a woman very often needs loving foreplay prior to the caressing of the erogenous areas of her body.
The genitals, which are the part of the body most responsive to stimulative techniques, contain millions of nerve endings concentrated in small regions of erectile-type tissue. A man's glans or head of the penis, particularly the lower surface at the corona (ring) and frenum, is the most sensitive part of the genitalia, while the skin covering the shaft of the penis is somewhat insensitive to the touch. A woman's clitoris and its glans contain a delicate network of nerve endings in erectile-type tissue that is covered with mucous membrane. Although a woman's clitoris is the catalyst for sexual excitation and orgasm, the entire vulval region, especially the vestibule and labia minora, are rich in nerve endings and are highly responsive to stimulation. The walls of the vagina, with the exception of the upper front area where the roots of the clitoris are located, are somewhat insensitive because they contain only a few nerve endings. The cervix, furthermore, is so insensitive that it can be cauterized or surgically cut without the aid of anesthesia.
The perineum of both man and woman is sensitive to manipulation. This area includes the anus and inner portion of the thighs, and extends from the anus to the lower region of the sexual organs. About a half of all men and women, in fact, report that they experience erotic reactions to some form of anal stimulation. While the mouth, lips, and nose are widely recognized as highly erogenous areas, there is nonetheless considerable variation in the degree of their sensitivity, because of personal differences resulting, primarily, from conditioning and, secondarily, from differences in supplies of nerve endings, the latter condition being a matter of individual heredity. The breasts are another important erogenous zone common to both men and women. The nipples and areolae are especially responsive to several stimuli
Men's Health Erectile Dysfunction
MAINTAINING A GOOD SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP
As superfluous as it may appear, it is nonetheless important to mention at the outset of this discussion the fundamental significance of a clean and attractive body to successful sexual interaction. Sex appeal is most certainly not confined to the marriage bed; it exists between the partners at all times, and should be carefully nurtured. By attractiveness, facial and bodily handsomeness is not implied; rather, attractiveness means scrupulous cleanliness of body and clothing, and taking the greatest advantage possible of all the physical endowments that nature has seen fit to bestow on each of us. Not everyone can be beautiful, but there is no excuse for anyone's not being attractively neat and clean at all times.
A man who is overweight, chronically unshaven and slovenly dressed, and whose breath reeks of tobacco or alcohol, can hardly expect to be considered a desirable bed partnereven after a session with shower, toothbrush, and razor later in the evening because his wife's memories of his earlier unattractiveness will simply detract from the excitement of the experience. Similarly, a woman who neglects to make up her face, sits around home in bathrobe and curlers, allows herself to become significantly overweight or underweight, permits even faint urine, vaginal, or underarm odors to emanate, or does not often shave her legs and underarms is setting the stage for a loss of respect, admiration, and even love; sexual failure cannot then be far behind.
Certainly before joining each other in bed, whether or not sexual activities are anticipated, each spouse should see to it that he has at least a clean body, fresh breath, and neat, attractive nightclothes. To do otherwise is to deny to the marriage bed one of the basic ingredients for a happy sex life.
The sense of smell is almost as important in sexual stimulation as the sense of sight is. There is a physiological relationship between the tissues of the nose and of the sex organs, as was described earlier. Conditioning factors also are frequently present in the relationship between the sense of smell and sexuality. During courtship, for example, the faint scent of a girl's perfume or of a man's after-shave lotion may become associated with their love and subsequent sexual arousal. After marriage, the same pleasant scent may well serve to reestablish the excitement that developed in the atmosphere of courtship. Conditioning quite naturally involves many sensory elements other than smell. Almost any occurrence during the period of courtship that forms an association with love and passion can later be woven advantageously into the fabric of the couple's sexual interaction.
The qualities of courtesy, kindness, and sensitivity to the needs and desires of others are fundamental to all successful human relationships; most particularly are they vital to sexual associations. Bearing in mind the differences in individual needs and desires, it is incumbent upon each person to discover what, precisely, offers the greatest pleasure to his partner in the sexual relationship. Genuine efforts to incorporate these discoveries into one's technique of sexual approach must be made before one may expect complete emotional fulfillment. For example, some partners prefer the conversation during sexual activity to be quite earthy, even to the point that the expressions used would be vulgar under other circumstances. Another couple might be shocked by such utterances, preferring to speak to one another softly in tender and loving words.
Pace, as well as style, is also a matter of individual taste. However, it is ordinarily wisest to proceed slowly and gently, with the goal in mind of bringing gratification to the partner rather than hurrying to satisfy one's own needs. One should not hesitate, furthermore, even to sacrifice one's own present fulfillment altogether if it means giving greater pleasure to the spouse; not only is it a generous and loving thing to do, but it will assuredly pay handsome dividends later. The best, and certainly the least stressful, way for each partner to determine the specific amatory desires of the other is to open wide the doors of candid communication. Neither partner is clairvoyant, and an inadvertently offensive gesture or clumsiness might impede the present response, and inhibit response in similar circumstances at a future time.
Variations in sexual approach and in the settings can add considerable spice to marriage. Too often sexual acts become ritualized, stale, and unimaginative, engaged in only to provide relief to physical urgency. Couples who wish to preserve delight and vigor in their sexual interaction will work as consistently on this aspect of their marriage as on any other. A husband who impulsively sweeps his wife into his arms in the middle of a happy afternoon and carries her off to the bedroom and makes wild love to her, or the couple who occasionally has sexual intercourse while taking a shower, or the wife who surprises her husband by appearing in his study wearing nothing but a smile and two cold, very dry Martinisthese couples are not likely to find sex dull, even after years of marriage. The playing of soft music, using mirrors to observe closely the intimacies of the sex act, perusing sensuous literature and art: all these can help keep boredom out of the bedroom.128 Men and women both want variety in their sexual lives; and if this ideal is reached within their marriage, there is considerably less likelihood that either husband or wife will seek it elsewhere. Imagination and willingness to experiment, coupled with an air of confidence and consideration, will serve most marriages very well.
Men's Health Erectile Dysfunction