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The Naked Truth
Article Featured in LesbianNation Magazine

Do you come with an Instruction Manuel?
Charting Our Erogenous Zones, 101

I was actually asked the above question from a woman who I thought was well-versed in matters of her own body. Sure, it was her first time with another woman, but she had been married and quite open about the fact that she was very familiar in the art of pleasing herself. I have also been with two women who had no idea what an orgasm was. One had never been with anyone, including herself, and the other had been in two long-term relationships, one straight and one lesbian,and sadly neither partner bothered to help her learn the pleasures of her own body.

How Kathy and I think about this is that knowledge is power. If you learn everything you can about a woman’s body, then you will have confidence in your abilities to bring your partner pleasure. If you know what a woman’s sometimes subtle responses mean, then you can communicate on a deeper level and have a more satisfying sensual relationship.

The wonderful thing about being lesbian or a bisexual women is that we are all basically the same in structure, yet we are all incredibly different. What makes one woman hot with passion can turn another woman totally off. This is why both verbal and nonverbal communication are so important. In this installment of The Naked Truth, we will concentrate on basic anatomy and nonverbal, or bodily, communication.

So you may be wondering “What is bodily communication?” An example would be when you get cold, your skin may become covered with goose bumps and you can start to shiver. This is your body communicating that the temperature is dropping and you need to do something about it. Our bodies are talking to us constantly, although many of these messages go unnoticed because they are such common occurrences. For most of us, sex does not happen twenty-four hours a day, which means that during arousal, our body’s responses can be easily charted.

How to chart your own arousal is to pay attention to your responses when you are beginning to feel sexual. Do you get flushed in your face, or red around your chest and neck? Do you feel a heat wave that starts at your feet and burns through your center? Does your heart start pounding and your respiration increase, or does your clitoris swell up and start to itch? Do your hands perspire or do chills break out over your back? Is your mind suddenly full of wonderfully intense images of what you would like to do with a female partner?

These are just a few of the messages your body might whisper--or flat-out yell--when you are in the mood for lesbian love. The key is to be aware of your own messages, and then open yourself up to seeing what your partner’s messages are.

A good place to start is knowing about erogenous zones Many people think that erogenous zones are purely genital, but Kathy and I have found this is far from true. When a woman is in the mood, her entire body can be an erogenous zone, and it’s up to her partner to learn her favorite places. This can be done by paying close attention to what her body is telling you, or by your partner actually saying what she likes. Both ways are great, and should be used in conjunction with each other.

Some common erogenous zones include a woman’s breasts. Breasts come in various shapes and sizes. Many women have petite soft mounds, while others have watermelon breasts that could about knock you out if used as a weapon! Some women have huge nipples and some have tiny ones. It’s pretty much up to your own biology what you have on your chest.

Some women’s breasts are extremely sensitive to the touch, even to the point of producing orgasms, while others have boobs of steel, meaning no amount of wonderful stimulation will phase them. Whatever you have, be proud of them. Kathy always tells me she could wear her bra backwards and no one would ever notice, something she has actually done before with a sports bra, but whenever she brings up how small she is, I always remind her of the old saying that “More than a mouthful is wasted.”

Another obvious erogenous zone is the vulva. The vulva is composed of all the external parts of a woman’s genitals. The whole thing is full of nerve endings, which makes it extremely sensitive to stimulation, so since this area is pretty important as far as intimacy, let’s start from the outside in.

The Mound of Venus, or mons pubis, is like a small pillow that sits on a woman’s pubic bone. It helps pad the area so if your partner is on top of you she won’t get hurt. This area can be extremely sensitive in the beginning arousal state for both partners. It is usually covered with pubic hair shaped in an upside-down triangle. A lot of women do interesting things with pubic hair, from shaving it into a heart shape, or hot-waxing it into a tiny little racing stripe, to a total smoothy--no hair at all.

As you head down, you come to the labia majora, or large outer lips. This area consists of two folds of skin which usually has hair, unless it’s been removed. The labia majora can be very sensitive in the beginning stages of arousal. This area is a great place to massage your partner by lightly rubbing the folds together. When you pull them apart, you will find the interior of the vulva.

The labia minora, or inner lips, have no pubic hair. The skin will be similar to your partner’s mouth. This area is also a great place to massage. The two folds of the labia minora meet at the top and form the hood of the clitoris. Also called the prepuce, this skin covers the clitoris, and protects it from driving us all crazy when we are not meaning to be aroused.

When sensual stimulation occurs, the clitoris swells and becomes the size of a pea. This area is also known as “the little woman in the boat.” The clitoris is the only organ in the whole world whose sole purpose is pleasure. It is full of nerve endings, and, with the correct kind of stimulation, it can produce as many orgasms as a woman can take. It is sexual perfection at the highest degree and should be celebrated as much as possible.

The urethra, where urine passes through to the outside of the body, is the tiny hole located between your clitoris and your vaginal opening. To help prevent urinary tract infections, always wipe yourself from front to back.

The vaginal orifice, or opening, is also where the hymen is located. The area around the opening, and an inch or so inside, is full of nerve endings. It is a wonderful place to tease your lover. The vagina is a muscular, hollow tube which leads to the cervix. The cervix is the entrance to the uterus or womb. Tampons are inserted into the vagina, and babies leave the womb through the vagina.

Leading down to the anus is the perineum. This can be flat, slightly raised, or an actual ridge of skin, like a tiny labia minora. This small area is not that stimulating for most lesbians I’ve known, although the skin around and in the anus is. The anus should be approached with caution. Some women love to have their anus rubbed; some enjoy penetration into the rectum; and some will totally freak out if you even mention going there.

As we said before, breasts and vulvas are the major erogenous zones for many women, but these are certainly not the only ones. A romantic massage is always a great way to start the fire of desire, so become the sensual mapmaker, charting your own body’s erogenous zones and your partner’s. Remember, have fun and always play safe!

The advice in this column is the opinion of the writers and is not intended as a
substitute for medical or psychological treatment from a health care professional.

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