Researchers have finally answered the question of what really turns a woman on.
A new study has analysed the effects of light touch, pressure and vibration on the female body to find out exactly where the most sensitive areas are.
Researchers found that for light touch, the neck was most sensitive, for pressure the clitoris and nipple were most sensitive, and for vibration the clitoris was the most sensitive part of the body.
The results give an unprecedented glimpse into exactly how women become aroused.
The team say their work could have implications for those undergoing breast augmentation and gender reassignment surgery.
The Canadian team at the Université du Québec à Montréal analysed thirty healthy women aged between 18 and 35 years old.
They were were assessed on the perineum (clitoris, labia minora, vaginal, and anal margin), breast (lateral, areola, nipple), and control body locations (neck, forearm, abdomen).
Researchers did not look at other areas such as sucking toes.
The team asked the women to get undressed and lie on a table covered in a bed sheet.
Participants were asked to wear goggles to blindfold them during testing.
They then used scientific instruments to apply the various forms of touch.
The researchers applied stimulation for 1.5 seconds, then waited for five seconds before asking the women if they felt it.
The researcher say the study is the first of its kind.
‘This study focused particularly on younger women to establish a first series of normative data for light touch, pressure, and vibration sensitivity on the perineum and breast area,’ they wrote in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
‘Few studies explored multiple sensory detection thresholds on the perineum and breast, but these normative data may provide standards for clinical conditions such as aging, genital and breast surgeries, pathological conditions affecting the genitals, and sexual function.’
The results found that sensitivity levels varied hugely depending on the pressure being used.
‘The data showed differing results for different sensory modalities and different bodily sites.
The genitals were found to be more sensitive to pressure and vibration compared
with light touch, which is interesting given the role of pressure (e.g., penetration) and vibration (e.g., sex toys) in sexual activities,’ they wrote.
‘Within the genital area, the vaginal margin also appears most sensitive to light touch,’
Researchers also analysed breast volume, body mass index, hormonal contraception, menstrual cycle, and sexual orientation – and said they do not seem to influence the results.
Sexual abstinence and body piercing may have some impact, the team said.
They also found that different body locations do not respond similarly to the different tests, and that sexual stimulation increases the sensory detection threshold for light touch, and they suggest that clinical conditions such as plastic surgery may alter cutaneous sensitivity.
The team concluded that the area needs more research to help women with sexual problems, even though they admit the study had flaws, saying even the sound of a vibrator caused problems.
‘Studying sensory detection thresholds are necessarily limited by subjective perceptions because
sensory detection thresholds are not a direct measure of underlying receptors, but an indirect measure that is influenced by a participant’s attention, concentration, and level of fatigue.
‘All these findings justify the assessment of perineal and breast sensitivity upon clinical complaints and further motivate the continuing investigation of sensory detection thresholds on the genitals and secondary sexual sites compared with neutral body zones.’