The Erogenous Mirror: Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you
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The Erogenous Mirror: Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you

Everyone has their personal preferences in the bedroom. Even when talking about erogenous zones, we all get different amounts of pleasures from different areas. So it’s difficult to give general rules that are good for everyone. But there is one, which is extremely basic. That is, to observe your pay attention to how your partner behaves, because the attention they are giving to you probably reflects their own desires and preferences.

To say it differently, when we touch our partner’s body, we tend to favor the erogenous zones that we in fact find more pleasurable. It’s as if during sex we involuntarily mirror ourselves in the body of the other. It’s being called the “erogenous mirror” effect, and it was written about in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour by a research team from Bangor University and Royal Halloway University of London.

The research was conducted through an online questionnaire which was completed by more than 600 people of all genders and sexualities. They were asked to rank levels of sexual excitement given by different erogenous zones while imagining themselves to be touched and looked at in a particular area of the body, as well as when touching and looking at their partner in the same area. “What we saw is that the participants showed a clear mirroring in their own preferences for many areas of the body,” explains Lara Maister, a psychologist from Bangor University who participated in the study. “What emerged was a clear predilection to be touched in the areas which coincide with those areas that one like to touch their partner.”

Maister emphasizes that it is an effect that isn’t valid only for the genitals and the traditional erogenous zones, but also for quite specific areas. For example, the ears. If one enjoys having their ears gently caressed, it is more probable that they also do this to their partner. It’s also true for our gaze. If one loves looking at a particular part of the body, it is likely that having that same part looked at will also raise arousal. “Observing, spying and scrutinizing are all integral parts of our sexuality, and when our partner looks at an area of our body, we can imagine being touched there,” adds Manos Tsakiris, of the Royal Halloway University of London. “These results suggest that gaze and the anticipation of going touched by our partner play an important role during sex.”

HFTHQ 20-40
Bibliographical references
"The Erogenous Mirror: Intersubjective and Multisensory Maps of Sexual Arousal in Men and Women" Lara Maister, Aikaterini Fotopoulou, Oliver Turnbull & Manos Tsakiris - 2020

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