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Neuroscientists Identify Least and Most Erotic Body Parts

Update Date: Sep 09, 2013 02:19 PM EDT

If you want more sex appeal, show off your lips and hide your feet.  Neuroscientists have recently identified the least and most erotic body parts.

The latest research, which scientists say is the first "systematic survey of the magnitude of erotic sensations from various body parts," found that feet ranked last place in terms of sexiness when compared to all 41 body parts. However, the lips were voted as the most erotic body part.

Researchers from Bangor University and University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg said that the latest findings go against the commonly held theory that feet have a sensual connection with the genitals, according to the Daily Mail. Previous research suggested that the sensors in out brain that deal with the feet were right next to the ones responsible for genitalia.

Other erotic body parts include the nape of the neck, the breast and nipples.

While men had a weakness for the back of legs and hands, those two body parts didn't impress women as much.

Unlike the commonly held theory that men only have one erogenous zone (genitals), neuroscientists found that men actually have just as many erogenous zones as their female counterparts.

"A lot of people assume that women's bodies are just full of erogenous zones and that men only have one - the obvious one," said Professor Oliver Turnbull of Bangor University's School of Psychology, according to the Observer.

"But this is clearly not the case. It's pretty equal, with just perhaps a modest advantage to women - but certainly nothing like the way sex differences have been so hugely exaggerated," he said.

The latest research, which involved 800 participants in the United Kingdom and South Africa, found that the most popular body part was the genitals, followed by the lips, ears, inner thighs and shoulder blades.

Researchers were surprised that the body part ratings were consistent among the participants and held true even after accounting for race, gender, and sexual orientations.

"We have discovered from this that we all share the same erogenous zones in at least two very different continents, whether we are a white middle-aged woman sitting in a London office or a gay man living in a village in Africa," Turnbull explained. "It suggests it is hardwired, built in, not based on cultural or life experiences."

Researchers said the finding on erogenous zones suggest that sexual response and sense of touch may be controlled by different parts of the brain.

"The Cosmopolitan magazines of this world have been running half-baked surveys on this for years and years," said Turnbull. "But we wanted to look at the question of why the side of the neck is interesting if nibbled but not the forehead or head, when both have the same sensory receptors."

Researchers believe that the insula [cortex] may be responsible for sexual response

"I think there is a good argument for it being the insula [cortex], although there are a few ethical issues in trying to take the next step and measure that, as it obviously means that someone has to be stroking someone else whilst the brain is monitored," Turnbull said.   

The findings are published in the journal Cortex.

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