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Sex + Relationships

Are Monica’s 7 Erogenous Zones From ‘Friends’ As Moan-Worthy As She Says?

On a particular Tuesday night during my freshman year at college, my friends and I sat down to watch an episode of Friends while snacking on dried cherries and sipping peppermint tea. It so happened that the episode we had left off on was “The One with Phoebe’s Uterus” which, despite its title, is most known for the informational yet steamy dialogue between Monica (Courtney Cox), Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), and Chandler (Matthew Perry) about the seven female erogenous zones.

If you’re unfamiliar with this particular episode, here’s a quick recap: Chandler is frustrated that he wasn’t able to satisfy his girlfriend as much as their friend Joey (Matt LeBlanc), her former boyfriend. He goes to Monica and Rachel next door and Monica sketches the female body and explains the seven erogenous zones. This is mindblowing to Chandler, who thought there were only three. She reminds Chandler to take his time rather than “go to seven and set up camp.” Instead, she says, he should hit each one and mix them up: “You gotta keep them on their toes.” The scene ends with Monica holding up seven fingers and yelling “seven, seven, SEVEN!” And Monica is definitely not faking it a la famous diner scene in When Harry Met Sally.

So the question is, what exactly are the seven erogenous zones, and are they as mindblowing as Monica makes them appear to be?

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Education comes first

When I first watched this episode in high school, I was as clueless as Chandler about the erogenous zones and the sexual jokes went right over my head. But that’s the beauty of rewatching TV series when you are older: you understand the more “mature” jokes and puns.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Unsplash

In general, an erogenous zone is any part of the body that has “a heightened sensitivity and can elicit a sexual response when stimulated,” according to sex and relationship expert Jane Greer, Ph. D., featured in Amanda Chatel’s Glamour article. You can probably assume a few of the erogenous zones without Googling: the most obvious are the neck, breasts, and clitoris. That’s four, but there are also the ears, lips, butt, and inner thighs

However, the seven erogenous zones are relative for each woman, so Monica’s hit list is probably her (or a writer’s) own personal interpretation. After all, the episode doesn’t specify these zones and Rachel interjects to add that toes can also be a zone for “some” people, but definitely not her. 

Mallory Schlossberg writes in her article for Bustle that “this legendary pop-culture sexual code is open to interpretation to the viewer. Whatever your six is, that’s your six.” And there aren’t just six or seven zones; there are actually as many as 31! In her article for InStyle, Maressa Brown lists out nine, not seven, surprising female erogenous zones including the ears, nape of the neck, butt, fingertips, lower back, inner wrists, scalp, stomach, and armpits.

The zones are where it’s at

So, now that we have demystified this scene, is Monica’s legendary performance authentic? I think we can assume she isn’t faking and the fact that Rachel, Chandler, and her all scatter to separate rooms after the exchange suggests they all have one thing on their minds…

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That being said, the obvious and not-so-obvious erogenous zones are a pivotal aspect of pleasurable and satisfying sex for women. The seven zones Monica outlined for herself are not the end-all-be-all for everyone. There may be some overlap for each person, but the bottom line is that keeping a healthy curiosity and exploring from the top of the head down will most likely lead to satisfaction. We should all approach hooking up as Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) in Netflix’s Bridgerton: “I demand satisfaction!”

Now that you know they exist, what’s next

Beyond all of the various female erogenous zones, there are also a plethora of ways to stimulate each location from using lube, ice cubes, and the simple touch of fingertips.

finger touching flower
Photo by Malvestida Magazine from Unsplash

I think it’s safe to say that Monica was onto something, but she did fall a little short in the number of erogenous zones. As Adrienne Santos-Longhurst explains in Healthline, you can stimulate the 31 zones in a ton of different ways. From blowing into your partner’s ears, running your fingertips along your inner thighs, or massaging the pubic area, there are so many zones to explore. So start experimenting and feelin’ your zones, whether on your own or with your partner.

Elizabeth Berry

Conn Coll '21

Elizabeth Berry is an English and Italian Studies double major at Connecticut College with a passion for journalism. She enjoys overnight oats, traveling to new cities, and reading the night away.