Sexual desire: Nerve endings triggered by gentle touch may also arouse


Close-up of gay couple hands on table

Gentle touches can be a source of sexual desire

Westend61 GmbH/Alamy

The nerve endings in our skin that respond to soft stroking also send signals to the brain to arouse sexual desire under the right circumstances, according to studies in mice and people.

Previous research shows that gentle touch feels good because it stimulates nerve receptors in the skin called C-tactile afferents. These respond to soft, slow stroking, and send signals to brain regions involved in emotion and pleasure.

Gentle touch has been shown to play a role in numerous social relationships, including …



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