Extending the theory of shifting erogenous zones to men’s tattoos | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 2050-070X
  • E-ISSN: 2050-0718



The theory of shifting erogenous zones was originally intended to provide a rationale for fashion changes by suggesting that men were attracted to women based on eroticized body parts. This theory lost favour as an explanation of fashion change partly due to the second wave of feminism and partly due to the (over-) exposure of the body in today’s revealing fashions. However, I argue that tattoos now serve to eroticize the body. In addition, I analyse men’s tattoos in the context of the erogenous zones theory. No known study has examined the theory of shifting erogenous zones with regard to tattoos or men. Thus, this article serves to challenge current assumptions of the usefulness of the theory, examine the theory relative to the male gender and extend the theory to skin markings. Ethnographic data were collected via interviews and blogs and were analysed for themes relating to fashion and eroticism. I conclude that three types of tattoos have been used to call attention to and eroticize three different locations on men’s bodies: the bicep, the lower back and the upper arm.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): body; erogenous zone; sleeve; tattoos; theory; tramp stamp
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