The right cut can have practically any body part fizzing in a moment. Photographs by Donna Trope. Styling by Sophia Neophitou
Photographer Donna Trope knows a thing or two about erogenous zones. In fact, asking her to do a fashion shoot on the subject of those most deliciously ticklish areas of the body is like asking a chocoholic if they would like to take a bath in a pool of cocoa. "I have triple the amount of erogenous zones than most people," she says. Like where? "The ends of my hair and my finger nails after they have just been cut." This naughty streak comes across in her challenging, hyper-real images of women, usually dripping in shiny glycerine. She differentiates between erogenous zones that have purely visual appeal and those which might not look much through the camera lens. The inside of your fingers and toes, the canal of the ear, or the sweep of an armpit are not visually stimulating. Instead, she has concentrated on the neck, the hip, the shoulder, the breast, the back, and the instep of the foot.

Like hemlines and trouser widths, erogenous zones are prone to the whims of fashion. This season, designers have made a collective decision: the part of the body guaranteed to make them shiver in unison is the back. A dress that is cut so low it almost skims the derriere is all any woman needs to be at fashion's cutting edge. After all, part of the secret of success for labels like Versace is the ability to sell not clothes, but sex appeal. The backless chainmail dress on our cover is for the woman who feels a) she has a perfect back free from blemishes and spots, b) so at ease in her own skin that she doesn't need to cover it up, and c) she is flat-chested enough not to need to wear a bra.

Tom Ford, the charming American designer at the helm of Gucci, understands the power of sex and fashion. He agrees that backs are cool for summer and has given his customers the option to wear a bra with their backless look if they feel the need. The fine, shoe-string straps are made of the shiniest patent leather, designed to look as though they are cutting into the flesh. If your back is lardy and blotchy, with - heaven forbid - unwanted jowls of flesh, you might prefer Gucci's other G-spot, your hip bone. Tom Ford has cut his trousers so they hug the hip and are scooped away from a tiny buckled strap of shiny black leather to reveal the slice of pelvis beneath. Of course you could always spare yourself the expense and try pushing down your waistband and hoiking up your bikini strap.

The most important thing to remember is that an erogenous zone, no matter how toned and smooth is no longer so seductive when it is covered in goose pimples. If in doubt - or if you have poor circulation - cover it up and leave the rest to the imagination.