For many lovers touch is a significant way to demonstrate and communicate love. Every one of us actually needs touch for our health and emotional well being. It's good for our circulation, our nervous system, helps us to relax and unwind. Most of all, it can make us feel loved. It potentially enhances the intimate connection we share with our partner. If you really want to offer your partner something out of the ordinary, a truly pampering sensual massage, this should involve a bit more than simply slathering your partner with some oil or lotion for a few minutes. Very slow, conscious touch is the best.
A sensual massage is an art. Like most art forms, you want to communicate something with your art. It is most meaningful when the art comes from the heart, but without the right materials to work with and some basic awareness of what techniques to use to get the effect you want, your art will fall short of your vision. You may be wondering, “Where should I begin?” I am ready to offer you some simple secret DOs and DON’Ts that if implemented, could take your Valentine’s Day sensual massage from ordinary to extraordinary!
Setting the Stage
DO put some thought into the details before the massage begins. When preparing to give a sensual massage, it is important to keep in mind that the intention is to pamper your partner by delighting all the senses, and giving them an exquisite experience of pleasure. Naturally the sense of touch has center stage in a sensual massage, but we should not forget about the rest of the senses. You are certainly not here to offer your partner a detached, mechanical or clinical treatment. This is very personal. When orchestrating this experience, take what you know about your partner’s likes and dislikes into consideration. You should also consider the timing. Ideally, going into the massage, you should not be either too full or too hungry. Although I do not recommend timing the massage to immediately follow a heavy meal, a light tasty snack before your massage might be a splendid idea. This will offer some pleasure to the taste buds and provide energy to sustain you through the massage. Perhaps you could select some sensual finger type foods, preferably something that you know your partner likes, that you could feed to each other.
DO keep the temperature comfortable. I recommend keeping the room a bit on the warm side; perhaps around 75 or 76 degrees or so. You want it to be warm enough for the recipient to be totally comfortable when uncovered (nude). The best way to know for sure is to ask the recipient if it is warm enough, and if not, turn up the heat until it is. If the room you are using tends to get cold or drafty, you may want to have a space heater in the room with you. You simply want to plan ahead so that you can easily adjust the temperature as necessary to make it pleasantly warm and toasty, yet not too hot. Keep in mind that when it is warm enough for the recipient, it may possibly feel a bit too warm to the one giving the massage, because whoever is giving the massage will be exerting more energy, so be careful not to drip sweat onto your partner. Keep an extra hand towel handy in case you need to wipe your brow.
DO pay attention to the ambiance. I love doing a sensual massage in a room with a fireplace. A fire adds to the ambiance, as well as the overall feeling of warmth. Remember, we want to delight the senses. If a fireplace is not available, then perhaps light a candle or two. Candles are a very nice touch to provide a subtle indirect form of lighting. Harsh bright overhead lights are not desirable in the massage setting, because they detract from relaxation and are not very flattering either, but fire light actually adds to the feeling of warmth and romance. Plus you can use scented candles to add a delightful aroma.
Personally I think a little background music is a very nice idea. The right selection of music can help you both you and your partner to feel more relaxed, it can add a lot to the mood and ambiance. It may also help you to slow down and pace yourself well to glide through the massage. So, indulge your sense of hearing in a subtle way with some well chosen music. Select something that is relaxing, and enhances the romantic mood. Ideally you want the music to be something that is a nice soothing back ground for the massage, so nothing too loud, too fast or over-bearing.
DO provide a comfortable place for your partner to receive the massage. Will you be using a massage table, spreading a soft blanket on the floor, or perhaps using a bed? If you have a massage table available, I would recommend using it. For one thing, using a real massage table communicates that you intend to treat your partner to a real luxurious massage, not simply 5 minutes of a half hearted rub down. Also, most massage tables are adjustable, so you can set it at a height that feels good for you, as well as making your partner comfortable. However, if a massage table is not an option, then go the extra mile to make the best use of the space available to communicate that something out of the ordinary is about to happen. Perhaps you could even sprinkle some flower petals around the area, or form them in the shape of a heart. If you are using the floor, make sure there is enough padding underneath you and your partner; perhaps a couple of thick blankets, quilts and a pillow or two. Cover the area you will be using with sheets, and have a towel handy. If you are using the bed, I also recommend that you spread an extra sheet right over the top of the covers. The idea is to make it comfortable, clean and inviting. You also want to be sure you are giving this massage on something that is washable. You do not want to taint this experience with the worry of possibly ruining an expensive rug or messing up the bed you intend to sleep in by spilled oil all over it.
DON'T allow distractions into the environment. You don't want to be interrupted or distracted. I recommend turning off the ringer to your phones; cell phones and landlines. Allow voice mail to provide a real service. If you have young children, plan ahead and get a sitter. Make sure the room is visually pleasing, devoid of any clutter or unfinished projects. You don't want to be distracted by thoughts of stuff that needs to be finished or things you could potentially trip over. Turn off the TV and, as much as possible, eliminate potential distraction; unpleasant sights, sounds and smells… anything that might take your minds away from the pleasure of the moment. You want the massage and the special time you are sharing with your partner to be where all the focus goes.
Making a Connection
DO keep in mind the goal of creating an experience of bliss and sensual delight. You are going to use touch to communicate tender, romantic feelings and create an intimate connection with your partner. The little details can make a really big difference. Where will this massage be taking place and how you will prepare the area? Think about what room will you be using; what you want to have in the room with you, as well as what you want to make sure is not in the room with you. Whether or not you have had any massage or bodywork training is not as important as your ability to tune in to pleasure; your partner’s pleasure as well as your own pleasure. Remain present, and notice what your beloved responds too. Today you are setting out to be a touch artist, to communicate in the language of love. Beginning with the very first touch, you want to make a connection. Set out to not only massage your partner's body, but to touch their soul.
DO use oil, or other massage product of your choice. Personally I think that using oil, as opposed to giving a dry massage, adds a great deal to the sensory pleasure of the massage. How you apply the oil makes a world of difference. How much should be used? To some extent, the amount of oil used may be a matter of personal preference. Personally I prefer not to over use the oil when giving a sensual massage. I want my partner to feel my touch and the sensation of my skin and warmth against their skin, not just the sensation of oil dripping down their sides. If you are not sure how much to use, I recommend using just enough oil to create a nice glide, but no more. However, I am aware that some people may really like the "slippery seal" sensation of lots of oil. If this is the case, then I recommend using sheets you don't mind getting completely oily, and perhaps a plastic drop cloth underneath. Also, have plenty of towels handy to wipe off with when you are done.
What type of oil should be used? I recommend using an oil or some another product such as lotion or gel that was designed specifically for massage. However, there are also some all natural types of oil that you might use that you could also cook or bake with, such as coconut, grape seed or sweet almond oil. If you would like to indulge your sense of smell, then consider using oil that is infused with a little bit of naturally aromatic essential oil like lavender. I like to use oil that can be safely ingested and has a pleasant taste, especially because "kissing" may be involved, but also because our skin absorbs what we put on it and it gets into our system even if we do not eat it.
DON'T use baby oil. It tends to be too slick, overly shiny and sits on the surface of your skin. However, there is an even bigger reason to avoid it. Baby oil smells like… well… babies. Our sense of smell is particularly linked to memory. This scent may be unconsciously linked with memories of taking care for young children, especially if you are a parent, ever baby sat, or helped to care for your younger siblings. The intention here is to create a relaxing, intimate, adult type of sensory experience, not to trigger anxious memories of sleepless nights changing diapers. Also void using heavily perfumed oil that could potentially irritate sensitive areas. You want to be able to safely explore your lover’s entire body seamlessly, without concerned over getting any of the wrong type of product in the wrong places. So use something that can be safely used anywhere on the body, even the most delicate parts, without irritation. Having to stop, wash your hands and change products is just not sexy or spontaneous. Be especially careful not to use anything that includes an ingredient your partner is allergic too. Please, never pour cold oil directly onto your partner's body!
DO apply the oil to your own hands first, and warm up the oil. You can use a special oil warming device if you happen to have one, however, if you are warming the oil this way be careful that you do not make it too hot. Burns are not what we are going for here. Another way to go is to simply rub your hands together vigorously to create some friction. This will increase the circulation to your hands, simultaneously warming up your hands and the oil, before you glide your hands over your partner's body. Thoughtfully apply your hands and the pre-warmed oil to your partner’s skin through your touch. Generally a little oil goes a long way. However, you may need to reapply the oil to your hands if you notice that your hands are no longer gliding smoothly, or when you get to a new area of the body. The idea is to keep a nice smooth sensual glide going with a minimal amount of oil.
DO pay attention to your posture and body alignment. Remember that you are not only allowed to enjoy giving this massage, it is a much better experience for both you and your partner if you do. However, you can’t really enjoy it if you are in pain. Take a deep breath, make sure your body is relaxed and that you have a secure stance with your feet. I like to stand with one foot in front on me and one foot behind me, so I can rock or glide back and forth smoothly as if doing a dance during the massage. Bend your knees, and use your legs to power the movement. If you notice that your back is starting to hurt, or your neck is getting tired, stop and reposition yourself. If you are not comfortable while giving the massage, the quality of the massage will suffer. Be sure to have at least a general plan of how long you want to make this massage last at the beginning of the massage, so that you can pace yourself accordingly, but be flexible enough to modify that plan if need be. You want to send some loving touch into every part of your partner’s body, and you want your energy to be able to last until the end.
Do the massage very slowly. The first touch is very important for setting the tone, so make sure your partner is ready. Then slowly, lovingly lower your hands to make contact. I recommend holding that initial contact for a moment before you proceed with a very slow and conscious stroke. Most people have a tendency to move way to fast, especially when they are first learning how to give a sensual massage. Remember this is not a race or a sports massage. You are making love to your partner through touch. Glide over your partner’s body slowly, enjoying every curve and detail. Allowing your partner to respond to the sensation of your touch, and pay attention to your partner’s subtle responses. Notice how your partner is breathing, and if you can feel the tension melt away. Pay attention to your partner’s body language, facial expressions and sounds. Notice if you can feel your beloved relaxing into your touch and letting go. It may help for you to think of the massage as being a little bit like a slow romantic dance.
DO add some variety to your touch. A little repetition is alright. You do want to create a relaxing continuous feeling of touch that feels fluid and connected. However, you certainly don't want it to get boring. Personally I prefer to mix it up a bit. When I am giving a sensual massage I like to vary the type and quality of strokes to keep it interesting. I might use some deep and connected strokes using my whole hand, particularly on areas of the body that respond well to pressure, like the back and shoulders, even leaning in at times to add some weight and pressure with my body, and then follow it up with some feather light touch, just using my finger tips or very lightly scratching my nails to send delightful chills up my lover’s spine. Experiment with the quality and type of touch and really notice what your partner responds to favorably. Of course when you find a stroke that gets a particularly good response from your partner, you may want to repeat that one, or come back to it often.
DO have a plan for the sequence of your massage. You want to massage as much of your partner’s body as possible, and leave them with a feeling of being balanced and thoroughly pampered. I suggest that you begin by asking your partner lie face down, so that you can massage the back side of their body first. Perhaps start with the area between the shoulders. Imagine that you are not only relaxing the tension out of your partner’s body, but that you are opening up your partner’s heart, from the back. Then slowly work your way down the back. Give some loving attention to your partner’s lower back and buttocks. At this point you may wish to reposition yourself at your partner’s feet. Don’t underestimate the potential sensuality of a good massage to the feet and toes. Start with one foot, and then slowly work your way up the leg, massaging up to and including the buttock. Then go to the other foot and do in all again on the other side. I realize that this sequence will have you massaging the buttocks twice, once from above and once from below, but I believe that the derriere is worthy of this double attention. Keep in mind that you are slowly working your way to the middle of the body.
DON’T be in a rush to get overly sexual to soon. The whole massage should be sensual, and playful, but not overly aggressive, and never rushed. You don’t want to skip over parts or get ahead of yourself. Remember your plan. You want the pleasure and anticipation to build slowly and steadily. Also, keep in mind that it just doesn’t feel right if you massage one side of the body a lot more than the other, or forget to massage one foot or leg all together. Do the best you can to distribute your attention well. I suggest thinking of a sensual massage as a slow tease… not as a swift attack.
DO ask your partner to turn over, once you are done with the back side. Now that your partner is face up, make eye contact. Remember that the intention of a sensual massage is pleasure. Slow, conscious touch is the best approach. Take your time and tune into your partner's rhythm. Massage your partner’s hands, arms, shoulders and chest. Gently massage your partner’s belly. Breathe with them and look into their eyes. Before you are tempted to skip ahead, remember to massage the front of the legs, and pay some luxurious attention to the inner thighs. Stay on course with your plan to get to everything. However, you can pick up the pace and move things along faster, if you get a clear signal from your partner that they are really ready for you to do so. Slowly work your way to your partner’s most juicy bits. Then, if you and your partner are ready to take things in a more erotic direction, lovingly massage your partner’s genitals. Remember to start lightly and slowly, teasing, and building the intensity. Check in with your partner frequently, to be sure that you are getting the right spots, and using the right amount of pressure.
How you conclude this massage is up to the two of you. You may choose to continue the massage with your touch, or perhaps orally pleasure your partner to an explosive completion. However, you may want to stop the massage at the point of blissful arousal, and save some of the energy and fireworks to shift into love making mode. One thing I’d like to suggest, if you opt to take the sensual massage to completion, than consider continuing to massage for your partner beyond the big crescendo. Go back up to your partner’s neck, face, and head. Gently massage these areas as your partner relaxes blissfully. Finally, give your partner a tender kiss on the forehead when the massage is done. Whatever you do, be sure to communicate, smile, laugh together and have fun.