Being touched by a lover is both comforting and arousing. So a particularly great way for partners to share some special bonding time is a massage, the most deliberate and prolonged kind of touching there is. Erotic massage relaxes the body, soothes the mind and boosts mutual sexual happiness, all at the same time – it truly is something special that all lovers should try. We lay out the basics for first-time masseuses.
While an ordinary massage aims purely for relaxation and strictly avoids sexual arousal, an erotic massage is free from boundaries. So it gives both the giver and the recipient a chance to blend classic massage techniques like stroking and kneading with exploration of erogenous zones, and – if both partners want it – to take the recipient all the way to orgasm.
For someone who is so stressed that their libido is pretty much switched off, the time and attention of an erotic massage from a caring partner could be exactly what they need to get switched back on again. After all, it’s a powerful non-verbal form of communication, with each caress, stroke and rub emphasising important messages like “You matter to me,” “I adore your body,” and “I’m going to work with you to get through the stress”. And that’s a real turn-on!
Set the mood
There are two absolute essentials for erotic massage: a comfortable place for the recipient to lie down, and plenty of time. This isn’t something that can be rushed, so if either of you are under time pressure, leave it until another time. Turn phones off, or better still, keep them and other devices out of the room altogether to avoid interruption.
Next come considerations that enhance relaxation. A comfortable temperature, dimmed lights and peaceful atmosphere will let the recipient relax and focus on the sensations of touch. Candles and music are far from essential, but if your partner will feel pampered by them then go for it. Just be sure with scented candles that the particular smell isn’t going to be a turn-off for either of you!
You’re going to need a good quality oil to make the massage a truly blissful experience. Hand-to-skin contact without oil reuslts in ‘drag’ and just doesn’t feel as good. There’s a huge choice of oils available, many of which are scented, so again check in with your partner that they like what you plan to use. Some oils are even edible and tasty, so you can use kisses and your tongue when the massage starts getting seriously steamy.
A great, sexy alternative to oil is a mini massage candle, where you drizzle the warm wax/oil mix onto your lover’s skin, after enjoying some candlelit conversation and kissing time while waiting for the candle to melt.
Now you’re all set, the key things to remember are not to press too hard, and to check in with your partner from time to time to ask if the pressure is right for them, and to find out what they’re enjoying the most. Let your partner decide whether they want to start off on their back or their front, and let them choose if and when they want to roll over at any point.
Your first few touches should be long, lingering and purposeful. Firm contact will reassure your partner and make them feel safe. Use this time to apply the massage oil to their body and get their skin all warmed up. Your hands should be flat but your fingers should be relaxed, allowing them to splay and follow your partner’s natural contours.
Fingertips to kneading
Now you can start to vary your technique to give your partner a range of sensation. Using your fingertips, trace your partner’s contours. Run your fingers through their hair, give their scalp a gentle massage, gently graze their neck with the pads of your fingers, and do a pitter-patter motion down their limbs, sides or spine.
At the opposite end of the touch scale, they might appreciate some pressure and kneading, especially where muscles are tense such as those in the neck and shoulders. Press your thumbs against the body part and smoothly move them away from you, using the full extension of your thumbs. Moving each thumb, one after the other creates a continuous rolling sensation that will really get rid of tight knots.
Keep things symmetrical! It can be very disconcerting for the recipient to have lavish attention paid to one leg only, say, while the other goes untouched. A much more harmonious feeling is created by mirroring your actions along both sides of the body.
Your partner will almost certainly let you know by words, satisfied sighs or possibly even signs of arousal when they’re feeling deeply relaxed. This might take a few minutes or much longer, so be generous and don’t rush them. Now you’re ready for you to move things to the next level. Focus on erogenous zones such as buttocks, earlobes, the back of the neck, the inner thighs and the lower belly, mixing kisses and licks in with a variety of hand movements.
If you’re a woman giving the massage, your partner might appreciate you running your breasts across their body, and some people are also turned on by the sensation of long hair moving across their skin. Get creative and start to involve your whole body in the touch process.
Parted legs, squirming, rolling over, deeper or faster breathing, reaching for you and verbal encouragement are all signs that your partner is ready for full-on intimate touch. Now you’ve got the green light to begin stroking breasts, nipples, the genitals and – if you know your partner might like it – the anus and perineum. Add some more lubricant, then you’re all set to take your partner all the way to orgasm with your hands and fingers, and – if you’ve used lickable lube – your mouth.
Want to become even more of an expert? A massage book is a good investment and will give you lots more tips and ideas.
Helen Self is a blogger and sex toy expert who writes for Lovehoney Australia.