1. Travel
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Sensual Massage

Building Intimacy With Your Partner Through Touch

By

A man massaging a woman's back in bed
B2M Productions/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

Sensual massage is a great way to build intimacy and closeness with your partner. The idea behind sensual massage is that you are giving pleasure through touch to your partner. One person is the giver and one person is the recipient.

Since the two of you are in a consensual relationship, the boundaries that apply in professional massage don't apply to sensual massage. That means you don't need to worry about draping, or avoid intimate areas like the inner thigh or breasts. But massage is a skill, and it's helpful to learn some basic massage techniques so that what you do actually feels good to your partner.

One way to learn basic Swedish massage techniques like effleurage is to take a class from a local learning center.

You can also arrange with a massage therapist to show you how to give a massage. They will show you the basic moves and forms of a professional massage. Once you have the basic moves, you can improvise and be creative, taking the massage in a more sensual direction.

Another way to learn sensual massage techniques is "The Art of Sensual Massage" (compare prices)" by Gordon Inkeles. This fully illustrated book and DVD teaches you how to give a sensual massage at home, and you can have fun practicing.

Sensual Massage Toolkit

  • A massage table compare prices will make it much easier to give your partner a massage without hurting your back. And they're not that expensive anymore.

  • You can cover the table with a blanket and two sheets. The person you're massaging gets between the sheets to stay warm, especially if the room is cool. Keep a few sets of sheets just for the massage table as they will get oil on them.

  • A pillow goes under their ankles when they're on their stomach and under their knees when they're on their back. This is more comfortable and relaxing.

  • You can also lay a few blankets on the floor and cover with a sheet. This works nicely for sensual massage if you have a romantic, warm setting, like a space in front of the fireplace.
  • Candles also set the scene for sensual massage.

  • Massage oil to give your hands "glide" is essential , but you don't have to spend a lot of money on a special "sensual massage oil." A nice, inexpensive choice is sweet almond oil(compare prices). You can also add essential oils to your oil to make it an aromatherapy massage. Rose, ylang-ylang and geranium are all good for romantic encounters.

  • The Basics of How To Give A Sensual Massage

  • Set a romantic atmosphere with candles, rose petals and relaxing spa music. Make sure the room is warm enough so that your partner won't be cold.

  • Bring the attitude that you are giving something to the other person, not that you are trying to get something.

  • Start with the person face-down, preferably in a table with a face cradle so they don't crank their neck. If you don't have a massage table, it's better to use a firm surface like a floor that you've covered with a few blankets. It will also give you better access to their body.

  • Start with their back. Fold the sheet back, put a little oil in your hand (make sure they're warm) and make light hand-over-hand motions to warm up their tissues. You can work on their knots a little bit but don't try to do serious therapeutic massage. The point is just to enjoy connecting with your partner in a relaxing way and make them feel good.

  • Generally the order of a massage is back and legs, then you have your partner turn over. You massage their legs and feet, then their arms, and finally their neck and shoulders. You can also give a scalp massage.

  • When you're giving a sensual massage, you can massage areas that are generally off limits, like breasts. It's best if your attitude is one of giving instead of having an agenda of "getting her in the mood". Of course if that happens, you're free to go where you want with it!

  • Sensual Massage and The Spa

    Sensual massage is not offered in a professional spa. The massage therapists who work at spas are trained in therapeutic massage, which is based on Swedish massage techniques. If you asked for sensual massage at a spa, it will be interpreted as a request for sexual contact.

    It is a breach of spa etiquette to ask for sex as part of a therapeutic massage. They may explain that is not the purpose of this massage and continue working, but they may end the massage right there.

    Men sometimes ask for sex during massage in an indirect fashion by directing them "work higher" when they get to their thighs or "work lower" when they massage their chest. They also ask the therapist to remove the sheet or ask if the therapist does "extras" or "happy endings." None of this is appropriate -- or legal -- in a spa setting.

    1. About.com
    2. Travel
    3. Spas

    ©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.