The Ideal Night In: Tips for the Perfect Massage Technique
Whether you’re a regular at the spa or have a partner who is, sometimes the sensual massage of our fantasies can fall a little short when you try it yourself. Below, we offer practical tips for giving a massage, from top to tip.
Get in the Mood
Here you can take a cue from spas or health resorts. Lighting should be fairly low (candle-lit, if possible!) and some low music will help create the right atmosphere. Obviously both should reflect what will help you and your partner relax, as everyone’s tastes are different. Let your partner lie down comfortably on their stomach, with their arms straight back or bent forward as is comfortable.
Ask Before They Receive
Just like a professional masseur, you should ask if there’s any area on your partner’s body that is particularly in need of attention or sensitive. No, we aren’t talking about moving straight to the naughty bits (massages involve some teasing after all.) It’s good to check up on this even if you’re confident in your rub down skills, because every body is different.
Get On Top
This may not seem very sexy, but the key is to relax your partner, then work them back up.
Straddle their back and start by warming your hands. Rub them together and then place four fingers on each side of the base of their neck. Begin to massage in circles, moving down the neck and back up to their hairline. Some people enjoy having nails run through their hair, and some can find even light fingertips uncomfortable, so watch to see if they tense at all. As you move up and down the neck, begin to go lower, into a shoulder rub.
Shoulders & Arms
Here you can use a much stronger touch, using your fingers and palms to get into the muscles of their neck and shoulders. This is the sort of massage you’ll probably be most familiar with giving, but slowing it down can make it much more sensual than a half-hearted rub when you’ve been sitting at a computer too long. Take both hands and work on one shoulder at a time, moving downward to the upper arm.
To move down the back, we’re going to avoid the ‘karate-chop’ motion you’ve seen on TV. Trained masseurs can make it feel amazing but we’re keeping it simple here. No matter how good it might feel having it done by a professional, it’s not very sexy.
Imagine a fern leaf lying along the spine. As you massage with your flat hands, use your thumb and the fleshy part at the base of it as a source of strength. Follow the muscles as they fan out on the back, upward and outward. To keep the skin taut and easier to run your hands over, try this method: placing your right hand flat and perpendicular on the left side of the spine, push up and out in a backwards ‘j’ movement, while pushing straight up along the spine with your left hand just behind.
Place for your palms flat on the small of their back, with your thumbs on either side of the spine. Using your four fingers as an anchor, you can use your thumbs to make small circles on either side of the spine, up and down the lower back. You can let your hands wander downward for a tease, and then back up, going lower and lower every time you return. Because this part of the back is fleshier than other part of the back, adding more massage oil can make it easier to slowly massage.
Switch it Up
Just because this is a sensual massage doesn’t mean you need to keep the speed at painfully slow. You can change up the pressure and the pace to keep them yearning for your touch. Try experimenting with temperature play by switching from hot massage oil to ice and back.
Again, just because we call it ‘sensual massage’ doesn’t mean it can’t be kinky. You can experiment with role play by posing as the masseuse willing to provide a ‘happy ending’, or add some BDSM accessories. You can work your partner into a frenzy by restraining them during the massage, or blindfold them so they don’t know what’s coming next. Can they handle a bit of pain from a flogger, or even a feather tickler?
Enjoy a Different Vibe
A good way to alternate the sensation (and give your hands a break) is the addition of a personal massager. Using a small, handheld vibrator such as SIRI™2 or LILY™ 2 lets you use the massager as an extension of your hand, and you can move in time to the vibration pattern of your choice.
Or, you can go for high-powered tension relief from a wand-style vibrator. LELO’s SMART WAND™ has a special SenseTouch™ setting that let the vibration be controlled by contact with the skin, which makes for an amazing, spa-level massage whether you’re using it on a partner, or treating yourself.
You don’t need to be trained as a masseuse to offer your partner a sensual and relaxing experience. Massages aren’t a step by step procedure. Let your partner’s reactions dictate where you hands go next. Take note of the areas that they react to the most, and tease or indulge them as you see fit. It’s all about exploring their body and learning what they like and what they love. It’s a perfect way to connect physically, whether it’s during kinky role play or an intimate back rub at the end of a long week.
Katy Thorn is a post-grad writer with a passion for writing about sex, sexuality, and all things rated R. She received her degree in Women’s Studies with a focus in Intersectionality at the University of California, Berkeley (Go Bears!). She has a cat named Yoko, drinks too much black coffee, and hates writing bios.