Looking for a fresh way to reconnect with your guy? Try a simple but deliciously sensual massage. “Too often, couples fast-forward to intercourse, which means they’re neglecting about 80 percent of each other’s bodies,” says Gordon Inkeles, author of The New Sensual Massage. “Sensual massage encourages lovers to be generous with each other, to explore parts of the body that aren’t overtly sexual.” Here, a step-by-step guide to giving (or getting!) a totally indulgent massage.
Step 1: Make some space.
A soft bed may be perfect for lovemaking, but the ideal massage area is firm, flat, and stable, so you don’t bounce your partner around as you move. (Think how unrelaxing it would be to get a massage on a jiggly water bed.) For maximum comfort, have your guy lie down on a futon mattress or pallet of blankets and place pillows under his neck, knees, and ankles.
Step 2: Break out the oil.
Besides making your hands soft and warm, massage oil reduces friction and makes it easier to knead, rub, and stroke your guy’s tired and stressed muscles. Scented oils can be erotic, “but steer clear of intense fragrances, like patchouli, which get cloying,” says Steve Capellini, a licensed massage therapist in Miami and author of Massage for Dummies. Instead, try a light single scent, like jasmine, and warm the bottle in a bowl of hot water.
Step 3: Create a peaceful vibe.
The tickling of loose hair or a lacy nightie might excite him (and you), but it can also take his focus off the deep, steady sensations of your massage. Tie your hair back and wear close-fitting clothes to minimize distractions. To avoid jarring chills, drape his naked body with sheets (uncover just the body part you’re working on). If you play music, keep it soft and slow.
Step 4: Pick a spot, any spot.
Pressed for time? Focusing on one part of his body — really focusing on it — can be even more decadent than a head-to-toe rubdown. If his back is in knots, concentrate on that. If he loves having his feet caressed, give them the royal treatment. Or keep it simple: Just ask him where he wants you to touch him.
Step 5: Get hands-on.
To give a great massage, all you need to know are a few basic moves:
- Compression is an easy movement to master and great for many body parts, says Inkeles. Just lay one hand flat on, say, his shoulder, press the other hand on top of it, and rotate slowly.
- Stroking works wonders on areas both large (back and thighs) and small (neck and tops of feet). Keep your fingers together, thumbs parallel, and palms in full contact with the part you’re working, and make long, gentle movements. Apply more pressure when stroking toward your partner’s heart, less pressure in the opposite direction.
- Kneading is perfect for fleshy areas such as biceps, buttocks, and thighs. Simply lift and squeeze the area you’re working, with your palms in full contact with your partner’s skin.
- Friction is done without oil and loosens up deep muscles. Anchor the area you’re massaging with one hand, and use the other to deeply press and rub. For smaller areas like the shoulder caps, soles of the feet, and palms, apply friction with your fingertips.
- You can put any or all of these moves together in any order, depending on what your partner needs and how he responds to each touch. Try this basic routine to start (but feel free to add your own personal touches): Have your guy lie facedown. Apply friction to his shoulder caps. Squeeze a few drops of oil onto your hands and stroke his back. Next, knead his buttocks and thighs and stroke his calves. Finish off with a little bit of friction on the soles of his feet.
Step 6: Focus on the feelings.
Intimate massage isn’t about perfection, so don’t worry about doing it “right.” Try to stay in the moment. “The quality of your touch is more important than technique,” says Peggy Morrison Horan, author of Connecting Through Touch and a founder of the Esalen Massage Program at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA. “Massage is about being emotionally present, touching your partner with intention, and paying attention to his reactions.” What could be sexier than that?