A sensual massage is a massage that focuses on the partner’s erogenous zones to provide both stress relief and increased intimacy between both partners. This is a very unique activity that provides both partners with the opportunity to build intimacy and trust. Sensual massages are unique because the goal of the sensual massage is not to orgasm (though that may be a pleasant reaction), but rather to incorporate a highly personal and relaxing experience into a couple’s life.
Sensual massages provide partners with the special opportunity to receive pleasure without the pressure of performance and may also help to provide an alternate source of intimacy. Sensual massages can be a very helpful activity for couples who want to increase novelty in their relationship as well. Studies have also found that males struggling with erectile dysfunction experienced greater comfort and confidence with erectile functioning after incorporating sensual massages into their sex life.1
Giving or receiving a sensual massage (also classified as a tantric massage) is also a great way to bond with a partner. However, its equally important to communicate beforehand. Practicing effective communication helps to ensure that both partners are comfortable with the level of intimacy in the massage. After doing so, both partners can begin to enjoy the benefits of this relaxing and personal moment of exploring each other’s bodies.
Massaging is a skill so it could be helpful to check out basic massage techniques before trying to move onto sensual massages. Learning about basic massage techniques can help individuals learn what feels good for each other.
Setting the Mood
A sensual massage is a highly intimate activity between two partners and many individuals can feel unsure of how to begin. Setting the mood is a great place to start and can also help to alleviate any possible feelings of anxiety. Setting the mood is a very personalized experience, so it can look different from couple to couple, but here are some popular suggestions that can help to create a romantic atmosphere:
- Ensure that you and your partner are in a private setting.
- Clear the room of any possible distractions such as a phone.
- Dim the lights.
- Light a few candles.
- Have romantic and relaxing music playing in the background.
All of these suggestions can help to create an environment of comfort and relaxation. Setting the mood is an excellent way to help create the smoothest transition into the sensual massage.
In preparing for the massage, it is ideal to find a surface that is comfortable for both partners. The ideal surface can be a professional massage table, a bed, or a table that is covered with soft sheets and blankets. Partners should communicate with each other to discover which surface feels best for them.
Before beginning the massage, we recommend both partners bathe and get into either clothing that makes them feel comfortable, or no clothing. Bathing can also be done together, and this can be another great way to increase intimacy.
When massaging either partner, we recommend gradually incorporating erogenous zones into the basic massage techniques. Each partner should take the time to gently and slowly explore their partner’s body. Partners should regularly check in with each other at each stage to ensure that both partners are comfortable. Paying attention to both verbal and nonverbal feedback is also important as it can help each partner discover what feels best for the other partner. Feel free to incorporate the use of massage oils, lubrication (water or silicone-based to prevent infection), or sex toys during the process of the sensual massage.2 Communicate with each other to find out what works best.
Female Sensual Massage
To begin the massage, a female partner can lay down on the surface with either their face up or down. Both positions will allow access to different sensitive regions. If the partner is face up, the other partner can begin by gently massaging the length of their arms and gradually moving to the chest and other areas of her body. Take the time to gently and gradually explore her body. Each person massages at their own pace, but it’s also important to regularly check in with their partner to discover the ideal combination of pace and pressure. The partner can then begin to lightly stroke and massage the breasts and nipples in a circular motion. If the female partner begins face down, the other partner can begin to gently massage and caress the length of her legs, from the upper thighs down to her ankles. From there, the partner can massage the back as they move up towards the shoulders. Feel free to mix up the movements and the amount of pressure applied as well.
Sexual tension should build as the partner massages the body and different erogenous zones. The partner should slowly start to graze these areas and tease their partner, but these areas do not have to be the main focus of the massage. Once the tension comes to a climax, the partner can then begin to glide their hands down her body and gently caress the regions surrounding the genitals. As her arousal increases and she begins to secrete vaginal lubrication, the partner can begin to gently massage the vulva up and down. While doing so, the partner can also use their other hand to continue to explore and caress other parts of her body. Once she begins to secrete lubrication, incorporate clitoral stimulation. Begin with light touches and gradually increase pressure, but make sure to actively ask for feedback. Use the index and forefingers to gently rub the clitoris as well. If it is difficult to locate the clitoris, communicate and ask for help. The female clitoris comes in all shapes and sizes so it may be difficult to locate some than others. Continue to stroke the clitoris, now using a circular and figure eight motion. Follow a steady rhythm, slowly and gently increasing the amount of pressure. If she reaches orgasm at any point, move on to the labia as the clitoris will be highly sensitive for a short period.2
Once she is fully aroused, begin to explore her internal genitalia (penetration is usually uncomfortable for females if done prior to arousal). Use your fingers and point upwards towards the pubic bone, trying to locate her G-spot. Stimulate this in a “come here” motion, hooking your index finger as your palm faces up. During this time, the other hand can continue stimulating her clitoris. Follow up by caressing her vaginal walls with a finger.2 Once complete, allow her to relax peacefully and even asleep in your arms if she desires.
Remember to regularly check in and ask for feedback. from their female partner. Checking in and asking for feedback is especially important when stimulating sensitive areas. Keep in mind that some females may not find clitoral stimulation as pleasing as others. Feel free to apply lubricants if the female partner is not generating enough lubrication, especially when massaging the clitoris.
Male Sensual Massage
When preparing to massage a male partner, the male partner can begin by sitting back in a slightly reclined position with pillows behind his back or head for support. Take the time to explore and gently massage different parts of his body. Caress and kiss the areas surrounding his genitals. At this point, the partner giving the massage can apply a lubricant to their hands and can begin to gently rub the penis and testicles.
It can be helpful for both partners to establish a signal so that they can slow down or change technique just prior to ejaculation. This helps to extend the massage and provides the male partner with a more intense and relaxing experience. Remind the partner to breathe deeply as this will help him resist the urge to ejaculate. Tell him to inhale deeply with his stomach, and to relax and sigh when exhaling. A common response to this process is the male partner’s penis alternating between being erect and flaccid; but do not worry, this is a highly desirable effect of the experience.
Throughout this message, use gentle fingertip touching. Begin by gently massaging the testicles and scrotum. Follow this with massaging the pubic region above the penis and then the perineum (the area between the testicles and the anus). From there, massage the shaft, varying the pressure and speed of the massage. Gently squeeze the base of the penis with one hand and then stroke the shaft up and down. Alternate hands and repeat this motion for many strokes. Then, reverse the direction of the strokes by starting from the head of the penis and sliding down. Follow up with massaging the head and shaft in gentle twisting motions. Now massage the male prostate region. Search for a small indent on the perineum. Gently move your fingers back and forth over this region until it feels softened. If he nears ejaculation, push gently on this spot to enhance his orgasm. As the massage comes to an end, focus on one of two strokes that he enjoys. Then gently remove your hands and allow him to rest and relax.
Remember to regularly check in with your partner at different stages of the sensual massage. Regularly checking in can help both partners discover what feels best for the other. Paying attention to both verbal and nonverbal cues is also equally important. Partners should be actively communicating throughout the massage.
Sensual massages are an excellent way to build intimacy and introduce novelty into a couple’s sex life. Remember to communicate and provide feedback with one another throughout the massage. Sensual massages are a very personal and intimate experience, so discover what techniques and combinations work best for each other.
- McCarthy, Barry. “Relapse Prevention Strategies and Techniques with Erectile Dysfunction.” Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. Brunner-Routledge, 2001. Date Accessed: 14 April. 2018.
- Levay, Simon, John Baldwin, and Janice Baldwin. Discovering Human Sexuality. 3rd ed. N.p.: Sinauer Associates, 2016. Print.
Last Updated: 13 April 2018.