Sensual Massage for Lovers

By  Iris

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Some people wonder, If sex is so natural, how come there are so many books on “How to?” Well, as we all know since we’re on this website, being an excellent lover is a learned skill. It might be more fun to practice than, say, resume writing, but it takes practice. So many people ask, what makes a good lover? And what keeps intimacy alive in a relationship?

We live in such a face-paced world; fast food, deadlines, and Cosmo’s tips on how to give your man mind blowing orgasms in 10 easy steps. Many people think giving a great orgasm is the goal, and lovers rush quickly towards orgasm and miss everything along the way.

I help couples and singles reach deeper intimacy and learn the skills to be great lovers, through sensuality instead of just sexuality. I work both by myself and with my partner, Bruce.

I’ve found that taking a few hours a month to learn the art of sensual massage can help couples increase connection, sensitivity, communication, and learn how to take your partner to new heights of pleasure, during sex and in all other areas of relating.

For singles with lovers, or people in new relationships, it helps the lovers get to know each other on a much deeper level from the beginning. Not only can massage relieve stress and help ease pain, it builds emotional closeness and becomes like a new language that you can use without needing words. I’ll explain all the benefits of sensual massage, give some recommendations for practicing on your own, and explain a little about my practice.

Sensual massage is not like the massage you get in a spa. It isn’t just kneading the muscles, although it does include that. The most obvious difference is that you can both be naked, and touch-and be touched-everywhere on your body; but its so much deeper.

Sensual massage is a journey of discovery. It is something transcendental, not merely physical.  It’s as much about how to touch as where to touch. Your touch on your partner’s skin communicates your deepest feelings, and the response from their skin makes you aware of their deepest feelings towards you.

Not only can learn so much about what kind of touch your partner likes; it tunes you in to their deepest rhythms, allows you to feel each subtle morsel of sensation together, so connected that you’re feeling them feeling you, feeling them feeling you, and a wonderful alchemy takes place. As you do this you can begin to feel as though your bodies, hearts, and souls are joining and you are receiving the same sensations as your partner.

This is true intimacy. Our lives are so stressful that so often our minds wander during sex. Wondering if they’re enjoying it, feeling self-conscious, or even thinking about a problem at work. We can’t help it; sex is so active it can keep our mind active. With sensual massage, we learn to increase our presence of sensation itself. The warm glow that travels from your relaxing shoulder muscles all the way to your thigh, the lightening bolt of energy that ripples up her body into yours when you caress the underside of her but, the way her yoni gradually radiates a deeper shade of pink as you massage her inner thighs, making your hands feel as sensitive as your genitals.

When both people focus on the breath and sensations, you can tune into a higher source of pleasure that you’re both tapping into, because you’re going slow enough to enjoy it. You can enjoy each touch fully, without moving quickly towards a goal, and this is a connection that extends out into the rest of the relationship.

And, as we all know, both people aren’t always in the mood for sex at the same time, yes? Sensual massage can solve this in a few ways, if both people communicate what they want.  There have been many times where I thought I wasn’t in the mood for sex, and after Bruce gave me a loving massage, it opened up my whole body to him and made me want to make love.

The key to this is not having an agenda; learning how to enjoy the intimacy of the touch, and knowing that if one partner wants sex and the other doesn’t, the receiver can experience orgasm during the massage if they want. And sometimes we think we want sex and really we just want sensual connection. Sex is the only way a lot of couples connect sensually, but that’s like eating the same meal at a gourmet restaurant when there are so many things on the menu.

Sensual massage can be relaxing, stimulating, or highly playful and erotic; depending on what mood both people are in. It helps distress each other and make for more meaningful time afterwards, because you will both be in your bodies and in a better mood. There were many times when Bruce came home after a stressful day at work and all he wanted to do was collapse on the couch. When I massaged him for a half hour, we felt connected, emotionally close, and had a great time together afterwards, even if we didn’t have sex.

It’s rare that couples practice only giving or only receiving, except in oral sex. Now I love oral sex, but something magical happens when couples practice only giving or receiving in touching the whole body. The receiver learns, at least the way I teach, to guide their partner in asking for what they want, in a very specific way: more/less pressure, faster, slower, a little to the left, yes that’s the spot.

This empowers the couple to communicate more during sex as well, to make for more spontaneous lovemaking. Sometimes it can make a HUGE difference. I once worked with a couple where the woman didn’t like the way her husband touched her, and the main thing that made a difference was just for him to go SLOWER. They learned that through the massage lesson but it carried over into sex.

Many people feel guilty for just receiving; like they should be giving something back right away, and we can’t be truly generous until we learn to receive fully, because how do we feel our intuition; that sense of knowing just the right thing to do next? Its through making our body sensitive enough to feel and receive that information. The receiver’s body becomes more sensitive and open, and creates a feeling of gratitude that lasts far longer than the massage. And the increased sensitivity can help in all areas of life, from knowing what to eat, to being a better dancer, as well as creativity in sex.

Massage can help heal body image issues as well. Sometimes the receiver worries that since the giver is putting 100% of their attention on you, they’re noticing your cellulite, love-handles, or the hair on your butt. These thoughts can creep in during sex and get in the way of enjoyment.

During a massage, the giver may try to touch back to distract the receiver from noticing these things. Now, there’s nothing wrong with touching back in a sensual massage if you both agreed on it, but if you notice your motivations are along these lines, its your opportunity to relax, enjoy, and notice that your partner is giving these spots loving attention and ENJOYS touching them. Feel the love entering into your body from your lovers hands, and since you don’t have to give back, you can just focus on how loveable your body is without distraction.

The receiver learns that no one can give you pleasure; its your job to ALLOW pleasure. Learning how to open to more and more pleasure makes you a better lover. Truly there is no limit to how much pleasure we can feel!

The giver gets a chance to cultivate a feeling of generosity and can feel like they’re giving a special and intimate gift to their partner. During sex, so much is going on at once that its hard to pick up on the subtle nuances of learning exactly how their partners likes to be touched on each part of their body.

During the massage, the giver can be fully present to subtle and delicious new ways to touch the other partner, that they might not have noticed before. Then they can try these types of touch during sex, to make for a more full body experience instead of just focusing on the genitals.

For the giver, the art is learning to feel pleasure in the giving; not just intellectually; but feeling the warmth and smoothness of the receiver’s skin, The way your OWN muscles relax when you’re melting theirs, the enticement of YOUR OWN senses as you feel your partner getting turned on. Learning to do what THE RECEIVER wants, for the pleasure of the giver, is what makes a great lover. Because even if its their job to allow pleasure, your touch is more pleasurable when you’re feeling pleasure yourself.  It makes you more intuitive and opens up a transcendental space where you’re BOTH receiving pleasure from an unlimited source.

Even though orgasm isn’t the main event, genital massage techniques can help people achieve better, more frequent, and full body orgasms.  There are ways to touch the yoni that make it more sensitive so she can have bigger and deeper orgasms. I’ve worked with women who had never had an orgasm except with a vibrator, and through the techniques of yoni massage, they were able to cum.

Men can learn techniques that help them last longer, that are best practiced during receiving massage instead of during sex, so that eventually, they can last longer during sex. These techniques, which use breath, relaxation, and heightened sensual awareness, can help men overcome things like premature ejaculation and performance anxiety, so that when they do have sex, it is more enjoyable for both partners.

With all these advantages, what couple wouldn’t benefit from learning sensual massage?

Here are a few tips in giving and receiving sensual massage, so you can get started on your own:

1) Keep your nails short! Long nails can be sexy for scratching, but many massage techniques use the tips of fingers and you don’t want to gauge your partner’s shoulders. Particularly if you are giving a woman a yoni  massage, nails are especially hurtful in the sensitive parts. For that, your nails should not extend more than a millimetre or so beyond your finger tips.

2) Its best if, when you’re learning, you pick a separate night for each person to receive. Its such a gift when the receiver doesn’t have to worry about giving back right away. Of course, the massage can be a prelude to sex, or it can stand on its own. Once you’ve learned how to massage the whole body, then its great to give/receive for even 10 min at a time to reconnect. It makes such a difference in the feeling of connection.

3) The right ambiance makes all the difference. Its best if you stimulate as many senses as possible: soft lighting, relaxing music, scented candles, incense, or essential oils, warm massage oil, clean sheets, and scheduling enough time so that people aren’t rushed or worried about not getting enough sleep. I like to use extra virgin coconut oil because it can be used on the yoni without giving infections. You don’t want to use regular massage oil on the yoni cause it can irritate it. Of course, if you are going to use a condom to have sex afterwards, then use water based lube on the yoni and the cock, but if massage is the main event, the coconut oil can be used everywhere, it smells great, feels silky, and you can eat it.

4) Deep breathing is so important. Its good to start out by breathing together. This helps the connection right from the beginning. You don’t have to breathe together the whole time, but if the giver feels disconnected at any point, matching their breath to the receiver will reignite the connection. Also, if the giver is taking deep breaths, it helps the receiver to relax more. For the receiver, deep breathing throughout helps you to feel even more sensation.

5) Its best to take a few minutes to talk about both people’s intentions before the massage starts. Is this massage part of the foreplay before sex, or is it simply a sensual gift? Its good to be on the same page so there’s no misunderstandings. Do you want to be nude or keep your panties on? Are there parts of your body that want extra attention, like neck/shoulders; are your feet ticklish and don’t want to be touched? Does the receiver want to simply relax or would it turn them on more to touch back? There are no rules; you get to make your own! But its best if you both agree on them…

6) When you are learning massage, its fun – and very beneficial – to play a communication game around touch. Practice on a non sexual part of the body, like the arm. The goal is to empower the receiver to ask for what they want, in an appreciative way, not in a demanding way. I call my method the “approval sandwich.” While being touched,  first find something you like about the way your partner is touching you. “I love the softness of your skin; the slowness, the pressure, etc.” Then ask for what you want, “Can you go a little faster, squeeze harder, etc.” Then appreciate them for accommodating, “AAh that’s great, thank you.” Then if its still not perfect, you’ve already appreciated, so you can keep asking till its perfect. Most of the time, the giver just wants to know they’re doing it right; simply asking without appreciating seems demanding. It makes SUCH a huge difference in my relationship, especially when he’s giving me a yoni massage. Sometimes I forget and say, “go harder, to the left, no not there, THERE.” And he feels frustrated that he’s doing it wrong. Just a little bit of approval mixed in with the directions makes such a huge difference. And this, by the way, works great when asking anything: honey, thank you for taking out the garbage last night without me asking. Would you pick your socks up off the floor?

7) It matters just as much HOW you touch as what you are doing. Your goal is to touch your partners heart and soul, not just their skin. As you touch, feel the love for your partner deep in your heart, and imagine that love flowing through your hands into their body. This will enhance the emotional bond (You don’t have to only touch them with your hands; little kisses, brushes of hair against their skin, rubbing your breasts on his/her back…). What’s most important is your level of PRESENCE in the touch. The touch feels different if you’re focusing completely on the sensations in your body, or if you’re thinking about what you’re going to make for lunch tomorrow. Allow this to train you to be more present, and this will lead to more connection in your sex as well.

8) Take it slow! Most people touch too fast, and it is far more relaxing to slow down. Also, muscles take time to relax so its best to start with gentle pressure on each new body part and gradually increase it. Ask the receiver how they like the pressure; and don’t just say, “is that good?” cause what are they going to say, no? instead ask, “harder or softer?” to the left/to the right?” Giving them a choice between 2 things allows them to pick one and make it even better. And generally, you should press until you feel the muscle push back a little. It shouldn’t hurt-unless they want it to 😉

9) Don’t put pressure on the spine or on the joints, but otherwise, experiment! There are so many techniques for massaging every part of the body. The key to giving a good sensual massage is to mix the relaxing strokes to the muscles, with playful teasing and touching the erogenous zones. There are so many sensitive erogenous zones besides the genitals; and a true master knows how to massage, caress, tantalize and turn on ALL of them. And even on the genitals, there are so many preliminary types of touch to do first to make the clit and the cock more sensitive when they are touched. For the entire body, you can try relaxing whole-palm strokes, squeezing the muscles, scratching, sucking or biting lightly, and lightly toughing and caressing the sensitive parts. Don’t assume they like what they liked the last time; keep experimenting!

10) Sometimes emotions come up; don’t freak out. As you both begin to relax, people can release stored emotions like sadness and tears.  The receiver should just let them flow, or make a noise that releases the Emotion. For the giver, Don’t ask “What’s wrong?” Unless they offer. Maybe nothing is wrong, or they don’t want to talk. Simply say, “Its ok…should I keep going or do you want me to hold you?” This brings both people closer together.

11) Make time to bask in the afterglow. Whether you have sex afterwards or not, allow yourselves to relax in the special bond that you created, instead of jumping up right away to shower, or rolling over onto your side of the bed. Enjoy the connection while it is still high by cuddling, and sharing about the experience afterwards. Both people can pick a moment or two that stands out for them, and describe with gratitude, what it felt like. Say something like, “There was a moment where I slid across your outer labia, and I felt your whole yoni open like a flower, and a lightening bolt of energy travelled up my body into my chest.” Or “I LOVED when you bit my nipples. I had no idea I liked it so hard!” This teaches each other – and yourselves – what you both like.

And of course, it does help to have someone guide you; either me or another teacher.

How We Teach:

We can’t legally say we teach massage, because its not the kind of massage you get in a spa; though we think what we teach is more fun. 😉 We always work within people’s boundaries. We know a great deal about genital massage techniques to increase sensitivity and help people with performance challenges, but like I said, a sensual massage is so much more about how to touch than where.

We guide couples in connection exercises in the beginning, to move into a space of love and appreciation. Then we teach communication games so that receivers learn to ask for what they want and givers learn how to touch for their pleasure. Then we guide in touching each part of the body by demonstrating on each other, while the couple follows along beside us and receives guidance and feedback.

For singles, they learn by watching us as well, and can get hands on guidance in the non-sexual areas of the body, while watching us demonstrate the more erotic portions, if they so choose.

Couples have told me that their intimacy in all areas of the relationship has improved, including in sex, and singles who practice with their lovers said their relationships start out being much more connected.

We also offer sensual bodywork and intimacy practices for men and women without genital touch; it can awaken the sensitivity of the whole body, as well as helping people explore exactly what kind of touch they like. We worked with one woman who felt she always gave the guy what he wanted during sex; but wasn’t sure what she wanted. Through our safe sensual touch games, she said her whole sensuality was awakened, and she was much more able to recognize and ask for what SHE wanted with men that she connected with. Its stories like these that make me love what I do.