After a long, hard day at work, would you rather come home to a soothing massage or a wild night in the bedroom? If you have to choose one, the decision might be tougher than you think. Whether you’re on your feet all day or hunched in a chair, chances are a nice, relaxing rubdown is just as enticing as a mind-blowing orgasm once the workday’s over.
So why not have both?
Nothing can put you in the mood quite like a sexy massage — but few things can ruin the mood quite as quickly as a massage gone horribly wrong. Too much pressure? Your partner might end up in more pain than they were in when you started. Using the wrong lubricant? A full body massage feels great until it turns into a full body rash.
With that said, all it takes is a little basic massage know-how, and a lot of sexy details, to turn sensual massage into your new go-to foreplay technique.
We get it — of the various types of foreplay, sensual massage takes a little more work. After all, who hasn’t lovingly obliged their partner’s request for a massage, only to complain of sore arms just a few minutes later?
Luckily, if you do it right, the only limit to the length of your massage is how desperately you’ll want to jump on your partner and get to the sexy part.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of a sensual massage:
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. If your back is aching or your legs are sore, you’re probably not as excited about having sex as you would normally be. Instead of springing for the Ibuprofen and spending another sexless night watching Netflix, it might be the perfect opportunity to receive (and give!) a sensual massage!
Massage eases the muscle tension that can cause soreness, as well as reduce inflammation and improve blood flow, all of which lead to a reduction in pain.
Of course, sex is a powerful stress reducer on its own. But if fear of performance issues makes it harder for you to get turned on, a nice, relaxing sexy massage can help take the edge off your stress — and that might be just what you need to get going.
Just melt into your mattress as your partner rubs away your tension. You may even find that you get aroused even before you get to the sexy part, and there’s a very good reason for that...
The parasympathetic nervous system is commonly known as the “rest and digest” system (as opposed to the sympathetic, or “fight or flight” nervous system). That’s because your parasympathetic nervous system is activated during sleep and digestion, two body functions your body prioritizes during times of low stress.
Think of it this way: when our ancestors went hunting, they needed that fight or flight reaction to detect danger and run from predators. When they stopped hunting, they could prioritize things like sleep, eating their food and sex.
That’s right — because massage stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system, you may become sexually aroused during massage, even if it’s not a sexy massage. But if it is a sexy massage, those are the perfect conditions for taking your evening a little further.
Sex can be a great workout in and of itself, but did you know that a 150 lb person burns 282 calories an hour giving a massage? That’s about as much as if you spent that hour walking.
When was the last time you really relished your partner’s body? Try undressing your partner and slowly running your hands over every muscle and tantalizing curve for more than five minutes without feeling incredibly turned on. Seriously. We dare you.
While you don’t need to be an expert to give a mouth-watering sensual massage (even on the first try!), it helps to have a few extra tools in your toolbox. Let’s take a look at everything you should do to make it an unforgettable night:
While you can do a lot of magic just with what you were born with, a sensual massage gives you plenty of opportunities to get creative with touch. Just ask Andrea Renae (@theandrearenae), a Los Angeles based sex educator and consultant:
“Before you get all oiled up, use feather ticklers, silk ties, mini whips, ice cubes, vibrators or other toys over your partner's skin to tempt and tease. Get creative and DIY (do it yourself)! Anything in your home with an interesting texture can become a sensation toy.”
Her favorite sexy massage addition? “Use a blindfold! By taking one sense (sight) away, you will enhance the others. The other benefit of a blindfold is that your partner can't see what you're up to, so you can keep them on edge and surprise them the entire time.”
There are two basic forces you want when giving a massage: drag, which is the slight pulling sensation you feel on the skin due to friction, and glide, which allows you to move up and down the tissue easily and fluidly.
Too much drag, and you can irritate your partner’s skin, making the experience uncomfortable or even painful. Too much glide, and your strokes will be entirely surface level, and your partner won’t feel that relaxation deeper in the muscles.
Luckily, this is another place where you can get creative. Maybe you have a favorite lotion, or a fragrance you know will get your partner going. As for fragrance, lavender is thought to be calming, while jasmine is a sensual favorite. Ylang ylang is thought to be sexually arousing, and ylang ylang essential oil is one of the ingredients in ASTROGLIDE O!
This is another great opportunity to play with sensations. You can make things hot with a warming lubricant, or add some sweet strawberry kisses all over. Or, if you want to make things extra hot, you can even try massage candles.
“Massage candles create an all around sensual experience,” says Renae. “Just light them up, watch the message oil pool around the top, and then pour gently over your partner's skin. These candles set the mood with sexy lighting, leave the room smelling good, and provide you with an oil that's already warm to the touch.”
Of course, there’s nothing saying you have to limit yourself to one lubricant for your sexy massage, so you can try a combination of different sensations to keep the evening interesting.
Your favorite lotion may have a scent that makes you groan with delight, but it could also make your partner squeal in pain. Remember to patch test any lubricant before you use it all over your partner’s (or your) body, and consider these three sex tips for sensitive skin.
Make the bed with your silkiest sheets. Dim the lights. Light a candle, or maybe twenty candles.
Choose a relaxing playlist of classic slow jams — nothing too loud or fast, so that you strike the right balance between sensual and relaxing. (May we recommend the sublime “Rocket” by Queen Bey?)
Slip into the sexiest outfit you can comfortably move around in. Remember: this should be relaxing for both of you!
Here’s an important tip: remember that your boo will be naked throughout the course of the massage, so make sure the room is a comfortable temperature. The warmer the room, the more relaxed their muscles will be, but you don’t want them to be drenched in sweat, either. Well, at least not just yet!
Once you’ve created your own little oasis inside your home, invite your partner in using a soft, soothing voice. Let them know exactly what you plan to do to them, one step at a time.
This is a full body massage, so your partner will need to start out in the buff. Take this opportunity to tease them. Remember, they’re going to have to lie there until the massage is over before the sex happens, so make it as torturous as possible.
“Taking a couple of minutes before a massage with your partner and try to communicate your deepest feelings without words,” says Dr. Madeleine Castellanos (@DrCastellanos), NYC-based sex therapist and author of Wanting to Want: What Kills Your Sex Life and How to Keep It Alive. “It actually helps to align your heart and mind with your partner’s in the subtlest way. In other words, dare to stare.”
With your partner in a prone position on the bed, stand on one side with your front knee bent, weight on your back leg. This stance will allow you to use your body weight for a longer, less physically exhausting sensual massage.
Place a pillow under your partner’s ankles to help align the spine in a neutral position and keep them comfortable throughout the sexy massage. To massage the back, lubricate your hands well and begin with long, light strokes up the muscles on either side of the spine.
Remember that you want to warm up the tissue before you apply too much pressure, or else you can cause pain. Focus on relaxing your partner at first, not trying to fix their back ache.
Pay attention to every part of the back, from the upper back and neck to the lower back. Try experimenting with pressure, from light strokes that barely brush the skin to deep strokes that ease muscle tension. Then, move on to the buttocks, thighs, and calves, taking your time with each part.
This is where things get really interesting, because you and your partner can make eye contact. This is the perfect time to ramp up the teasing, but don’t get too X-rated just yet — you want to save the best for last.
Place a pillow under your partner’s knees for a more comfortable supine position, and begin by kneading the muscles in the shoulders, then moving to the arms. Gently brush your nails against the inside of the elbows and the wrists. Work your way down the torso and to the legs, making sure to tease your partner’s inner thighs and most intimate areas only briefly.
Make sure to spend plenty of time on the feet. Not only do feet take a lot of abuse throughout the day, but they’re incredibly sensitive. If you’re into tickle play, they’re perfect fodder. If you have a foot fetish, even better!
We really can't recommend dirty talk enough!
As you go over your partner’s full body with your hands (and/or other toys), narrate what you’re doing to each body part and how much you love it. Whisper in your partner’s ear. Make them feel like the sexiest person on the planet.
Tell your partner in explicit detail what you plan on doing to them after the massage is over. They’ll be squirming by the time you get to the feet — if you can even make it that far.
If you and your partner want, you may opt to bring them to orgasm with your hands for a relaxing, climactic treat, while you take care of the work. To make an extra good impression, try one of these 5 mind-blowing hand jobs you can only do with lube.
Or, you might use the end of your sensual massage to transition to oral sex or intercourse. Whatever you fancy, chances are good that by now, you and your partner will be hot and ready to go.
What are your favorite tips and tricks to incorporate into a sexy massage? Let us know by tweeting us @ASTROGLIDE!
Images are for illustrative purposes only.