Treat your partner to a romantic massage with our helpful tips and advice…
Massage is an excellent way of helping you to relax and to get you both in the mood. It helps with stress, muscle tension and pain too. With a little practise you can both become skilled at this ancient art.
Five tips before you begin:
- Lie on a soft comfortable surface like a bed or sofa. Dim the lights and put on soft music. Remember to turn off your phones too!
- Talk to each other. The person being massaged should tell their partner how the massage feels. If it is too tickly or uncomfortable, tell the other person so they can change their stroke. The person giving the massage will feel more motivated to continue if you provide feedback. Massage is a skill and the more feedback you provide, the better skilled the massager will become.
- Use oils as this will limit the pulling of skin and hairs. Start by putting the oil in your hands and rubbing them together to warm up the oil. A freezing cold drop of oil can undo hours of relaxation!
- Try lighting candles to create a romantic, soft light.
- Keep the room at a comfortable temperature – you don’t want to be too cold or too hot.
There are many different types of strokes that can be used when giving a massage. Some of them are gentle touches using mainly your finger tips while others are firmer techniques using your whole hand.
Before you start, make sure your hands, arms and shoulders are relaxed by shaking them out. If you are tense then the massage you give will be hard and uncomfortable.
Start off gently and gradually build up pressure. Try not to tickle when you massage gently as this can cause rather than release tension.
A great way to start out a massage and to apply oil is to use stroking. This can go up and down the length of the back and can vary in pressure from very light to a bit firmer. Make sure your hands and arms are completely relaxed and mould your hands to the shape of the body you are massaging. The movements can be circular or in a long line. The function of these strokes is similar to a warm up. You want the person to relax and get used to being touched and you also want the person doing the massaging to relax into it too. Try to keep at least one hand in contact with your partner’s body at all times. This stops the massage from feeling jerky.
- Effleurage or draining.
This stroke is similar to stroking but is a little firmer. Think of the neck, arm pits, elbows, groin and back of the knees as drains. This stroke aims at moving fluid within your skin and muscles into one of these drains. Despite this rather unromantic description it’s actually one of the most relaxing techniques!
Start at the bottom of the back and move your hands up towards the arm pits. Apply a little bit of pressure as you get into the ‘drain’ but don’t pinch or apply so much pressure that you hurt the person you are massaging.
Then start higher up the back and end your stroke in the neck (gently).
When you massage the buttocks, tummy or legs, end up in the groin or the back of the knee and when you massage the arm, end up in the elbow or neck.
This stroke is a little stronger than stroking and works a little deeper into the muscle. You can use all of your hand or your thumbs but make sure you don’t poke or press too hard with the tip of your thumb.
Work in ‘C’ shapes up and down the spine and across the fleshy part between your neck and shoulders. Start with a gentler kneading and then get more firm as the muscles relax. Keep this technique for muscly areas. It’s too firm for the tummy or delicate spots.
Start by massaging the back, and then move onto the arms and legs. You can then ask your partner to turn over to do their tummy, arms and legs in that position.
After that it’s all up to you..!