Giving and Receiving Erotic Massage


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CONTENTS

  1. Introduction
  2. Preliminaries
  3. Giving Your Erotic Massage
  4. Variations and Enhancements
  5. Learning More about Massage
  6. Getting Massage Supplies
  7. Appendix A: Additional Male Genital Massage Ideas
  8. Appendix B: Additional Female Genital Massage Ideas
  9. Appendix C: Safer Sex Precautions
  10. Appendix D: Music Recommendations

Introduction

The General Approach this Guide Takes

This guide teaches how to give and receive erotic massage. It discusses how to help your partner relax, and discusses how to help your partner experience extended or multiple orgasms as part of your massage. A common arrangement is for one partner to receive a massage first, and then to return the favor, but of course how you choose to arrange this is up to you and your partner.

It's best to perform erotic massage while your partner is lying on a massage table of some kind. After preparing your space to be warm and pleasing, you can start with a sensual and relaxing general massage before shifting the focus to your partner's sex centers. The idea is to bring your partner to high levels of arousal, and keep him or her there for a while. For men, this is best done through verbal or non-verbal communication which allows stimulation to be slowed down, changed, or stopped before ejaculation becomes inevitable (stimulation then continues in a few moments, after the urgency fades). For women, this is best done by using G-Spot and/or clitoral massage to bring her to multiple orgasms, which naturally tend to take place over an extended period of time.

Erotic massage can work equally well for same-sex as for opposite-sex partners. Additionally, as having someone pleasure you with their hands doesn't tend to bring up the same set of cultural fears and judgments that oral sex or intercourse sometimes do, it sometimes works well even when your partner isn't of a gender you are normally attracted to.

Preliminaries

Set and Setting

Taking the time to create a sensual and appealing environment for your erotic massage shows that you care about your partner and value pleasure. Start by turning off the phones. You may wish to put a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door, illuminate the room with either candles or soft indirect lamps, burn incense, and turn up the heat to where one would be comfortable lying down naked. Keep your lubricants, oils, and gloves (if needed or desired) within easy reach, and cover the massage table with a blanket and place a clean sheet over this blanket. You can let the sides of the blanket and sheet drape over the sides of the table so that they may be brought up to cover the receiving partner (keeping him or her warm) after the massage is finished. Pieces of (possibly fake) fur or feathers can be used for additional sensual tantalization, and an eye pillow or blindfold can be helpful in blocking out any unwanted light for your partner.

Putting a CD (or prerecorded tape) of your favorite music on repeat play is a good idea. Some people are more comfortable with a pillow or rolled bath towel underneath their knees and/or head (when lying face up) or their ankles (when lying face down), and some women will be more comfortable with a pillow underneath their hips; if this is your first massage with your partner you might want to experiment a little or ask him or her.

If you're going to be giving the massage, take a look at your fingernails and clip them if necessary.

Lubrication

One similarity between men and women is that some sort of lubricant needs to be used when massaging their genitals: this will make the experience more pleasurable and prevent sore spots from developing. One difference between men and women is that one may use oil-based, water-based, or silicone-based lubricants on men, while one should use only water-based lubricants on women to avoid encouraging vaginal infections. For genital massage on men, or for massage elsewhere on a man or woman's body, you can purchase special massage oils at massage supply shops or else just use a light vegetable oil (such as Safflower, Sunflower, or grapeseed) from the supermarket. Lubricants and oils should be reapplied as necessary, so it's good to keep them handy.

It's very convenient to have flip-top squeeze bottles for lubes and oils, and one of those massage oil "belts" that massage supply shops sell. Since many of these belts have two pockets, you could use one for lube and the other for massage oil. Be sure lubes and oils are warm before putting them on someone; if you wish you can run hot tap water over your flip-top bottles for a few minutes before using them, or maybe you could just keep the plastic bottles in a bowl of warm water instead of using a belt. It's also a good idea to put lubricants in your hand before applying them so you have a chance to rub your hands together to warm them if necessary. Oh, and one final word of advice: please be sure any water-based lube you may be using DOESN'T contain Nonoxynol-9. In this context Nonoxynol-9 is unlikely to do anything but irritate.

Good Communication

During both the relaxation and genital phases of your erotic massage it's important for the person on the table to always feel comfortable making requests and comments. He or she should feel free to mention anything that is getting in the way of his or her comfort and pleasure. Requests to go to the bathroom, for touch to be harder or lighter, to take a break or stop, for the heat to be turned up, etc., are all signs that levels of communication and trust are high. They are also signs that the receiving partner is paying attention to his or her feelings, which is a key to experiencing greater and greater pleasure.

Some people find that sex and/or pleasure can bring up difficult emotional issues for them. When someone is crying, or in a similarly distressed emotional state, it's usually best to just be there for that person and reassure them that it's OK to cry (possibly while holding them) rather than trying to rationally discuss what is going on or engage in problem-solving. Asking them what they need rather than assuming too much is also a good idea.

I hope it goes without saying that you both should be in agreement that your relationship includes the possibility of sexual intimacy before going ahead with an erotic massage. Situations where the giving partner tries to shift a relaxation massage into an erotic realm for the first time, but the receiving partner was expecting or wanting only relaxation massage or doesn't feel your friendship should include sex, can be uncomfortable and embarassing at the least. It's worth it to somehow bring this topic up beforehand with a new partner, even if you have to blush a little when telling him or her what you think it would be fun to do with them.

Giving Your Erotic Massage

Relaxing Your Partner's Body

Start by connecting with your partner. There may be specific ways you and your partner prefer to do this. If not, try kind words, soft gazing into each other's eyes, synchronized breathing, and/or caressing each others' faces or hands.

When both of you are ready, have your partner lie face down, naked, on the massage table. Start by quieting and focusing your mind while resting your hands on the receiving partner's upper and lower back. Then, perform a relaxing massage on the back, legs, and feet. Basic principles of relaxing massage include keeping your hands in contact with your partner, taking your time, being rhythmic yet sensitive, and proceeding from long gliding strokes to deeper ones. When giving a massage be sure to use good body mechanics: use your body weight rather than arm strength for deep strokes, during gliding strokes keep your knees slightly bent and fluid, and don't lean over the table.

After relaxing your partner's back, legs, and feet, have him or her turn over. Massage the chest, arms, and hands. Then glide down to the legs. It can feel good to brush the genitals when going down to the legs. After finishing the fronts of the legs and feet, glide back up and slowly brush over the genitals, teasing them. This teasing process can be drawn out by brushing the inner thighs near the genitals, very lightly touching the pubic region, etc. At this point erotic energy is often building, making it a natural time to start shifting the focus to more explicitly sexual activities.

Especially if this is your first massage with this partner, it's a good idea to look into your partner's eyes while cradling his or her genitals, and somehow ask his or her permission to go further. The rest of the massage will focus on the genitals, with periodic sweeps up and down the body to spread, balance, and integrate the sensations. One of the skills that comes with practice is being able to read the energy and arousal levels of your partner, and smoothly and gradually ramp up from relaxing massage to more arousing and sexual massage.

Pleasuring Your Partner's Sex Centers

Male

Introduction

The basic principle of male genital massage is that you should slow down, stop, or change what you are doing just before ejaculation becomes inevitable. The best way to accomplish this is for the man to give a signal just before this point is reached. Verbal cues, raising a hand, pulling away slightly, or even subtle body language cues can all work well. This repeated "peaking" process can sometimes help men learn to have multiple orgasms without ejaculating, and can also be practiced during solo masturbation. Although delaying ejaculation during the course of the massage is desirable from the perspective of maximizing pleasure, many partners do like to finish the massage with one. Ejaculation provides a considerable spark of pleasure, but can leave men too fatigued to enjoy the rest of the evening or do a good job massaging their partner; opposite-sex partners who like to finish male genital massage with ejaculation should have the woman receive her massage first.

It's also fun to encourage your partner with hot talk (possibly weaving together a verbal fantasy based on your partner's desires). Letting your partner know verbally and non-verbally that you're actively enjoying his pleasure can be a powerful aphrodisiac.

As an aside, it should be noted that a nice feature of male genital massage is that an erection is not required for it to feel good; some massage strokes actually feel BETTER when the penis is soft.

Suggested Genital Massage Strokes

There are many different massage strokes that feel good on male genitals. Unless he indicates otherwise, it's usually safe to assume that firm and consistent stroking will feel best. I'm going to present a few favorite strokes below, but you can make up your own, refer to Appendix A, or examine the resources in this guide's "Learning More about Massage" section to learn dozens of additional strokes. One approach that some people favor is selecting two favorite strokes, and for a period of time alternating between them every once in a while.

"Healing Stroke" - With the penis resting on the belly, cup the balls with one hand. The heel of the palm of the other hand glides up and down the underside of the penis all the way to the tip. (Body Electric School handout)

"Anvil Stroke" - Bring one hand down, letting it stroke the penis from the top all the way to the bottom. When it hits the bottom, release it. Meanwhile bring your other hand to the top of the penis and repeat the stroke, creating an alternating motion. (internet Alt.Sex FAQ)

"Climbing the Mountain" - Take the penis in one hand and gently, sensuously caress it for about ten seconds, then give it one quick up-and-down stroke. Repeat the sensuous caressing for about ten seconds (perhaps using slow up-and-down strokes), and then give the penis two quick up-and-down strokes. Repeat the caressing, then give three quick strokes, etc. Continue until ejaculation approaches inevitability. (SM 101, 2nd Ed.)

Cocooning

It's up to the two of you whether to finish with an ejaculation. If you do, then pleasuring can continue all the way through ejaculation and until your partner asks you to stop. At the end of the massage (whether or not there is an ejaculation), the sheet/blanket combination can be folded up over the person on the table to provide a warm cocoon. This can be a time of profound peace and contentment together.

Female

Introduction

Female sexual response is often significantly different from male sexual response, in the following ways:
  1. Female arousal tends to be more closely tied to emotional states, and feelings of warmth towards her partner.
  2. Many women can come in two distinctly different ways: through G-Spot stimulation and through clitoral stimulation. Many women characterize the clitoral orgasms as "sharper" and the G-Spot orgasms as "deeper".
  3. Women often vary considerably in what type of sexual stimulation they like, and how they like it done.
  4. Female arousal usually takes longer to build, but can often last longer and be more intense than that which men commonly experience.
  5. Women can often have multiple orgasms, if stimulation continues following the first (especially with G-Spot stimulation).
It's because of #5 that the basic approach to erotic massage differs between women and men. Since women can sometimes enjoy stimulation all the way through one orgasm and into the next, there is little or no need for them to hold back in any way. Having orgasms in a series can cause arousal levels to float for a long time at a very high level.

Suggested Types of Stimulation

Women vary in their tastes concerning G-Spot and clitoral stimulation, so you need to be attentive and listen. A common preference is for their partners to begin with gentle rubbing over the entire vulva, to follow this with clitoral stimulation, and to finish with G-Spot stimulation or G-Spot AND clitoral stimulation. Please be aware that neither clitoral stimulation nor any sort of vaginal penetration usually feels good unless a woman is already in a fairly high state of arousal. When performing genital massage on women one often has a "free hand" which may be used to glide over the rest of her body, tease her nipples, massage her perineum, caress her face, form "connections" with other parts of her body (by stimulating some other part of her body at the same time as you are pleasuring her genitals), etc.

Although the genital massage styles presented below are some of the most commonly favored among women, there are many more. Refer to Appendix B or examine the resources in this guide's "Learning More" section for more ideas.

"Clitoral" - When massaging her clitoris, learn what part of it feels best to her. Going in circles around it softly and rhythmically with a lubricated finger is a good way to proceed, at least until you get more specific feedback or until you uncover something that obviously feels better. Once you find something that feels great, consistency with it is often the key to further pleasure. Some women find that clitoral orgasms feel better if their vaginas are pleasantly filled: more fingers or an appropriately-sized dildo are good ways to accomplish this, though penetration of any kind usually doesn't feel good to someone who isn't aroused, so it probably isn't what she would want you to start right out with.

"G-Spot" - The G-Spot is an area on the forward wall of the vagina, just behind the pubic bone about two inches in. A woman can often tell you when you've found her G-Spot, and it often feels more "ridged" than the surrounding tissue. Pressing into it can be intensely pleasurable, but may cause a sensation of needing to urinate. Female ejaculation is sometimes a result of G-Spot stimulation; female ejaculate is NOT urine, but IS expelled through the urethra. One easy way to stimulate the G-Spot is with your (lubricated) first and second fingers together (possibly starting with just your first finger). Make rhythmic gestures inside the vagina that look like the signal to "come here". Alternatively, one can rub the G-Spot in a circular fashion. Generally, it's the pads of your fingers which are pressing into her G-Spot. Another approach is to rotate your fingers inside her vaginal barrel with even pressure against all areas of it. Be aware that the shape of the vagina changes as a woman's arousal level increases. You'll probably notice the inner portion ballooning outwards during extreme arousal, which means that your fingers will need to rotate a little farther from center in order to maintain the same pressure on the vaginal walls. G-spot stimulation usually only feels good when the woman is aroused.

"Vibrator" - Vibrators generally work best on or near the clitoris. If the vibration is too intense, switch to a lower speed or put a cloth between the vibrator and her clitoris. It's OK to let your partner hold the vibrator. It's also fun for a vibrator to be used clitorally at the same time vaginal penetration is being performed. The most versatile vibrators are the standard plug-in models such as the Hitachi Magic Wand.

"Verbal and Non-Verbal Encouragement" - It's helpful to encourage your partner with hot talk (possibly weaving together a verbal fantasy based on your partner's desires). Sexy complements, eye contact, etc. are also nice additions. Many sexual difficulties (especially for women, it seems) stem from worries: worrying that her partner is getting tired of pleasuring her, that she isn't coming fast enough, etc. Letting your receiving partner know verbally and non-verbally that you're actively enjoying giving her pleasure can be a powerful aphrodisiac for her.

Cocooning

It's nice to fold the sheet/blanket combination over your partner when you two are finished. This can be a time of profound peace and contentment together.

Variations and Enhancements

Conscious Breathing

Regular, conscious breathing is a powerful way to enhance both relaxation massage and erotic massage. If the receiving partner forgets to breathe, the massaging partner can remind him or her by breathing rhythmically and audibly. Some partners find that synchronizing the breathing between the two of them leads to wonderful sensations. Just don't hyperventilate...

Group Massage Gatherings

These can be put on with three or more participants. Participants divide up into groups of three or four, with one massage table per group. Each person in each group gets a certain amount of time on their table, and before massage begins this person tells the other people at his or her table what he or she would like, and what his or her limits are. This can be a lot of fun, and is a great way to practice asking for what you want sexually (a habit which has the power to enhance your pleasure in and of itself). It's good to start and end these by having everyone get in a circle, introduce themselves (if necessary), and "check in" (i.e. say something about where they're at, what they would like to get out of the day, what they liked about the day, etc.). It's also helpful to have little snacks and water for people to eat and drink. Since you may end up giving three or four different people massages during an event like this, it's fairly common for the host and/or hostess to ask everyone to use gloves for all genital massage, and possibly for everyone to wash their hands before the next person gets on the table.

For small gatherings (6-8 people) of participants who all know each other, people can just gravitate towards whatever table and group they want when it's time to start; for larger events or events where there will be a lot of beginners, it's often helpful for the host or hostess to assign people to tables so things stay balanced, nobody's feelings get hurt, and so there aren't any tables composed entirely of novices. It's usually a good idea to put someone in charge of bringing supplies to the event (latex gloves, massage oil in little bottles, lube, towels, etc.), and (when lots of new folks are involved) for the host or hostess to stay at least marginally aware of what is going on so things stay comfortable for everyone.

These events usually work very easily for men-only or women-only groups, and tend to work best for mixed-gender groups when at least rough gender balance is maintained and there are at least a few experienced men and women in attendance.

Finishing with Intercourse

Some partners (especially opposite-sex couples) like to finish with intercourse rather than the blanket-wrapping I've described. Since most massage tables are sturdy enough to support two people, near the end of the massage one partner can climb on top the other and they can both fuck themselves to what are often very powerful orgasms. Thus, they can finish locked in each others' embrace (although even without intercourse the standing partner can lean over and embrace the receiving partner's upper body, or else just gently rest his or her hands on the receiving partner).

Despite what mainstream pornography tends to portray, women don't usually have orgasms from intercourse alone. However, a woman is MUCH more likely to experience orgasm during intercourse if she has had one or more orgasms (especially of the G-Spot variety) before intercourse commences. Popular positions for male-female intercourse include missionary and woman-on-top (which allow face-to-face intimacy) and "doggie style" (which allows the woman to easily rub her clitoris while being penetrated).

The "Big Draw"

This technique for completing a massage was developed by the Body Electric School. In the minutes preceding it the massage work should be becoming more and more energetic, building and building. At a certain point (counted down to verbally, so both partners know when it's coming) massage and any other touch ceases, the person on the table takes seven very deep breaths, and while holding the seventh breath clenches every muscle in his or her body and rolls his or her eyes back in his or her head (possibly assuming a tense position with torso and legs a bit off the table, as in a "crunch") for about 10 seconds. He or she then completely relaxes, resumes regular breathing, and the standing person gently folds the sheets/blanket over his or her body. For maximum effect the music should be quite "cosmic" at this point, and the person performing the massage shouldn't touch the person on the table (who has his or her eyes closed, or who has a blindfold on) for at least five minutes or until the person on the table requests otherwise. This practice can provoke profound emotional release, and often hallucinations. Afterwards, the standing partner opens the cocooned sheets, gently towels off any oil, helps his or her partner to sit up, and then both partners either keep silence or say what is in their heart. It's fun to follow the Big Draw with a hot tub or a warm bath.

It's helpful to use a pre-arranged and timed music tape. Ideally, there should be five seconds of silence immediately following the Big Draw, and possibly during it. Music should have been building to that point, and should resume with something really beautiful after the silence following the Big Draw ("Gabriel's Oboe" from The Mission soundtrack, or "With This Love" from Peter Gabriel's Passion soundtrack, for example).

Incorporating PC Muscle Contractions ("Kegels")

Contractions of the PC (pubococcygeus) muscle are associated with increased sexual pleasure for both men and women. This muscle may be identified by noticing what muscles you use to stop the flow of urine when you are urinating (without moving your torso or legs); it's the same one. The PC muscle can be exercised by contracting and releasing it; one approach is to rhythmically contract when inhaling and relax when exhaling.

Generally, the stronger the PC muscle is, the more intense one's orgasms can be. The PC muscle can also be repeatedly contracted and relaxed at various times during sex (such as during G-Spot stimulation, or during male ejaculation) to increase pleasure. Men can use the PC muscle to prevent ejaculation; this is done by holding the breath while either strongly bearing down ("pushing out") or tightly squeezing ("holding in") using the pelvic muscles.

Prostate Stimulation

An advanced technique in male genital massage is to stimulate the man's prostate gland at the same time one is stimulating the penis. This can be done with a finger an inch or two inside his anus, pressing on the dome shape found in the direction of the penis. When stimulating the prostate, you should wear latex gloves, have short fingernails (or else pack cotton balls around your fingernails and then put gloves on), and use lots of lube. Part of what some beginners find novel about anal penetration is that it makes one feel as if one has to go to the bathroom. By going to the bathroom pretty thoroughly before beginning play, one may have an easier time not interpreting this new sensation in the old context. Please see either The New Good Vibrations Guide to Sex or Anal Pleasure and Health for more details. Pressing on the prostate gland during ejaculation, or when a man is close to ejaculation, can feel wonderful. It is also possible for some men to have ejaculatory orgasms through prostate stimulation alone.

Simultaneous Pleasuring

Once each partner has sufficient experience with his or her own sexual response, they may wish to try mutual stimulation. This is best done on a bed, rather than on a massage table. Simply lie down facing each other, heads close together, and pleasure each other with your hands. Again, for men slightly pulling away or giving some other cue when ejaculation is imminent will allow play to continue.

Learning More about Massage

Books

Body Electric Courses

The Body Electric School offers courses in erotic massage, and is in fact the only organization to offer education of this kind nationwide. Their courses are VERY well put together. The Body Electric School offers courses consisting of men only, and courses consisting of women only. They also (in Seattle, Washington and Oakland, California) offer a course with both men and women, but you must complete the same-sex class before taking the mixed class.

Getting Massage Supplies

If your massage table is adjustable, adjust it so that when you stand next to the table with your arms at your sides and fists closed, your knuckles just brush the top of the table.

If your budget is especially tight you could try making your own massage table, possibly with two sawhorses and a big padded board (with an oval hole in the board for the receiving partner's face to rest in while he or she is lying face down).

Appendix A: Additional Male Genital Massage Ideas

Using the "Extra Hand"

Some male genital massage strokes require only one hand. Here are some suggestions for things you can do with the "extra hand":

Selected and Paraphrased from a Body Electric for Men Handout

Selected and Paraphrased From the Internet Alt.Sex FAQ

Appendix B: Additional Female Genital Massage Ideas

Selected from The New Good Vibrations Guide to Sex

Selected from SM 101 (2nd. ed.)

Selected from The Guide to Getting it On!

Selected from Annie Sprinkle and Joseph Kramer's Women's Massage Ritual

Appendix C: Safer Sex Precautions

Coming into contact with active outbreaks of herpes or HPV, or exchanging body fluids with someone currently carrying a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), can impart a risk to you of catching that STD. Although unprotected genital massage is certainly safer than unprotected vaginal or anal intercourse, if you or your partner are potentially contagious you can always insure absolute protection by putting on a pair of latex or nitrile gloves before pleasuring your partner's genital areas. Please note that gloves are ONLY considered necessary when one is massaging skin that is broken or unhealthy due to STD-related inflammation, or when there is a possibility of your hand(s) coming into contact with infectious body fluids; for general massage on healthy skin (with no body fluids involved) they aren't needed.

By the way, although oils do degrade latex, most experts feel that latex gloves, which are thicker than condoms, may safely be used with oils for reasonable periods of time, particularly for external work (and since you wouldn't want to use oils as a vaginal lubricant, this is a moot point for erotic massage on a female anyway).

Please remember, though, that if you stimulate or penetrate a woman's anus with one of your fingers you must change gloves before putting that same finger into her vagina. Doing otherwise can cause vaginal infections.

Appendix D: Music Recommendations

It's helpful to put together a tape or minidisc with music selections that work well for the pace of your time together. For erotic massage, it's also helpful to arrange the speakers so the best listening point is at the head of the massage table.

The following music recommendations come from the Body Electric School:

GOOD MUSIC FOR THAT NICE "AFTERGLOW" PERIOD

Here are some lovely "cosmic music" selections:

RELAXATION MUSIC

If you're looking for something relaxing that you can play through without needing to edit, any of the following might work for you:

ENERGY-BUILDING MUSIC

If you're looking for something invigorating that you can play through without needing to edit, any of the following might work for you:

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