What is Sensual Massage?

A genuine sensual massage is much more than the haphazard shoulder rub you might give or receive in order to move straight to sex. While there’s nothing wrong with a quick rub down to signal sex, it’s not the same thing. If you’re the type of partner who offers a “massage” in the hopes of moving straight to the sex, you shouldn’t be surprised if later shoulder rubs are met with annoyance or skepticism.

Instead, sensual massage leads to greater intimacy and, potentially, more intense feelings, arousal, and yes, sex.

Why You Should Try Sensual Massage

Sensual massage can definitely be part of foreplay and eventually lead to steamy hot sex, but a massage is an event by itself. Put aside the fact that massage simply feels good, especially when parts of your body that rarely get attention are the focus. This kind of massage offers plenty of benefits for both of you that can be great for your sex life.

Regardless of whether you’re the giver or the receiver, a sensual massage increases intimacy between you both and gives you a reason to touch your partner in a different way. Massage relaxes and arouses you both. You’re able to use both your hands and body, including pressing your torso into your partner as you massage them. Because this isn’t a professional massage you’re paying for, the most sensitive, sexual spots on your body are, assuming there’s consent given, fair game for extra attention.

Sensual Massage Isn’t New

The idea of sensual massages between couples isn’t exactly new. Ancient Eastern cultures have a long history of massage meant to excite the body and senses. Dating back 1,500 to 2,000 years ago, China and India both incorporated sensual or erotic massage. India developed tantric massage which is a specific form of sensual massage that includes spirituality.

In Western cultures, massage has most often been associated with medicine and healing. Athletes loosen their muscles through massage. Physical therapy uses massage to help patients increase their mobility. It’s only been in more recent or modern times that couples have either used couples massages in a professional setting or brought sensual massage into the bedroom to increase intimacy.

How to Give a Sensual Massage

Massaging your partner doesn’t require the technical training of a professional massage therapist. What you need most is a willingness to be the giver of pleasure without expecting something in return. Your partner will, likely, lay on their stomach first so that you can start with their back and shoulders, working your way down their legs. Nudity isn’t required, of course, but it helps add sensuality and eroticism to the moment. After you’re done with their back, your partner flips over so you can massage the front of their body.

You can add elements to enhance the experience for both you and your partner. While a willing partner and your own hands are all that you need, you can also incorporate special oils and creams to relax your partner and help your hands move across their body more easily. You may also want to add other sensations such as feathers or soft fabrics. Those who enjoy pain or other intense sensations may like firm squeezes, smacks, or pinches in sensitive areas of the body.

What Sensual Massage Does for Your Partner

Whether you use a circular stroke across your partner’s body or more of a long, vertical or horizontal stroke, the results tend to be the same for the recipient. Not only are you creating a sensual experience, especially if you dim the lighting, add candles, or play music, you bond with each other in a new and different way. Intimacy can grow between you, and if you have sex later, it can be a more intense experience.

Your partner, though, doesn’t just want to have sex with you with wild abandon or fall asleep in sensual bliss. Sensual massage is good for their health too. Massage boosts blood flow throughout their body, reducing stress and increasing oxytocin in their brain. Basically, they feel really good, not just physically but also mentally. This increases their positive feelings for you, too. Regular massage, sensual or not, can lead to better overall health.


Being on the giving or receiving end of sensual massage is good for you and your relationship. Sensual massage increases intimacy, decreases stress, and helps you both feel good in mind and body. That it can also make you both want to get busy with each other with wild abandon is a bonus.

Talk to your partner about switching back and forth so you both get the physical benefits of massage. Don’t be afraid to add oils, creams, candles, and other enhancements to make the experience special for you both. You might be surprised at what sensual massage can do for your relationship.

Know someone who could use more sensual massage (or a few extra skills) in their life? Share our infographic below!

Infographic for What is Sensual Massage?

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