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12 Tips for Intimate Partner Massage

Releasing tension, increasing circulation, waking up the body and building anticipation: massage is the perfect way to transition from the stress of the day into sexy time with your partner (or yourself!). Tension or holding patterns in specific parts of the body–think abdomen, psoas, shoulders, forehead, jaw, and glutes–may “hold us back” from feeling open, connected, and relaxed. 

Read on for massage tips to build real intimacy with your partner that will set the stage for a healthy bond and truly mind-blowing sex. 

We’re not going to focus heavily on techniques, because we could write a whole curriculum and hundreds of pages. Instead we want to point to tips and regions of the body that you should focus on to help melt tension, ease stress, foster connection, clear emotional blockages, and arouse your partner… in that order. 

  1. Make time. Easier said than done, right? But intimacy suffers if we try to squeeze it in after a long day when we’re already exhausted. To get the most benefit from partner massage, try leaving work early (or even taking the day off), ordering take-out, getting a babysitter, or all three! Make partner massage your main plan rather than an afterthought. And if your life is just too full for that, squeezing in a few minutes of massage whenever you can still helps build connection with your partner.
  1. Set the mood by playing some relaxing music, lighting a candle or soft lamp, and turning off screens and bright overhead lights. Make the bed (if that’s where your massage will take place) and remove unnecessary clutter from the surrounding area. You may want to start your intimate experience with a bath or yoni steam to relax, cleanse, and begin to shift out of the stress and noise of your day and into a sensual state of mind. Damiana tea is also traditionally used to help invoke sensuality.
  1. Invoke the power of aromatherapy. Scent can play an important role in awakening sensuality and arousal. Good old lavender is great for relaxation, while clarysage is a delightful floral aphrodisiac. Cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom are all traditional warming aphrodisiacs. Add a drop or two of essential oil to a carrier oil like coconut or sweet almond oil to make a DIY topical massage oil (not for internal use), or try an intimate oil that is specially-formulated to be used in your most intimate areas.
  1. Try hemp intimacy oil. If you haven’t yet explored using CBD in the bedroom, you are in for a real treat. Besides supporting relaxation and easing tension, cannabidiol works with the endocannabinoid system to activate receptors in the reproductive system and sexual organs. This can lead to enhanced blood flow, sensation, and lubrication.
  1. Communication is key. Be sure to check in with your partner about how they are feeling, physically and emotionally. “How’s this level of pressure? Can you point to the spot that feels really tense? Can we talk about what’s coming up for you when I massage you here?”
  1. Areas to target to melt stress, stimulate the good kind of chills, and appreciate your partner: neck, shoulders, scalp, ears, hands, and feet. The neck and shoulders are where many of us carry tension, and releasing some of that tension will help your partner loosen up and start tuning into your touch. Start by massaging with the tips of your fingers directly on the scalp. Try gentle scratching starting from the hairline, top of head, back of head and side of head. Massage around the ears and down to the jaw using firm, circular motions. From there move down to the back of the neck and top of the shoulders.  With your partner laying on their back, you can slide your hands beneath them, curl your fingers up and push into the grooves along the spine. Let your fingers move up the back of the neck to the base of the skull. Next, using your thumbs make circular motions on the top of the shoulders, then use your thumbs to apply acupressure. 
  1. Going deeper: exploring the emotional landscape of the abdomen. Psychosomatically speaking, the abdomen is tied to love and sexuality. It manages the energies containing our emotions. When it can soften and relax, our innermost  tender emotions can surface.  If feelings surface that may be “derailing” the “moment,” stay with them, as moving through them with your partner will foster a deeper level of connection and openness. Try caressing the stomach, under the lower ribs from the sternum out to the sides, and the hips. Use a flat palm to move the skins around, and try circular movements with your finger tips. 
  1. Releasing the glutes, psoas, and hips. Ever hear the term “tight-ass”? We all carry so much tension in our glutes, and having them massaged feels amazing! The Iliopsoas muscle works by lifting the upper leg towards the body. It’s a common problem area that can go unaddressed for a very long time because it’s a deep muscle that connects from the mid back to the inner hip, then down to the inner thigh bone. It can get stuck in a chronic holding pattern from strain, poor posture or even sexual trauma. It can cause a blockage in connectedness and feeling centered. Massage below the naval, above the pubis, out from the center along the inner hip bones.  Have your partner bend their knees, placing their foot flat on the floor while they’re laying on their back. You’ll be able to access the muscle more easily from this position. Remember, everything is connected! Giving the psoas, gluteus, and hips some love can help open up and bring blood flow to the whole region, making you and your partner more receptive to sensual touch (did you know the majority of the clitoris is inside the body?). 
  1. Breast massage! Yes, the breast tissue also holds tension, and breasts play a key role in arousal for women. Plus, breast massage helps improve circulation and support breast health. Start in the armpit and work your way around the breast (or chest for men), ending with some nipple stimulation if your partner is ready for it.
  1. Now that your partner is feeling loved up, relaxed, nourished, and aroused, you can move into more of your favorite foreplay or invite them to massage you! Or, if your partner is a new mama or otherwise exhausted from work or life, they might just want to drift off to sleep, and that is probably the second-best gift you can give them (after the massage itself, of course). 
  1. To enhance sensation and boost orgasmic potential, try applying hemp intimacy oil directly to the clitoris and surrounding area. Try delaying orgasm as long as possible in order to boost oxytocin and support your immune system.
  1. Whether it’s a special V-Day, anniversary or birthday gift, or a fresh take on date night, intimate partner massage is a delightful and powerful investment in the quality of your relationship and love life. 
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