Giving a quality massage is one of those things that should technically be easy to do: Oil ‘em up, rub their body in a way that feels good, voila. But when you’re actually on top of someone and trying your hand at it, your thought process is probably more along the lines of, “Uh, does this even feel good? Because it wouldn’t if he were doing it to me.” Our friends at Glamour reached out to sex therapist Ava Cadell, Ph.D., author of Neuroloveology, for a trustworthy how-to that will turn your partner into putty in your hands.
First of all, even with this enlightened advice, you’re going to have to rely on trial and error. “A good massage should last as long as the receiver desires it, so it could be anything from a five-minute quickie to a two-hour production,” says Cadell.
Another area of experimentation: pressure. “Men generally enjoy more pressure than women, but I hate to generalize based upon gender since it’s a personal preference that can be influenced by your health, diet, mood, environment, and chemistry with your partner,” Cadell explains. For your first few times giving your partner a massage, switch things up a bit to get a feel for what he likes. Don’t worry that this trial and error takes away from the overall benefits of massage, which Cadell lists as “relieving tension, improving blood circulation, and being a mutually satisfying way of helping couples exhibit intimacy for one another.” Unless you’re hurting him, you’re doing a pretty good job!
Have him lie on his stomach, then spread some type of lubricant all over his skin. “Massage oil feels the best, but some men prefer massage lotion or even powder, so be sure to give him some options to choose from,” suggests Cadell.
Once his skin is slick, alternate between these four techniques, recommended by Cadell:
The Hand Slide
Begin with your hands parallel to each other and slide them down each side of the spine, massaging all the way down to the lower back and over the buttocks. Then slide your hands up all the way to the neck, over the shoulders, and down the arms to the fingertips. Repeat this motion at least six times. As you do this, ask your partner for feedback.
Start by placing both of your hands over one of your partners hips and then gently pull up towards the spine. Then move your hands to the waist and pull up toward the spine. Then move your hands to the side of the chest and pull up toward the spine. Then put your hands just under the armpits and pull up toward the spine. Don’t forget to do both sides.
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If you have ever kneaded pizza or bread dough, then this technique will be a breeze, but if you haven’t, try squeezing your partner’s back and buttocks between your thumb and fingers in a flowing motion with one hand and then with the other hand. Now slide your hands to another area on the back and repeat until your partner has been well kneaded from neck to buttocks.
Moving Down to the Feet
Now do the hand slide technique on the legs in slow motion. Follow this with the kneading stroke and do one leg at a time. Then take one foot at a time and smother it in oil, spreading it around the ankle, the heel, and in between the toes. Now use the palm of your hand to slide over the bottom of your partner’s foot back and forth about four times. Then gently rotate every toe clockwise and counter-clockwise and finally slither your forefinger between each toe.
The bottom line is that massage is supposed to be fun and feel good, no super-fancy tricks necessary. “The most important goal of massage is the desire to please your partner, whether it’s with a healing scalp massage, relaxing shoulder massage, friendly foot massage, or sensual full body massage,” says Cadell. With that, go forth and show off your new skills!
Are you great at giving massages, or do you prefer getting them instead (let’s be real: who doesn’t!)?
By Zahra Barnes
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