Techniques for Sensual Massage
The massage techniques you have learned so far can all be used in a sensual massage. Discuss what you have time for or what you both feel like doing and proceed from there. You can spend an hour or twenty minutes—the time spent is not as important as the quality of your touch. Before you start, position the body of your receiver and drape him or her with a light cover.
While you are giving, keep your thoughts focused on the needs and desires of your partner; be attuned to what he enjoys and what is painful. Modulate your voice so it flows with the calmness of your touch, creating a warm, inviting experience. Establish a rhythm that is comfortable, allowing you to flow and glide with your movements, creating a symphony on your receiver's body. Use enough oil so that you can move easily over your partner's muscles with smooth strokes. Be sure to warm the oil between your hands, or you can place the container of oil in hot water first to warm it and keep it warm during use.
If a movement is painful do not repeat it. Always keep checking in, assuring your massage partner that you are attentive to his or her needs. If a pain persists even when not touched, don't attempt to massage at all; stop and consult a medical professional.
The main strokes that you use in any massage are effleurage (gliding), petrissage (kneading and compression), tapotement (tapping and percussion), and friction. You can apply these strokes at various times during sensual massage, depending upon what is needed. Your rhythm should be comfortable and smooth, and your strokes will flow over the body beneath you.
Using Effleurage and Petrissage
Effleurage is the circular stroke that glides over the surface, stimulating the flow of blood and oxygen while promoting the flow of lymph throughout the body. Petrissage is the kneading stroke that moves deeper into the muscle to stretch it and also increase blood flow. Both of these strokes are the mainstay of your massage, allowing light or deep penetration depending upon what is needed in the area you are working on. Use enough oil to allow freedom of movement and pay attention to areas that may need more oil because they are dry or have more hair.
When using effleurage, mold your hands to the shape of the receiver's body as you glide over the surface, and then press down with deeper and firmer strokes. Your movements follow the shape of the body you are working on, exploring the hills and valleys, the broad plains and shallow crevices, as well as the long and short shapes in the body.
Working on the head allows you to feel what molding your hands is all about. With your partner lying on his back, place your hands on your partner's head. Rest your fingers along the side of your partner's skull, with your thumbs resting on his forehead. Let your hands rest, breathe softly, and instruct your receiver to relax. Refer to FIGURE 12–1 to check your hand placement.
Molding your hands to the head.
To use the petrissage technique, circle on the skin with one hand, pulling it up between your fingers and your thumb, and squeezing it as you circle around. Use both hands: one hand holds, squeezes, and pinches a section of flesh; the other hand picks up the next section, pinching and squeezing; then the first hand takes over the next section; and so on over the entire area you are working on.
Using Friction and Compression
Friction moves the skin over the muscle, creating a warm feeling on the skin. When your fingers encounter a tight area, circle down on that area with your fingers. If necessary, hold your partner's body steady with one hand as you circle in on the tight spot with your other hand. Tight neck muscles respond when you circle in with your thumb, holding on the affected area for a moment, as shown in FIGURE 12–2.
Friction stroke with the thumb.
Compression brings a sense of wholeness within your body. Compression strokes are given with the flat palm of your hand while your fingers remain relaxed. You might press both palms on either side of the base of the spine, creating a human heating pad on the kidneys and adrenal glands. Or you might press using one palm on top of the other on the broad surface of your partner's back.
Using Stretching and Percussion
Stretching limbs helps to open the movement of the joints. An example of stretching is demonstrated in FIGURE 12-3, where the giver bends the receiver's leg toward his back, holding for a count of three before releasing. The receiver should lie passively to allow for easy stretching while the giver does this exercise.
Passive stretching of the leg.
There are many passive stretches you can do. Some others to try are:
Bend each leg toward the chest and hold for a count of three; then release.
Stretch each arm up over the head; rotate around and down.
Gently stretch each arm back, opening up the chest.
Gently stretch each leg up from the hip slowly, about ten inches off the floor.
Percussion is the tapping that often finishes a massage. Tapping is done with your fingertips or the sides of your hands in a karate-chop motion. Tap with your fingers down your partner's back, moving over the buttocks, and follow the legs to the ankles and down the soles. Using the sides of your hands, beat a staccato rhythm on your partner's back. Percussion puts the finishing touch as a complement to any massage.