How to Give a Sensual Massage: 11 Expert Tips (2024)

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1Set the mood with candles and incense.

2Undress with your partner.

3Use lotion or massage oil.

4Start with the shoulders and the back of the neck.

5Use firm, even pressure with the palms of your hands.

6Massage the back of the legs.

7Give your partner a foot massage.

8Focus on neglected areas of the body.

9Do some full-body strokes.

10Ask your partner for guidance.

11Take your time.

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Co-authored byMarty Moralesand Hannah Madden

Last Updated: January 16, 2024Fact Checked

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Want to give your partner a relaxing, soothing, yet sensual massage? A steamy massage session is a great method of foreplay, but it’s also a good way to show your appreciation for your partner and get closer to them at the same time. Even if you aren’t a professional massage therapist, you can still give a stellar massage by following our tips. Keep reading to help your partner relax and unwind with a massage they won’t forget.

Things You Should Know

  • Dim the lights and burn some incense to set the mood for the massage.
  • Get undressed with your partner to make the massage more sensual (and to make your partner feel more comfortable).
  • Use massage oil or lotion to work your palms across your partner’s body, focusing on areas like the neck, shoulders, and legs.


Set the mood with candles and incense.

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  1. Dim the lights and play mellow music to help your partner relax. You could be giving your partner the best massage in the world, but if the lights are on full-blast and the music is blaring, it might not be as relaxing as it could be. Light a few candles, burn some incense, and play sensual, quiet music as you invite your partner to lay down.[1]

    • Giving a massage in the bedroom is typically the easiest, since you already have a soft, comfy spot for your partner to lie down. If you’re worried about getting oil on your sheets, put a few towels down before you start.
    • You could also set up a diffuser with a soothing essential oil, like lavender or bergamot.[2]
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Undress with your partner.

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  1. Make the massage more intimate by giving the massage in the nude. You’re not giving a professional massage here, so there’s no need to uphold any sort of professionalism. Ask your partner to strip down, then do the same yourself—it will make your partner feel more comfortable and make the massage that much more exciting.[3]

    • If you don’t want to strip down all the way, try wearing a robe with something special underneath. A new set of lingerie or underwear is the perfect way to get your partner excited.


Use lotion or massage oil.

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  1. Lotion or oil helps your hands glide smoothly over your partner’s body. While it's possible to give a halfway decent massage without any oil, your partner will be missing out big time. Use an oil made specifically for a massage, or try out a lotion that you both like, and warm it up in your hands before you start.[4]

    • Since massage oils soak into the skin, always purchase high-quality oils. Jojoba and almond oil are some good options.[5]
    • While it may sound weird, cooking oils like olive, coconut, or cocoa butter can make excellent massage oils.[6] Many masseurs prefer using a basic cooking oil on the skin.
    • You can also make your own massage oil by submerging lavender, calendula, rosemary, or other fragrant herbs or essential oils in a natural oil yourself.
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Start with the shoulders and the back of the neck.

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  1. The shoulders and neck hold a ton of tension, so begin the massage there. Go slowly and gently with your thumbs down the side of the spine on the back of the neck. Work down the back of the neck in little circles, paying close attention to your partner's response.[7]

    • The spot where your neck meets your shoulder is another great area to hit, paying particular attention to the point at which the shoulder blade starts. Always work along the bone, not running across it.
    • The base of the skull is another nice place to massage since there's a lot of tension there. Don't overdo it with the pressure, but carefully work that area with your fingers and your thumb.[8]


Use firm, even pressure with the palms of your hands.

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  1. The palms of your hands ease tension and muscle aches easily. Massage techniques can vary widely, but there's no big secret to making your partner feel good. Use a firm but gentle touch, rubbing long strokes along your partner's muscles. Use the base of your palm to do the bulk of the pushing, and use other parts of your hand to get at the sensitive spots.[9]

    • It's important to massage along muscles, not push on bones. It doesn't really feel good to push hard onto the point of someone's elbow, but it does feel good to massage the inside of the forearm.
    • You can use your thumbs to massage too, but only sparingly. Save your thumbs on any large, very tense muscles, like the legs, glutes, or shoulders.
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Massage the back of the legs.

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  1. Release the tension in your partner’s legs to loosen them up. Paying close attention to the calves, massaging both big muscles in the back of the leg separately. This can be the difference between a good massage and a great one. Work your thumbs up and along both tendons in the back of the thigh, as well, to work the parts that can get sore.[10]

    • As you get closer to your partner’s groin area, don’t be afraid to brush your hands across their sensitive spots. Just remember that a good massage takes time—don’t rush into sex before you’ve finished your massage!


Give your partner a foot massage.

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  1. Work on your partner’s feet to massage them from head to toe. To give a sensual foot massage, run a thumb along the arch of your partner’s foot. Work each toe individually, using the oil liberally, and use both thumbs in small circles along the ball of the foot. It's good to use firm pressure on the foot, or it can feel somewhat tickly.[11]

    • If you always give your massages from head to toe, vary it up sometimes. Start with the feet and work your way up.
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Focus on neglected areas of the body.

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  1. Don’t forget about the hands, ears, and knees! Everyone knows that it feels good to touch genitals and other erogenous zones. But diving straight to these areas can make for a somewhat crude or hurried massage. Take your time and, as long as your partner is comfortable (communicate!), explore the neglected areas of the body for the most sensual and careful massage you can give. Don't forget about:[12]

    • The wrists
    • The arch of the foot
    • The fingers and palms
    • The back of the neck
    • The ears
    • The back of the knees


Do some full-body strokes.

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  1. Go over your partner’s body again to fully relax their muscles. Once you've worked your way down your partner's body and added a lot of oil, do some long, full-body strokes with the palms of your hands. Go extremely slowly and revisit all the spots you've just massaged. This can be a very nice way to end the massage. It can also feel good to use your forearm, or your knuckles, to vary the sensation from the last time those areas were massaged.[13]

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Ask your partner for guidance.

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  1. Let your partner tell you what feels good and what doesn't. Not sure where to massage next? Ask your partner where they’re sore or achey. This will tell you what area to move to and what to focus on next.[14]

    • Ask questions like, "Is that too firm?" or "Does that feel good?" when you move to a new area of the body. Listen and adjust your massage accordingly.[15]


Take your time.

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  1. Go slowly and work your way over your partner’s entire body. A massage isn't a quick prologue to sex. Let the massage linger on for a while, spending your time treating your partner to these sensual touches for their own sake, because they feel good, not because they might lead to more. The slower the massage, the more you can really feel what you're doing.[16]

    • It's also good to avoid distractions during a sensual massage. A massage is a lot less sensual if you're watching Sportscenter at the same time. Switch off the TV and devote your attention to your partner's body.
    • If your partner wants to massage you as well, that’s great! But don’t expect (or demand) a massage in return. Focus on making your partner happy.
    • Keep in mind that although your massage may be sensual, it doesn’t necessarily have to lead to sex. If you or your partner aren’t feeling like getting intimate, you can just enjoy a nice massage session instead.
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Community Q&A


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  • Question

    How can I create a relaxing environment?

    How to Give a Sensual Massage: 11 Expert Tips (25)

    wikiHow Staff Editor
    Staff Answer

    This answer was written by one of our trained team of researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

    How to Give a Sensual Massage: 11 Expert Tips (26)

    wikiHow Staff Editor

    Staff Answer

    Set up your massage space with soft, warm lighting, and play soft, ambient music in the background. You can also diffuse some relaxing essential oils, like bergamot, lavender, chamomile, or frankincense. In general, try to set everything up so your partner feels really cozy.

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    Not Helpful 8Helpful 45

  • Question

    Can this massage be erotic?

    How to Give a Sensual Massage: 11 Expert Tips (27)

    Diamond Tantric Massages

    Community Answer

    Sensual massages can also be erotic massages (sometimes called Tantric Massages) and arousal can be a benefit. This can sometimes lead to enhanced intimacy and physical release. With a partner, this can move beyond arousal and into sex but for a true Tantric experience, it is better to flow with the sensations.

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    Thank you for your feedback.
    If wikiHow has helped you, please consider a small contribution to support us in helping more readers like you. We’re committed to providing the world with free how-to resources, and even $1 helps us in our mission.Support wikiHow


    Not Helpful 16Helpful 59

  • Question

    What is the difference between a regular massage and a sensual massage?

    How to Give a Sensual Massage: 11 Expert Tips (28)


    Top Answerer

    A regular message is typically given by a massage therapist and it's usually used to ease tension and stress. A sensual massage is usually given by a partner, it's slower, more romantic, and intimate.

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    Thank you for your feedback.
    If wikiHow has helped you, please consider a small contribution to support us in helping more readers like you. We’re committed to providing the world with free how-to resources, and even $1 helps us in our mission.Support wikiHow


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      • Stress hides in the muscle where it attaches to bone. Take care in these areas. Work along the bone, not across it.


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      About This Article

      How to Give a Sensual Massage: 11 Expert Tips (44)

      Co-authored by:

      Marty Morales

      Professional Massage Therapist

      This article was co-authored by Marty Morales and by wikiHow staff writer, Hannah Madden. Marty Morales is a Professional Massage Therapist and the Founder and Owner of the Morales Method, a manual therapy and body conditioning business based in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Los Angeles, California. Marty has over 16 years of massage therapist experience and over 13 years of experience educating others on the best practices for massage therapy. Marty has over 10,000 hours of private practice logged and is a Certified Advanced Rolfer and Rolf Movement Practitioner, CMT. He has an MBA in Finance from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. This article has been viewed 617,675 times.

      39 votes - 78%

      Co-authors: 24

      Updated: January 16, 2024


      Categories: Romance

      Article SummaryX

      To give your partner a sensual massage, start by rubbing a generous amount of massage or cooking oil in your hands to warm it up. Spread the warmed oil on your partner’s back and shoulders and start rubbing their muscles. Use the base of your palm to massage their back in long, slow strokes, pushing with firm and even pressure. Switch to your thumbs for extra pressure if you find a spot with extra tension. Make sure to ask your partner what feels good, and listen to signs that they might be feeling pain or discomfort. For more tips on giving a great massage, like how to get creative with your technique, keep reading!

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