As it’s Aromatherapy Awareness Week, Pippa Murphy, the sex and relationship expert at condoms.uk has shared seven relationship benefits of giving your partner a sensual massage before sharing her top tips for first-timers.
Pippa Murphy said: “Aromatherapy Awareness Week is the perfect time to explore the benefits of essential oils and how they can enhance your relationship. Giving your partner a sensual massage is a fantastic way to incorporate aromatherapy into your life while also fostering intimacy, relaxation, and connection.”
Why you should give your partner a sensual massage this Aromatherapy Awareness Week
- It deepens your emotional connection. A sensual massage allows you and your partner to connect on a deeper level from an emotional perspective. When you give your partner a sensual massage, you have to be fully present and attentive to their needs. This level of focus and care can help strengthen the emotional bond between you and your partner, creating a deeper sense of trust and understanding.
- It improves communication. A sensual massage encourages open communication as you explore your partner’s body and learn what feels good for them. This can lead to more honest and open conversations about your desires and needs inside and outside the bedroom.
- It can enhance physical intimacy – and no, that doesn’t always mean sex. There’s often a misconception that a sensual massage must result in sex, but that doesn’t always have to be the “happy ending” of a massage. Instead, a sensual massage (such as tantric massage) should focus on giving each other pleasure in the form of touch. See it as a chance to explore each other’s bodies, learn what feels good, and create a shared experience that can bring you closer together.
- It boosts self-esteem. Giving your partner a sensual massage can make them feel cared for, desired, and appreciated. This can lead to increased self-esteem and confidence, which can have a positive impact on your relationship overall.
- It reduces stress and enhances your mood. Naturally, stress and tension can take a toll on most relationships, however, a massage can help alleviate stress and promote relaxation, which can lead to a more harmonious and balanced relationship. This is why I’d also recommend combining essential oils into your massage as it can create a calming environment and help both you and your partner unwind after a long day.
- It can be a pain relief. Aromatherapy massage can help alleviate muscle tension and pain. Incorporating essential oils with analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, such as eucalyptus, peppermint, or rosemary, can help soothe sore muscles and provide relief for your partner.
- It promotes overall well-being. Aromatherapy and massage both have numerous health benefits, including improved circulation, boosted immune system, and increased mental clarity. By giving your partner a sensual massage, you’re not only promoting relaxation and intimacy but also contributing to their overall health and well-being.
First time giving a sensual massage? Here’s a step-by-step guide
If you’ve never given a massage before, don’t worry – it’s not as difficult as it might seem. In fact, with the right techniques and some practice, you’ll soon be able to give a great sensual massage every time.
1. Set up a massage space in this unpredictable spot
The first step is making sure that you pick the right spot. Whilst most people tend to give their partner a massage in bed, this can sometimes make for an awkward scenario if your bed is super bouncy and there’s not much room for you to stand around the bed.
Instead, I’d consider setting up a massage space in the living room by laying down a thick blanket on the floor, and then a hot towel on top. Not only will this alternative environment make it more intimate as it’s ‘new’ but you’re likely to have more space to give them a proper massage.
Next, you should light some candles around the room, before dimming the lights and closing the curtains. This will help create a cosy and comfortable atmosphere.
And finally, you need to pick the right kind of music. You don’t want to put on something too distracting while you’re trying to concentrate on working out kinks in muscles or helping your partner relax; however, you also don’t want silence between you and your partner during this intimate time together. Find something that will provide background noise without distracting from the experience of being together in such an intimate way.
2. Pick the perfect aromatherapy oil based on your partner’s needs
Now you’ll need aromatherapy oil – around two tablespoons worth. Which one you pick depends on what kind of massage you’re wanting to give to your partner. For example, coconut oil and jojoba oil are great for providing a smoothing glide during the massage as they reduce the friction between your hands and your partner’s skin.
However, here are Pippa’s favourite aromatherapy oils for a sensual massage:
- Ylang-ylang oil. This essential oil is known for its aphrodisiac properties and can help boost libido and enhance the sensual experience.
- Cinnamon oil. Cinnamon oil is known to assist with erectile dysfunction and has a naturally sweet and warm flavour, making it a great addition to the sensual massage oil.
- Lavender oil. Known for its calming properties, lavender oil is best used when your partner has had a long and stressful day.
- Jasmine oil. With its sweet, floral scent, jasmine essential oil can help uplift the mood and create a sensual atmosphere.
3. Get them nakey, nakey, nakey but make sure you have that hot towel on hand
Next, you should ask your partner if they feel comfortable enough to remove their clothes fully before you have them lie face-down on top of the hot towel. If they don’t feel comfortable being fully naked or would like to keep their underwear on, you can also help them ease into the situation by placing another towel on top of their most intimate areas.
4. Warm up the aromatherapy oil in your hands
As you’ll have picked the perfect aromatherapy oil for your partner, you should start by pouring a small amount of massage oil into your hands before rubbing them together to warm the oil up. This will make the oil more comfortable for your partner and help it glide more easily over their skin.
5. Start with gentle, smooth strokes on this part of the body
A good massage is like foreplay – it should start slowly and build up. This is why I’d suggest that you begin with a series of smooth, rhythmic strokes to help settle them in. You can do this by gently applying pressure with your fingertips in a circular motion. Start with their arms as you’ll find it the easiest as it’s one of the smallest body parts, before moving onto their back, shoulders, neck, head, legs and then their bum.
6. Gradually apply more pressure as you get into it
As your partner becomes more relaxed, gradually increase the pressure of your strokes. Use your palms, fingers, and even your forearms to apply pressure and knead their muscles. Be sure to check in with your partner regularly to ensure they are comfortable with the pressure.
Whatever you do, make sure to always keep at least one hand on your partner. This will help build physical intimacy, as it will bring every ounce of their attention to whatever part of your body will touch it.
7. Find their tense areas and focus on them
Over time, you should begin to find your flow so you should start to take up a level by paying special attention to areas where your partner may be holding tension, such as the neck, shoulders, and lower back. Use your fingers and thumbs to apply targeted pressure and knead the muscles in these areas.
You may find that you need to incorporate other techniques when you come across tense areas. You can try techniques such as effleurage (long, gliding strokes), petrissage (kneading and squeezing), and friction (rubbing the skin to create heat).
Do, however, make sure to listen out for your partner’s response, breathing or body language, as if the knot is extra tight, it could turn the whole experience from pleasurable to painful. You should, therefore, go slow and react to their reactions.
8. Take your time with it all
A sensual massage should be a slow and deliberate experience. Take your time and maintain a steady pace, allowing your partner to fully relax and enjoy the sensations.
This is why communication is key, too. Throughout the massage, check in with your partner to ensure they are comfortable and enjoying the experience. Encourage them to provide feedback on the pressure, techniques, and areas they would like you to focus on.
9. To finish it off, end it gently
As you finish the massage, gradually reduce the pressure and return to gentle, soothing strokes. This will help your partner transition out of the massage and maintain their relaxed state.
Remember, the key to a successful sensual massage is open communication, attentiveness, and a genuine desire to help your partner relax and feel good. Enjoy the experience and the deepened connection it can bring to your relationship.