What Is a Sensual Massage? (Plus, How to Give One)


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Last Updated: April 17, 2021

There are many different types of massages – most importantly, there are sensual massages. A sensual massage aims to release built up tension and stress within the body which can help increase the receivers well-being. 

Sensual massages do not necessarily have the end goal to orgasm or ejaculate, but can also help people to focus on the pleasurable sensations during the experience.

If you are in a relationship, these types of massage can bring couples closer together as you explore each other’s bodies. Sensual massages can also relieve sexual pains from health issues, help release your sexual muscles for sexual penetration or orgasm, release your daily anxieties, and assist in relaxing someone for sleep and soothe headache pain.

Sensual massage is one of the most luxurious and enjoyable forms of ‘foreplay’ there is. Getting ready to have sex doesn’t just to have involve making out like you’re a teenager. Erotic massage is the perfect way to connect physically and emotionally, as well as turn someone on.

Why Give a Sensual Massage?

Most of our everyday communication is non-verbal and body language plays a huge part in how we communicate and understand other people. It makes sense that massage, one of the most intimate kinds of touch, is a good way of communicating with your lover. Each caress, stroke and rub can be used to say anything from ‘I adore your body’ to ‘I hope you had a good day at work’.

So while erotic massage is obviously great because it loosens tension and relieves physical pain, it can also help unblock their mind – as they focus less on the pain and the stress associated with it.

Whether you decide to give their whole body some attention, or just their hands or back, here’s what you’ll need to prepare.

Setting the Mood for a Sensual Massage

You don’t need a huge flat or spare bedroom to give an erotic massage in, as long as the space you do have is nice and relaxed (and comfy). Whether you’re planning to massage your partner in your bedroom or living room, as long as you get the atmosphere down, you’re good to go.

Be sure to cover whatever surface you’ll be working on with a large towel. Massage oils and lotions are staining!


To help set the mood, you might want to start by making the room warm. As your partner’s probably going to be naked (or at least semi-naked), you want to make sure the environment is as comfortable as possible.


You’ll also want to dim the lights or light some candles. Harsh lighting can be an uncomfortable distraction during a massage, so bring in a little bit of romance with some fairy lights or candles.

Relaxing Sounds

You’ll want to do a sound check before the fun begins. This would include turning off cell phones. Some people may find the quiet sounds of rain or running water relaxing, but others may find them a tad too cheesy.

Ambient music or soothing R&B may be a better choice, as long as you play something that you both find appealing. Whatever you decide on, like the lighting, you want the noise level to be soft and low.

Massage Lotion

One of the most important parts of your massage is a slippery oil or lotion that will let your hands glide across their body, and leave their skin feeling smooth and nourished. 

You could use regular massage oil, but if you work on your partner with a lickable massage oil, you’ll know it’s safe to come into contact with more… delicate areas of the body, too.

Pour some oil onto your palms and gently rub to warm the lotion, before running your hands over your lover’s body in sensual, long strokes.

If you’re using a massage candle, light the wick and when the wax melts, the candle will turn into a warm liquid that can be safely poured on to the skin for a sweet-smelling massage. Massage candles are wonderful for setting the mood and adding a little ceremony to your sensual massage experience.

In a pinch, silicone lube works great as a massage medium.

You can also try a massage stone, if you’re not too sure of your massage skills.

Of course, if your massage leads to sex there’s other protection you may want to consider too. The main thing to remember there is that massage oils will break down latex condoms and other barriers, so either use a silicone lube for massage oil, or make sure you have non-latex barriers on hand that will not be damaged by oils.

How to Give a Sensual Massage (Techniques + Tricks)

Regardless of which body part you’re going to be massaging, there are techniques that can be used almost anywhere. Be careful not to press too hard. Take time to check in with your partner to make sure you’re using good pressure and find out which parts they enjoy most.

The first few touches you make should be long, lingering and purposeful. Psychologically speaking, firm contact will reassure your partner and make them feel safe (think of how a strong handshake makes an impression on a business partner).

Start Light

Apply the massage oil/lotion. This will get their skin warmed up. Your hands should be flat but your fingers should be relaxed – follow the natural contours of your partner’s body.

You might be tempted to start off massaging intensely and deeply, but the opposite can be more exciting and arousing. Try using your fingertips, and trace the contours of your partner’s body. Run your fingers through their hair, gently graze their neck with the pads of your fingers or follow the smooth curves of their lips with your thumbs. 

This soft touching will give great results and allow you to move your touch from one area of the body to another fluidly.


Pressing, kneading and rolling the thumbs against the body is a great way to workout tension in the muscles. Press your thumbs against any body part and smoothly move them away from you, using the full extension of your thumbs. 

Moving each thumb, one after the other creates a continuous rolling sensation that will really get rid of knots and tight spots. This works especially well on the back, shoulders, feet and thighs.

Work Towards the Heart

You should always work towards the heart when giving any type of massage. When working on legs and thighs, for example, your strokes should move upward. Be careful behind the knee cap. There’s a nerve here that is very sensitive and should never receive deep pressure.

Give a Sensual Face Massage

Don’t forget your partner’s face. It’s unlikely they’ve had a facial massage (unless she’s lucky enough to visit an aesthetician!) so gentle strokes here, while maintaining some eye contact can be truly erotic.

Also, make sure your hands are clean. You wouldn’t want your partner to break out afterwards.

The Bottom Line

So, that should have got you firmly in the zone to take it from “massage” to “sensual massage”. What you do next is totally up to you, but if you want to draw the suspense and sexual tension out even longer, there are some amazing things you can do that don’t involve penetration.