How to Give a Massage


Giving or receiving a massage is a great way to relieve stress and build intimacy in a relationship. Since relaxation is key, make sure to maintain open communication throughout the massage. Ask your partner what kind of pressure or touch he or she enjoys the most, and make sure that they are comfortable with the level of intimacy. Focus on the pleasure of the moment with your partner and have fun exploring each other’s bodies.


Set the Mood

-Dim the lighting (try covering the lamps with a sheer fabric) or use candles and play soft music to create a calm atmosphere.

-Have the massage recipient wear a blindfold to increase the physical sensations they feel. (Dulling one sense intensifies the others)

-Try taking a bath before or during a massage to increase muscle relaxation.

-Wearing less clothing can enhance the experience of the massage, but keep in mind that you should wear as much clothing as you are comfortable with. As a masseuse, keeping your clothes on can help the receiver remain focused on the pleasure of the massage itself rather than on sexual activity later.

-If using massage oil (you can improvise with things like grape seed or olive oil), be sure to put a towel down and wear clothing that you do not mind getting stained. Also, place the oil in your hands first and warm it there rather than applying directly on your partner’s body. Application of cold oil will cause muscle tension.

-Do not rush yourself. The slower and longer lasting the massage is, the better for the receiver.

-Be sure to keep the massages equal so that each partner can experience their time as the giver and receiver.

-After completion, spend time with each other. Prolong this intimate moment by holding each other or enjoying a conversation together. Remember to remain positive about the experience and keep practicing!

The Basics

Back Massage

-Gently rest your hands (with or without massage oil) on the small of your partner’s back on either side of the spine. Begin by gently stroking your fingertips or palms from the base of the back to the neck and down again. Continue for a few minutes, gradually increasing pressure.

-Use your open palms to create long, gliding strokes down the sides of the spine as a transition between steps. Find a rhythm that you both enjoy and use your body weight rather than arm strength for the deep strokes.

-Use your thumb and forefingers in a gentle, short pinching motion to knead the skin around the partner’s neck and shoulders. Then use your open palms to focus pressure on the edge of the shoulder blades, targeting your focus on any areas that might feel tense.

-Return to the long strokes along the back and use finger pressure along the sides of the back leading up. Focus again on any areas that hold tension until the muscle seems relaxed.

-Make small circular motions with heavy finger pressure along the back and then focus this motion on the hollow close to the hairline.

-At this point, you can incorporate the arms and legs (see techniques below).

-Finish the massage by gently stroking down the back, gradually using lighter strokes. Gently remove your hands on the final downward stroke.

Click here for a great video tutorial on giving a back massage.


Foot and Leg Massage

-Continue the back massage by using long gliding strokes down the legs, spreading the massage oil as you go down. Hairier legs will require more oil to prevent pulling during the massage.

-Use heavy finger or medium palm pressure to knead the thighs, and then continue up and down the calves.

-Use spot work on the hollows of the ankle on either side of the Achilles Heel. Gently rotate the entire foot around in a circle, pressing it towards its maximum flexible range. Push both the heel and the balls of the feet towards the midline of the body.

-Stop the massage if any of the following techniques tickle your partner. Being tickled tenses the muscles instead of relaxing them.

-Focus pressure on the heel and then the arch of the foot. Then, wrap a flat hand around the foot so the fingers are pressed against the sole. Stroke the foot from the arch to the toes.

-Gently massage each toe by pressing and rolling it in your fingers and by pulling on each toe.

-Repeat the technique of wrapping the flat hand around the foot, and then switch to the other leg.

Hand and Arm Massage

-Begin at the top of the shoulder and use long gliding strokes down the arm to the hand. Do not apply pressure over the elbow.

-Kneed the arm and then the forearm with medium palm pressure.

-Use your thumb to massage the inside palm of your partner's hand: focus on the soft center, the area near the thumb, the balls of the hand and the edge of the hand.

-Between your thumb and forefinger, gently “pressure-rub” down each finger while simultaneously pulling the finger away from the hand. Place extra pressure on the tip of each finger.

-Follow up with a few more long strokes of the entire arm, and then switch to the next arm.


The wrists, fingers, ears, back of the neck, insides of the elbows and knees are other excellent areas to focus on during a massage due to their high sensitivity. You can also use small, circular motions of moderate pressure along your partner’s scalp or heavy pressure along your partner’s buttocks muscles.

Once you develop the basics, follow this link for giving a sensual massage.


Last Updated 27 February 2013.




"Give Her a Sensual Massage." askmen. n.p., n.d. Web.

"How to Give a Sensual Massage to a Man." Balle, Louise. eHow. Demand media, n.d. Wed.

"Rubbing Your Lover the Right Way." My Pleasure. Sawhorse Enterprises, Inc., n.d. 

"Hand and Arm Massage Techniques!" Tips for Massage. n.p., 12 Aug. 2012.  



Black Enterprise

Sharon Reed

Six Senses Spa