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here's the rub

Practice these basic massage strokes on your partner and ask for feedback on which he enjoys most.

  • Slide: Lightly slide your hands up and down your partner's body using your entire hand surface. This stroke is great for the arms, legs, back, and chest.
  • Palm circling: Move your hands in circles on your partner's fleshy parts. Be careful not to massage bones directly -- it doesn’t feel very good.
  • Knead: Grasp your honey's flesh as if you were kneading bread dough. Use on the stomach, legs, booty, arms, hands, and feet.
  • Roll: Roll the flesh of your sweetie's arms and legs between your hands as if you were rolling clay.
  • Tapping or hacking: Using your fingertips or the sides of your hands, make tapping or hacking motions. This is great for the back.
  • Thumb strokes: Using your thumbs, massage in a circular motion. Work upward and away from the spine when focusing on the back and shoulders.
  • Fingertip and fingernail circling: Use your fingertips or nails to draw circular shapes all over your partner's skin.
  • Hair sweep: If you have long hair, sweep it across your partner's body.
wedding pampering - massage

Refresh Your Spirit: The Art of Sensual Massage

Yearning to hit your sweetie's sensual hot spots? Learn to do it right with our erotic massage guide.

Photo: StockByte

Nothing feels as fab as an hour or so of your honey's undivided attention. And nothing will set you on the yellow brick road to relaxation faster than massage. Combine both and you've got an unbeatable combination. So tell your fiance he's in for a treat tonight, then give him a sensual massage using the pointers below.

Set the Mood

The first step to a truly relaxing and sensual massage is setting the mood. Unplug the phone, and light some candles (nix harsh overhead lighting). Make sure the room is warm: You want your lover to chill out, not freeze.

Accessories

Massage oil is the only required accessory. You can use scented or unscented, or even baby oil in a pinch. If you plan to get busy with a condom later, buy a water-based massage liquid -- oil can destroy latex. Rub your hands together to warm them and the oil up before touching your partner's bare skin.

Set up a massage workspace by covering your mattress with towels -- so the massage oil doesn't ruin your sheets.

The Basics

The most sensitive body parts are: head and neck, ears, sides of the body from armpits to hips, inner thighs, fingers and toes, and, of course, genitals. Keep this handy list in mind as you provide some sensual R&R.

The Massage (in 10 Easy Steps)

1. Laying on of hands. With your guy lying on his stomach, buck-naked, warm your hands by rubbing them together and place them on your partner -- one hand on the upper back, one hand on the lower. Leave your hands there for a long moment; this starts your sweetie on the path to relaxation.

2. Spread the oil. Make sure you've warmed it in your hands first, and start with a very small amount.

3. Start rubbing. Rub your hands up and down your sweetie's whole backside. Accentuate the strokes described above until you feel relaxation set in.

4. Legs. Continue onto the legs. Be sure to cover both front and back sides with sensual strokes.

5. Arms and hands. Pay special attention to the hands. Use your thumbs to massage the heels of your honey's hands. Lock fingers and rotate his wrists.

6. Feet. There's a whole school of massage -- reflexology -- devoted solely to these puppies. Spend time really digging into your sweetheart's footsies.

7. Front torso. Take care massaging the abdomen. Press deeply, but not so much that it hurts. Ask if what you're doing feels good.

8. Chest. Don't ignore your sweetie's chest: Knead the fleshy parts, and use your fingertips to massage the nipples. Imagine that your fingers are following the spokes on a bicycle wheel, and let them radiate from the center of the nipple to its edge. Remember to use a light touch!

9. Neck and head. Anyone who's gotten a scalp massage at the hair salon knows how it makes you tingle all over. Use your fingertips and nails to really dig in there.

10. Genitals. If you're going erotic, go all the way. Chances are you'll get a thankful response no matter what you do, but check out one of these spicy reads for more instruction: Erotic Massage : The Tantric Touch of Love by Kenneth Ray Stubbs, Ph.D., with Louise-Andree Saulnier (Tarcher/Putnam); Great Sex Guide by Anne Hooper (Dorling Kindersley); Hot Sex by Tracey Cox (Bantam)

-- The Knot

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