Just for the heck of it, I'd like you to think the word "massage" and see what sort of mental images you receive. Go ahead. Say you saw the word in passing, on a billboard or in an article. Would you think of stark white rooms, gurneys with white sheets, and oddly-shaped pillows? Terrifying women named Helga? Little old men with grey t-shirts and evil-smelling liniment? Or would you picture sensuous people anointing each other with scented unguents as they sit naked in their ashrams, surrounded by clouds of suspicious smoke? You might even think of the ways you massage your lover with one of those carved wooden rollers from The Body Shop, or the vibrating hi-tech wonders from Brookstone, or even the sexy devices from Good Vibrations.
Forget 'em, all of 'em. Massage is ultimately nothing more than using the sense of touch to make someone feel good. You may have given your guy some massage action this morning and not even realized it. It doesn't require a time commitment or a special table. It doesn't even require oil or an encyclopedic knowledge of muscle clusters. Just take those loving caresses one step further.
I have nothing against the more professional versions of massage, but I have known people who shy away from it because of their preconceptions — "I don't know what the muscles are," or "I never have the time." No worries. This is not an attempt to teach you arcane acupressure rituals or how to make chiropractic adjustments; it's me trying to get you to touch your lover more than usual. Just pay heed to the following important guidelines. Please use some common sense and modify these suggestions for your own situation — a person with a second-degree burn is unlikely to appreciate direct pressure no matter how erotically you do it.
Massage is for anytime
First and foremost, I want you to realize that massage can be as quick and spontaneous as stroking your lover's hair and rubbing their neck for a few minutes. Just apply some steady pressure and use a rhythmic stroke so they can anticipate your moves and brace against it. Rub his back, pull on her toes, do something with your hands to help alleviate some of their stress. Not only does it feel wonderful physically, it lets them feel pampered and treasured for a moment. Yes, hour-long massages with hot oil and music playing are wonderful, but don't limit yourself to that. First thing in the morning, before he wakes up, run your hands down his back over and over. Reach over in the car and scratch her head for her, all over, and then do it again.
All you need is you
There isn't a vibrating device existing in the world today that can compare to a dedicated, enthusiastic lover's hands. You can search out and find knots that they can't reach. You can kiss one shoulder while you're rubbing the other. You can let your fingers stroke firmly along the shape of his face until he falls asleep. You can pick up her leg and hold it firm while you run your hand along her calf muscles, and not even the Hitachi Magic Wand can do that.
For the casual massage you don't really need oil, although a quick dollop of hand lotion or even a shot of baby powder can help your hands move smoothly.
Why stop with your hands?
You can use almost every part of your body to soothe (or excite) someone else. Here's some highlights:
• Use your hands creatively. Use the tips of your fingers for smaller areas or deeper pressure, use the flat of your hand to shape to her body's contours, use your fist to rub a bit harder on those larger muscles in the back and butt.
• Use your arms. Rest your forearm across her lower back and sweep upward while applying pressure.
• Use your mouth. Not just the ways you'd expect — put some pressure on your lips and tongue. Cover your teeth and then try to take bites. It is an indescribably terrific feeling to have someone run their mouth over your head that way, and it's a great thing to do to the back of someone's neck.
• Use your hair. If it's long enough you can drag it across your lover's body for a maddening, teasing form of massage. If your hair is short you can rub it on specific areas for a more direct approach.
• Use your head. This is great for the back, just put your head against his back and press in a circular motion, moving around as your whim takes you. Don't hurt your neck.
• Use your breasts. You may want some lubrication to make things glide more easily, but it's a move your lover will appreciate.
• Use your feet. You don't necessarily have to walk on your lover, but if you're sitting on opposite ends of the couch put your feet on either side of her spine and rub. You can easily keep some big circling motions going and it's amazing how strong the average toe is.
• Use your whole body. If you're about to apply pressure then your lover will need to be braced against something. Why not you? If you're in bed, roll her over on top of you and rub her shoulder blades. Put her face-down, straddle her butt, lay your chest on her upper back and press in slow circles (run your mouth through her hair on the upswing for an extra touch). Let your lunchtime hug stretch out a bit. My personal favorite is in the shower — she can rest her head on my shoulder, the hot spray is making everything slippery, I can easily stroke up and down her entire back, and I can't say the feeling is at all unpleasant from my side of things.
Do it twice as long as you think you ought to
Massage is like oral sex or petting your dog — no matter how long you do it, the minute you stop the recipient looks at you like you're a criminal. Time is extremely relative and making that extra effort to keep going just a little bit more is worth the trouble. Don't hurt yourself, but if your hand starts cramping up switch to your other hand, or another part of your body, or even just a different area of her body where you'll be rubbing at a different angle. Matter of fact, that's a good suggestion for massage or oral sex. Or even petting your dog.
If it helps, don't think of it as "massage," just think of it as another way to touch.