1- Know what is it that you’ll be massaging. Head, feet, back, shoulders? What’s the reason for the massage? Relaxation, physiotherapy, erotic? Knowing the context in which you will be massaging will allow you to make appropriate arrangements about what clothes will or won’t be worn, the atmosphere or mood that you want to create, and what position you want the recipient in. In general, the recipient should be placed against a soft but firm surface in a position that allows all of their body to relax/hang loose.
2- Be assertive. You are in charge of this person’s body for a while so behave accordingly. If you need to move them, do so firmly but gently but be sure to tell them what you’re about to do before you do it.
3- Use moisturiser as a lubricant. Using moisturiser serves 2 purposes in that it allows you to work the desired area without friction, and it also has medicinal benefits to the recipient’s skin. It also means that you don’t need to splash out on expensive oils that you’ll hardly ever use.
4- Gauge pressure. Press too lightly and your touch will be ticklish or ineffective, press too hard and you make cause discomfort. Start with a medium amount of pressure and see how it is received.
5- Listen to their body. It is fine to ask whether your touch is too strong or too light or whether a certain area needs more attention, but it’s always best just to try and listen to what they’re body is telling you rather than distracting them when they’re meant to be in a state of bliss. If they’re tensing up under your touch then you’re either pressing too hard or you’re pressing in a particularly sore area.
6- Follow the lines of the muscles and flesh. Massages target the muscles not the bone, so be sure to follow the lines of the muscles working away from the core of the body (if you’re giving a back massage for example, start at the hips and work upwards and outwards).
7- Use your thumbs. Thumbs are less ‘pokey’ than fingers and are much stronger. Use the sides and lengths of your thumbs rather than the tips.
8- Be directional. Don’t flutter around the body, instead work your way from one point (usually the centre of the body) outwards, working every muscles along the journey.
9- Search for ‘knots’. Knots are areas of tightened muscle or accumulated gristle and will most likely be causing the recipient a degree of discomfort. Should you manage to work out a few of these, you’re doing well. These areas are usually quite sensitive, so if you find one, don’t just start kneading away at it, instead, work around the affected area allowing the surrounding muscles to relax. This will take the strain off of the target, allowing you to rub it out.
10- Recognise pressure points. There are various pressure points around the body with a large accumulation of nerve endings. These should not be ‘poked’ as they can be quite painful, however they can be manipulated in order to create a pleasant relaxing sensation. Just above the hips on either side of the spine is a large pressure point protected by muscle and often fat. Spend a while working this area. There are also lots of pressure points in the joints of the shoulders that need great care. One final pressure point that all should be aware of is the one(s) located either side of the very top of the spine where it meets the skull. This area is covered by hair and should be massaged very gently.
Do not change the context of the massage. We mentioned in the steps that you need to appreciate what type of massage you’ll be giving. Unless things develop naturally, it’s unfair to place the recipient in an awkward position by trying to force a friendly relaxation massage into an erotic one.
Should you be giving a back massage it’s fine to straddle the recipient if you know them personally, however appreciate that this is considered highly unprofessional should you be charging for the massage.
If giving an erotic massage or even just a relaxation massage to a loved one, it’s nice to tail off the pressure with light finger strokes and then gentle kisses along the massaged area.