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The Popularity of Sensual Massage

Published on October 24, 2012 by


In April, 2012, the Lifetime television network launched the weekly series The Client List, based on a 2010 movie of the same name, with actress Jennifer Love Hewitt reprising her lead role, though the network and the studio are both quick to point out that the series was not a continuation of the movie, but a reimagining of it.

The series, about a single mother who takes a job in a day spa that offers “happy endings” to select clients, proved to be very popular, with 2.79 million viewers tuning in for the pilot episode, and an average of 2.52 million viewers watching the entire first season. (Season two will air in the spring of 2013.)

The popularity of the series is not a surprise. After all, sex sells. What is more surprising is the resultant popularity of sensual massage. Now, there’s nothing wrong with two consenting adults doing whatever they want in the privacy of their own home (or massage table), but before we talk about what sensual massage really is, lets clear up a couple of misconceptions.

First, reputable, professional spas do not offer sensual massage. The massage therapists who work in spas are trained in therapeutic techniques from the Swedish school of massage therapy, and if you asked for a sensual massage in such a setting it would be interpreted as a request for sex. Doing so, in fact, is a serious breach of spa etiquette, and your massage therapist would be within his (or her) rights to end your session right there.

Second, men who are getting therapeutic massages from female (mostly) therapists do sometimes try to add sex into the mix, by asking their therapist to “work higher” when they’re working at the thigh area, or “go lower” when massaging the chest or upper back. There are also clients who will ask their therapist to remove the sheet (a modesty drape), or ask if “extras” or “happy endings” are available, none of which are appropriate – or legal – in a spa setting.

So, what is sensual massage, and when is it appropriate?

Sensual massages are rooted in the same techniques that are used for therapeutic massage, but, when performed by consenting adults who are in a relationship, are an amazing way to deepen the connection between partners. Because you’re not in a spa or salon you can massage areas that are off-limits in a professional setting, but more often it’s the mood and the connection that make it sensual, more than sexual contact.

What can you do to make a sensual massage date with your partner go smoothly? Here are some ideas:

  • Set the tone by creating a romantic, intimate atmosphere with dim lights, candles, relaxing music, and scented oils.
  • Keep the room warm, because nothing kills the mood like a partner who’s shivering from the cold and not from delight.
  • If you don’t have your own massage table (you can rent these, by the way) layer several blankets on the floor – a firm surface is necessary to protect delicate joints.
  • Start with your partner’s back. Warm some massage oil in your hands, and make light hand-over-hand stroking motions to warm up their tissues. It’s okay to spend some time working out a knot, but unless you’re trained, don’t try to do therapeutic massage. Concentrate on relaxation, trust, and connection.
  • The typical order of a massage is back and legs, and then ask your partner to turn over so you can massage their legs, feat, arms, neck and shoulders. Scalp massages are also incredibly relaxing. After that, whatever works for both of you is fair game.
  • While it’s quite likely that sensual massage between partners will end up morphing into sex, you’ll both get more from the experience if you go into it with the mind-set of sharing an intimate, pleasurable experience, and not just the goal of…to put it crudely…getting off.

Massage has existed as a therapeutic art for centuries. Therapeutic uses are innumerable, but in the right setting, sensual massage can do wonders for any relationship.

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