Sensual Touch

Sex can be a source of great pleasure, and couples often believe that good sex always happens. However, sexual problems are very common. When you have a sexual problem, it can cause stress. One way to improve your sex life is to focus on the pleasures of touching.

Sensual massage

One option is to learn how to give and receive a sensual massage. Sensual massage can help you and your partner:

  • Express needs and desires.
  • Find out how each likes to touch and be touched.
  • Explore new ways to give pleasure.
  • Improve your relationship.

An illustrated manual or book can be helpful. Here are some general tips:

  • Decide who will be the first to give a massage.
  • Choose a place where you both will be comfortable and decide whether you and your partner will wear clothes or not.
  • Dim the lights and play soft music you both enjoy.
  • Use plenty of pillows or a comforter.
  • If you wish, use baby oil, scented oils, lotions, or powder.
  • Tell the giver what feels good and what does not.

Start with the face. Normally the giver sits and the receiver lies flat on his or her back with the head resting on the giver’s thighs. Explore your partner’s face as if you were a blind person meeting this person for the first time. Then massage your partner’s temples to help them relax. Rest, talk about the experience, and reverse roles.

Massage the rest of the body tenderly and pay attention to your partner’s feelings. Then reverse roles.

Sensate focus exercises

Sensate focus exercises can help reduce anxiety about sex. The exercises help you pay attention to what feels good to you, and what feels good to your partner. The exercises include 3 steps that usually take several weeks to complete. Both partners should be comfortable with each step before moving to the next.

Schedule time when you can both be relaxed and comfortable. Partners take turns being the giver and the receiver.

  • First step: Explore your partner’s body including the head and neck, chest, belly, back, buttocks, arms, hands, legs, and feet. Use different kinds of touch, such as stroking, rubbing, and squeezing. You can also use different kinds of touch with your mouth, such as kissing, nipping with your teeth, or sucking. Limit this stage to parts of the body other than the genitals and breasts.
  • Second step: Touch, stroke, and explore each other’s body, including the breasts and genitals. The goal is to learn what feels good to your partner, not to have sex.
  • Third step: Caress and stimulate breasts and genitals. Sex is okay in this step, as long as it does not cause pain or anxiety.

Pay attention to just relaxing and enjoying the feeling of touching each other. Remember that it is possible to have a loving, intimate relationship without sex. If you feel that your relationship needs more help, see your healthcare provider to check for medical problems that may be causing sexual problems. Consider seeing a sex therapist.

Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-03-12
Last reviewed: 2014-06-10
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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