The secret benefits of self-touch and self-massage
When it comes to intimacy, touching yourself is up there with one of the best things you can do for yourself. Massage boasts a long list of benefits, from reducing pain levels to increasing relaxation. And whether you’re looking to relieve muscle aches or take some time to get to know every inch of your body in a more sexy way, we’re all about it! There are hundreds of different techniques used in massage, but we’re focusing on the sexier ones. Ones you can use to help yourself reach the next level of bliss, and ones you can share with a partner to help them get in on the action too. Fair warning: this article is NSFW!
The benefits of massage are as numerous as the different types of massage out there, so we’re breaking them down a bit here. We’re looking at how massage can help you get in tune with yourself and relax your mind. How it can relieve aches and pains, and how it can help you deepen your relationship with yourself - if that’s something you’re into.
Numerous studies have looked into the effects massage has on mental wellbeing, both for those receiving a massage and those giving the massage. A fascinating study carried out in 2007 found that older people who received massage as part of their ongoing care saw decreases in stress, depression, and anxiety levels. Research hasn’t determined exactly how massage has this effect, but it seems to affect the person giving it as much as the one receiving it.
In terms of physical benefits, the same 2007 study found that massage reduces muscle pains and tension over time - you’ll usually need more than just one session to feel any significant relief for those effects. But there is something else that happens to your body when it’s being massaged: your blood pressure drops right from the first session. Your heart rate will also slow, and your stress hormone cortisol production will also level out. What this means is your body will exit its stress response mode.
People believe that the muscles and other tissue in your body can hold negative energy. Massage is one way of releasing this negativity; from stomach massages to massaging specific pressure points, there are numerous ways that people believe in the spiritual power of massage. Professor and clinical researcher John Upledger explains, “For centuries, people of Asia, the Middle East, the Baltic regions, and numerous island nations have recognized the symptoms of trapped emotions and have practiced various forms of release.” He goes on to add, “the negative emotions that become lodged in the tissues are the culprit in many cases of emotion-generated ailments. Emotions are designed to move through the body.”
How to give an intimate massage
Now we’ve got to the bottom of how massage can help your mind, body, and spirit; it’s time to learn what it can do for your relationship with yourself. Let’s get real: how often do you spend making love to yourself? Not just getting yourself off, actually making love. Most of the time, when it comes to getting down and dirty on your own, you stick to a routine of tried and tested methods. And hey, those methods have their value! But self-massage is one of the best ways you can get to know what you like, though - and maybe what you dislike too. We’ve gathered together some of the most popular massage tips to get you in the mood with yourself and with someone else, in case you fancy sharing the love.
Intimate massage is a topic that comes up online, but guides to indulgent entire body self-massage aren’t that easy to come by. We’re sharing some of our favorite tips to get you in the mood to give yourself some mind-blowing self-love.
- Set the tone. We’re not just talking relaxing music and candles. Go for a walk or workout. Have a long, steamy shower—lounge around without any clothes on for a while.
- Prep your skin with intimate massage oil. Our Bawdy Oil will be your best pal when it comes to making sure everything glides juuuust right… When you’re picking oil to get sexy with, you’ll want to make sure the ingredients are natural and free from harsh scents, which can irritate your skin.
- Settle in somewhere comfy, and connect with your breath. If you’re used to meditating, practice meditation while you get settled in for some ‘you time’. If you haven’t meditated before, consider focusing on your breath and letting thoughts flow instead of giving them attention.
- Start running your hands gently over your body. If somewhere feels pleasant to touch, then spend some time lingering there. You don’t need to focus on explicitly sexual spots; you can find pleasure in touching your body in other places too! Find whatever it is that makes you feel connected with your body.
- Before heading down South, Tantric Sex Educator Psalm Isadora told Mind Body Green they recommend first placing some oil on your chest. You can heat the oil up for an even more intense sensory experience. Then, slowly circling your way toward your nipples and slowly teasing yourself until your body is asking for more. Then, experiment by switching between gentle touch, pinching, and rolling your nipples between your fingers. Honor what you feel, and give your body more of what it enjoys.
- If you want to explore further, Psalm recommends following the same steps on other parts of your body. You might just be surprised at what pushes you over the edge when you have the chance to explore yourself..!
For someone else
Consent is essential here. Sensual, intimate massage is supposed to be fun, so before you do anything else, make sure whoever you want to get touchy-feely with is down with the idea. Once you’ve set your boundaries, you can follow steps one to three from above, then add in some of these extras.
- Feedback is hot. A running commentary isn’t sexy, but feedback when you like something your partner is doing sure is. If you’re receiving a massage, tell your partner when something feels good. If you’re giving a massage, tell them how much you love their body or how they react to your touch.
- If you’re not sure how to give an intimate massage, ask your partner what they enjoy when they spend time touching themselves. Are there any parts they find particularly sensitive? Parts of themselves they love? As a rule of thumb, though, start massaging them with gentle, long movements and hone in on places they react positively to.
- It doesn’t have to be about helping them to have an orgasm. If they do, gently massage them until their breathing slows down again. If they don’t let them enjoy the connection, they will feel with you through your intimate touch and help them relax and enjoy any sensations they feel.