Vicki here. . .

As discussed in our post Performing a Ritual, Kevin and I routinely begin each Loving Massage with a ritual that creates a safe space for our time together. The next step is to set a clear intention of what we both want to experience during the massage. Setting the intention before beginning is important because it defines and guides the action that follows.

Creating the right intention for Loving Massage

Setting the intention begins when you sit down together and discuss what kind of massage you want. Deciding if the massage will be sexual or non-sexual is the best place to start.

This may sound obvious, but the magic won’t happen if you each have different agendas. So, it’s important that you understand what each other wants and is able to give and to be in agreement about that.

A common mistake is when the receiver is expecting a feel-good, non-sexual massage (like you get at a spa), while the giver wants to be sexual. Another ill-fated scenario is when the receiver is feeling frisky and wants a sexual massage, but the giver isn’t into it and cannot say no. You’ll both be frustrated if you don’t negotiate this ahead of time.

Kevin here. . .

All this is not to say that we can’t change our minds! Often, I’m tired and not interested in sex and just want a soothing, relaxing massage. And then, as Vicki works her magic on my body, my mind lets go and my body starts to awaken, and suddenly, I find myself wanting more! And, I reopen negotiations. LOL.

Vicki here. . .

It’s important to be honest about what kind of massage you want (receiver) and what you are capable of giving (giver) before the massage begins.

Communicating what you really want

Do this by asking yourself what kind of touch and emotional experience you hunger for at the moment. Just like choosing a delicious meal from the menu, let your body’s appetite decide the kind of massage you want.

Even if you’re shy talking about your sexual desires, be as direct and honest as you can. It’s equally important that the giver communicate what kind of massage she’s honestly capable of giving physically and emotionally and not promise something she can’t deliver.

Taking turns talking about this will quickly identify any differences in desire and allow you to come to an agreement. If you cannot agree, one or both of you will have to compromise. With your intentions clearly understood and aligned, you can begin the massage. If your appetite changes during the massage, let your partner know so that you’re on the same wavelength.

Kevin here. . .

Asking plainly for what you want is an excellent skill to learn. Boy, am I sick of hearing, “Wouldn’t you like to paint the garage?” I like simple declarative sentences like, “I want. . .”

When we talk about sex, or even simply what kind of massage is desired, I find those simple declarative sentences sexy as hell. Tell me what you want, Baby. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I’m on board. I love giving you what you want—even if I don’t want to paint the garage!

Vicki here. . .

For the record, I have never asked him to paint the garage—he decided to do that on his own!

Loving Massage for non-sexual reasons

Loving Massage is also a powerful force for good in areas other than sexual intimacy. Young and old, everyone benefits from a caring massage given with the intention of relieving stress, soothing muscles, and reducing pain.

Although Kevin and I are convinced that Loving Massage is the best foreplay ever, research shows that your lover’s touch can be an analgesic for pain. The side effects from the medication Kevin takes for leukemia cause chronic pain in his upper body and neuropathy in his feet. Both respond surprisingly well to massage, which relieves the pain and allows him to sleep better. This is a win/win for both of us because I want to be able to help when he’s hurting.

So, the next time your partner is in pain or stressed out offer to give him or her a massage. No strings attached, just a heartfelt massage that provides relief without asking anything in return. Massage is one of the most beautiful gifts you can give another.

Kevin here. . .

You are correct about the great value of loving touch and non-sexual massage. I’m sure we have discussed this before, but it is worth repeating over and over. Loving touch is essential for humans to survive and thrive! Infants die from lack of contact, and we are fools to think that as adults we have outgrown that need. Our world would be a much kinder place if we all received the touch we need!

Vicki here. . .

You don’t need to be an experienced masseuse to give a satisfying Loving Massage—it’s in our genes to love and comfort each other with touch. But you must stay present while giving and receiving it.

Staying present during Loving Massage

Remaining present simply means keeping your attention focused on what you are doing in each moment, and not letting your mind wander to other things. Giving and receiving Loving Massage is essentially the practice of mindfulness. This means that when your mind wanders during the massage, which it most assuredly will, you bring it back to focus on the experience of the moment.

Cultivating mindfulness allows you to be present in the moment and fully experience your aliveness during the massage. Not only does it make your massage an extraordinary experience, but it will enhance real love and bring compassion into your relationships.

Staying present as the giver

During a sexual massage, the giver’s attention should remain focused on the sensual, energetic feel of the other’s body. You will feel your lover’s response through your fingertips, and his energy will flow into your hands and body like water rushing into a gully. Use this information to follow the energy that’s moving between you as it builds to a crescendo.

Tune into all your other senses as well. Your lover’s soft sighs and deep breaths all have something to say to you. Smell the pleasing scent of her clean body. Even taste her sweet skin with tender kisses and nibbles. Feel the delightful sensation of skin on skin, and revel in the warm, living soul beneath your hands.

Staying present as receiver

The receiver’s attention should be absorbed in the sensual, erotic experience of being lovingly caressed. This means you are aware of the warmth and pressure of his hands on your body, and your body’s sensual, sexual response to this.

Instead of thinking about other things, keep your attention focused on the sensuality of the moment. A huge difference exists between mindfully experiencing your lover’s caress and planning what to have for dinner.

Don’t laugh! We all do that. You merely have to train yourself to stay tuned into the touch because stepping out of the moment breaks the connection. Your attention will inevitably wander, especially when you begin the massage, but keep bringing it gently back to the physical sensations. Soon, you won’t be able to think about anything else!

You may initially resist giving into the extreme pleasure of being caressed all over. But don’t worry—this resistance is usually short-lived because the body and soul crave touch so much. When you surrender to the joyous delight of being touched and the giver follows that energy, the magic happens.

Kevin here. . .

When a couple is both tuned into the natural eroticism of touching and being touched, they experience a connection that is greater than themselves. This physical, emotional, and spiritual connection is our birthright, and through it, we find our sense of belonging in the world. Feelings of aloneness and our fear of aging and inevitable death fade away, and all feels right!

Bonding through Loving Massage

When we are fully in this transcendent place—peaceful, connected and at one with all—we are ready for truly great, intimate sex. This is why Vicki and I believe that Loving Massage is the best foreplay ever.

Here are some things you can do to begin:

  1. Spontaneously ask your lover if he or she would like a short massage, starting with a neck, hand, or back rub.
  2. Block out time for the two of you to perform a Loving Massage in the upcoming week.
  3. If your beloved is in pain or stressed out, offer a massage. If you are in pain or stressed, ask for a massage.
  4. Spend some time studying mindfulness. My favorite book on this is You Are Here by Thich Nhat Hanh because his writing is like poetry and always reawakens me to the exquisite beauty of being alive.
  5. Practice staying tuned into what you are doing daily in your life outside the massage. Then, practice remaining present during the massage. Notice when you tune out, and then bring yourself back without judgment or blame—just softly hold loving-kindness for yourself and your partner.
  6. After the massage, talk quietly about what the experience was like for both of you. What touched you most deeply? When did you feel the deepest connection?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!