How to Set Up Your Sensual Massage for Success

Published: NOVEMBER 11, 2021 | Updated: MARCH 3, 2022
Giving your partner a sensual massage can be a wonderful lead up to sex, or it can be a gift of your time with no strings attached. Either way, make it a good one!

You've heard "give a massage" offered as a tried-and-true sexual connection technique, over and over and over. But have you considered that the quality of your massage matters just as much as the act of giving it?

True, your partner may appreciate a backrub when they're sitting up, watching TV, after a long day's work - but that may not be likely to put them in the mood. If your goal is to get them feeling sexy, you might want to try something different from this kind of approach.

"Give a massage" can be some couple's way to communicate that they're wanting sex. If that works for both of you, use these tips as a great way to make a "foreplay massage" luxuriant and sensual so you both are raring to go when the massage is done.


The assumption that every massage must lead to sex isn't ideal though. It can fill the simple act of massaging with a whole bunch of unwanted pressures and expectations. This starts the receiver down a path where they turn down massages they'd otherwise enjoy because they know "what's expected after." Sometimes a massage can be the whole event; a gift to your partner to make them feel treasured without the implication that it will lead to sex.

Either way, you want to set up your sensual massage for success. One of the ways to do that is to communicate in a caring way "I am doing this with no expectation of sex" or conversely, "I hope this makes you feel so good you are going to rip my clothes off after."

Whichever path you are taking, follow these tips, set the mood feel free to introduce some ethical sex toys and make it an experience that jumps out as a sensual opportunity.

Comfortable Temperatures

If you're outside in the middle of winter while it's snowing, how much do you want to take off all of your clothing? Probably not much.

The same can be said for a sensual massage. If you want to welcome your partner to disrobe and relax into the massage, you need to make sure the environment welcomes it. In this case, that might mean turning up the temperature.

For a naked body entirely at rest, you might want a temperature at least around 72-degrees Fahrenheit. If that's drastically different from where you normally keep your home temperature, consider a space heater (safely) placed within the room for an hour or two ahead of time. This can help warm up that particular room to a nice and toasty temperature.


Oil-Safe Locations

Did you know that a lot of massage oils can stain? Not all - but that isn't something you want to take a chance with when you're laying in the middle of your favorite luxury sheets.

Make sure you plan in advance for this - because no one wants to finish their massage just to realize they stained their couch. Plus, if your partner knows this is a possibility, it may make it impossible for them to relax into the massage.

One of the easiest ways to help protect furniture is with a Liberator Throw or other sex blankets. Not only do they provide a soft, sensual surface to give the massage, but it also offers an internal waterproof layer to keep any liquids or fluids from soaking through the blanket. This protects all of your furniture - while making it seem like you've laid out a soft cloud for them to relax on.

Another easy way to reduce messes is to moderate how much oil you use. A little bit of massage oil goes a long way. Don't feel like you need to pour it all on. Remember, the bottle is there and can be used for top-ups anytime you need it.

Massage Oil for Massage, Lube for Genitals

I know, I know. It can be really tempting to just give into the moment and use a bit of massage oil for intercourse, but nope. Don't do it.

Most massage oils are oil-based; this is actually a good thing for massage oil! It makes it last forever and provides that amazing slickness you're used to. If you've ever tried to use a water-based lube to give a massage, it's really a lack-luster experience. Oil-based lubes really make hands glide!

However, oil-based lubricants can be hostile to a lot of vaginal environments. Some people tolerate them fine, but others find themselves with infections after using oil-based lubes. Plus, oil-based lubes tear up latex condoms, so that safer sex you think you're having might not be as safe.

If you're a couple who prefers penetration with sex toys, that also takes oil-based lubes out of the running. Oil-based lubes can break down a lot of common sex toy materials!

That's why you want to switch to a water-based lube like Sliquid H20 if moving on to penetration. Not only is it more friendly to the vaginal microbiome, but it's going to preserve your sex toys and your safer sex barriers.

Pick Up a Bit

I know how hectic my life gets, and I assume yours is the same. However, picking up a bit of the clutter in the room where you're going to give the massage is really a great way to improve your partner's experience. Seeing clutter (and having an instant reminder of the evergoing to-do list) can be an instant arousal prohibiter for a lot of people.


Even if it isn't a mental block for your partner, the fact that you picked up will be appreciated - and it will give the room a new, "fresh" look that it didn't have before!

If you're light on time, I recommend:

  • Pick up everything off the floor that shouldn't be there.
  • Ensure any storage buckets (including the laundry bin) isn't overflowing.
  • Remove any dirty dishes.
  • Remove any bright packaging or distracting objects that are out of place.
  • Make the bed - or at least make it look presentable (if there's a bed).

Mood Lighting

Lighting is huge! Study after study has been done about how our surrounding light changes our perception of everything from friendliness to stress to buying to hunger. It's all the same with relaxation. People just relax best when they aren't under bright, probing lights.

You can make that happen in your sensual massage space too. With the popularity of dimmable smart lightbulbs, you might have that power literally in your pocket (with your cell phone).

If that isn't something you have, consider turning off all of the lights - then adding in small, gentle lights accordingly. This can be as simple as turning on your bedside light. Or as complicated as getting cheap puck lights from an online store. You can then add these tiny, hockey-shaped disks anywhere you want a bit of light. Get creative and slide them partially under the bed or partially under furniture to get some really neat ambiance going on.

Either way, unless you or your partner require brighter lighting, consider dimming the lights - a lot - for your massage. Don't go pitch black, but make it dark enough that it feels easier to relax.

Prep for Your Massage

Don't be scrambling all over the room when you're giving your sensual massage. Instead, imagine how and where you'll be primarily giving the massage. Once you have that in mind, start stockpiling everything you'll need near that spot, so you can effortlessly reach each item for seamless transitions between activities.

One of the big rules of a professional masseuse is to limit the number of times your massage recipient feels no hands on them. Constant contact is a great thing for massages, and you'll want to mimic that as best you can.

I recommend keeping these items nearby:


Play Some Music

You don't have to be an expert DJ to get a bit of music going. Just consider typing in "massage music" or "spa music" into your favorite music or video platform, and you'll have your options to choose from!

Most streaming platforms nowadays have ads, though, so make sure you've previewed your choice for ads - and purchased if need be. There's nothing more startling than being deep into a massage trance when someone starts screaming about buying waffles.

Make sure your choice of music is long enough to cover the massage (45 minutes is probably a good target if you don't know how long to go). If your choice isn't long enough, make sure the music platform has a Repeat functionality - and that you've turned it on.

Experiment with Massage Candles

Have you seen massage candles? If not, you're in for a serious treat! Massage candles look like standard candles, but when you burn them, all of their "wax" melts into a warmed massage oil. It's actually pretty cool! You then blow out the candle and gently pour the warmed oil onto your partner's skin.

Not only do you get a candle (for ambiance) out of the deal, but you also get a luscious, completely warmed massage oil out of it - and the scents on a lot of these candles are out of this world!

If you're curious about giving it a try, SeaGrape massage candles are made from soy wax, shea butter, avocado oil, and coconut oil - and melt down into a perfect mixture to rub into your partner's skin. Not only does the oil help it work perfectly for your massage, but the shea butter ensures your partner's skin is going to be nice and smooth when you're done! You can get them as part of a kit too, if you want to spoil yourself a bit.

Or Just Regular Candles!

If massage candles might be outside of your interest level right now, regular candles can also be a great mood-setter. They're definitely overdone, but that's because they work! A dim room mostly lit by candlelit is something most of us rarely come across in everyday life, so when we see it, it's an instant: BAM! "Something special" time!

Remember that candles use fire - and fire is very much something to be cautious with. Do not burn your candles too close to other objects - even if it would look better to do so. Do not forget about your candles, either, and fall asleep after your great massage.

While choosing those candles, don't forget to think about the massage scene scent you're going for. Don't burn a grape candle to mix with your blueberry massage oil and caramel apple sex lube. It's just going to be too many scents at once. Usually, standard, unscented tea lights work great, and you can get them in bulk at the dollar store, too.

If your risk profile doesn't include candles, don't forget about faux candles. These little electronic options look like tealights and offer a "flickering" light, but it's all electronic. Just flip a switch, and they pop on. They're a much safer alternative to a live fire if you're concerned you'll forget about it.


Warm Your Massage Oil

Massage professionals generally have professional equipment that warms their massage oil to the perfect temperature for skin. But you don't need to spend hundreds of dollars to bring that into your home.

If you time it right, you can have warm massage oil too. Fill a drinking glass full of hot water (an Old-Fashioned Glass works best for the size of most massage oil bottles). Now, leave your massage oil bottle closed while sitting in the drinking glass of water.

When you pull out the bottle, it will be nicely warmed for your use. Pour out what you want then put it back into the water. Just be careful not to spill your glass of water during this endeavor.

Ensure Your Partner is Comfortable

Not everyone can (or wants to!) lay down entirely flat for a massage. For some people, it just isn't pleasant (especially those with large chests), and for others, it is physically painful.

Nobody says a massage has to be given while laying down flat, so if your partner prefers another position, feel free to make it happen!

Especially for those with GERD or those with back pain, a slight incline and facing upright can actually make the massage drastically better. (To get an even, supportive surface, I'd recommend something like a Liberator shape. It could help provide a gentle incline that still supports their body.)

Don't be afraid to use Liberator sex positioning shapes for any part of this - even if it isn't the sex "part"! Sturdy, foam cushions can help support the body for more comfort regardless of activity.

Add Bondage

Does your partner find it difficult to turn off their brain and relax into the moment? Do you think they'll be thinking about how they'd rather tackle that to-do list?

Consider adding some light bondage into the mix. While bondage isn't a traditional massage technique, it can work wonders on a busy brain. Once you've bound your partner to the bed, they don't have much of a "choice" except to enjoy the massage - and that can be all of the permission they need to turn off their brain.

Pick something that's easily washable and easy to use to reduce fiddling with straps during the massage.


Use Sex Toys

During your massage, if it seems like things are going the erotic route, I'd recommend taking a short break, wiping off your hands (or washing them entirely) to add a sex toy to the mix.

While not required, a sex toy can add a whole lot of fun to your experience - especially if you go hands-free! An anal plug from Fun Factory like the Duke (with vibrations) or Bootie (without vibrations) can instantly add sensation while you continue with your massage.

If your partner is lying facedown, a vibrator like the Laya II can be held in place by their body weight and thighs to provide a bit of extra hands-free pleasure while you're occupied elsewhere too.

If your partner is lying face up, you might be able to use some self-thrusting vibrators (like the Stronic G) or penis vibrators (like the Cobra Libre II) with a bit of creativity. While those toys tend to slide themselves off and away from the body (especially as someone repositions), a pair of underwear or a well-positioned pillow can be all the help you need to help keep them where you want them.

Don't forget about using sex toys as the final "treat" either. While intercourse is hot (definitely!), you might consider it just as fun to use their favorite sex toys on them and watch them writhe and moan to their climax. Such a pampering, one-sided experience can be extremely refreshing sometimes!

Since you aren't distracted by physical pleasure or involved in the action (which reduces some of your visibility), you can watch every inch of your partner as you use their favorite sex toy! (I really recommend something like the Fun Factory Manta or the Fun Factory Sundaze!)

Have Fun!

There's absolutely nothing out there that says you have to do a sensual massage one specific way. I mean, I did just give you a list of things to do, but they're all suggestions - and hopefully can work as a checklist in the future when you want to give your partner a sultry treat. A checklist, however, is not a list of mandatory activities. If anything on this list isn't for y'all, just toss it. It's that simple!

No two people are the same. Not one. What works for you both may be terrible for someone else - and visa versa. So customize this and make it your own.

What's most important, though, is that you both have fun. Change things, modify things, and try new things until your sensual massage is a serious treat that you both look forward to. That's the whole point!

Mistress Kay

Mistress Kay has a fondness for all things sexual. With a house that's quickly running out of room for all of her reading and vibrating pleasures, she spends her free time reading, writing, and learning about the sexual universe with her partners. She can be reached at Kinky World.

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