Looking for a fresh way to reconnect with your guy? Try a simple but deliciously erotic massage. "Too often, couples fast-forward to intercourse, which means they're neglecting about 80 percent of each other's bodies," says Gordon Inkeles, author of The New Sensual Massage. "Sensual massage encourages lovers to be generous with each other, to explore parts of the body." Here, a step-by-step guide to giving (or getting!) a totally erotic massage.
Step 1: Make some space.
A soft bed may be perfect for lovemaking, but the ideal massage area is firm, flat, and stable, so you don't bounce your partner around as you move. (Think how unrelaxing it would be to get a massage on a jiggly water bed.) For maximum comfort, have your guy lie down on a futon mattress or pallet of blankets and place pillows under his neck, knees, and ankles.
Step 2: Break out the oil.
Besides making your hands soft and warm, massage oil reduces friction and makes it easier to knead, rub, and stroke your guy's tired and stressed muscles. Scented oils can be erotic, "but steer clear of intense fragrances, like patchouli, which get cloying," says Steve Capellini, a licensed massage therapist in Miami and author of Massage for Dummies. Instead, try a light single scent, like jasmine, and warm the bottle in a bowl of hot water.
Step 3: Create a peaceful vibe.
The tickling of loose hair or a lacy nightie might excite him (and you), but it can also take his focus off the deep, steady sensations of your massage. Tie your hair back and wear close-fitting clothes to minimize distractions. To avoid jarring chills, drape his naked body with sheets (uncover just the body part you're working on). If you play music, keep it soft and slow.
Step 4: Pick a spot, any spot.
Pressed for time? Focusing on one part of his body — really focusing on it — can be even more decadent than a head-to-toe rubdown. If his back is in knots, concentrate on that. If he loves having his feet caressed, give them the royal treatment. Or keep it simple: Just ask him where he wants you to touch him.
Step 5: Get hands-on.
To give a great massage, all you need to know are a few basic moves.
Step 6: Focus on the feelings.
Intimate massage isn't about perfection, so don't worry about doing it "right." Try to stay in the moment. Massage is about being emotionally present, touching your partner with intention, and paying attention to his reactions. What could be sexier than that?