LIGHTEN UP: It’s hard to relax in a stark, bright room, so turn the dimmer switch down, or drape a sheer, silky scarf over a lamp to diffuse its glow (just be careful that the material doesn’t get too hot). You could change your standard bulb for a coloured one to instantly alter the mood, as well. Alternatively, fill the room with scented candles, fairylights, or bunches of glowsticks arranged in glass jars to give a fun rainbow effect.
WARM UP: Make sure the bedroom is a comfortable temperature – you want to give your partner goose bumps because they’re quivering with pleasure, not shivering with cold! Consider using a snuggly electric blanket, or invite your lover to lay on a faux fur blanket, smooth satin sheets or soft, fluffy towels that have been warmed in the tumble drier or on a radiator. All Durex massage products are non-staining, so you don’t need to fret about spoiling fabrics and furnishings.
SOUND THINKING: Pop some slow, soothing music on the stereo – there are plenty of ready-made ‘Massage’ and ‘Chill Out’ playlists available, or you could try an album featuring calming recordings of nature, such as gentle rain, waves, or the sounds of a tropical forest. Turn your phones off, too. Nothing ruins relaxation like a clanging ringtone!
GUARANTEED TO GEL WELL: Durex Play Massage 2-in-1 gels are specifically designed for use all over the body, not just on the genitals. They help your hands to glide over your partner. While oils, lotions and creams can damage latex, making condoms more likely to break, all Durex products are 100% condom-friendly, so there are no worries if your massage does develop from ‘restful ‘n’ relaxing’ to ‘raunchy ‘n’ rude’.
PICK YOUR POTION: Durex Play Massage 2-in-1 gels come in three varieties:
- Sensual: a gel containing Ylang Ylang extract, which gives it a seductive, mood-enhancing fragrance.
- Stimulating: a gel containing Guarana extract - derived from the seeds of a tree native to the Amazon basin, for aromatherapy experience. Take your pick, then get slick!
SMOOTH, DON’T SPLAT: Don’t squeeze ‘n’ squirt gel directly onto your partner’s body; instead, warm it between your palms first, then gently smooth it onto their skin. Remember: a little goes a long way. Start with a blob the size of a 50 cent piece, then add more if you need to as you go along; if you use too much to begin with, if will be harder to control your motions as your lover will end up more slippery than an ice rink!
STROKES OF GENIUS: Begin your massage using slow, long, flowing strokes over the back and shoulders. Move on to experiment with varying the pressure, employing circular motions, and alternating between using light, fingertip touches, and broad whole-hand ones. There are some useful massage tutorial videos on YouTube that give helpful pointers.
BEDUCATE YOURSELF: Ask for feedback from your lover as you go, so you can learn more about what they like. Pay attention to their body language and breathing, too: deep sighs are a sign of enjoyment, while if they tense up you might have found a source of pain or discomfort, or you could be pressing too hard.
GIVING CAN BE AS GOOD AS RECEIVING: Spending intimate, quality time with your partner, caressing their body and feeling their skin upon yours should be a pleasurable, stress-relieving and sensual experience for you both. Keep your hands relaxed – not stiff or jerky, and breathe out as you push into each stroke. The more serene you feel inside, the better your movements will feel to your lover.
GO HANDS FREE: Ready to dial up the dirtiness, scale up the sauciness, and amp up the intensity? Give your hands a rest, and get inspired by ‘nuru’: an ancient form of erotic Japanese massage, in which a woman covers herself and her partner completely with pleasure gel, then slides her entire bare body against his, for all-over skin-to-skin stimulation. Lay on top of your partner’s back or torso, supporting some of your weight with your arms but making full body contact, before slip-sliding up and down their slick skin. Use plenty of gel to keep things wet ‘n’ wild!
SOLE MATES: Why not add a pampering foot bath to your in-house spa activities? Fill a large bowl with warm water; add indulgent bubble bath, aromatic essential oils or even a handful of rose petals; then bathe your lover’s feet before gently patting them dry and treating them to a foot rub with some Sensual Massage Gel.