Men’s turn now. Tantric massage for men, in the beginning, is primarily to develop the senses and open the chakras. In general, western men keep their emotions in check and focus more on strength or prowess than on simply enjoying their physicality; and they focus on orgasm more than on enjoying each sensation fully in the moment. Also, western men cling to the idea of “a man of action,” and find it difficult to be quiet, calm and receptive and do nothing.
So western Tantra teachers give students exercises and techniques to raise men’s awareness of their bodies (other than their genitals), to help them learn to relax into the moment, and to build stronger connections between men and their partners. The following is one of these exercises, and every man I know who’s experienced it wants repeat sessions.
Allow plenty of time for this massage, at least two hours; but it’s best if you have no time limit at all. The best time to do it is evening, so that you have nothing pressing on your mind that would make you conscious of time passing. In addition, it is most pleasant if afterward you and your partner can just go to bed and hold each other and fall asleep to complete the massage.
Women, this is your opportunity to show your partner the pleasures of being touched lovingly and gently without rushing to any next step on the way to orgasm. The point of this massage is not orgasm, but rather sensual enjoyment of the body as a whole. So, take some time to prepare the room and the things you will need for the exercise.
Before the appointed time, when your partner is not around, select objects to use in this exercise. These items should have various textures and various degrees of firmness and softness. Some of the best are a peacock feather (or other light bird’s feather), silk scarf, wool muffler, cotton balls, cotton knit (such as a soft tee shirt), dry natural sponge, marbles, tennis ball, leaves, flowers. Use your imagination. Select items that will feel different against his skin, but not cold, hot or unpleasant. If you have long hair, don’t forget to include it in your massage.
Just before you plan to start the exercise, gather scents for him to smell. A fresh orange or a fresh lemon, washed just beforehand with very warm water will smell luscious when you hold it under his nose. Cut an apple or a pear. Put a teaspoon of a few kitchen herbs and spices, such as cinnamon, thyme and basil in separate saucers. Essential oils are also good to use, but only one drop on a cotton ball. The scents should be mild, because you will be using many. Have at least six very different scents, but no more than ten. Avoid highly scented items like soap, incense and colognes, and do not include any scent you usually wear. The aromas should be natural and very subtle. Lay them out on a table in the massage room and cover them carefully with a towel.
The exercise begins when you blindfold your partner. You undress him slowly and put his robe on him, then lead him to a quiet room, away from the room where you will do the massage. Alternatively, he can take a relaxing warm bath (with no scented oil or bath salts) and you can dry him off, blindfold him, and put on his robe.
Lead him to a chair and make sure he is sitting (not lying down) comfortably. He is to take this few minutes to relax. He can take deep breaths, meditate, even doze. But do not have music or television on in the room. He should be blindfolded and feel completely safe and relaxed and have no sensual stimulus for the next few minutes.
While your partner is blindfolded, warm and comfortable, finish your preparations for the massage. He should be in the quiet room for about fifteen to twenty minutes, giving you time to take care of the final preparations. You should wear something soft and comfortable that allows you to move easily and doesn’t pull or bind.
As for the room, have everything you need ready before you begin. The room should be softly lit, with candles ideally, but low-wattage lamp light is acceptable. It must be warm enough for him to be comfortable naked for a couple of hours, but not so warm you will be perspiring while massaging him. Be sure to have water to drink, a small blanket or throw in case it you need to cover him, a hand towel, tissues, massage oil or cream. Lay out all the different items you will use to stroke him, and all the scents. Set things right by the massage table or pallet, so you can reach them without moving away from your partner.
About massage oil: You may have a favourite oil already, but for this massage, the scent must be very light, and unfamiliar to your partner. Use food grade oil with no preservatives in it. Sweet almond oil is a good one. Sesame oil is favoured in Ayurveda because it is said to have cleansing and purifying properties, but I find it a bit heavy for this type of massage. Whatever you choose, the scent must be light and natural. Some possibilities include ONE drop of lavender or rose essential oil in a litre of oil; split a vanilla bean in half and put it in the oil overnight; a fresh sprig of lavender or basil crushed and left in the oil overnight. Do not use perfume or artificially scented oils.
The massage will take at least an hour, so arrange the table, bed or floor cushions so that you will be comfortable moving around your partner and massaging all the areas of his body. Of course a massage table is ideal, but it’s possible to use a bed or the floor. In any case, arrange things so you won’t get tired. If you are using your bed, put down a layer or two of bath towels, so any oil used won’t seep through to your mattress.
Now, go get your partner. Say nothing but his name, softly. Making sure the blindfold is in place, lead him to the massage room. Guide him slowly, and don’t speak to him. He is not to speak at all until much later, and you are to speak only to give brief necessary instructions.
Take his robe off and seat him where he will be lying for the massage. Then, without any explanation or introduction, hold one of your scented items under his nose. He is to inhale deeply (you can instruct him), but he cannot touch or hold the item. When he has enjoyed it for 10-15 seconds, take it away. Count to five (one thousand one, one thousand two, etc.) and select another scent. If you are using dried herbs, crush them between your fingers and hold your fingers under his nose. If you are lucky enough to have fresh herbs, crush the leaves with your fingers before putting them under his nose. If you are using a drop of essential oil on a cotton ball, pass it slowly from side to side under his nose. You want him to experience and enjoy the different nature of the various aromas, not be overwhelmed by them. Five or six scents is a good number, but you can use up to ten if he’s really enjoying it.
After the scents, instruct him to lie down on his stomach. Place your palm flat in the middle of his back and take a few deep breaths. Then take one of your rough-textured items and gently use it to stroke downward from his shoulder, down his back, down his leg, to the bottom of his left foot. Repeat the stroke, going to the right foot. Do this very slowly and with a light touch You can zig zag across his back, or make circles, or just go straight down very slowly. Keep all of your movements smooth and gentle. Repeat the strokes downward several times, varying the pace and pressure, but never rushing the stroke. He has simply to enjoy the sensations and do nothing.
You must watch him and take note of his responses. Where does he enjoy the touch? Where does he feel discomfort? Is he relaxing into it? Do you see his muscles tensing?
Next take a soft or smooth item and repeat the stroking from shoulder to foot. Again, stroke several times and watch his responses. Continue the stroking, alternating smooth and rough textures, for about twenty to thirty minutes. The objectives of these techniques are to wake up his sense of smell and touch, to relax him and to move him into a completely receptive frame of mind. This can be very difficult for men, to be receptive and do nothing.
Next, when he is completely relaxed, begin the full body massage. You don’t have to be a professional masseuse to give an effective Tantric massage. There are very few rules. The most important safety point is to avoid any direct pressure on the spinal column. Do not press into the spine at all. Other than that, your only guide is what feels good to your partner. If you feel him tense up, change your touch or move to another area of his body. Start with light pressure, then increase it, pressing quite firmly on the big muscle groups. After a time go back to the spot that made him tense up and try again. If it still makes him uncomfortable, just skip that spot and move on.
To begin, put a drop or two of lightly scented massage oil in your hand and spread it on your palms and fingers. Begin with his neck and shoulders
Remember, the purpose of this massage is to relax your partner, and to give him different kinds of touch. The idea is to help him receive– to lie quietly and enjoy each sensation as it comes, without anticipation of the next moment and without responding in any active way.
Begin with the neck and shoulders. Use the palms and heels of your hands, massage gently in a circular motion. Just stroke, broad strokes, from the center of the neck outward to the shoulders, then slowly down his arms. Repeat each motion several times, slowly and deliberately. Your touches should be firm and broad. Stroke firmly, but don’t apply a lot of pressure as if you were working out muscle knots.
Move from the neck and shoulders downward on either side of his spine, making long, slow strokes down to his hips. Use your palms first, then perhaps your fingertips, but with firmness– not light, teasing touches, but long, slow strokes. Apply oil to your hands whenever you feel them drying out. The stroking should be gentle, firm and smooth.
Work on his back for about ten to fifteen minutes. This is not a race or a test; you don’t have to keep exact timing. But you must take enough time for each part of this exercise, so don’t rush and don’t feel rushed. If your partner seems unable to settle, or anxious to move on, change your stroke or move to a different area on his back.
Next work down the back of his legs. Again, long, firm strokes, rather than kneading muscles. Here, you might take some of your objects and use them to stroke the legs. It will vary the sensations and help your partner to learn to enjoy different kinds of touch. Again, your strokes should be firm– gentle enough to be pleasurable, but not tease or tickle.
When you feel you’ve finished his back, place your left hand over his coccyx (the “tailbone”), and your right hand on the back of his head. Take several long, slow, deep breaths, breathing in and out through your mouth. Then takes several long, slow, deep breaths, breathing in and out through your nose. Then rest your hands there for a few moments.
When you feel it’s time, tell your partner to take several long, deep breaths, in through his nose and out through his mouth, and then to turn over on his back.
Place your left hand over his heart chakra and your right hand over your heart chakra. This is the area in your upper chest, roughly between your breasts. Take several breaths, again, in and out through your mouth.
(There are many books available about chakras, so I will not go into the subject here. All you need to know at this point is that the chakras are energy centers, through which the energy generated by your body flows. They need to be open for Tantric practice to be effective.)
Then continue the massage, beginning with your partner’s feet. If he is ticklish, do not use your thumbs, but use your palm. There are more nerve endings on the bottom of the feet than anywhere else in his body, so he will be sensitive to any touch there. But if you simply hold the foot, with your fingers over the top and use the pads of your thumbs to massage, it ought to feel good to him. A good foot massage is very relaxing, and I have even seen people fall asleep during one.
Start just behind the toes, massaging the fleshy mounds, and continue toward the back of the foot. Be careful of the arch, as it is the most sensitive area, and it might even hurt if you press too hard. Just keep kneading lightly and taking long strokes from toe to heel for several minutes on each foot. Again, you don’t need to keep exact time, but two to three minutes on each foot is about right.
Then move up the legs, making long, firm strokes from the ankles to the top of the thighs. (Don’t forget to put a few drops of oil in your palms whenever you feel any friction.) You can knead lightly along the calves and thighs, but remember it’s a pleasure massage not a therapeutic massage
The best way to massage the belly is to stroke clockwise circles with your flat hand. Do not put any pressure or do any kneading on the lower abdomen. The circular stroke should be slow and comforting, and should be done for no more than three minutes or so.
Moving upward to the chest, place your right hand on the heart chakra and your left hand on the perineum (the area between his legs, behind his scrotum). This is the site of the first chakra. As you place your hands, with light pressure, visualize energy flowing from the heart chakra downward. Hold the vision and your hands on these places for a while. See if you can feel any energy moving. When you’ve been practicing tantra for a while, you will be able to feel the energy flowing in a circle from his heart, through your arm to your heart, then down to his first chakra and back up to his heart and your hand, connecting you in a circle of energy.
Close the visualization first, then move your hands to his head. Give him a gentle scalp massage, including his forehead and brow. From there, move to his shoulders and massage down his arms, first one, then the other. Long, firm strokes first from shoulder to wrist; then, some gentle kneading if you like.
To finish this session, give him a genital massage. Some books tell you to decide beforehand whether you want to massage him to orgasm or not. However, my teacher Jia’s advice is just to let things happen; always allow for whatever happens. Most men, when they first begin to learn tantra, do not know how to re-channel the energy away from genital orgasm. That’s all right. Part of Tantra is learning how to move the energy around for bliss without ejaculatory orgasm.
This is the part of the massage for which your partner can speak. You need to ask permission to touch him, and he needs to answer clearly, yes or no; and to say whether something feels good or doesn’t.
To begin the genital massage, oil your hands liberally, and keep adding oil as needed. The skin is very thin and sensitive, so you need to be sure that your strokes move smoothly, without any heat generated by friction.
You need to watch his face carefully as you massage, especially if you haven’t handled his genitals very much. He may not want to tell you if something is uncomfortable, so you need to be very conscious of his body language and facial expressions. If he tenses up at all stop what you are doing and rest a few seconds, just with your hand cupping his genitalia. Then start again with a different stroke or in a different spot.
My teacher Martin says that most men deeply enjoy having their genitals just cupped in your hand(s) and held gently close to the body. This is a good way to begin. Your strokes should be very slow, very gentle and in a very constant in tempo. The objective is to relax him and to broaden his focus from the tip of his penis (which is most men’s focus) to his whole pelvic area. The idea is for him to enjoy your touch, without any ultimate goal, to experience each moment as it happens. You are massaging to move his focus away from ejaculatory orgasm and toward Divine Energy.
There are books out there that instruct on genital massage strokes, so I won’t go into a lot of detail here. Men are different one from another, but here are some of the strokes my partner enjoys. Always ask your partner if it feels good several times as you try these out.
Make a ring around the base of the penis with your thumb and forefinger with one hand and enclose the shaft with the other. Holding the base firmly, slide your other hand slowly from the base upward to the tip. Take your hand off the shaft, place it again, and slide it upward again. (Do not pump up and down, but lift your hand and replace it.) Do this several times, very slowly.
Place your hand in a sort of cup position over his perineum, with your fingers pointing downward. Stroke slowly upward, leading with the heel of your hand, with VERY LIGHT pressure, over the scrotum upward and on over the penis, which you can press close to his body. There must be some pressure, but only very light pressure. Here, he will have to tell you how much feels good and how much is too much.
Lightly draw your fingernails upward from the base of the scrotum over the testicles, up to the base of the penis, in a “scratching” motion. Many men love the feel of your fingernails; others hate it. Ask your partner what he likes.
The genital massage should last a minimum of ten to fifteen minutes. If it appears that an orgasm is about to happen, stop all movement for a few seconds and rest your hands on his belly. Allow him to note what his sensations are and to experience the receding urge as much as he usually experiences the rush to ejaculate.
Most western men have early orgasms for months when they begin to learn Tantra. They have been conditioned to “come” and have the mistaken notion that this is the objective of all sexual activity, whether alone or with a partner. It takes time for them to learn that (a) this isn’t true and (b) other experiences can be even more enjoyable than ejaculatory orgasm.
So if your partner feels he “has to come,” don’t worry too much about it.
To finish this Tantric massage, sit next to him and place your left hand on his heart and your right hand on your heart. He should place his left hand over yours on your heart and his right hand over yours on his heart. Hold this for two to three minutes and experience this connection. After you’ve done this a few times, your hearts will probably beat together.
He should lie still then for a few minutes, then sit up slowly, then stand up slowly. You can finish this tantric massage with a hug, by lying down and falling asleep together, by making love, or by having a great meal– any activity that extends the closeness.
Thanks to my teachers: Jia Khechari, Hanna Katz-Jelfs, Martin Jelfs, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
©2008 RKSilipo. All rights reserved.