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What Is Sexual Massage?

Medically Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on June 29, 2021

In sexual massage, massage techniques are used in order to arouse or achieve orgasm. It can be part of sexual activity between partners, but it can also be part of sex work, both legal and illegal.

In some practices, sexual massage has a spiritual and even healing component. Both Tantra and ancient Taoism related sexual energy to life force and developed massage techniques meant to promote sexual and spiritual health. Psychotherapists occasionally recommend these practices, both for individuals and people in relationships, in the case of issues that may be psychosexual, such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and anorgasmia. 

Sexual massage between partners can be an enjoyable way to be intimate together. If you’re seeking sexual massage from a professional, it’s important to understand what’s legal in the state or country you’re in before you request service.

Other Names for Sexual Massage

Sexual massage may also be called erotic massage or sensual massage.

A “happy ending massage” is a slang phrase that refers to a traditional full body massage that ends with a sex act designed to cause the client to orgasm. In many places around the world, it’s illegal for massage parlors to offer this service.

In addition, there are several types of sexual massage that have their own names, including:

Tantric Massage

Tantric massage revolves around energy and breath. The goal is to remove blocks and tension within the body that interferes with spiritual and sexual health. Direct genital stimulation may or may not be part of the massage.

Nuru Massage

The word nuru is Japanese for slippery. During a nuru massage, a person covers themselves in massage oil and lies across the naked body of another person and rubs their bodies together, aiming for maximum contact. This type of service can be part of sex work, and may be illegal in many places.

Lingam and Yoni Massage

Lingam (sometimes spelled lingham) and yoni massages are tantric massages that focus on male and female sacred spaces that involve the genitalia. Approaches may differ, but both usually begin with traditional tantric energy work.

A yoni massage then focuses on the female genitals, while the lingam focuses on the penis and prostate.

How to Explore Sexual Massage

If you’re interested in exploring sexual massage at home, many retailers offer massage oils for purchase. There are also websites that offer advice for first-time masseurs.

Depending on the type of massage that interests you, you might be better served by a more formal class. Many massage therapists and sex therapists offer private or group classes. Some of these are couples-focused, but others are not.

Safety Concerns and Special Considerations

If you are interested in a professional sexual massage, make sure that your country and/or state allows for the type of practice you’re looking for. Only attend licensed parlors in order to avoid both legal and health issues.

If you are trying sexual massage with a partner, you should follow the same rules you would when giving any other kind of massage. Don’t do anything that risks pain or injury to your partner. Honest, open communication will help you make sure you and your partner are comfortable with the activity and set any boundaries ahead of time.

WebMD Medical Reference

Sources

SOURCES:

Cosmopolitan: “How to give a lingam massage.”

The Cut: “A Tantric Masseuse on Sexual Healing.”

Dictionary: “Happy ending massage.”

Glamour: “What is a Yoni Massage?”

International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences: “Thai Massage Parlors and Commercial Sex Work: A Phenomenological Study.”

Psychology Today: “Tantric and Taoist Practices to Improve Sex.”

Sexual and Relationship Therapy: “Tantric orgasm: beyond Masters and Johnson.”

Vice: “I Got Massaged by a Woman Rubbing Her Greased Up Naked Body All Over My Naked Body.”

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