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The Guy's Guide to Advanced Lovemaking

How whole-body massage enhances sex.

If lovemaking feels most fulfilling when partners love each other, then why do so many loving couples have lousy sex? In part because many men ignore a key element in lovemaking, namely, leisurely, playful, gentle massage of every square inch of the woman’s body—not just the spots men typically enjoy.

Not that women’s breasts, genitals, and butts should be ignored. Far from it. But when men postpone reaching for those places and spend time caressing their lovers all over, women usually become more erotically responsive—and men become better lovers.

Why Whole-Body Massage Enhances Sex

The skin contains two types of touch-sensitive nerves. The more familiar transmit pain, the less familiar, pleasure. Gentle massage excites the pleasure nerves. When they fire, the body releases hormones that foster relaxation and feelings of well-being and attachment, which, in turn, contribute to love, sexual arousal, erotic pleasure, and orgasm.

Extended gentle massage from scalp to toe is critical to most women’s sexual responsiveness. Without it, many women have trouble becoming aroused or can’t get turned on at all, let alone have orgasms. “It takes me at least 30 minutes of sensual caresses all over to feel sufficiently warmed up for genital play,” says longtime New York sex educator Betty Dodson, Ph.D. “Some women take even longer. Unfortunately, many men don’t appreciate this.”

Why Men Resist Massage-Based Sex

Many men feel skeptical of sex based on whole-body massage, in part, because after childhood, they lose touch with gentle touch. Men are more likely to slap each other’s backs than share affectionate caresses as women do.

Men’s massage resistance is also partly the result of pornography. Porn is 95 percent genital with little whole-body massage. Porn is also a leading Internet destination for men, and what they learn from the more 1 billion porn pages is that sex is all about the genitals.

Now porn is fantasy, and fantasy is fine, but back on Earth in real life, great sex begins with at least a half-hour of kissing, cuddling, and whole-body caresses that do not include the genitals, followed by genital play mixed with a heaping continuing helping of whole-body touch until you’re both done.

Finally, there’s the unfortunate term, “foreplay,” which divides sex into the main event, intercourse, and everything else. Many men engage in perfunctory foreplay and then plunge into intercourse long before women feel ready.

Men skeptical of whole-body lovemaking might change their minds after professional massages. Try arranging massages for you and your honey, then make love. I bet you both feel more aroused, responsive, and satisfied.

Not “Foreplay,” Loveplay

Forget “foreplay.” Make every erotic moment “loveplay.” Foreplay implies linear lovemaking, first this, then that, then intercourse or equivalent genital play, and then you’re done.

Loveplay opens a door to greater erotic creativity. You might begin with candlelight and music while cuddling and kissing. Next you might undress while continuing mutual caressing. Then you might shower together, soaping and drying each other. After that, you might repair to bed for more kisses and caressing. Next, you might focus on each other’s genitals a while, after which you might return to kissing and snuggling, your hands roaming all over each other. Then you might return to genital play followed by a sex toy, and on and on…. None of this is “foreplay.” It’s all loveplay.

Many women wish men would learn that sex is best when it involves the whole body. The genitals are certainly important, but so is everything else. The entire body is a sensual playground. Advanced lovemaking excites every square inch.

A Win-Win for Men and Women

Men also benefit from massage-based sex. It helps prevent erection problems and premature ejaculation.

The penis prefers whole-body lovemaking. If fondling is limited to the penis, the little guy may balk, which can wilt erections and contribute to untimely spills. Leisurely whole-body caresses distribute arousal around the entire skin surface. Men become as aroused as ever—or more—but whole-body arousal takes pressure off the penis, which improves men’s sexual function.

In other words, when men make love the way women prefer, everyone wins. Women gain the whole-body lovemaking they need, and men gain more cooperative penises and more responsive lovers.

San Francisco journalist Michael Castleman, M.A., has written about sexuality for 36 years. more...

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