Exploring pleasurable touch: the guided hand massage

The self-hand massage demonstrates and differentiates the experiences of giving and of receiving pleasurable touch. It helps sensitize one’s hands to feel what one’s own touch feels like in either giving or receiving pleasure with a partner.

Start by getting into a comfortable position without anything in your hands or lap. For a moment, close your eyes and raise your hands chest-level before you and give yourself a silent message of appreciation for you.

We are going to have one hand give the other a massage. Let your left hand be the receiver and the right hand be the giver of this massage.

Using the fingertips of the right hand, gently stroke the top of your left hand from the wrist down to fingers. Then use the back of your finger tips to stroke across the palm and out to the finger tips.

Next, gently massage each finger surrounding it with your finger tips and stroking to the end. Then experiment with various strokes, gentle pressures, holds, squeezes, further up your arm and so forth.

Keep your attention on your left hand, staying aware of the opportunity of pleasure from receiving touch.

Continue for about two minutes.

Now repeat, but this time put your attention into your right hand which continues to be the giver of the massage.

Notice the portions of your skin on the right hand that actually applies the massage. Be aware of how that that feels there.

Stroke down the back of the left hand, up the palm, each finger, and continue exploring to experience how this giving of pleasurable touch feels. Notice the muscles in your shoulder, arm, and hand that smoothly coordinate to apply this touch…notice the sensuality and fluidity of their movement. Stay aware of the opportunity of pleasure from giving touch.

Continue this massage, keeping your attention in the giving right hand for about two minutes.

Now practice this experience having your hands trade places. Let the left hand massage the right hand. For about 30 seconds, put your attention into the right hand which is receiving.

Now put your attention into the left hand which is giving the massage for about another 30 seconds.

Finally, let your hands embrace one another in a gesture of thanks and appreciation for the pleasure of this experience.

After this exercise, it can be helpful to journal or share with another person your answers to these sentence stems.

~ Lori Heyman Gordon

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