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Illustration by Ruth Basagoitia

This is a type of sensual massage — but it isn’t about sex or foreplay.

Yoni massage therapy aims to help you feel more comfortable with your body and gain a better understanding of what feels good to you.

Yoni is the Sanskrit word for vagina, and it translates to “a sacred space.”

A yoni massage approaches the vagina as a revered part of the body, worthy of respect and honor.

It can be done alone or with a partner, with or without taking things to the next level.

Intrigued? Here’s how to get started.

Yoni massage allows you to explore your body in a slow, methodical, and sensual way — without the all-too-common pressure to “perform” for a partner.

The ultimate goal is to feel comfortable in your own skin and more in tune with your body.

You may also find the practice beneficial if you’ve experienced sexual trauma.

For some, the slow and purposeful approach may aid in reconnecting with the body and approaching sensuality from a place of positivity.

Yoni massage can be extremely stimulating. The practice focuses on several sensitive areas, including the breasts and stomach.

Although orgasm is possible, it isn’t the primary goal.

If you do climax, that’s OK. You may even experience multiple orgasms, especially as you develop your tantric practice.

But that doesn’t mean the practice has to be arousing. For many people, the practice is more emotional — rather than sexual — in nature.

To get the most out of it, try to release your expectations.

Focus your energy on what you’re feeling and be open to exploring the different sensations.

This is a spiritual practice, so your mind comes into play as much as your body. You want to make sure both are ready for the experience.

Prepare your mind

If you’ve never tried any tantric practices, you may need to spend more energy on these first stages in the beginning.

It’s important that you go into the practice with an open mind and heart. Leave behind any judgments or preconceived ideas of what you will experience.

Take several minutes to warm-up with breathing exercises.

Inhale and exhale in deep, slow, and audible breaths. Force the air into and out of your belly.

You’ll want to maintain these breathing techniques throughout the practice.

Prepare your space

You can set up your space in your bed, on the floor, or on another piece of furniture that’s comfortable and inviting.

Add pillows and blankets to help provide a soft foundation, and consider turning the lights down or lighting candles to help create ambiance.

Prepare your body

When you’re ready to begin:

  1. Slide a pillow under the back and another under the head.
  2. Bend the knees and place the feet on the ground.
  3. Slowly open the legs to expose the vagina.

Warm up the body with sensual touching:

  1. Massage the abdomen and belly.
  2. Slowly massage the breasts and around the areola. Leave the nipples alone in the first few minutes. Then gently tug or pinch them.
  3. Work your way back toward the vagina, stopping to massage the upper legs and inner thighs.

Yoni massage is unique to each person. If you’re a beginner, these techniques are a good place to start.

Cupping

  1. Wrap your hand in a cup-like shape and hold it over the vagina.
  2. Gently move your hand in a circulate motion.
  3. Slowly begin to flatten your hand against the vaginal opening.
  4. Using the palm of your hand to massage the entire area.

Circling

  1. With the tip of your finger, circle the clitoris in clockwise and counterclockwise motions.
  2. Vary between small, tight circles and larger ones.
  3. Alternate the pressure you use with your finger.

Pushing and pulling

  1. Push down on the clitoris gently, making small pulsing movements.
  2. Then pull the finger down the shaft while keeping pressure on the clitoris.
  3. Repeat on either side of clitoral shaft.

Tugging

  1. Grasp the clitoris gently between the thumb and index finger.
  2. Gently tug the clitoris away from the body, and release.
  3. Tug the vaginal lips away from the body, and release.
  4. Alternate between areas of the vagina with gently tugging.

Rolling

  1. Hold the clitoris between your thumb and index finger.
  2. Slowly and gently rub the clitoris between your fingers like you were trying to snap.

In addition to unique massage techniques, you or you and your partner can try tantric positions to increase bonding and stimulation.

If you’re solo

Solo yoni massage is a wonderful practice. Finding a position that’s comfortable is important to relaxing and preparing for massage.

Lotus

  1. Sit with a straight back and cross your legs.
  2. Rest your hands, palms down, on your knees.
  3. Begin breathing slowly, inhaling and exhaling from your stomach

Hand on heart

  1. Sit with a straight back and legs crossed.
  2. Gently rest your right hand over your heart.
  3. Close your eyes. Begin to feel your heart’s rhythm under your hand. Focus on the energy and emotion of feeling your heart.
  4. Breathe deeply, allowing the connection between your hand and your heart to build.

If you’re with a partner

With a partner, any position can have tantric possibilities. The following are great for beginners or seasoned practitioners.

Lotus

  1. Have your partner sit cross-legged with a straight back.
  2. Gently rest your body on your partner’s upper thighs, wrapping your legs around them.
  3. Cross your ankles behind your partner’s back.
  4. Stare into each other’s eyes and begin breathing. Try to breathe in unison.

Spooning

  1. You and your partner should begin by lying on your left sides on a comfortable surface like a bed or padded floor.
  2. The person receiving the massage should be the “little” spoon.
  3. Line up your heart and stomach.
  4. Breathe deeply, trying to get in unison to build a connection.

As you become more skilled with tantra or yoni massage, you can try new techniques that may be more pleasurable.

Sacred spot (G-Spot) massage

In tantric practices, the G-spot is known as the sacred spot. Massaging it can create intense pleasure.

To do this:

  1. Curve your first finger or two into a subtle C shape.
  2. Gently slide the fingers into the vagina. Use lube for ease and comfort.
  3. When fingers are fully inserted, gently massage the inside of the vagina. Feel for a soft, spongy section that should sit directly behind the clitoris.
  4. When you find it, continue massaging it gently. You can use a “come here” movement to gently curl your finger forward.
  5. Vary your strokes between fast and slow. Use increasing and decreasing amounts of pressure.
  6. For additional sensation, you can use your other hand to massage the clitoris.

Orgasm control (edging)

Edging is the practice of reaching the point of orgasm and backing away to prevent climax. It can lead to increased sensation and greater climax when you do orgasm.

To do this:

  1. When you feel your body reaching climax, slow down. Gently pull away your hand or push your partner’s hand away.
  2. Take a cool-down period. Place your hand over your heart and breathe deeply and slowly.
  3. When you’re ready, continue masturbating or allow your partner to begin massaging you again. Work up to the point of orgasm.
  4. You can edge your orgasm again, or you can climax. The more times you edge, the greater the possible pleasure when you do reach orgasm.

While there’s no official certification for tantric yoni massage, you can still find an expert who can perform this practice in a professional and enlightened way.

Before you book, be sure to ask about the masseuse’s professional background and license to practice.

They should have training in physiotherapy or a certificate in massage therapy. They might also have completed a course in healing and sexual energy or energy techniques.

When you think you’re ready to book, request an informational session with the masseuse.

A professional will happily go over the process and answer any questions you may have. If they aren’t willing to have this session with you, you should resume your search.

If yoni massage or other tantric practices are of interest, seek out professional tantra teachers who can help you learn.

Sofia Sundari and Layla Martin, for example, are two well-regarded instructors.

Martin has also created and founded the Tantric Institute of Integrated Sexuality, which offers different tantra programs for individuals and couples.

You can also look to online resources, such as Embody Tantra to help kick-start your practice.