DO: Vary your massage strokes. "A little repetition is alright, but you certainly don't want it to get boring," says Goddette. "You're not trying to lull your partner to sleep." Instead, she advises mixing strokes to see what your partner truly enjoys. "When you find a stroke that gets a particularly good response from your partner, you may want to repeat that one, or come back to it often."
DON'T: Treat your partner like a punching bag. Percussion is an important part of any massage, but beware of the dreaded "karate chop" that can ensue; too much pressure can cause a lot of pain. To soften the blow, lay one hand flat on your partner’s back, then strike your fist upon the flat hand to absorb the initial shock.
DO: Focus on tension areas. Women tend to experience tension more in their neck and shoulders; men in their lower backs.
DON'T: Apply pressure to the spine or back below the ribs. Your kidneys are unprotected and don't need to take a beating.
DO: Have plenty of towels handy. We mentioned oil, and the more the better; just beware that it can get messy (another reason to stay off the bed, folks!).
DON'T: Insist upon a massage in return. Clapping your hands together and saying, "Me next!" is bad massage etiquette. Instead, Goddetter recommends "thinking of a sensual massage as a slow tease. You want the pleasure and anticipation to build." What happens next is totally up to you.