How to Give a Vulva and Vaginal Massage

While I am calling this “How to Give a Vulva and Vaginal Massage” please know that this is not the ONLY way to give a vulva/vaginal massage. Experiment and adapt anything you need to for your own preferences. This is simply meant to give you ideas for what can be done, and as a guideline or map, to help you along.

I previously talked about some of the ways I use sex toys to manage my pain, but one of the methods that is great for my pain relief is what I call vulva/vaginal massages. The most important part of vaginal massages is having someone who is very patient, listens, takes direction really well, and won’t sexualize it unless that’s what you both want. You can also give yourself a vaginal massage if you can reach well enough, but my arms and fingers are just too short to properly do it myself. Thankfully I have a partner that meets the criteria above and is more than happy to help. 

The next thing you will need is a good lubricant. I prefer a longer lasting lubricant for this because it’s a long process for me, and water-based lubricant dries up too much. So I suggest a silicone or hybrid lube, or an oil-based lubricant if you already know your microbiome can handle that. If all you have is water-based lubricant then I suggest a spray bottle with just water inside to reactivate your lubricant when needed. Make sure both you, and the person helping you, wash your hands thoroughly before beginning, as clean hands are always a great idea before touching genitals. And finally, make sure you have a decent chunk of time on your hands. These massages take at minimum thirty minutes for me, and usually last over an hour. 

Like I said before, this is not a replacement for medical care, or treatment. It also isn’t a permanent fix to any issue. I have never been diagnosed with vaginismus, or any other vulva or vaginal conditions, but some of the things I discuss here are similar to treatment for those. Despite these similarities, they are not exact and I do not want anyone to think there’s something wrong with them, or they’re failing if they can’t do exactly what I’m describing here. That’s not to say you can’t benefit from a vulva/vaginal massage if you have any of these conditions but you know your body best so please adapt it for your own needed accommodations. 

To begin, find a position that’s comfortable for you, and don’t be afraid to get yourself any accommodation you need. I like to lie on my back, legs spread out and bent upward, with pillows under my knees for support. If you’re having a hard time picturing this, think of the butterfly leg stretch, but take out the feet touching together part. You don’t have to use this position, just find one that works for your body and allows easy access to your vulva and vagina (or your preferred terms). I like to put on some soft music, or a relaxing nature video on YouTube for background noise. I usually keep my socks on, and sometimes my shirt, because I get cold. Your state of dress is entirely a personal preference and I suggest just doing what makes you most comfortable and allows you to actually relax. If you’re too hot, or too cold that’s going to be harder to do. I also always have a blanket nearby, and some water for drinking. The person helping you with the massage should sit between your legs in a way that’s comfortable for them, while still being able to easily access your genitals. 

I’m going to describe how I like to have my massage done, but this can obviously vary based on your body, so this is just to hopefully give you a guideline that you can adapt for your own needs. Being comfortable enough to state what you need is suggested here, as it will give you the most benefits. Don’t be afraid to try out different methods, ask for more or less pressure, and anything else that your body needs. Checking in often from both sides is important, and it’s way more beneficial to ask the person receiving the massage if the pressure/technique is working for them, or for them to instruct on the pressure/technique, than to let the effort be a waste or even painful because something needed to be adjusted.

To begin the massage apply a generous amount of lube to the entire vulva, and the fingers of the massager. Start by rubbing the thighs near the vulva, but not on it, and the mons pubis. Take your time and don’t rush at any stage of this; the longer my partner takes on each step the more relaxed and better I feel for the next one. Massage the labia majora, and down to the buttocks and the perineum. I like for my partner to use his thumbs for this section, one on each side of my body, giving long strokes up and down the labia majora, and then circles on the buttocks and perineum area. Then he moves inward, rubbing between the two sets of labia, and massaging below my vaginal opening. He will rub over the shaft of my clitoris when he reaches the top, but my clit is not the focus here, and it’s largely left alone for this part of the massage. I will ask for more attention on different spots, or more or less pressure, depending on the type of pain I’m having. I like to have my labia minora gently pinched and pulled some, but you do not have to do that if you don’t enjoy it, or if your labia isn’t long enough for that. 

Then he shifts focus to my vaginal entrance, but not actually inside. For me it’s important to not rush this step here, and not put anything inside my vaginal canal too quickly. For this step he alternates between using one or two hands, depending on what works best. He does slow circles around my entrance, stretching the skin and muscles very gently. I will ask for direct pressure on certain spots here, almost always my right side, because my pain knots can be felt right at the surface of my vaginal entrance quite often. He will rub my urethra externally (another important reason for clean hands!), but not everyone will enjoy that so feel free to skip this step. He’ll use his thumb with the tip barely placed inside my vagina to gently stretch it down toward my butt, doing a tiny back-and-forth rocking motion.

When I am finally ready for him to stick a finger inside we will apply more lubricant before we even begin. He usually continues with his thumb at this stage, using gradual pressure to release the knots at the very entrance of my vaginal canal. He says they’re always easy to find because they’re hard spots where he can feel my pulse easily. Once the first inch of my vaginal canal is adequately massaged I’ll ask him to insert both thumbs and slowly stretch me open, side-to-side. When he does this he will slowly move his thumbs up and down the sides of my vaginal entrance, stretching it top to bottom. This really helps my pelvic floor to relax and keeps the bundles of nerves and muscles right there from just locking back up right away. Once the first inch or two of my vaginal canal feels adequately massaged and stretched my partner will use his index finger to start exploring further into my vaginal canal, finding any tight muscles and nerves. Very similar to pelvic floor therapy, when he locates one, he will apply pressure to that area until it releases. After he’s done this to all the spots he can find I will sometimes ask him to insert two fingers to rub in a come-hither motion on sore spots, and to open them in a V-shape for the stretching benefits. 

Now, at this stage, I can either have an orgasm, or I can just stop with the massage. Do not feel pressured to have an orgasm, and if you’re the one giving the massage don’t pressure the receiver into it, either. Receiving a vaginal massage isn’t always a sexual thing for me, even choosing to have an orgasm isn’t always a sexual thing for me. Sometimes I know that the release of the orgasm is going to boost the pain relief even more so that’s the direction I will take. When I choose to have the orgasm my partner will keep one or two fingers inside me and use his thumb on my clit to bring me to orgasm, or I will rub my own clit while he rubs internally.

Now, sometimes the massage is most definitely a sexual thing for both of us, but that’s something we’re both comfortable with. When I just need and want a massage for the pain relief I tell him that beforehand, and he’s always happy to help. However, the vulva/vaginal massage can also make for great sex. The important thing is to talk about expectations and needs going into this. When you’re in pain, and you just need some relief there’s times that sex is the last thing on your mind, and that’s perfectly okay.

If you’re the person who is giving the massage your mindset is really important here. If someone trusts you enough to let you help them with pain management in such a personal, and potentially intimate way, then please don’t betray that. Don’t sexualize it if that’s not what the receiver wants. Don’t put pressure on them to have an orgasm, or to give you something in return. I know that we’re talking about massaging genitals here, and that can be an erotic situation, but for someone who is in pain and needs help with it, it’s not always going to be erotic or sexual for them. 

Also, a vulva/vaginal massage doesn’t have to happen just for pain. I love to receive this style of slowed-down, pampering pleasure when I’m not in pain, too. So even if you’re not someone who deals with pelvic pain, or you don’t know anyone dealing with it, don’t think you can’t try out a vaginal massage. 

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