I am writing to thank you for publishing The Art of Sensual Massage. I just spent a night with my friend reading through the ’70’s version of the book and I thought it was absolutely beautiful. I appreciate the photographs too…real people experiencing unrestricted bliss and heart opening through giving and receiving massage. The photo with the cat is great! I imagined the woman in the photograph saying, “Let’s get one with the kitty” during the shoot.
Though I wasn’t alive for that period of time, I think it is a read that can take people back from this cold, superficial world that we have transformed into. I was really sad about some of the negative review you received on the book and I don’t think these people truly are in a place to be giving that kind of massage that your book describes. Maybe one day when they receive touch from a place of non-judgement and pure love, they will understand.
I am a massage therapist by profession and massage schools desperately need to teach this intimate approach to massage versus the sterile treatment that it had become. Now that I have discovered the book, I will do my best to spread the word and help people regain that physical openness and bliss.
Thank you once again Namaste and Jah bless! -D.
Gordon Inkeles response:
When I wrote The Art of Sensual Massage I had people like you in mind. The book became a vehicle for one of life’s most beautiful experiences. The massage in those pages certainly changed my life and I wanted to pass the experience on to others. But you know that. You’ve been there and felt it. You may not have been present for the photos, but Buck the cat told you his secret! I know exactly what you mean when you point out the impersonal approach to the body that passes for “professionalism” in massage schools. Some things never seem to change.
The Art of Sensual Massage has enabled me to relax, appreciate & yes, worship the two most important bodies in my world: mine; & my lover’s. By applying your suggestions, affection & tenderness now rule where before shyness & indifference were the most we could find.
M. Van Nuys, CA
Dear Mr. Inkeles,
I have bought copies of your books The Art of Sensual Massage and Super Massage, and I have found them to be fascinating. I am very interested in the healing arts as a profession, and I am currently music major at Penn State. Our choir gives back rubs in a line as part of our warm-up, and I was thinking of ways that the techniques you put forth in your books could be used in such a set up. Any hints or ideas that you could advise me of would be much appreciated.
Thank you very much,
K.K. State College, PA
Gordon Inkeles response:
Dear Ms. K,
Many thanks for your kind letter regarding my massage books. I’m pleased to hear that you enjoyed the books and are putting the techniques to good use.
You asked about warm up massage for your fellow choir members. I’d stick to the simple percussion techniques for the back and shoulders described in Super Massage. A few strokes repeated many times will almost always produce the dramatic effects people expect from massage.
If you decide to go into professional massage you might want to choose a school that meets the specific licensing requirements of your area. One licensed, many practitioners decide to specialize, focusing on athletics, pregnancy, sex therapy, stress control, on-site business massage etc. You will notice that certain massage schools, in an unnecessary attempt to dignify the profession, make the subject far more complicated than it needs to be. If you’re forced to choose, a school that goes beyond massage you may want to consider a detailed course in anatomy, which is useful and always fascinating. I would avoid any school that endorses pressure point theories or painful treatments.
Good luck, Ms. K. Don’t hesitate to write if I can be of further assistance.
I have long thought of becoming a professional masseur, but have never known where to go for a good training.
Would you be so kind as to send me as much information as possible on getting the training I need and the cost for this; also the time needed. I look forward to your reply.
C. B. Binghamton, N.Y.
Gordon Inkeles response:
It’s encouraging to hear that you’ve decided to take up massage professionally. In almost every area of modern life there seems to be a need for serious people in this field.
Licensing requirements vary almost from county to county and one should probably choose a school with that in mind. A 100 hour course that culminates in some sort of state approved exam is quite enough to learn the entire body to the professional level. Nevertheless, you may find that some massage schools insist on making a simple skill more complicated (and expensive) by adding endless seminars on extremely esoteric “healing” theories.
Good luck with your new career.
Sincerely, Gordon Inkeles
Dear Mr. Inkeles,
Thank you for producing Sensual Massage for Couples. We have benefited a great deal from your book, and we hope there will be many rewarding reprints and new editions of it for you.
If you and your publishers would accept the cost and the effort, the book would be a great deal more effective [and much more effective to “raw” beneficiaries] if every illustration were numbered and if the text would refer to these numberings. All the same, thanks for a wonderful book!
H.B. Berkely, CA.
Gordon Inkeles response:
Dear Mrs. B,
Thanks for taking the time to write and tell me how much you enjoyed Sensual Massage for Couples. I hope it brings you many more hours of pleasure.
Right now I’m finishing up a new book which will be out next fall. I’ll certainly be mindful of your comments during the design process when we get to the integration of text and photos.
I hope this letter reaches you and I pray it finds you in the best of health.
I just finished reading your book The Art of Sensual Massage. I really enjoyed it and it surely opened up my insight as to my and other human bodies.
I am writing for a favor, Gordon. I’m an inmate in the Va. prison and I’m very much in love with life and the part massage is now playing in it. I’m hoping you could possibly send me some books, reading material, just anything that may help me.
Hopefully, I’ll make parole soon, then I can really get involved with beautiful people.
Please excuse this letter but I always feel close to anyone who’s into life-such as yourself. So I’m being myself!
With much love,
M. H. VA.
Dear Mr. Inkeles,
I have just finished reading your book The Art of Sensual Massage for the third time. I’ve also been most successful using the same methods, which you described. I would like to thank you for your outstanding gift to the literary world.
The book was written in plain English making it easy for any reader to understand. The photographs were truly beautiful and were done in the very best of taste.
Knowing how much work must have gone into your book I would merely like to thank you for a job very well done. Since I work in a very large nursing home as food service supervisor, I work in close contact with our nursing and therapy staffs. They both agree that your methods are certainly medically founded. They also have voiced their opinions that they believe that several of the massage methods mentioned ought to be tried on our patients. Because of our patient age, I doubt that their reactions will be sensual in any shape form or matter but I’m sure that they will enjoy their massages anyway.
Please keep up the urgently needed work in this field. I would certainly welcome any additional volumes in this field if you feel the urge to undertake additional works of this nature in the future.
May you always enjoy good health, find the time to enjoy nature, and openly express your love for life with others.
L.P. Johnson City, N.Y.
I have just read Sensual Massage for Couples and I think it is a great book. Your instruction is excellent, the diagrams are clear and easy to read, and the photographs are very helpful.
It is the photographs that I want to mention. Your pictures always have men massaging women or women massaging men. Furthermore, the people are always very slim and attractive. What is implied, intentionally or not, is that massage always has to be done that way, i.e. men can only massage women, women can only massage men, and either partner should be slim and attractive.
Now I realize you don’t feel that way and the implication wasn’t intentional, but that is the message that come across.
I have been massaging ever since I was an Athletic trainer in high school (I may also mention that two of the teams I massaged, women’s basketball and men’s swimming, were state champions). It took me a long time before I could massage a man who wasn’t on the training table at school. Our homophobic sex-stressed culture is barely tolerable as it is now and it certainly doesn’t need any more reinforcement from and source.
So, if you write another book (please do), you may want to consider mixing up the photos a bit, i.e. men massaging men, women massaging women, and perhaps a selection on the special problems of massaging obese partners.
I have a little experience with obese partners, so if I can be any help, please get in touch.
R.D. Austin, Tx.
My dear friend Gordon,
I have just finished reading your book The Art of Sensual Massage, and have used the techniques with my wife. It brought a new and exciting awareness to our relationship. I thank you for the revelation.
A friend from years back, and I are going to get together, and I’m sure that we’ll find something new too. She’s excited about it, just after taking to me.
Again, I want to thank you for this new form of communication.
D.V. Arlington, Tx.
P.S. Charles Paisley said it right.
I would like to take a minute to express my appreciation for your teaching of massage by way of books. I have several of your titles, and have learned much from reading and actual practice. My wife is in the advanced stage of cancer, and I have been able to be of much comfort to her by the practice of massage. Almost nightly, I have her back massage, feet & legs, or both. Massage techniques have been a great mercy to her, in this time of need. Your work has made this possible.
Thanks so much,
C.S. Campbellsville, KY.
I’d like to thank you and every member of the group that helped put The Art of Sensual Massage into my life.
I am 18 and in love for the first time. The first time my boyfriend and I were ever alone he massaged my neck and I loved it. He told me how much he would like to have his own neck massaged. I discussed his wish with one of my close friends and she suggested your book.
A summer of work is almost gone, and I finally have your book. It has made exciting reading for my lonely nights without D. but he has a nice surprise for the next time we have any time alone and together.
I hope that this book will travel through generation and be consulted by those like me. You have lifted a burden from my mind (I never thought I could be good at it) and made it a pleasure to my soul.
In deepest gratitude,
We are definitely on the same wave lengths. You brought up most of my pet peeves, especially the unnecessary mystification and inclusion of discomfort to dispel any notions that massage might be a pleasurable human interaction. I recall getting assaulted in a massage studio in Bangkok with an 8 foot high sole standing outside on the sidewalk. The practitioner was poking the bottom of my foot with what seemed to be a sharpened pencil and assuring me it was connected directly to my heart and gall bladder. I was perplexed that my anatomy professors at Harvard forgot those connections. We evolved with intense innervation of the soles, so we wouldn’t injure ourselves stepping on aardvark bones in the cave in the middle of the night, and foot massage can be wonderful, but that was assault. I got up and left while I could still walk. Being trained in anatomy and physiology makes me particularly sensitive to fanciful nonexistent neurological connections – not that a scientifically inaccurate theory or mental construct can’t be useful as a guide or mnemonic in carrying out a structured massage.
Another peeve is someone asking me if I would like a “happy ending” to my massage. My reply would have to be, “If the massage is going to include an orgasm, I would prefer a “happy middle”, since the groin is somewhere in the center of the body”. I don’t want to be shuttled to the side with a tissue like a squeezed orange rind. After orgasm, I am totally relaxed and ready for continued massage.
Your Bill of Rights should be posted widely in massage studios far and wide.
Dear Mr. Inkeles
Recently I have been taking some massage courses in San Francisco and Oakland. I have found your book and have been enjoying reading it to supplement exercises in class. After 28 years it remains a beautiful and useful book. I don’t know if you have updated it since my copy is from 1972.
Are you still doing massage? I am a doctor and try to make sure I touch any patient I see.
B. San Francisco
Thanks so much for the response to my email. This is the first day of the Muslim Eid, the holiday after Ramadan. Things are very slow.
Yes, I do try to spread the word about massage every chance I get. I have been helping a young lady from Ethiopia, and will be giving one of your books to a Malaysian nurse who is very interested. Of course, she works for 12 hours straight and a massage is most welcome by her. She wants to study because she works with very sick children (cancer) and wants to ease their suffering any way possible.
Working in Saudi has a lot of disadvantages, I have friends on three of the compounds that have been bombed here, but I keep my head down. The great advantage, however, is being part of an international group of friends, and learning that while we speak different languages and have different cultures and traditions, we are all basically the same, with the same wants and needs. I cherish this, and wish more Americans had the chance to really learn about the world.
Again, thanks for being there. I’m sure that there are a lot of people who are so much better off because of you. Maybe we can keep in touch.
K. Saudi Arabia
Having been interested in massage for a while now I endeavoured to buy your great “The art of sensual massage” and was impressed by its simplicity and elegance. This tempted me to buy a couple other books by you.
Being fascinated in the beauty of the human anatomy, and study of the various systems, and I feel I’d like to become a masseuse and learn the dance and sensuality of touching the human body. I’ am tempted to join a massage course but it costs around £1500, or $2400 – the beginners, anatomy and physiology, and practitioner courses)
Maybe I could just practice with people by learning from the techniques you describe? I just wondered how you learnt about massage? Any advice would be gratefully received.
Gordon Inkeles response:
Many thanks for your kind comments on The Art of Sensual Massage.
Massage schools have a tendency to make a simple subject as complex–and expensive–as possible. I think of massage as a minor skill, like learning to use a knife and fork. Get it right and the results are satisfying indeed, but one can overstudy the material. I’ve had people write to me after completing an expensive and time consuming course only to say that they got more from one of my books than the whole course.
If you want to practice massage professionally, a school that can confer the necessary license will probably be necessary. Keep to the “basic” levels and avoid psychobabble at every turn. A course on anatomy would be far more useful than, say, a bunch of nonsense about “pressure points” and “meridians.”
My new book Sensual Massage Made Simple is a further attempt to demystify the subject. A straw in the wind, perhaps, but I’d like to think the massage schools have room for the simple route to pleasure and relaxation.
Good luck with all this. You’ve chosen a promising path.