Perfect for anniversaries, bridal showers or bachelor parties, balms and oils are a less "taboo" form of sexual aide, making them excellent gifts for just about everyone you know.

Massage Oils

Massage oils and lotions do a variety of useful things: they add zest to a dull night, lend a sensual dimension to a boring old back rub, and reduce friction, keeping your body silky, slippery and slick.

To use, pour a small amount in the palm of your hand and rub your hands together before gently applying to your lover's body. Never pour the oil directly on your lover's body - it will feel cold and unpleasant. Rub the lotion or oil into your lover's body, reapplying as necessary. Feel free to rub oil into your lover's back, arms, legs, buttocks, chest and neck, but keep it away from genitals unless the bottle specifically says the lotion is safe for internal use. Even if it is safe, test a small amount on the skin first, ensuring you and your lover won't have an allergic or "burning" reaction to it. Massage oils and lotions are not safe to use with latex unless the bottle specifically says otherwise.

Warming Oils

Warming oils work about the same way massage oils work: pour a small puddle in one hand, rub both hands together to distribute, then apply in a thin layer to the desired area. Gently rub into the skin, applying more as necessary. As you continue to massage, the warming oil will begin to heat up, causing your partner to feel a pleasantly warm sensation. Try blowing on the oil-doused skin, too, for that fabulous icy and hot feel!

While not the best option for full-body massages, warming oils are great for genital massage, or for massaging small, concentrated areas, such as breasts, buttocks, thighs and arms. Some warming oils can't be used with latex products - make sure to read the label before using. Warming oils aren't appropriate for internal use - don't use them for vaginal or anal penetration. However, you can apply them to the surface of your genitals. Be warned: some of the warmth-inducing elements may irritate skin; do a skin patch test before using during sex or your genitals may end up hotter than you intended.

Balms, Dusts and Body Play

These potions and lotions are the most innovative and interesting of the topical sexual enhancers. Spanning a wide range that includes body paint, edible body frosting, honey dust, and nipple cream, body balms are a creative addition to anyone's pleasure chest.

When using any kind of body balm, keep a few common-sense facts in mind. Most sensual unguents contain oil, which means they'll stain just about any fabric they come into contact with. We recommend using an old set of sheets. Also, body play can be very messy. While we don't expect you to throw down a drop cloth, you also don't want to stain your couch, carpeting or towels. Think about how your cream-colored chenille throw blanket will look when smeared with blue body paint, and consider draping the couch with an old towel before getting out the paintbrushes.

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