When Denis Merkas, founder of “Melt: Massage for Couples,” asked us to review his online video series, we admit we were a bit trepidatious: images of sensitive ponytail men came to mind, the sound of cheesy tantric sitars filled our imaginations, and we thought we could suddenly smell a hint of patchouli in the air.
But it turns out, we had nothing to worry about!
CouplesMassageCourses.com offers an informative, beautifully shot, sophisticated series of easy-to-follow instructional videos that can inspire couples to touch each other a little more deliberately and thoughtfully to make their lives together better (seriously, just watching the 2-minute promo below made us both want to be better partners). In each video, massage therapist Merkas — who has 13 years experience and has been perfecting these techniques for mass audiences since 2006 — tells you clearly what to do and why. His assistant in the videos is his own wife Emma — but before you start to worry the two are some HBO-ish “Real Sex,” hippy-dippy, swinging couple, rest assured, they’re adorable. And within the first minute of the quick intro video (see below), they make it clear their clothes are staying on: they provide the perfect back-rub techniques, then you can take it from there.
Here’s what we really liked about “Melt”:
- Style: The website is beautifully designed. The videos are tastefully shot. Even their interstitial graphics are cool.
- Charm: As host and instructor, Merkas seems like a genuinely nice guy who takes his job — and his wife’s pleasure — very seriously. But not too seriously. There’s a fine line between sophisticated seriousness and cheesy earnestness, and Merkas never crosses over to the dark side, even when he uses terms like “mushy mushy yum yum.” His cute Australian accent certainly doesn’t hurt!
- Humor: We are automatically big fans of anyone who uses a Mr. Miyagi “wax on, wax off” reference when talking about massage do’s and don’ts.
- Ease: Rather than one long daunting video that’s too intimidating to begin, Merkas breaks up the instruction into short, easy-to-process vids that are meticulously organized so you can ease into things, jump around, and review any specific technique you like at your own pace. Every technique is broken down and explained well with cute, easy-to-remember terms like “Train Tracks” and “The Cat Walk.”
- Insider tips: No need for a massage table or other fancy props, just some useful tricks to make a sensual massage even better (for example, who knew the best place for a couples massage is not on the bed?!).
- Choreographed routines: Included in the package are three massage “routines” — one 5 minutes, one 15 minutes, and one 30 minutes — that you can follow along with after you’ve mastered the various individual moves. Best part: Merkas offers each routine with or without commentary (hey, blindfold your partner and use the vids as a sort of silent cheat sheet!).
- Effectiveness: Just ask Lo’s husband, who’s been in a zombie-like state of total bliss since she used him as her guinea pig.
Unlimited lifetime access to these back rub massage routines and instructional videos is $99. That’s just as expensive, if not less expensive, than a date night out. So turn down the overheads, light some candles, and plan a great date night in with “Melt: Massage for Couples.”