Denis and Emma Merkas are the founding couple of Melt: Massage for Couples. As a massage therapist since 2000, Denis has taught more than 15,000 couples the art of a great back rub:
1. Don’t Heat the oil in a microwave.
I’ve heard stories of people warming up their massage oil in the microwave. *facepalm* Don’t ever be one of these people. This is a clever way to score a trip to the hospital. Hot oil will burn you and your partner. Don’t heat it up.
Warm hands is all you need, the oil will heat up in your hands almost immediately. Some people like to keep the massage oil bottle in hot water. I don’t like this… it’s messy and has the potential of you spilling hot water over yourself, your partner and onto your floor. I’m a big fan of keeping things simple.
I’ll say it again: Warm hands is all you need.
2. Don’t drip oil onto your partner’s body.
This looks sexy in the movies, but in real life, cold oil dripping onto warm skin feels terrible.
During an interview once, a massage therapist who was applying for a job with me was preparing to give me a short massage. I lay on the massage table, I’m super relaxed and really looking forward to a good massage… and she started by pouring cold oil onto my back! I remember it vividly, what a HUGE disappointment. My expectations of a good massage was shattered.
I leaped off the table and pointed to the door.
3. Don’t use your thumbs.
Overusing your thumbs is a rookie mistake. I see it all the time with couples and with new professional massage therapists: they make their thumbs their “go-to move.” This is a bad idea.
Your thumbs should be your A-Game. Keep them as your secret weapon. They can make an appearance early on in your massage routine, but only to give your partner a taste of what will happen later on. Save them till the end, and only bring them out AFTER your partner has started drooling.
Follow this piece of advice and you’ll be giving massages that are still raved about months later!
4. Don’t fix your partner’s physical problems.
Couples massage should be fun, for play and date night, to connect, to laugh and share new experiences — not to take things too seriously. As soon as you take on the role of massage therapist, the dynamic changes. Don’t try to fix your partner’s bodily ailments. Leave this to the professionals – they are worth their weight in gold. The right practitioner has the experience and knowledge to deal with problem areas. You don’t.
Keep your massages fun and focused on creating a relaxing / intimate atmosphere. This is something a massage therapist cannot give your partner. Learn how to make your partner melt and you’ll have a happy and extremely satisfying relationship.
5. Don’t have expectations.
Give back rubs because you want to do something nice for your partner. Expecting anything in return, including a back rub or sex can lead to disappointment. Happiness comes from kindness and generosity, remember that — it’ll serve you well in the future. Anything you receive in return as a result of your back rub is a bonus.
Denis & Emma’s Melt Video Series shows couples how to give each other the best massages, with style, sophistication and — most importantly — love.