Love, Self

7 Expert Tips For Giving A Relaxing, Sensual Massage At Home

Photo: getty
7 Expert Tips For Giving A Relaxing, Sensual Massage At Home

Getting a massage is one of the most relaxing things you can do for yourself. It’s super rewarding for both your body and mind, with proven health benefits for anxiety, stress, and of course, muscle tension.

In our busy lives, it’s not always easy to fit a massage into your schedule, not to mention your budget. But you don’t need a professional massage to feel good and reap the many benefits — you can do it right at home!

Because massages are nothing without close touch, they’re intimate and a great way for you and your partner to spend some time together. “Touch is very powerful and there’s a lot of chemistry that might happen within those little moments of togetherness,” Lara, a massage therapist from Haven Spa in New York City, told us. Whether you’re looking for a new date idea or just need a cheap way to work out the kinks in your back, a DIY couples massage is the perfect solution.

While it’s not exactly the same as getting a professional massage by someone who spent a bunch of time training on how to give a good massage, setting up your own at-home spa is fun and romantic. And let’s be real, massages feel good even if you don’t know what the heck you’re doing.

Time to let you in on a little secret though: giving a sensual massage that feels great is way easier than you think.

Lara gave us some tips on how to create a sensual, at-home spa and give a couples massage that’s out of the world. You’re welcome.

1. Don’t massage someone sitting up.

Lara warns that giving a massage to someone sitting up is a sure way to lose blood circulation to your hands — and dead arms aren’t the least bit sexy. She suggests throwing some blankets down for some added comfort and having him lay on his stomach for the massage. Just don’t hurt him by sitting on the small of his back! Kneel next to him or get yourself in a position behind him that’s comfortable for both of you.

2. Use oil — but not too much.

Massages should feel good, so don’t make the mistake of going all out without massage oil and ending up with friction burns!

Don’t go overboard, either. This isn’t an oil wrestling competition (unless you want it to be). “Use as little oil as possible,” Lara said, and never pour hot oil directly on his back. Instead, warm the oil between your palms and use it to “glide nicely” along his back.

As for the best oil to use for a massage, that’s totally up to personal preference. You can use anything from regular baby oil to lavender or rose, all of which have a comforting scent. But if you want to try something less “boring,” says Lara, Tiger Balm is your best bet. “It has a very strong scent but it’s something you’ll remember for a long time,” Lara said. “Very therapeutic scent.”

Not only does tiger balm smell good, but it comes with some awesome benefits for your body. According to Livestrong, it stimulates blood flow and is used as a remedy for everything from muscles aches and pains to allergies and bug bites.

And no, it’s not made of tiger.

3. Massage softly.

You may be tempted to dig into knots you feel in his back or show off the tremendous finger strength you’ve gained from texting all day, but Lara warns against doing so. “Don’t go to harsh. Don’t try to impress,” she said. Instead, “warm up his back with a long, soft gliding stroke using both hands” about 10 times. “Similar to making bread, you can just knead the muscles, especially the shoulder area.”

Once you’ve loosened up the muscles, you can feel free to easily start using your “knuckles and the bases of your hands to work out some of the tension,” and finish up with long strokes along his back.

4. Don’t forget to massage the feet and hands.

It’s easy to focus on the back during a massage, but don’t forget the other areas of the body that put in just as much work throughout the day. It’s an “extra way to help your partner reach a calm state of being.” Plus, as Lara explained, your feet and hands have “thousands and thousands of nerve endings,” meaning yes — it’ll feel awesome.

For the feet, “start on soles using your thumbs using a little bit of pressure. Give a little bit of attention to the arches,” Lara instructed. From there, you can move on by giving each individual toe a little attention by gently pulling on each one. Keyword: gently. “Don’t try to impress with your strength,” Lara said. “Same idea with the hands.”

If your partner has ticklish feet like me (seriously, I can’t even take my shoes off without squirming), make sure you ask before attempting to massage them. Otherwise, all bets are off and someone’s getting kicked.

5. Give a head massage.

You know that feeling of pure joy your dog gets when you scratch him? I promise after one head scratch you’ll feel the same way.

For a head massage, Lara suggests not using any oil because that will not be fun to try to get out of your hair. Using your thumbs, massage the top of the skull. Then, “with all fingers, massage the side of the head slow.” As with the rest of the body, go easy and do your best not to crush your partner’s head as much as you might want to.

“To give a little bit of chill,” Lara added, “use your nails to scratch the head a little bit.”

6. Never rush.

While the person on the receiving end could probably lay there all day, we don’t blame you for getting a little bored while giving the massage. Even if you aren’t bored, your hands will surely get tired. However, don’t be tempted to rush through it. According to Lara, 20-25 minutes is the perfect amount of time for a massage. “Going too short your body won’t know what’s going on,” she said. “Give a lot of care and love to the person who’s in front of you.”

However, the massage can’t last forever. “Anything more than 30 minutes should be done professionally.”

7. Give your partner the bill.

Okay, so you don’t want to actually bill your partner for your services (or maybe you do, I don’t know your life). However, “billing” your partner is a quirky and unexpected end to the massage. So whether your “bill” is the promise of a massage in return or a home-cooked meal, it’s a cute way to have some fun with your partner.

Micki Spollen is a YourTango editor, writer, and traveler. Follow her on Instagram and keep up with her travels on her website.