There’s one particular thing we do at Melt: Massage for Couples that is very different to what every other couples massage therapist in the world will teach you.

I call it The Melt Set Up and it has been a crucial part of the way I teach massage for the better part of a decade.

If you follow my advice when you’re massaging your partner, I can promise you your massage will last longer and – most importantly – you won’t injure or strain yourself while giving these back rubs.

The One Massage Mistake Everyone Makes (Probably You, Too)

People are usually surprised when they walk into my live massage workshops and see that there are no massage tables. Most couples expect to learn the same way I teach professional massage therapists – on a massage table, lying face down… this is not the best way for couples.

In the decade I’ve been teaching couples how to massage I’ve only met a handful that own a massage table. Laying your partner out on the kitchen bench doesn’t work, and massaging on the bed is even worse! That’ll hurt the both of you.

You know, we taught thousands of couples before we were ready to film our massage routines. I wanted to make sure that we got it right; I wanted it to be perfect. Every massage video on YouTube will teach you to massage your partner facedown – but not me. I started by looking at the best way to position yourself with your partner first, and then built the massage techniques around that. It’s so much better and we call it “the Melt Set Up”


If you’re massaging each other face down and on the bed – you need to stop right away. Here’s why:


1. You’re Going to Hurt Your Own Back
The bed is a soft surface, no matter how you try and do this, the two of you on the bed at the same time is going to cause you both pain. Giving a massage when on the bed is hard work – your weight is constantly shifting around while your body does it’s best to keep you upright. It’s an ergonomic nightmare, plain and simple, it’s horrible. Stop massaging on the bed.

2. The Good Bits of Your Partner’s Body are Blocked Off
Let’s try something different… Put your device down and follow along for 20 seconds. Put both your hand on your neck, with all your fingers either side of your spine (there should be a 2 inch gap between your fingers) now with a circular motion massage your own neck, vary the pressure till it feels good – trust me, this will feel awesome.

Now, turn your head completely to the left and keep massaging… terrible, huh. This is the same position your partners head is going to be in when they’re laying front down + all the fun bits are gone too. Forget about neck massage and giving a great head massage. And the floor is totally cock-blocking you from massaging their chest. Basically anything that’s intimate and fun is lost.

3. It’s Just Not Romantic
The bedroom is a romantic place, for sure – but when it comes to massage, pfft. The Melt Set Up should be your go to move. Act like a massage therapist and you’re always going to be at arm’s length distance from your partner. There’s no intimacy in that at all.

Your job isn’t to be a massage therapist. It’s to give your partner a massage unlike any other massage therapist can do. Something that’s sweet, loving and intimate too. The Melt Set Up gets you up close and personal.

I’ve tried it all. Experimented and tested different ways of setting things up and The Melt Set Up is the perfect combination of intimacy, practicality and ergonomics. The only other things that came close were variations of the Melt Set Up.


I’ve been massaging for a while now and have quite the collection of massage tables at home, more than one practitioner needs. When I want to give my wife Emma, a massage – the table stays put. I’d much rather use The Melt Set Up for that.


So What Is The Melt Set Up?

The Melt Set Up will change the way you massage forever. It’s deeply romantic, incredibly intimate and, in fact, believe me when I tell you it will make your massage instantly feel better for your partner – even if you’re an absolute beginner!

The inspiration for The Melt Set Up came from the movie Ghost – you know the scene where Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore are getting all hot and heavy with the pottery? That is exactly what we’re going for here.

Denis Merkas' Melt Set Up - The Most Romantic Way to Massage Your Partner

Denis Merkas’ Melt Set Up – The Most Romantic Way to Massage Your Partner

Sit your partner on the floor in front of you, cross-legged. You’re going to take a sturdy cushion or a small beanbag or footstool and kneel behind your partner, propping yourself up under your butt as you do so.

The cushion/footstool acts as support to take strain off your knees. Couch cushions are also great, or if you’re going to take pillows off your bed be sure and take them all – over the course of a 20 minute massage, they’ll compress down so you’ll need more than you think you do. Melt now makes our own footstools for sale via

Click here to find out more about our purpose-designed foot stools, along with three other home brew options that won’t cost you a cent.

Okay, so from this position we notice a few things right away:

1. You’re Very Close to Your Partner
Your torso/their back. Your mouth/their neck. Your hands/their body. It’s all in very close proximity. Much closer than your traditional massage table, where massager and massagee are placed at arm’s length. Here, you almost have full body contact. You can wrap yourself right around your partner if you like, and they’ll love it!

2. You Have Full Access to Important Massage Bits
In this position, you have unrestricted access to their shoulders, neck, head, arms, entire back and upper chest – all excellent places that are begging to be massaged.

3. You Are Comfortable
Your back is straight and not hunched, your partner doesn’t have their neck crooked off to one side, no one is falling into the other – The Melt Set Up is comfortable, and should remain so for at least the next 30 minutes, provided you’ve given yourself enough support under the butt.

It’s about a bajillion times easier to massage your partner using The Melt Set Up than it is putting them on the bed. Just give it a go tonight in front of the TV and see the difference.

Here’s what other couples have to say about using The Melt Set Up for their massages:

“Before watching these videos, my husband and I always attempted back rubs on the bed, and they were never quite right”

“I was hooked from one of the first videos when Denis talks about why he structures his massages from the sitting position instead of lying on the bed.
Before watching these videos, my husband and I always attempted back rubs on the bed, and they were never quite right, for exactly all the reasons Denis stated, I just didn’t know it then.”

“I always thought massages should be done on the bed”

“I always thought massages should be done on the bed, but glad that the reasoning for sitting was thoroughly explained. I love the beanbag idea; it works like a charm and makes giving massages seem nearly effortless.”

“My wife loves the occasional massage, and I’ve been pretty poor about offering. A big part of that has been due to hand fatigue”

“My wife loves the occasional massage, and I’ve been pretty poor about offering. A big part of that has been due to hand fatigue and (I now know) physical setup. The videos have been great. They very clearly offer advice on setup (the pouffe is so much better than just sitting on my knees) and the technique – I have much less hand fatigue.”

There’s no denying it, being blindfolded is a seriously sexy experience.

That’s because when you compromise one of your five senses, all the others heighten to compensate. Your ears prick, your taste buds sharpen and your skin quickens to the touch.

For this very reason, incorporating a blindfold into your romantic massage routine is something we wholeheartedly recommend at Melt.

Your partner may be a little tentative or shy at first, but if you can reassure them that you’ll take care of everything for them once they give up some control then using a blindfold can also become a gorgeous exercise in building trust for you both.

We’ve experimented with blindfolds since our early days of massaging each other. If you are forced to close your eyes and relax, it’s amazing how much more you can get out of your massage.

Your brain will focus that much more intently on every caress, every touch, every breath across your neck… your skin will tingle deliciously under your partner’s hands and – regardless of their level of massage expertise – we can guarantee it will feel amazing. It’s actually a great little hack for beginner massagers.

Over the course of our little blindfold trial, we found a few things that worked and a few things that didn’t. Here are our top tips for incorporating a blindfold into your next couples massage, for maximum effect:

1. Find the right blindfold

We love a silky satin sash. Thin scarves in soft fabric work too, or eye masks from your last airplane trip. If you want to go all out as a sexy gift, find something special, such as this gorgeous handcrafted leather and silk chiffon one with lace detail from Porte a Vie.



2. Use the element of surprise

One of our favourite moves is the surprise massage. Distract your partner by doing something utterly lovely for them first; for instance, try running a bubble bath for them to soak in.

While your sweetie is relaxing in their bathroom sanctuary (preferably complete with candles, soft music, wine, and a good book), run around and set up your massage space. You can use our romantic massage checklist to make sure you have everything you need on hand.

Go to collect them from the bathroom with your blindfold in hand. Let them dry off, then explain you have a little surprise for them and slip the fabric over their eyes.

3. Gain their trust and don’t break it

Once you’ve got your partner, take them carefully to the massage room. Don’t let them bump into walls, or trip over things and do not under any circumstances leave them alone with the blindfold on! Be gentle, talk them through what you’re doing and stay very close to them at all times. They’ll likely be giggling and nervous, your job is to make them relaxed.

By all means, start with some food and wine – feed them strawberries and chocolate, treat them to sips of wine, all while blindfolded. It’s a beautiful, sensual way to start your teasing seduction.

4. Stop while you’re ahead

Begin your massage with your partner blindfolded. They’ll love it, and should become very relaxed right off the bat. Once you feel like they’re really enjoying themselves (the clues are in the body language – if they’re slumped back into you, docile and jelly-like, you’re on the right track!) then you can slide the blindfold off and let them see the romantic massage space you’ve created. If you indeed followed our checklist, they should find themselves in a candlelit haven of pillows, towels and dim lights. And they will be all the more blown away for it.

The blindfold is a great starter gimmick to enhance your massage, but you don’t need to let it go on too long, there’s a lot to be said for changing things up halfway through and letting them drink in the rest of the experience with their eyes too.