Massage is easy when you know how. I can show you how to amp up your back rubs in no time to make them longer, sexier and more relaxing… so you and your partner can get closer.

Let’s start with my top 10 Do’s and Don’ts for couples massage:

1. Don’t squirt oil directly onto your partner’s body

Squirting cold oil onto warm skin looks sexy in the movies, but feels like absolute rubbish in real life.

Always pour your oil into one hand first – around the size of a quarter will do it – and then rub your palms together to warm the oil up, before applying it to your partner’s body. Much, much sexier.

2. Do slow it down

I’m here to tell you, much like sex… there are no points for finishing first!

So many beginners tend to rush through their massage [like a spin cycle of a washing machine!].

Get your sweetie in the mood with gentle, easy-going strokes. Be chill.

Slowing down will also help you gain your partner’s trust right from the start, which equals deeper relaxation for everybody involved.

3. Don’t use your thumbs!

Aha, that one got you, didn’t it?!

Using thumbs is the quickest way to tire out your hands, so avoid using them at ALL… until the very end of the massage.

Start with an open hand technique with relaxation strokes and save your thumbs as your secret weapon – after a good ten minutes of this open-handed technique, only then you can bust out your thumbs in short bursts (I’m talking 30 seconds only at a time) on specific knots and tense bits to really make your partner melt.

4. Do ask for feedback

“Is that deep enough?”

Any good massage therapist will ask their client for feedback throughout a massage, and you should do the same.

Try things like…

“Is that deep enough?”
“How does this spot feel?”
“Where are you tight?”

Also listen out for moans and groans, oohs and aahs and the all-important “Oh baby, don’t stop!” while you massage; these signify that whatever you’re doing, you’re doing it right – so keep doing it!

5. Don’t massage without being prepared

Nothing kills the massage vibe like abandoning ship halfway through to dim lights, adjust the thermostat or grab a towel.

Have everything you need organized and close by before you begin. And turn your phone off!

6. Do contour your hands to your partner’s body

The more surface area you can touch, the better your massage will feel for your partner. When massaging, keep your fingertips and palms down and relaxed. If your hands are stiff or tense they won’t contour properly and your massage won’t feel natural.

7. Don’t underestimate the power of the ambiance

Your massage strokes account for only part of this experience. The ambiance you create in the room will make or break your massage. Seriously.

Tidy up your space so there’s no mess and clutter. No one in the history of the world has ever been able to relax while staring at a pile of laundry.

Then go the extra mile to make it all romantic-like by catering to all the different senses – light candles, play soft music, serve wine and chocolate… (you get the idea!)

8. Do give encouraging feedback when you’re being massaged

Positive reinforcement is the key.

Remember, your partner is new at this and any small motivation they have to to massage you will disappear in an instant if you’re going to be critical of their performance.

Positive reinforcement is the key. Be vocal. Tell them which parts you love about the massage and how great it feels – remember to throw out some oohs and maybe a few ahhs.

If something hurts or doesn’t feel right, tell them gently.

Trust me, you’ll be on the receiving end of many more massages with this approach!

9. Don’t go in deep at the start!

Too many couples make the mistake of getting right in there with a firm massage from the very beginning.

Unless your partner has just come off the football field and needs a vigorous leg rub – STAT! – there is no excuse for going too deep too fast.

Any good massage practitioner will start off gently every single time. This gives the muscles a chance to warm up first, to become pliable and to relax. Then, once you’ve got your partner to a nice, chilled out state you can begin to go in deep – always towards the end of the massage.

**This video talks about the 80/20 principle – a guide on relaxation vs deep tissue work.

10. Do massage on the floor

I know. You thought the bed was the most logical place to massage each other.

But I don’t like the bed for massage at all. The soft and uneven surface of the mattress is going to hurt your back, and your partner’s neck. The best position is for you to kneel on the floor with your partner sitting cross-legged between your knees – I call this The Melt Set Up.

You must have plenty of cushions bolstered under your butt to help keep your weight off your knees. In this position, you have great access to your partner’s neck, shoulders, arms and upper back… and it’s actually far more intimate than having your sweetie at arm’s length from you.

To find out more about The Melt Set Up, try my FREE introductory massage course, Fix Your Massage Mistakes. In it, I teach you how to set yourself up for a great back rub at home, we correct the 4 most common mistakes I see couples making and I share two great massage techniques you can try at home instantly.

Learn how to give the best back rubs!

We deep dive into massage techniques, break down what makes a great back rub and show you step by step what to do to be amazing at massage! After 12 years teaching over 30,000 couples in more than 50 countries we know a thing or two that’ll take your back rubs to the next level…

No matter if you’ve been rocking back rubs with each other for years now – or you’re a complete beginner, I promise this course will give you years of “ooh’s” and “ahh’s” while your partner massages you into total bliss!


Could your back rubs do with an upgrade? Maybe you feel like your massages are boring, you’re not sure if you’re doing it right, or you don’t know what to do next. Or maybe your hands just flat out hurt after a few minutes.

Never fear, massage isn’t rocket science. It’s easy when you know how and where to rub.

Here are six simple hacks from a professional (that’s me) who wants to help you get your hands to their A-game… Why? Because massage feels so good and I believe every relationship deserves a little massage in it!

1. Romance your partner’s body

Simple, easy and makes you look like a pro… FAST!

For serious brownie points without hurting your hands, spend time doing what I call romancing your partner’s body!

This is easy to do with a simple contouring technique – it feels fantastic, your partner will love you for it and it’s the best cost-benefit way to clock up brownie points in your massage!

Here’s a video explaining how to go about doing it:

**Skip to 1:29 if you want to miss the reason why my hands are cut up and broken

2. Use your own body to discover knots

Wondering exactly where the tense spots are hiding? Well guess what… you already know! On healthy bodies, we pretty much all have knots and tension in the same places.

Right now, can you think of two areas on your body you love massaged?

I’ll bet money that you’re thinking shoulders…

So go there after you’ve romanced your partner’s body first!

This is such a simple hack when you’re thinking your massages are boring, or you’re not sure where to massage next… just ask yourself “Where do I hurt?”

3. Warm hands solve almost every issue

Sounds obvious right? But it’s often overlooked!

It seems like a small thing, but warming your hands up makes a massive difference to the experience. Cold hands on warm skin is a major turn off!

I had a professional practitioner lay freezing hands on me during a job interview once (yes, you have to test their massage out before they get the job!) – I didn’t hire her, that’s far too sloppy a mistake to make.

Warming your hands is an easy fix that starts your massage off right. Warm them by rubbing your palms vigorously together, or run them under a hot tap for a bit, dry them off and then get oiling!

4. Get your sexy game face on

You know how John Mayer has guitar face? You need sexy massage face!

I’m not even kidding – the more you get into it, the better it feels. It doesn’t matter if you look ridiculous, no one is watching.

Sexy massage face is closely related to stank face?!

Here’s a classic example of mine, a moment in time caught on film forever (and yes, I’ve been called out for this before, publicly too! But that’s fine… all I care about is making my partner as relaxed as possible. Her face in this image means more to me than any humiliating comments on social media).

This also goes for your body language – shake that butt! Any movement from your hips and shoulders translates to your hands, and makes your massage flow.

5. Use the music to introduce rhythm and flow

Rhythm and flow is one of the next level tricks that takes a massage from amateur to professional.

Most couples I see would say it’s deep tissue that makes or breaks the massage… this is not true!

Deep tissue means nothing without rhythm and flow. Introduce a little into your back rubs by massaging in time to the music. Pick something you both already groove to.

6. Follow a routine to guarantee awesomeness

This is the thing that improved my massage quickest when I first started.

Work out in advance what your routine will be. It takes the pressure off thinking about what to do next.

Take a few minutes to write a little sequential massage routine out (or you can follow mine – I’ve got 5 minute, 15 minute and a 30 minute back rub routine in the Melt Video Series – click here), having a cheat sheet like this next to you will make your hands feel pro!

When starting out, following a routine is the best way to guarantee an exceptional massage… when you know your routine inside out – to the point that you’re bored with it, then you’re at an exceptional level. Then it’s time to start improvising and making up routines on the fly – the way professional massage therapists do it.

Learn how to give the best back rubs!

We deep dive into massage techniques, break down what makes a great back rub and show you step by step what to do to be amazing at massage! After 12 years teaching over 30,000 couples in more than 50 countries we know a thing or two that’ll take your back rubs to the next level…

No matter if you’ve been rocking back rubs with each other for years now – or you’re a complete beginner, I promise this course will give you years of “ooh’s” and “ahh’s” while your partner massages you into total bliss!


There’s something inherently sexy about massage between couples.

My husband Denis and I have been massaging each other for ten years now – giving a romantic massage is something we do as a treat for the other, or when we feel like our marriage needs some extra loving.

It works so well for us that we’ve created this entire company around teaching other couples how to massage each other. Because we believe every relationship deserves a little bit of massage.

I’m not a trained massage therapist, but Denis is. He is accustomed to getting professional massages from highly trained practitioners – but I’ll let you in on a little secret: Even though I’m an amateur, he still loves the massages he gets from me.

That’s because I have an advantage over the experts.


As his lover, I can bring romance and intimacy to the massage in a big way. The massages I give my husband are unlike the ones anyone else gives him.


Denis taught me everything I know when it comes to massage, and over the past decade I’ve made sure I get plenty of practice honing my skills. Massage is beautifully simple when you know where to rub and how to do it. And scientifically speaking, it does amazing things for your relationship.

Here are five reasons you should consider massaging your sweetie tonight:

1. Giving your partner a massage is one of the most romantic things you will ever do

If your relationship is begging for some romance, a massage is the perfect remedy. Candles, dim lighting, soft music, massage oil, exposed flesh, bodies close together… Offering your partner a back rub is a giving, selfless act that will make them melt with gratitude and seriously ups the romantic ante in your love life.

The way we set up our massages at home makes them even more sexy than you can imagine – instead of lying down on the bed or at arm’s length on a massage table, we use what we call The Melt Set Up (Den’s invention), which gets you much closer to your partner during your massage.

The Melt Set Up is massage done seated, and it was inspired by that scene in Ghost where Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore are getting hot and heavy with the pottery. It’s seriously sexy, and we recommend it for every couple who wants a romantic massage experience.

2. Massage radically builds your trust

Trust is a crucial part of any romantic relationship, and one of those things you can never have too much of. Trust requires ongoing work, and one of the best ways to achieve it is through massage and gentle touch, which has been proven to supercharge the trusting bond between couples.

Every massage has that one point where your partner’s body simply gives in. If you’re tuned in enough, you’ll notice it happen as if you’ve flicked a light switch. That moment where they fall into deep relaxation and melt under the rhythmical motion of your hands is the moment you’ve gained their complete trust.

It’s a powerful moment to share. Becoming putty in your partner’s hands and likewise, having them surrender to you in the same unquestioning way, is a beautiful, comforting experience that has far-reaching benefits through your entire relationship.

3. Massage creates effortless intimacy

The massage you get from your partner and the massage you get from a professional massage therapist should be two very different things. As lovers, you can take full advantage of the intimacy a massage can create between two people.

Intimacy is about being emotionally close to another person, and – despite popular belief – it is not an automatic occurrence in a relationship.

Intimacy needs to be carefully and continuously cultivated between romantic partners. Intimacy is about being vulnerable and still feeling safe. It’s formed in private moments, through shared experiences.

One of the most important ways to nurture this intimate connection is to spend time alone together as a couple, concentrating on each other. This could be in any number of ways, though massage is an extremely effective way to achieve it.

When you massage, you are focusing your absolute attention (right down to your hands) on each other in a private space, alone together. Intimacy begets intimacy – try it and watch your connection to your partner skyrocket.

4. Giving a massage inspires positivity and goodwill

While you’re massaging your partner, there’s no time (or inclination) to discuss day-to-day routines like children, work problems or the mortgage and there’s no opportunity for distractions such as the phone, checking emails or thinking about the chores you have to do.

When you begin massaging, it feels so good that you don’t want to leave and enter the real world again.

When you’re in that space, it’s soft, and romantic, it’s calm and peaceful. Your energy is aligned with your partner’s – you are attuned to one another. This energetic connection and gratitude for each other doesn’t dissipate right away; it flows through the rest your interactions inspiring positivity in your day.

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More than 25,000 couples have learned to massage using our beautiful video tutorials. Click here to sign up for Melt now – backed by our 60 Day Moneyback Guarantee.

Hey hey, I’m Denis Merkas and this is another “Melt” couples massage tip… #12! This tip is a good one, are you ready? I’ve been teaching couples how to massage for a decade now. 10,000+ couples have attended my live courses, downloaded my videos and read my ebooks too… applying massage oil correctly is something that I see couples get wrong, and often too.

Hey, I’ve even seen professional massage practitioners struggle with this, they rush through the strokes likes its a race, and hands move around like they’re the spin cycle of a washing machine.

Without structure your massage will feel amateurish at best.

I want your hands to feel refined and purposeful. I want your hands to be confident… I want your partner to anticipate themselves melting the second your back rub begins.


First Impressions Count…


First impressions really do count. The better your back rub is at the very beginning, the quicker your partner will turn to putty and melt in your hands. Sound good? Let me show you how its done properly.

Win them over in the first 30 seconds and I promise you the rest of your back rub will unfold to be an experience they’ll brag about to their friends.

Let’s start with what not to do. Here’s a few ways people are screwing up their massage oil application. Don’t do these things! Watch the video and I’ll explain it all, or read the wrap-up below for the summary.

Things to know before you learn how to apply massage oil

 What you definitely should do

  • Begin with warm hands… it’s a no brainer, right? There’s nothing quite like being touched with warm hands. And at any rate, it’s better than cold ones!
  • Mold your hands to your partner’s body. This is an important one: keep your palms down and fingertips down and think about exploring your partner’s curves, follow the shape of their body. This alone is the single most important take away you should take from this article. It’s an instant game changer. I have another video that demonstrates how to do this perfectly – check it out below.
  • Be confident. Be present.
  • Follow a routine – when I graduated from Massage School (a spring chicken of only 21 years old – so long ago that my cell phone could only make phone calls, and you could only text with people on the same network!) I followed the same massage routine my teacher and I mapped out on paper, until I was comfortable enough to create and style my own techniques. This is the same advice I give when presenting at Massage Schools – follow a routine until your hands become confident. If you want routine, sign up to the free 5-day mini course below and I’ll show you step-by-step how to apply massage oil the right way.

What you should absolutely not do

  • Don’t drip oil onto their body from above – cold oil on warm skin feels terrible and is amateurish.
  • Don’t heat up the oil bottle in a microwave! That’s a trip to the hospital waiting to happen, and yes it’s a true story a couple told me about it during a workshop.
  • Don’t rush the massage, no one likes being massaged like they’re in the spin cycle of a washing machine.

Lots More Tips – right here…

We’re experts in teaching couples how to give amazing back rubs! Over 10,000 couples taught. Want to learn more? Click here to get our favourite tips for free:

I want to learn more couples massage tips

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‘Just massage? You just teach massage?’

Yes, that’s what Den and I do.

I know, it seems improbable that two people can make a living off teaching massage to couples, but that’s our full time work now. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

But we don’t think of it as ‘just massage’ (as a lot of people like to call it).

For us, it actually stretches much farther than that. It means so much more.

Denis and I have worked with couples, in all different capacities, for most of our collective careers now.

Before Melt, we conducted live massage seminars every month as a side business for eight years.

We created a website full of date ideas and relationship advice for couples. I had a national relationships and dating column in a newspaper for three years. We have both written and researched pages and pages of content on the subjects of love and relationships over the years.

Being a couple ourselves (for a decade now!), and knowing the sheer intensity of what goes into sustaining a happy, healthy relationship, we have long been drawn to the idea of helping couples do this.

Den and I are not high-level academics. We don’t have PhDs in psychology and we aren’t science-based research experts.

So, we use the talents we have not to help create groundbreaking studies or counsel marriages back from the brink of divorce, but to help decipher some of the better information out there and – here’s the part that is really important to us – use that research to come up with some practical, helpful tools couples could actually put to use in their everyday lives, to help them take advantage of and put into practice relationship findings from some of the greatest minds in the field of love.

Take $30 Date Night, our date ideas website. It was originally based on research from Arthur P. Aron of the University of Stonybrook in New York.

Aron found that novelty plays an important part in satisfaction levels of couples, and he recommended a regular date night doing new things each time to keep the flames alive.

We thought that sounded like a great idea, so we rallied. We came up with a huge collection of hundreds of date ideas – easy, fun, novel, cheap dates that couples could access when they wanted a boost for their relationship. Practical stuff. Useful stuff.

It worked for us, so we wanted to share it. We put it on the Internet. And we were rapt when we saw it working for other people too.

$30 Date Night provided a small, practical but not to be underestimated solution for an everyday relationship issue – How to get closer. How to stay connected. How to make time for one another in a busy world.

We look at Melt much in the same way, an extension of the same work.

There are scores of studies about the benefits of cuddling for couples, of non-sexual touch and it’s importance in relationships, of how massage between couples can boost trust and intimacy, of how gentle touch with no direct eye contact can help open channels of communication and of how some of the happiest, most long-lasting couples make back rubs a part of their regular routine.

Not to mention the proven health benefits of massage that have been long known in the medical and wellness community.

So it’s not “just massage” that we offer couples. We believe it runs way deeper than that. Massage offers a path to deeper intimacy, stronger trust and a more satisfying relationship.

Being able to massage your partner is a kind, generous act that speaks to every Love Language and shows how much you care.

Den and I see our chance at being able to offer that to couples as one of our most important projects to date. Backed by research. And it’s making a difference – a real difference – to people’s lives all over the globe, one couple at a time.

And that’s way more than “just a massage”.

More massages and how to get them. That’s the $64,000 dollar question we hear from couples all the time.

Actually, it’s usually more of a jovial demand between partners than a question. In our live seminars, on our social media pages, and standing in front of us in the flesh there are couples begging each other for massages:

“He never massages me at all.”
“She doesn’t last more than three minutes.”
“It’s your turn…”
“No, it’s your turn…”

Just look at the social media comments on this recent article we wrote for MindBodyGreen – everyone is having a great time ribbing each other about massages, which is all good fun, but it’s also very close to the truth: We all want to get the massages, not give them!


The funny thing is, there’s a couple of ways I know of that will get you more massages – and more satisfying massages at that – and none of them involve nagging your partner for a back rub, which seems to be the favorite approach among couples everywhere.

Besides, massages are so much nicer when your partner actually wants to do them for you, rather than harrumphing their way through a quick shoulder rub while keeping one eye on the clock so as not to go a minute more than they think you deserve.

Over the past decade running this business and spending countless hours massaging my husband (and getting plenty back in return) we’ve got the art of wangling a massage down pat. And I’m going to share it with you now. People don’t talk about this often – treat this information like gold.

1. Your Partner Needs to Learn to Massage Properly, So Their Hands Don’t Hurt

It’s very convenient that this is my first point, given I run a business that teaches couples how to massage each other… but it’s the absolute truth (and the reason our business is so successful, I might add, is because it works).

Think about it. People hate to do things that:
a) Hurt;
b) They aren’t good at;
c) They don’t know how to do

The good news is, massage is easy when you know where to put your hands and what to do with them.

When your partner learns to massage, you’re going to need to learn too, of course. It doesn’t take long to do. With just a few simple tips you can learn how to stop your hands hurting and last more than five minutes giving a massage.

The best way to go about this is to tell them you want to learn some massage skills together. Start by letting them be the massage guinea pig while you try out some massage tips, then swap over and let them massage you too. Learn together and make it fun.

Here are some of our best free massage tips to start you off. Have a play around and see what you can do:

“The Melt Set Up” Will Change the Way You Give Back Rubs Forever
The Most Important Massage Tip I’ll Ever Teach You
We Experimented with a Blindfold and This is What We Found

Give us a little bit of your time and a web connection and you can both learn in the comfort of your own home – by the end of Melt: Massage for Couples, your partner will be able to treat you to a 30-minute massage without a sore hand in sight… and they’ll be able to hit all the right places that will make you hum with delight.

Hot tip: make it a special couples massage gift voucher as a present, then they’ll have to use it!

2. Get Massaging Yourself

I know, it sounds like a total cop out for me to tell you to massage them more.

It’s like at the end of the Wizard of Oz when the Great Oz tells Dorothy & Co. that they had the capability within themselves the entire time and you’re like… all that for nothing?

But really.

If you want more massages from your partner, the first thing you need to do is adopt a spirit of generosity and selflessly give your partner a thorough massage. It’s the Law of Reciprocity – do something nice for someone, and they will find themselves with a deep-seated urge to reciprocate in kind back to you.

Keep in mind, you will have picked up a couple of massage tips already so giving them a little rub will be easy. Take what you know and bestow a massage upon your unsuspecting sweetheart tonight. Or save it for when you know they’ve had a long day or a hard workout session… they’ll love you even more for it then.

Here’s the kicker: at the end of your massage do not ask for one in return. Do not. If they offer, smile sweetly and plant a kiss on their cheek, and tell them you just want them to relax tonight, they can owe you one for another time.

They will glow. And that tiny seed of big-heartedness will blossom through your entire relationship, and return threefold later.

Give, give, give. I can’t emphasize this point enough!

3. Positive Reinforcement

When you are lucky enough to have your massage returned to you, heap lashings of praise on your partner’s efforts.

Become your partner’s biggest cheerleader and they will feel great about what they’re doing for you.

There’s nothing worse than massaging someone (professionally or on a personal level) who sits quietly as though they have been struck dumb.

Imagine making love to someone who didn’t make a sound through the entire experience… how would you know they were having a good time?

Every single time your partner massages you, give them encouragement by moaning, groaning and complimenting them throughout. Every time! Tell them when they’ve hit the right spot, tell them when the stroke they’re trying out is amazing, tell them how fantastic they’re making you feel!

Your partner wants to do nice things for you, because they love you. Trust me, hey will be stoked to discover you love their massages so much.

And don’t forget to thank them profusely afterward.

Once you’ve worked the positive reinforcement magic, they’ll automatically start to think of giving you a rub when they want to do something nice for you. It’s an easy, free way to show someone you love them, after all. Help them realise that.

4. Use Your Trump Cards

Think of these as bonus massages throughout the year. Use any special occasion excuse to ask for a massage. I do it all the time on my birthday – as a lovely treat for the day, I tell my massage therapist husband, I’d just love a full body massage on the massage table.

How can he refuse the birthday girl? He can’t.

I have also been known to guilt foot rubs out of him when I’m feeling sick and head massages when he knows I’ve had a stressful day. In sickness and in health, right?

Appeal to your partner’s best nature and they will simply have to comply for you on any special occasion or out-of-the-ordinary circumstance. Just be sure to give it back as freely when it’s their turn.

And remember – lots of praise and sincere thanks will set you up for future massages too. You’re welcome.

Lots More Tips – right here…

We’re experts in teaching couples how to give amazing back rubs! Over 10,000 couples taught. Want to learn more? Click here to get our favourite tips for free:

I want to learn more couples massage tips

Sign up free. No spam. We will never share your address. Just good massage tips and exclusive content.