Tag Archive for: Couples 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…

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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 Amazon.com

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.


It’s no coincidence that most people raise their eyebrows at us when we tell them we teach couples how to massage each other. The mere thought of all that oil, flesh and rubbing… it’s inherently sexy, no?

While Den and I consciously and deliberately make sure our products and our seminars are clean, sophisticated and massage-focused, it’s also hard to ignore the fact that massage is a whole heap of hot when it’s done effectively between two people who are attracted to one another.

We’ve always said we just provide the massage toolkit, what happens later behind closed doors is completely up to you.

But here’s the thing. Learning to give your partner an amazing romantic massage can make you a better lover.

Think I’m joking? I’d never kid about being better in bed. In fact, when we surveyed our live course participants a few years back, 50% of them agreed that learning how to massage had improved their sex lives!(We can only assume that the other half already had it going on when it came to the boudoir!)

Here are five ways the skills you develop when learning how to massage can crossover into your boudoir:

The Art of the Tease

Whether it’s a professional massage between a therapist and patient or a romantic massage between a couple, the concept here is the same: when you’re massaging, you want to take your massagee on a journey.

Much of any massage is made up of repetition. We repeat strokes again and again to lull people into a comfortable, relaxed state. The best part about this repetition? Anticipation, baby.

Consider this: You’re nailing an awesome massage stroke, hitting just the right sore spots in your partner’s shoulders as you go… You hear your partner moan just a little bit when you work on that spot you know is there. Instead of going hammer-and-tong on the sore bit (no pinchy-pinchy, people!), you carefully note where it is and leisurely take your time coming back to it.

You hit that sore spot again – another moan. They like it. You continue the rest of the stroke, then return toward that little spot of gold you know is waiting there.

Right this second, your partner is thinking “… Do you think he’s going to hit that spot again? I think he is… yep, I’m pretty sure he’s going to do – Ohhhhhh wowwwwww (cue drooling).”

Learn the art of the tease in your massage and you’ll have a captivated audience for life. Apply the same art of the tease to your seduction in the bedroom and watch your partner melt happily into a pile of blissed-out goo.

Rhythm and Flow

The best massage therapists add a natural rhythm and flow to their massage routines. These two crucial elements help relax your massagee with gentle rocking, swaying and no unexpected surprises.

When we say flow, we mean each stroke should fluidly merge into the next one, flowing in an unbroken dance over the skin. The best way to do this is to make sure each of your massage techniques can link to the next seamlessly, and to make sure you finish every stroke right to the end.

Don’t bail out halfway through a massage technique to hurriedly jump to the next one – that’s amateur.

When we say rhythm, we mean building up a repetitive and comforting rhythm to add interest. If we think of the rhythm just like music, you don’t have to do your entire massage to a 4/4 beat. You can change the rhythm, add a highlight every few “bars” or so. The easiest way to introduce rhythm to your massage is to work with the music you have on in the background.

And when it comes to lovemaking? Well, I shouldn’t have to tell you that getting a good rhythm and flow between the sheets is infinitely preferable to random thrusting. Learn to use your body in a sensual and rhythmical way to really up the ante with your lover.

Get in Tune with Your Partner

One of the most important parts of learning how to massage is listening for feedback cues to see if you’re doing it right. This is especially crucial when you first start out learning to massage, so that you can keep becoming better.

What you want to look for are both verbal and non-verbal cues from your partner that you’re hitting the right spots. Because you’re usually sitting behind them to massage, you can’t read the facial expressions you usually would.

Soft moans, head dropping back and goosebumps on the skin are all excellent signs you’re headed in the right direction.

On the other hand, hunched shoulders, pulling away and your partner sitting up straight as a pole while you massage should be cues that you’re not quite hitting the mark.

Learning to read your partner’s body like this has many benefits in the bedroom as well, before long you’ll instinctively know exactly what your sweetie is thinking without having to ask.

Ambiance, Ambiance, Ambiance

We’ve tried massaging under fluorescent lights. In cold rooms. On hard floorboards with no rug. With the TV on. None of it is good.

Whether it’s sex or a massage, the principles of a romantic ambiance are exactly the same: flattering lighting, a comfortable temperature, some moody music and maybe even some wine and a fruit plate. It’s all classic seduction and man, is it melt-worthy.

Spend some time perfecting your ambiant mood-setting techniques and you can turn an entire night around with the flick of a light switch. For a massage, for love… for whatever you like.

The Ultimate Pre-Foreplay Foreplay

Foreplay is the perfect way to take any lovemaking session from good to great. It’s fun, you can play and experiment, it stretches out the whole encounter to make it a truly delicious experience. After all, the actual sex part usually lasts an average of 5 minutes (true fact) so anything we can do to draw that out is a Very Good Thing.

Consider massage as your pre-foreplay foreplay. It will help get you in the mood for the foreplay that will get you in the mood for sex. It will extend your seduction by another forty-five minutes, done right.

Use your romantic massage to build anticipation further, to help your partner wind down and relax from a stressful day before you transition to something more, to make sure your sweetie feels loved and appreciated and as a great way to get your hands on them for a little bit longer.

Your massage might not always lead to sex – of course, you need to respect your partner’s feelings on this. But if the lag between the pre-foreplay foreplay and the actual foreplay is a few weeks, the effects won’t wane in between. It will only serve to build more anticipation for your future bedroom frolic.

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Here’s a little secret for you: you don’t have to be great at massage to give your partner an amazing, romantic massage experience.

Your massage should only be part of the equation. The best experiences include music, ambiance and anticipation.

Ideally, by the time you get your hands on your partner, they should already be bowled over by your efforts to connect and make them melt. It’s easy to make this happen…

Here’s some ideas you can do to make your massage experience unlike anything anyone has even created for your partner before:

The Ambiance
Soft music, flickering candles and even some seductive foods make for the perfect setting.

  • Dim the lights
  • Clean and tidy your space
  • Heat the room to comfort level
  • Make use of tea light or votive candles
  • Your partner’s favourite music (chilled / soft recommended, although most genres work)
  • Switch devices off (no distractions)
  • Privacy is highly recommended

The Massage Equipment
It’s important to have everything you need to massage your partner close by. The best massages are ones that flow, from beginning to end, without distractitions. Once your hands touch your partner aim to keep your hands on them until the massage ends. Make your partner the most important person in the world to you at that moment.

  • Towels or a soft blanket for the floor (you don’t want massage oil in your carpet)
  • Hand towel on standby for wiping off oil later
  • Small footstool or sturdy pillows
  • Your favourite massage oil
  • Large towel or sarong to wrap around your partner while massaging them
  • Hair tie for your partner if they have long hair
  • TV, laptop or iPad if you’re streaming the Melt: Massage for Couples video courses

The Romantic Massage Optional Extras
If you want to take your romantic massage night up a notch, here are some decadent additions you can consider for an ultimate seduction.

  • Fruit and cheese platter
  • Bottle of wine
  • Blindfold (cut off one sense, all the others heighten… this will make your massage feel even better!)
  • Scenery (romantic getaway – think hotel or log cabin)

Here’s just one example of setting up an intimate expereince. Book your partner in for a “special date night” ahead of time, and then lets get organised.

On the night, draw your partner a relaxing bath (assuming your place has a bathtub – if not skip this paragraph). Set up the bathroom with candles and music, perhaps hand them a cup of tea or a glass of wine on their way into the bathroom, let them know you’d like them to relax and you’ll be back to get them in a little while.

As they’re soaking in the tub, you’ll set up your massage space using the checklist above. Then, head back to the bathroom with blindfold in hand. Collect your partner and have them leave their towel on, or pop on a robe.

Slip the blindfold around their eyes and carefully lead them to the massage space. Settle them in their spot, hand them a glass of wine while you get yourself set up.

Settle in behind, hands on their shoulders and gently annouce they’re about to receive a massage. Follow-along to one of our curated massage routines. Ideally, you will have already practiced the techniques ahead of time with your partner. This is just taking your practical knowledge from good to amazing, knee-weakening, classic romance.

And watch them Melt in your hands…

Common Things That Ruin A Massage
Watch out for these.

  • Distractions – not being present
  • Interruptions – massage stops often
    • Breaking the flow of the massage is a Melt sin. Frequent stop/starts are a mood killer.
  • Pain / Uncomfortable
    • As soon as one person is uncomfortable or in pain the massage ends
    • This could be due to posture, seated arrangement
    • Poor massage technique
  • Cold room / Messy Room
  • Cold hands
  • Poor preparation
    • Run out of oil
    • Forgetting your wipe off towel
    • Music too loud
  • Attitude / emotions
  • Messy room
  • Harsh lighting
  • Uninspiring music
  • Boring massage – not being present.
  • Poor technique
  • The bed (soft surfaces are difficult to massage on)