Tag Archive for: Massage Advice

My name is Denis Merkas, I’m an Australian Massage Therapist and I specialise in teaching couples how to give amazing back rubs.

Here’s 5 things you shouldn’t do when giving your hubby / wife, boyfriend / girlfriend a 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, gave her two words… “Get. Out!”
  3. Don’t use your thumbs

    • A rookie mistake = overusing your thumbs. 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 problems

    • Couples massage should be fun, for play and date night, to connect, to laugh and share new experiences, and not take things too seriously. As soon as you take on the role of therapist the dynamic changes. Don’t try to fix your partner’s ailments, leave this to the professional – 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.


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:

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My name is Denis Merkas, I’m an Australian Massage Therapist and I specialise in teaching couples how to give amazing back rubs.

How good are your back rubs? It’s easy when you know how to use your hands properly. In this post I’m going to show you two of my techniques which you can follow along to… this feels like heaven and you can do it right now! No oil or no massage table needed.

Today’s challenge, let’s see if we can make your partner melt in under 2-minutes! Ready…

BELOW: You’ll find two of my very own massage techniques. I’ll be demonstrating on my wife, Emma – you can follow along, I’ll talk you through it step-by-step. This video comes directly from the Melt Video Series, a complete series of techniques for couples.

Gents, this is stuff that wins you “the husband of the year” awards, remember this it’ll work wonders for your anniversary, for birthdays and Valentine’s Day…

Got 2-minutes?


The goal, a surprise head rub that’s good enough to make the person you love drool, in record time too. Massage is easy when you know the right way to use your hands.

We recommend you watch the video at least once before grabbing your partner and hitting the challenge.



How to sit for this challenge:

There are a few ways to position yourself; essentially you want your partner’s head to be at about chest height / just below. For this challenge, which only takes a few minutes, you can sit on the couch with your partner sitting between your legs in front of you. If that’s uncomfortable, you can stand, while your partner sits on a chair.

Anniversary, Birthday or Valentines

Special occasions like these deserve the full back rub experience, we’re going to need to step it up. You’re going to need more tips!

Love back rubs?
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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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

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

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.

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.


Massage oil. Do you really need it for a good massage? The short answer is: yes, you do.

Oil is what will make your massage exceptional.

With the right consistency oil will help make your hands feel delicious, allowing you to effortlessly contour along your partners muscles helping you find knots and areas of tension using long flowing strokes. Massage oil will make your massage exceptional – the way professional practitioners make it feel so good!

Incorporating massage oil into your back rubs feels amazing for both massagee and massager.

Not to mention, it’s nourishing and conditions your skin. Used correctly it’ll will help foster a deep connection between the two of you.

Here’s everything you need to know before you buy a massage oil.

Oil, Not Lotion.

We use massage oil because lotion absorbs too quickly into the skin. A high grade massage oil, on the other hand, will take longer to sink into your partner’s skin, meaning more hands-on time with them and less mucking around with going back to the bottle.

Lotion is a good option for a small area of the body – for example a hand massage or foot massage are great areas to use a lovely lotion if you have no oil around.

And don’t even think about getting that lube-meets massage oil hybrid that you see on the drugstore shelves. It feels terrible leaving a dry sticky residue on your skin and does nothing for your massage techniques. Ick, ick, ick. Just nope.

Which Massage Oils to Buy

Sweet Almond is Denis’ favourite (the creator of Melt Massage for Couples – read about us). Cold pressed is a must, do not buy if its not cold pressed – this method of extraction retains the nutrients within the oil. Your skin absorbs oil, we want all those nutrients.

Oil is so important to us here at Melt, that Denis has created his own. View Melt’s Naked Oil Here.

We call it our Naked Oil – nothing but 100% Sweet Almond Oil, and ya – it’s cold pressed, no preservatives and no additives.

Denis’ Oil comes with a Free Massage Course – read more about his “Fix Your Massage Mistakes” course here. The beginning of your massage is so important to establish a connection with your partner, it will literally make or break your experience. There’s no need to get it wrong – sign up to his free course to learn how to get it right on your first time.

If You’re Allergic to Nuts

Sweet almond oil shouldn’t irritate the skin, and can be used on all parts of the body. But for some people with nut allergies, it’s recommended to use an alternative.

In this case, we recommend a cold pressed grapeseed oil or apricot oil. This may be a bit harder to find, but again your health food store should have it.

Where to Buy

It’s on Amazon, with over 723 reviews!
Our oil bottle is a MASSIVE 16oz, and it’s cheaper than most 8oz bottle on Amazon

RRP 16oz: $18.95 – sometimes we run a sale:
click here to check if we’re on sale

Included in the price:

  • Bonus 4oz bottle – this is empty. Fill this little guy up and take him with you on your cheeky weekends away. Or at home. Store the big bottle in the fridge for extra shelf life! You’ll need it, 16oz is a lot for couples and will take over a year for you to consume.
  • 3 caps – options. We all need options… A pump, quick access, and no leak travel cap.
  • Fix Your Massage Mistakes Course… This is where all the value is – it’s free. It’s totally important.

Essential Oils

Sweet Almond Oil is a carrier oil. A neutral base to use on any skin, with no added scents or essential oils.

Some companies sell pre-blended massage oils, which are essentially a carrier oil – or a combination of a few carrier oils – with a few drops of essential oil thrown in there. Read the bottle, many of these have preservatives and additives that you don’t want on your body.

Essential oils are wonderful additions to massage oils, each with their own unique properties.

You can make your own scented oil by adding a few drops of any pure essential oil to your bottle of carrier oil. Be careful, pure essential oils are potent and can irritate some skins. The smell can also either attract or repulse you, depending on personal preferences.

Make sure both you and your partner are happy with the smell before you start mixing it or massaging with it. Also patch test some of your finalised blend on your skin to make sure it doesn’t irritate.

Quite honestly, we prefer non-scented oils when we’re massaging each other. Plus, that way there’s no essential oils to get in the way if your massage turns into a little somethin’-somethin’ later on (wink, wink)

Some ideal scents for getting you in a romantic massage mood are: sandalwood (woody, exotic, soothing), rose (the quintessential romance fragrance), vanilla (smells good enough to eat, is an aphrodisiac to boot) or ylang ylang (used a lot due to it’s strong aphrodisiac properties but I personally find it really cloying. Thought I’d include it anyway).

How to Store Massage Oil

Your massage oil will last a long time if stored correctly – store in a cool, dark place away from direct light or heat. Dark or opaque containers are also a great idea for storing massage oils.

You’ll know when your oil has gone off – you can smell it immediately. Fresh base / carrier oil has almost no smell.

If you buy Melt’s 16oz Oils – fill up the baby bottle and store the large 16oz bottle in the fridge for longer shelf life. Top up the baby bottle as needed. Clever huh! The best of both worlds – the convenience of a small bottle with the value of bulk oil.

Buy it on Amazon here

Dry Massage

It’s doable, on small surface areas. Such as specific knots, or a head massage.

You wont be able to do long sweeping strokes that feel amazingly relaxing. It takes a lot of practice to make dry massages work in a pleasing way. Denis will only ever do a dry massage if he’s treating a problem for a very short amount of time. 99.9% of his practice incorporates oil.

Massage through clothes follows the dry massage principle. It’s better than nothing, but it will strip away any intimacy and fun that comes with an oil based massage.

If you were to ask me “Steve, what is the secret to the perfect back rub?” My answer would be:

1. “Actually, my name is Denis.” and

2. “Contour your hands to your partner’s body.”

I’m an Australian massage therapist, and I specialise in teaching couples how to give amazing back rubs.

Over the last decade, I’ve taught over 20,000 couples in more than 50 countries using my methods how to give a great massage at home, so they can last longer than five minutes and not end up with sore hands at the end.

If I could give you only one tip to a better back rub, it would be contouring. This is the #1 technique couples should start with to make their hands feel more professional.

Check the GIF below out…

The MOST important massage tip I’ll ever teach you

Couples Massage Tips

Take a closer look at my hands in this clip – watch how they contour to my wife’s body… notice how relaxed she is… notice how each finger moulds to her curves, palms are down too.

Looks good, huh?

Best of all, this doesn’t hurt my hands, nor do my thumbs want to pop off and run away.

I could literally do this for hours without putting any stress on my hands and it feels simply amazing!

Most couples go in too deep, too early – making their back rubs feel amateurish. Worst of all, as soon as your hands begin to hurt, you give up and your partner has a very unsatisfying massage experience that lasts just a few minutes.

I want you to do it the way professional massage therapists do.

Always warm the muscles up first. I call this “romancing the body.”

The easiest way for you to do this, is… you guessed it! To contour your hands.

Start by moulding your hands to your partner’s body – follow along to how I do it in the GIF above.

Your goal is to see if we can relax our partner, make their shoulders drop and sink back into us. We need to start here before we can move on to teaching you knots and deep tissue work.

The single most important massage tip I’ll ever teach you. Mould your hands to your partner’s body: “Keep your palms down & fingertips down.”

Want to learn how to do this properly?

Join our FREE online mini massage course. I’ll show you:

  • Where to sit for the most intimate back rubs at home
  • The 4 most common mistakes couples make
  • We talk more about contouring
  • AND I take you through two amazing massage techniques (that you don’t even need any massage oil for)

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“We’re coming to your live couples massage course this weekend. We were hoping you could include some tips on lymphatic drainage massage for us?”

Every now and then I receive questions like this from a couple, asking for specialised tuition on how to treat their partner at home.

It’s important that we understand the roles that we play with our partner when massaging. The most important distinction to make is that your partner is not your massage therapist, nor should you be theirs.

Your partner is your lover, your best friend, your husband, your wife, your boyfriend, your girlfriend. They are not there to fix your high level muscular issues.

Registered massage therapists, even at entry-level, spend many, many, many hours over months and years learning their craft.

And massage school isn’t even the important part. What makes a good practitioner is the hours of practice they put in after their schooling is over.

When I finished massage school back in the year 2000, I took every chance to get my hands on everyone I knew. When I wasn’t treating at the clinic, I was giving away free massages to anyone who i could get my hands on. The complicated the presenting condition was, the higher I would jump to get a chance to see if I could rectify the issue.


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My girlfriend (back then), who was also a massage therapist, and I would spend hours every day, month after month working on each other’s muscles, going through the process of clinical assessments, mapping out muscles and perfecting our techniques.

Do you see what I’m trying to say? Massage for me was not a hobby – I took it very seriously. If you want to treat your partner as a massage therapist, you need to do the education first and then most importantly spend the hours practicing, preferably on as many different people as possible to build your experience!

A two-hour workshop with me will never get you to this level. I do not teach people how to become massage therapists. I teach couples how to massage each other.

My goal is to teach couples how to give a massage, within their existing relationship. I teach people to massage the way they would at home for closeness, intimacy and a deeper connection. This is a world away from the way a massage therapist treats you on a massage table. They are two separate concepts.

It works both ways. There is no way I would ever treat a random patient using the system I’ve created in MELT: Massage for Couples – its far too intimate and personal, by design.

My techniques are not designed to teach you to “fix” your partner or treat specific problems; they are created to make your partner fall in love with your hands, to have them say “mmm” and “ahh” and so you can give them an experience unlike any you’ve had before. Most importantly, Melt is for healthy bodies.

When my wife Emma first massaged me using the techniques I had written, I was blown away. In all my years of professional massaging, I’d never had a massage like that before. It wasn’t about the techniques, or having her be perfect at the massage she was giving me… it was about a shared experience, a deeper connection.

Don’t try to be something that you’re not, and don’t expect your partner to suddenly be a massage guru. It will only result in disappointment. If your partner has a specific muscular complaint that you don’t know how to deal with, or a recent injury, or chronic pain, or wants a lymphatic drainage massage, I recommend you book them in to see a reputable, registered massage therapist. This simple act of kindness will be enough to blow your partner away.