How To Give Your Partner A Massage Like A Professional

Ad failed to load

Massages are amazing. They're a great way to de-stress, workout the kinks in your body, and just decompress. Although massages with a professional masseuse have many benefits and feel fantastic, because they're educated to know exactly how to work and untangle your body and even your mind, can you imagine if your partner could do that, too? It would be even better.

"Massage is a great way to build intimacy and trust in a relationship as well as build a stronger bond," Massage Therapist and Educator, Wellness Guide, Geraldine Abergas, tells Bustle. "It has shown to increase levels of oxytocin, which is also known as the hormone of love. Touch also signifies: you are safe, I am here, you are not alone. Also know that touching and being touched have the same benefits and so the giver is also receiving the same benefits! Touch is a way to communicate more honestly as our words can often be influenced or limited, but with touch, the intention is clear."

Because building intimacy is paramount and getting that oxytocin flowing even more so, it might be time to learn how to give your partner a professional-grade message.

Ad failed to load

1Choose The Location

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

While the bed may seem like the most obvious spot for a massage, if your partner is bent over their desk, stressing out, coming up behind them to get a massage started isn't exactly a bad idea. But if you're able to make it there, the bedroom is preferred, says Abergas.

2Set The Mood

Well, of course, no matter what location you end up choosing, you want to set the mood. Giving your partner a massage under fluorescent lights with the TV on in the background really isn't going to set an atmosphere conducive to relaxing. Also, as Abergas mentions below, temperature is key.

"Lighting, music, scent, temperature. Worst-case scenario would be a brightly lit room, that smells like the chain-smoking neighbor's apartment on a cold winter day as the sounds of the construction zone outside permeates the walls," says Abergas. "You could see how this would not lead to any sort of relaxation. You want it to be dim lighting, imagine a romantic candlelight dinner, soft music playing, maybe even your partner's favorite chill album, light a scented candle — think more lavender -scented than cinnamon pumpkin pie. And make sure the room is comfortably warm — warm enough to have the least amount of clothing and still be uber relaxed."

3Pick The Right Massage Oil — And Be Picky About It


Now comes the oil or lotion. "Pick the right massage oil or lotion. Put some thought into this!" says Abergas. "Don't just grab the plain body lotion that doesn't have any glide and is super emollient that it feels like you're greasing a turkey. And you don't want anything super slippery either that there's not enough skin on skin contact. Think more like coconut oil, unscented please, unless the smell of macaroons are your thing."

Abergas says that the oil should be heated. No one wants chilly oil dumped on their back. Sure, it will warm up fast against your body, but that initial contact won't feel so good. "Microwave some water in a bowl, and keep the oil/lotion bottle sitting in the bowl of warm water and cover with a towel to keep the warmth," says Abergas.

Lavender really is going to be your best bet if you take the scented oil route. "Scent is the most direct way to elicit a response in the limbic brain or amygdala to be more specific," says Abergas, "which is responsible for arousal." If you're hoping this is just the beginning of an evening of some proper sexual exploration, then lavender it is.

Ad failed to load

4Start With Their Back And Move Downward

If you've had enough massages in your life, then you already know that you're going to have your partner lay on their stomach first, while you start with their back. Next, you want to put a pillow under their chest for comfort and ask them to turn their head periodically, to prevent pain or discomfort in the neck.

"Take some oil/lotion from the warm water and just take a little bit, less than a tablespoonful and rub between your hands, not only to be able to make sure the oil/lotion is warm and homogenous but so that your hand is also pleasant to feel," Abergas says. "Standing next to the bed, start by placing your hands on their shoulder to signify the beginning. Then continue to spread the oil throughout the back, down along the muscles of the spine, with no pressure on the spine itself... When you get to the base of the spine, separate your hands and move along the waist as if you're going to grab the waist. But you're not. You're not going 0-60 here. Setting the tone, rhythm, translating comfort, security, connection, and relaxation."

5Be Confident

Ashley Batz/Bustle

Even if you've never given a massage before in your life, it's important to stay confident and relax. "First touch signals A LOT," says Abergas. "So be confident, mean it, and enjoy what you're doing. They can feel your intention! Find your rhythm and breathe. If you are tense, they feel it too."

6Use You Whole Hand, Not Just Your Fingers

"Pressure must be whole handed, using the palm of your hand as the most pressurized, fingers not loose and also connected to the skin," says Abergas. "And as you are along the waist, bring the hands together again and move up the spine and move hands apart again, and move up along the spine, alternating hand motions until you're back up the shoulders."

Unless you're one of those rock climbers who uses their fingers to scale boulders, definitely listen to Abergas on this one.

Ad failed to load

7Accept That You're Not A Professional

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

Although you're giving this professional-grade massage to your partner, don't forget that you're not a professional yourself — and not to stress about that. As Abergas points out, you're not using specific techniques; it's more about "the rhythm of your touch, your breath, along with their breath, that will induce relaxation that will release any knots." Simply, just the touch, in general, is the most important part of this massage.

8Then Have Them Roll Onto Their Back

"Now if you're still at it, or perhaps have taken it elsewhere," says Abergas, "I would ask your partner to get on their back. This will ease any tension in their neck form laying on their stomach.

Now it's time to pay attention to their feet. "Apply more oil/lotion," Abergas says. "Rub between hands, and simultaneously grab both feet, placing your thumb on their inside arch and tops of your hands along the tops of their feet. Firm pressure, stroke, rhythmically and simultaneously. If their ticklish, apply firmer pressure. The softer your touch the more ticklish it is. And now finish off by grabbing one foot at a time with both hands. One hand on either side of the foot, thumbs at the sole, kinda like you would hold a [sandwich]. And move your hands up and down as you squeeze and wring out any tension. Repeat with other foot."

9Center Your Thoughts

Alessandro Biascioli/Fotolia

"To finish, center your thoughts around your partner feeling light," says Abergas, "and while each hand on their feet, take a couple of deep breaths as you too feel light."

As you coming to the end of the massage, it's about feeling that bond between you and your partner, the one you had before the massage, even deeper. Whether your massage ends up being foreplay for more and way to relax your partner into a sleep, it's still an intimate experience that partners should consider giving a try.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

7 Signs Your Partner Is "The One," Even If They Have Commitment Issues

There's nothing better than finding that one person you could actually see yourself spending the rest of your life with. However, realizing that your partner has commitment issues can put a damper on things. It may even have you questioning whether o…
By Kristine Fellizar

Bustle's Editors On Florida + Fergie

Welcome to a new week, Bustle readers! February is already more than halfway through, and the weather feels way more like spring than winter right now — but don't get used to it. There's a lot to recap today, from the latest on the tragic Parkland sh…
By Rachel Simon

Here's Where Your Next Trip Should Be, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

If you've been craving a vacation, now is a good time to take the plunge. According to data collected by travel site Expedia, late winters and early spring are pretty much the best times of the year to go on vacation. Based on average airfare ticket …
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

How This Quadriplegic Beauty Lover Beat Cancer & Became A Professional Makeup Artist

In 2010, one day before she was supposed to start cosmetology school, Steph Aiello was involved in a car crash that left her paralyzed from the waist down with limited ability to move her hands and one of her closest friends dead. She would spend the…
By Sara Tan

7 Common Marriage Rules That Aren't Good For Relationships

When it comes to marriage, everyone loves to give their two cents, and with all the warnings and advice floating around out there, no wonder people find marriage intimidating. Luckily, you don't always have to play by the rules, and there's some bad …
By Carina Wolff

The Infuriating Way Hollywood Movie Sets Are Designed To Make Life Harder For Women

Whitney Cummings is fed up — with the way Hollywood treats women, and in particular, the way the it treats female directors who have children. While the entertainment industry may be working hard to get more women behind the camera, Cummings wants to…
By Casey Cipriani

19 Things Your Parents Told You Were Illegal In The '90s

Kids say — and think — the darnedest things. We have overactive imaginations, adults like to mess with us, and we don't always understand everything we hear. That's why some kids call strawberries "straw babies" — a boo-boo so adorable, you don't eve…
By Megan Grant

Why Uggs Are Never Going Away, Whether You Like Them Or Not

Uggs. The word alone can conjure up memories of teenage years, regrettable outfits, and undeniable comfort. But if, like me, you thought that you've already said goodbye to those fleece-lined tan boots, you can think again. It seems fashion has adopt…
By Lauren Sharkey

I Never Want To Write This Essay Again

I don't know where you were when you heard about Wednesday's high school shooting in Parkland, Florida. I don't know what you were doing, or how you tried to process the news. I do know this: you thought to yourself, not again. And yet, again. Of cou…
By Jenny Hollander

Netflix's New Romantic Movie Will Have You Crying Like It's 'The Fault In Our Stars'

Cancer movies are a heartbreaking staple of Hollywood and have been for decades. It's almost a law of nature: new year, new cancer movie. This year, it's Netflix's Irreplaceable You, a heartbreaking original about a longtime couple who get thrown for…
By Olivia Truffaut-Wong

Here Are All The Terms You Need To Know If You’re Watching Olympic Ski Events Right Now

Every four years the Winter Olympics rolls around to remind me that A) there are so many important Winter Olympic sports, and B) I know virtually nothing any of them. And I know for a fact, I'm not alone, I bet most people don't know what the differe…
By Danielle Colin-Thome

Kate Middleton Made Sales Of This $1 Secret Accessory Spike & She'll Turn You Into A Believer

There's a royal epidemic going on, people. It's one that causes any and everyone to obsess over the royal family's wardrobe and beauty routines, even if it means breaking the bank to look like them. So a frenzy was expected when Kate Middleton report…
By Summer Arlexis

Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu Have Matching Tattoos & The Story Is So Cute

Olympic season gives people the feels. From those shipping Canadian ice dancing pair Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to Shaun White's gold medal win on Tuesday, the feels are real. Now, there's another reason to get all up in your emotions. Adam Rippon a…
By Shea Simmons

A New Study Says Being In A Relationship Could Change Your Taste In Wine — Here's How

I’d be willing to bet that for many of you, a nice bottle of wine is awaiting you in your near future — and if you’re planning on sharing that bottle with a partner, there might be more to your choice than meets the eye: According to recent research,…
By Lucia Peters

Carrie Brownstein On Why Even The Obama Era Should Have Enraged You

An icy January morning soon after Hollywood's show of solidarity for the #MeToo movement at the Golden Globes and almost exactly one year into the Trump Administration feels like a momentous time to be sitting across from Carrie Brownstein. The Sleat…
By Samantha Rollins

Here’s What The Upcoming Year Of The Dog Means For Your Chinese Zodiac Sign

On Feb. 16 the world will celebrate the Chinese New Year, welcoming the Year of the Dog in like the good doggo it is — we hope. A new year means new zodiac predictions for the 365 days ahead. So, what does the Year of the Dog mean for your Chinese zo…
By Brittany Bennett

7 Signs You're Ready To Get Into A Relationship, According To Experts

It can be difficult to tell when you're ready to start dating again. Maybe you're coming off of a bad breakup, maybe you've just been focused on other things. And, ironically, one of the signs that you're ready to be in a relationship is that you're …
By Lea Rose Emery

I Got A Breast Reduction & It Was About So Much More Than The Size Of My Boobs

As a young teenager, I pretty much reached peak physical maturity overnight. One day I was wearing my first training bra a la Lizzie McGuire, and the next I was sweatily fumbling around a Victoria’s Secret with 32DD boobs, trying to summon up the cou…
By Sierra Taylor Horton

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
via Romper

The 15 Best Fiction Books Of February Feature Tons Of Extraordinary Women

When the cold winds of February blow in, there's nothing I want more than to hide under my covers with a good book. Luckily, there's more than a few fantastic new fiction books coming out this month, so the only tough decision you'll have to make is …
By Melissa Ragsdale

17 Moms Reveal The Most Disgusting Part Of Their Pregnancy

Pregnant bodies do weird-ass things. Weird-ass, gross things. I mean, my pregnant body did (twice), and I have long-suspected I'm not alone. So I asked other moms to share the most disgusting part of their pregnancy and I learned that, not only am I …
via Romper