Splurging on a massage is awesome. But so is giving one — at home. Here are six pro tips for getting it right:
1. Go slow. "Most couples rush intimacy in their day-to-day lives," says L.A.-based clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist Shannon Chavez. "Setting time aside to give one another a massage can give you both permission to not worry about time and relax into the moment," Chavez says.
2. The giver should have just as much fun as the receiver. "Focus on all the sensations evoked as you touch, caress, and stroke your partner's body," Chavez says.
3. Create a spa environment at home. Beverly Wilshire hotel lead massage therapist Amy Jokinen, who teaches couples how to massage each other, recommends turning down the lights, lighting unscented candles and playing relaxing music.
4. Use an oil or lotion that your partner likes. (Essential oils like relaxing lavender, uplifting citrus or peppermint are popular.) And remember to heat it up a little with the warmth of your hands before applying it to your partner.
5. Check that your partner is comfortable and feels free to provide feedback about what's not working — and what is.
6. Set an intention in your mind as you lay hands on your partner to connect and offer your stability and peace. "Offer it to your partner's heart," Jokinen says.