Happy Valentine's Day from Spa Rosalia!Wash your hands. The fingers carry the scents of everything they have touched throughout the day. When your hands come close to your partner’s face, unwelcome smells can take them out of their relaxed state. Furthermore, I recommend against chopping garlic or smoking cigarettes without using rubber gloves for a few hours before the massage session.

  1. Setting is key.  Dim the lights, light some candles, play soft music in the background, and lay a thick mattress topper on the floor. A bed may require too much maneuvering for you and will affect the massage’s flow.
  2. Warm your hands.  Avoid the cold hand jolt when your fingers make initial contact with your partner’s body. Coconut oil is available at most grocery stores and makes for an excellent massage lubricant.
  3. Focus on your partner. If your goal is a sexual one, put it aside for now. Massage is unique in that it allows the receiver to forget about the needs of others, and to concentrate on their own. This ability to disconnect and to focus on touch is what allows people to relax so deeply. Although it is easy to get turned on by touching the person you love, it’s important to mentally block yourself from that mindset while giving the massage. If you can remove the end goal of sex from your mind, your partner will truly appreciate the selfless gift you are giving them (instead of feeling like the experience comes with a pay off for you).
  4. Think of the body parts as parts of a whole. There is a natural tendency to zero in on certain body parts, rather than to consider them as parts of an area. If you want to massage the feet, cross over into the ankles and lower calves as well. If you’re focusing on the bicep, don’t forget to massage the elbows, shoulders, and pectoral muscles. If you’re on the lower back, pay attention to the shoulders, hips, and gluteal region too. Your massage should flow nicely, so that your partner can feel fulfillment once it is over.
  5. Don’t neglect the side areas. For example, while massaging the back, be sure to include the sides of the lower back and the ribcage. Or, while massaging the legs, include the sides of the calves and the inner thighs. Your partner will appreciate this attention to detail.
  6. Do use heavy pressure. Your partner may prefer you use intense pressure on them, and it may feel almost unnatural to you. Use your other body parts to give them the pressure they crave. If they are lying face down and you are standing, face away from them, place the heels of your feet into the arches of their feet, and rock back and forth. Or, if you are lighter than the receiver, you can even use your knees to distribute your weight on your receiver’s hamstrings. You can also use your elbows on the tops of their shoulders, and along their backs. Try also walking alongside their body with one foot on their leg, and the other on the floor, alternating pressure.
  7. Maintain constant contact with your partner’s body. Keep one hand on your partner at all times. If you need to apply more lotion, adjust clothing, or grab a towel, you’ll have to do it like a one armed bandit.
  8. Slow down. You may feel that you are rubbing at the right pace, but odds are, you are making the strokes too fast. Cut your natural speed in half to ensure your partner’s deep relaxation.
  9. Remain consistent. Even if you have to count “1-2-3” in your head, keep the number of strokes as consistent as possible for each body part. For example, while massaging the arm, it may be helpful to plan 3 strokes up the arm. Next divide the arm mentally into separate areas. Perhaps do 5 compressions on each of these areas: the bicep, tricep, deltoid, forearm front, forearm back, and both sides of the hands. Then, signal completion of the area with another 3 strokes along the arm, from the tips of the fingers, all across the shoulder joint, then to the chest or neck area.

Check out these videos for ideas on how to massage the feet and face, and for some cool stretches you can do for your partner as part of the massage.