If you really want to score extra brownie points with your man and recreate the spa experience at home, it's important to set the scene by lighting a few candles, switching on some relaxing music and/or turning on a fountain, advises experienced massage therapist and author of The Alternative Medicine Cabinet, Kathy Gruver, Ph.D.
However, warns Laurie Towers, owner of NY-based high profile sports massage studio Physical Advantage, your music selection should be audible but in no way dictate the dynamic or mood of your rubdown. "Pick a location or room that is either warm enough if the climate is cool, and cool enough if it's warmer,” she adds. This will ensure his ultimate relaxation and absolute comfort, guaranteed.
Get in touch
with his body
The more you know, the more in-demand of a masseuse you'll be, seriously! "Understanding what muscles connect where and how they attach to the joints can be an added bonus to doing massage,” says Gruver. "For athletes and guys with physical jobs especially, this knowledge will enable you to not only relax him but also help him to function better and lessen his pain,” which we're sure he'll love.
Don't use a generic
You likely already have some in your house, so this is probably the most convenient option, but according to Michele Merhib, licensed massage therapist and founder of Elements Therapeutic Massage, the water content is high in hand lotion and there's very little glide, a necessity for a flowing massage. Thus, you might run out of that lotion before completing a full massage stroke! No bueno.
Do use virgin coconut oil
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Virgin coconut oil is great for your skin, has many health benefits and can be found in most grocery stores, notes Terry Winters, certified massage therapist and massage therapy instructor at Everest College in Alhambra, California. "It comes in a jar and stays solid up to about 76 degrees. Because of this, it's easier to handle than oil in liquid form. If you live in an area with a warmer climate, keep the jar in your fridge to prevent melting,” she recommends.
Whatever massage oil you do decide on, remember that men don't want to have the scent of roses continue long after their rubdown is over, says Towers. A light mineral oil base has a very faint hint of aroma and is a fine choice too.
The hairier the guy, the more massage oil you'll need
For particularly hairy dudes, you'll want to apply as much oil as necessary to prevent you from pulling his hairs and to make it easier for you to glide over his skin, points out Towers. "Massage toward the direction of hair growth, not against it. Otherwise, this will quickly become an irritant and you'll soon lose the potency of relaxation in your session.”
Communication is key! "Have an open dialogue about what areas might be sore, what feels good and what doesn't and whether the pressure is too much or not enough so you don't hurt him,” urges Gruver.
Use your body weight to add pressure
It's easy to get worn out fast rubbing down your guy. However, to strengthen your hands and allow you to massage for a longer period of time, Winters suggests leaning into the tissue and compressing it with your hands while applying pressure with your body weight. That way, you won't tire yourself out using only the pressure from the strength of your hands to do a majority of the kneading. You can also try massaging with your elbows, forearms and knuckles to give your hands a break, adds Gruver.
More massage advice
The surprising beauty benefits of massage
How to give your partner a great massage
DIY massage for sore muscles