There's something inherently sexy about massage between couples.
My husband and I have been massaging each other for ten years now – giving a romantic massage is something we do as a treat for the other, or when we feel like our marriage needs some extra loving.
It works so well for us that we've created an entire business around teaching other couples how to massage each other. Because we believe every relationship deserves a little bit of massage.
I'm not a trained massage therapist, but my husband Denis is. He is accustomed to getting professional massages from highly trained practitioners – but I'll let you in on a little secret: Even though I'm an amateur, he still loves the massages he gets from me.
That's because I have an advantage over the experts. As his lover, I can bring romance and intimacy to the massage in a big way. The massages I give my husband are unlike the ones anyone else gives him.
Denis taught me everything I know when it comes to massage, and over the past decade I've made sure I get plenty of practice honing my skills. Massage is beautifully simple when you know where to rub and how to do it. And scientifically speaking, it does amazing things for your relationship.
Here are five reasons you should consider massaging your sweetie tonight:
1. Giving your partner a massage is one of the most romantic things you will ever do
If your relationship is begging for some romance, a massage is the perfect remedy. Candles, dim lighting, soft music, massage oil, exposed flesh, bodies close together… Offering your partner a back rub is a giving, selfless act that will make them melt with gratitude and seriously ups the romantic ante in your love life.
The way we set up our massages at home makes them even more sexy than you can imagine – instead of lying down on the bed or at arm's length on a massage table, we use what we call The Melt Set Up (Den's invention), which gets you much closer to your partner during your massage.
The Melt Set Up is massage done seated, and it was inspired by that scene in Ghost where Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore are getting hot and heavy with the pottery. It's seriously sexy, and we recommend it for every couple who wants a romantic massage experience.
2. Massage radically builds your trust
Trust is a crucial part of any romantic relationship, and one of those things you can never have too much of. Trust requires ongoing work, and one of the best ways to achieve it is through massage and gentle touch, which has been proven to supercharge the trusting bond between couples.
Every massage has that one point where your partner's body simply gives in. If you're tuned in enough, you'll notice it happen as if you've flicked a light switch. That moment where they fall into deep relaxation and melt under the rhythmical motion of your hands is the moment you've gained their complete trust.
It's a powerful moment to share. Becoming putty in your partner's hands and likewise, having them surrender to you in the same unquestioning way, is a beautiful, comforting experience that has far-reaching benefits through your entire relationship.
3. Massage creates effortless intimacy
The massage you get from your partner and the massage you get from a professional massage therapist should be two very different things. As lovers, you can take full advantage of the intimacy a massage can create between two people.
Intimacy is about being emotionally close to another person, and – despite popular belief - it is not an automatic occurrence in a relationship.
Intimacy needs to be carefully and continuously cultivated between romantic partners. Intimacy is about being vulnerable and still feeling safe. It's formed in private moments, through shared experiences.
One of the most important ways to nurture this intimate connection is to spend time alone together as a couple, concentrating on each other. This could be in any number of ways, though massage is an extremely effective way to achieve it.
When you massage, you are focusing your absolute attention (right down to your hands) on each other in a private space, alone together. Intimacy begets intimacy – try it and watch your connection to your partner skyrocket.
4. Giving a massage inspires positivity and goodwill
While you're massaging your partner, there's no time (or inclination) to discuss day-to-day routines like children, work problems or the mortgage and there's no opportunity for distractions such as the phone, checking emails or thinking about the chores you have to do.
When you begin massaging, it feels so good that you don't want to leave and enter the real world again.
When you're in that space, it's soft, and romantic, it's calm and peaceful. Your energy is aligned with your partner's – you are attuned to one another. This energetic connection and gratitude for each other doesn't dissipate right away; it flows through the rest your interactions inspiring positivity in your day.
Bonus: if you'd like to learn some simple techniques for massaging your partner, we have a special offer for you - check out 50% off Melt: Massage for Couples lifetime memberships until 5 December 2014, exclusively for MindBodyGreen readers.
This article is by Relationships Expert Emma Merkas, co-founder of Melt: Massage For Couples.