You are thinking of the best way to spend significant alone time with your partner, and you want to do something different than just a romantic dinner. With the correct couples massage etiquette, couples massages can be a unique way to have a date or spend time with your partner.
“It’s got more relaxation value than dinner and a movie, and it’s a great way to take care of yourselves as individuals and as a couple, at the same time,” says relationship expert April Masini.
A couples massage is one that is performed for two people at the same time side-by-side on massage tables instead of separate massage rooms. So, you’re getting a massage in the same room as your partner at the same time.
It’s something you can do at a spa or in your own home, but if you’re wondering what to expect, then there are a few couples massage etiquette rules that you should follow.
1. Prepare for a couples massage by getting there early.
“The spa experience is meant to reduce stress and when we run behind or arrive just in time, tension and anxiety increases,” says Amy Jokinen, lead massage therapist at the Beverly Wilshire Spa.
Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your treatments that way you can, “take advantage of stream rooms, tranquility lounges, and Jacuzzi amenities.”
You can wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes and avoid wearing jewelry like necklaces. Before the massage, you and your partner will strip down as you prepare for the massage. During the massage, you can leave any bags or additional clothing behind.
2. Plan the massage together.
If this is your partner’s first time at a spa, “be patient and guide them into a treatment they will be comfortable with — does he really like aromatherapy?,” says Tina Figueroa of the Larchmont Sanctuary Spa.
“Surprise is great for some partners but it may be better to explain the process ahead of time to avoid any awkwardness as well as give them an opportunity to participate in planning the day. It’s more important for both of you to be comfortable so you can enjoy the experience.”
3. Be on the same page as your partner.
Be careful to choose a treatment that is relaxing as opposed to something like, “a deep tissue massage that will leave you sore afterward,” says Figueroa. “If you choose a package of several treatments be willing to try something different like a body scrub in addition to your massage. If they offer a private hot tub — sign up and take a soak together!”
Be comfortable with your partner as receiving a couples massage is a great “very intimate and private setting,” says Gabie Holloway, Spa Director of SoSpa at Sofitel Los Angeles.
Couples massages are only awkward if you make it that way. Don’t be nervous about couples massage because the two of you should feel comfortable sharing your personal space and feel completely relaxed in each other’s presence.
Holloway also mentions that couples should also be comfortable enough to, “let your therapist know your comfort levels — if pressure or temps, etc. is of concern.”
4. Experience post-massage nirvana.
Don’t rush out right away after your sessions are finished.
“After having a relaxing massage it’s a wonderful time to connect and take care of yourselves,” says Jokinen. “Plan to unwind together where you can find stillness and absorb the healing energy created at the spa.
5. Don’t bring your problems into the spa.
The point of a couples massage is to have the opportunity to get away from everything and relax on a deeper level with your partner. Be present during your spa experience and take that time to connect with your partner.
“Leave your cell phone in your locker, forget about all the stresses in your work and personal life and be present and appreciate your services with your partner.
If you succeed in doing that, it will make for a relaxing and intimate couples massage experience,” says Malia Taylor, lead massage therapist at Spa del Rey at The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey. Don’t worry because after you leave the room you’ll be able to shower off and change.
6. Quit talking and relax.
At spas, there aren’t any rules on talking so you can talk to each other during the massage session but, “many people prefer to just be quiet and relax. It depends on each couple,” says Veronica Schwartz, Spa Director at Malibu Beach Inn. And be sure to aware that, “there are typically others in the facility enjoying treatments as well.”
7. Never get “it” on in the room. Ever.
Yes, getting a massage with soothing music and calming oils is relaxing and intimate for you and your spouse, but remember you can’t have sex after couples massage or before.
“A spa is still a place of business and there is zero-tolerance for any fooling around,” says Holloway.
8. Stop worrying about your partner’s experience.
Although you are there together as a couple, be sure to be fully present and enjoy every moment of your massage. “Focus on your own experience during the massage as you and your partner will have the opportunity to connect after the treatment,” says Taylor.
9. Tip fairly.
You might be sharing a treatment room with your loved one, but each therapist deserves his or her own gratuity. “Etiquette suggests 20 percent of the price of the entire couple’s massage treatment divided between the two therapists,” says Schwartz.
Jarone Ashekenazi is a writer covering dating/relationships and other lifestyle topics. His work has been featured in Fast Company, Just Luxe, Elite Daily, CBS LA, and Ask Men.