African American woman laying on massage table

Source: Vico Collective/Erik Palmer / Getty

earning how to touch your bed buddy without getting him or her off may just be the thing that keeps ’em in heat, home, and happy.

A recent study by the British Psychological Society found that partners who exchanged massages regularly reported less stress, more relationship satisfaction and an uptick in overall mental health well-being (i.e. happiness). “Massage is a cost effective and pleasant intervention that isn’t just for a therapeutic setting but can be easily incorporated into a healthy couple’s daily routine,” said Sayuri Naruse, a researcher who worked on the project.

But don’t go broke on Groupon massage classes (although taking one couldn’t hurt)—because the research also found that your masseuse game isn’t nearly as important as your intent and attentiveness. Naruse adds, “The benefits of receiving a massage from a professional are well documented, but…a similar outcome can be obtained by couples with little prior training.”

Ready to work those magic fingers? Check out a few YouTube tutorials, pick up some baby oil and…

1. SET THE MOOD. Calm music, scented candles and moist hands are great ways to let bae know you’re creating a moment to help him or her unwind. When you’re the partner of service (it’s dope to think of it that way), you want to consider what will best help your sig other zone out.

2. …OR NOT. Sometimes it’s all about capturing the moment and not creating one. If your honey comes home and is beefing about a debacle of a day, spending 60 minutes to set the ambiance of a mini-spa is a waste of time. Instead, get right to business and get debriefed while you’re rubbing feet or massaging hands.

3. ENJOY YOURSELF. The goal is to add massage into your relationship rituals, so that it’s quality time both partners look forward to—and exchange in a fair way. Don’t be shy about asking your babe to give one up, similarly you should be putting it on the regular. Make it fun and unique to what fits for your relationship. Reciprocity is key.

 

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