We love love languages. Everyone expresses intimacy in a unique way, but there’s hardly anyone who doesn’t love being touched and stroked by a partner. What says, “I love you, I want the best for you, and I want to bring you pleasure,” better than a world-class massage?

A great massage doesn’t have to cost hundreds of dollars, and with a little practice you can provide similar relaxation and stress relief right at home. Working out your partner’s knots and kinks is totally doable, and it often leads to more touchy-feely fun. Whether you’re looking for a happy ending or to simply provide stress relief, we’ve got some tips that will take your massages from good to great.

Let’s talk about our top tips for a stellar partner massage, right from the comfort of your own home!

  • Practice makes better. You may never be an expert or a certified masseuse, but massage therapy is a skill you can practice and develop. A simple YouTube search reveals thousands of videos with varying massage therapy techniques, including realistic strokes and touches you can utilize at home. While testing these out on a partner you can ask for vocal feedback, letting them know to signal when the pressure is too much or the angle is wrong. Like learning to ride a bike, there’s no magic to massage. You can learn and improve over time!
  • Use your hands and arms. Massage isn’t limited to just your fingertips. Your palms and even the sides of your arms are great for massaging your partner. According to massage therapist Geraldine Abergas, who spoke about massage for Bustle, “Pressure must be whole handed, using the palm of your hand as the most pressurized.”
  • Create a safe haven. Massage is relaxing, but only in the right context. It doesn’t matter how great your technique is if it’s in the wrong setting. If you can make it to the bedroom, do. Lying down is much more beneficial than sitting, and even though you don’t own a massage chair the bed will help. You’ll also want to lower the lights and play some gentle, relaxing music. Lighted candles or essential oils all make the vibe even better. Taking these extra steps to provide a nurturing experience are worth it, because your partner can see just how much you care without uttering a word.
  • Choose the right massage oil. For massages, body lotions just don’t do the trick. If your partner has sensitive skin, you’ll also want to be careful about choosing products with additives or scents. We’re tooting our own horn here, but it’s true—Fluid Coco is a fabulous all-over body massage oil made with two simple, organic ingredients. You can use it post-shower for extra moisturization or for those intimate moments when you crave close contact and intimate massage with a partner. Not for toy or internal use, this oil is designed to give you the magic touch.
  • Start with the back and move downward. If you’ve had a massage before you know you typically begin lying on your stomach, and the therapist begins working on your back first. This allows you to adjust to touch and resolves lots of back tension before moving to the legs and arms. After relaxing the back, move downward to the glutes, legs and feet, then tackle the arms, shoulders, neck and even scalp.
  • Consider add-ons. Just like a real massage therapist in a spa, you can consider add-ons. Would you like to offer a warm oil treatment for your partner’s hair? How about a simple scalp massage? You could whip out a face mask or a finger massage. After you’ve tackled their backside you can invite your partner to flip over, lying on their back. This relieves additional tension and gives you the opportunity to include more relaxation techniques.
  • Use your imagination. If you find yourself turned on by this whole process, that’s totally normal. And encouraged! When you’ve got slippery hands gliding over a loved one’s body it’s hard not to let your mind wander. We encourage intimate massage as a part of foreplay, because it’s so intimate without being necessarily sexual. It’ll leave you hot and bothered and can be a new way to think about intimacy, especially if you’re not used to giving pleasure as often as your partner. In previous posts we’ve talked about super-slow, romantic ways to have sex that aren’t focused on orgasm, and massage is a great compenent to use. No matter how you choose to utilize massage, its intimate nature will forge connection and ignite pleasure.

Hopefully we’ve got you jazzed about getting oiled up and getting your hands all over someone you love. It’s sure to be a hit with any partner you have, and most importantly, it communicates your real care and dedication. Who doesn’t want to be reminded of how much they’re appreciated?