The Seven Dos and Don’ts of Giving a Proper Massage

Technique? Ambience? Happy endings? Heed these simple rules.

February 14, 2017 9:00 am

If you’re reading this and have not yet made Valentine’s plans, it’s too late … for plans, at least.

An apology, on the other hand?

You’re gonna need one. And nothing says “I’m sorry” like a proper sensual massage.

So we tapped The Four Seasons Spa in Beverly Hills to make you a brief instructional video on the dos and don’ts of meeting your partner’s kneads.

Oils? Techniques? Ambience? Happy endings?

There are rules for all the above, and it’s time you commit them to memory.


  1. Set the mood. This comes down to three things: dimmable lights (like the LEDs from HUE), an aromatic candle (can’t go wrong with Le Labo) and a soothing playlist (jazz is alway nice, especially Dave Brubeck or Lester Young).
  2. Mind the temp. Seventy-three degrees is the optimal temperature for a massage. It’s warm but not hot.
  3. Invest in some massage oil. The Four Seasons uses Ila: it’s all-natural and great for the skin. If you’re using lotion, opt for oil-based, as it’ll go further.
  4. Ask her some questions before you get started: What are the problem areas? How much pressure? Any injuries you should be aware of? Any places to avoid?
  5. Use your body for leverage. Not just your hands.
  6. Massage both sides evenly. And be as fluid as possible.
  7. Wipe off any excess oil with a warm, damp towel.


  1. Bring a bad attitude. You’re doing this for your partner, and trust that doing someone else a kindness will make you feel great. If anything, focusing on someone else is a positive way to reduce your own stress and anxieties.
  2. Talk their ear off. This isn’t a job interview or a telephone catch-up, so keep your yammering to a minimum. Allow your subject to relax.
  3. Massage the spine. It does not feel good.
  4. Karate chop. This isn’t Dumb and Dumber.
  5. Poke.
  6. Tickle.
  7. Offer a happy ending. Unless it’s Valentine’s Day. Which it is.

Best of luck, gents.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.