If you or your partner is dealing with stress, you both tend to feel the tension. This unifying sensation is a result of emotional transmission, a phenomenon which causes couples to absorb each other’s feelings, both positive and negative. On the bright side, that means when you are relaxed and happy, the good vibes rub off on your partner as well. According to a 2017 study, exchanging regular massages can improve physical and emotional well-being in couples, no matter if you are giving or receiving.

Winding down at the end of the day with a relaxing, physical activity like massage can help you and your partner release daily tensions, reconnect with your bodies, and practice mindfulness. Below are some more reasons why massage rubs us the right way.

It's great foreplay 

Massage allows you to touch your partner’s erogenous zones, like the neck, ears, and lower back. A foot massage can also be a huge turn-on––just make sure your partner isn’t ticklish or you might end up getting a not-so-sexy kick in the chin. Some women can even orgasm from massage alone, and we aren’t just talking about the ones with happy endings. Orgasms mainly happen in the nervous system, and your lower back, neck, and ears are filled with sensitive nerve endings. The majority of women can’t orgasm from penetrative sex alone, so massage is a great way to explore what different parts of your body give you that magical tingly feeling.

It can boost your libido 

Sometimes we put so many expectations on our relationships to be what we think is normal––like the amount of sex we’re having, or when we have children–that we wind up self-sabotaging. Our psyches and sex drives are linked, so high-expectations can lead to stress, which ends up diminishing sex drive, which snowballs into more stress. How can we break out of this self-destructive cycle? If sex, or lack thereof, has been a cause of strain in your relationship, massage is a low-pressure way to reconnect physically with your partner and discover new things you like.

It’s free! 

Going to a professional massage therapist can cost upwards of $200 a session. If you and your partner take the DIY approach, you can save that money for a nice date night or romantic getaway instead. To get the full spa experience at home, try dimming the lights, firing up some candles, and most importantly: turn off your phone. This is one little slice of luxury that you don’t need to Instagram.

Increase your pleasure with massage oil 

Save the dry rub for the (vegan) BBQ! A little massage oil will take your experience to the next level. Massage oil reduces friction, ensuring a smooth glide. It also has the added benefit of moisturizing and nourishing your skin. Our body & massage oil is made from organic almond and jojoba oil blended with aphrodisiacs like orange, ylang ylang, and ginger. We use flavor, never artificial fragrance, for a sultry aromatherapy experience without the spa price tag. Bonus: Massage oil will leave your skin glistening (but never greasy), meaning it pairs perfectly with your favorite pair of denim cut-off shorts.