What Happens During a Couples Massage

couples massage
••• When getting couples massage, it's good to know if you both like it quiet, or want to talk. Getty Images: PeopleImages

Couples massage is a popular service at the spa where two people are massaged in the same room, at the same time, by two different therapists.  The couple can be a husband and wife, girlfriend and boyfriend, same-sex partners, moms, and daughters, or best friends.  It is sometimes also called a duo massage or duet massage.

Couples massage takes place in a room that is, at the very least, large enough for two massage tables, which is the typical set-up in a day spa.

On the other hand, resort and hotel spas often create elaborate environments where couples can not only have side-by-side spa treatments, but also take a bath together, get pedicures, spend time in a steam shower, or lounge by a fire after the treatment. 

Couples treatments are so popular that more resort spas, like Alvadora Spa at The Royal Palms in Phoenix, have several couples suites to accommodate demand. 

The Benefits of Couples Massage

Couples massage is a good choice when lovers are in the throes of early romance, and can't bear to be apart. They want to share everything, even their massage.  Many couples treatments are specifically designed with romance in mind, including time alone in a rose-petal-strewn tub, a bottle of Champagne with strawberries and chocolate, and lounging time by a fire after the treatment.  Part of what you are paying for is a time in the room, which works best when it's a beautiful romantic setting.

 

Another type of couples massage is simply getting the same treatment at the same time in a room that has two tables.  This is a great way to introduce a partner who has never gotten a massage before in a way that makes them feel more comfortable the first time.

Some men are apprehensive about getting a massage because of the nudity involved, and to have their wife or girlfriend there is reassuring.

 So many men have been converted to the power of therapeutic touch after being introduced to it by a partner.  Once they experience a couples massage, they feel comfortable booking a massage on their own.

Sometimes you're not intimate partners, just traveling with someone you don't get to see often enough --a sister, mom or best friend -- and you want to spend as much time together as possible.  All of these scenarios are fine, really, because you make the rules up.  If you want to talk to each other during the massage, you can.  If you want to quietly commune, that's good, too.  The therapists will follow your lead.

How Much Does Couples Massage Cost?

The price of a couples massage depends on the spa, the amount of time, and the amenities.  Generally, it is the cost of a regular massage, times two.  Sometimes you can add on private time.  For instance, Aspira the Spa at The Osthoff Resort in Wisconsin offers couples massage at $135 per person for 50-minutes.  Couples can enjoy an additional hour of time alone together in the spacious suite, equipped with a master shower, whirlpool bath, stone fireplace, and sofa, for $50 per person. At some spas, the package might include private time and amenities like Champagne, which sends the price higher.

Tipping at the spa adds another 15 to 20%.

Is There Any Downside To Couples Massage?

I will confess: I have never, ever had a couples massage.  The idea of getting a massage with someone else in the room, even my husband, leaves me cold.  What if he wants to talk and I don't?  Or the other way around?  

I'm not alone.  Many experienced spa-goers find it distracting to be in the same room at the same time with anyone else during a massage. They prefer to get their massage alone and then meet up afterward.

The potential problems come if you have different expectations and needs during a massage, particularly if one person wants to zone out and the other likes to talk.  It helps if you know how much the other person likes to talk during a massage -- a lot, a little, or not at all -- and whether it's a good match for you.