I cook, I smell OK, moms like me, but the one thing keeping me from being the ultimate girlfriend is that I'm completely incapable of giving a massage. In fact, I've taken it out of what I consider 'decent girlfriend' criteria because I think it's cheesy and weird ("Let me rub my hands in repetitive motions on your naked body, babe"), and I can never get it right. I'm always asked to knead harder, and then "up more," and then even harder, until I've left a row of five perfectly filed almond-shaped indents in the meaty part of the guy's upper arm and accidentally separated a tendon from a shoulder bone. The human body is truly fascinating.
Also, as the masseuse, what do I even get out of it? Don't say "the joy of making my boyfriend happy" because I can do that with a penny, a piece of string, and a half-eaten Reese's Peanut Butter Cup—and that's fun for both of us. And what's the deal with massage oils? They're scented so potently that you can taste the fragrance, and they're so damn...oily!
Then, one evening as I was discussing my relationship issues with a slightly older female confidante over coffees and kale salad, she fished something out of her purse. Cautiously looking to either side, she slid a metal container across the table. "Here. Don't say you got this from me." It was a Lush Peace Massage Bar, the existence of which every romantic comedy and sexy young adult film with a massage scene has tried to hide from the girlfriend masses.
The concept is simple: you just rub the oval-shaped bar over bare skin. The heat from the skin makes the oils (shea butter, coconut butter, olive oil) melt on contact, but without getting drippy and messy. No kneading, squeezing, pummeling, or tendon separating to worry about. And the melty movement of the solid bar provides all the feel-good massage pressure to the soft tissues on your boyfriend's (or girlfriend's) back. It's mindless, really—like coloring a coloring book or polishing a piece of furniture. Am I underselling the sexy? Well, it definitely smells sexier than crayons or Pledge Multi Surface. Sweet, but with spicy floral notes—like a lavender cupcake!
Or try one of the 13 other flavors of Lush Massage Bars. The bonus is that they're a great way to get your own daily topical dose of coconut and shea without having to dig the stuff out of a jar. Because, what's the phrase? Something like, "If you're not good to yourself...blah blah blah...moisturize."
Photo by Annie Kreighbaum.