The reason the lot of you last as long as a NASCAR pit stop when rubbing your loved ones is usually because you’re using nothing but thumb work and poor body mechanics. Instead of doing all thumb circles, next time try using the base of your palm, or the outer edge of your hand. Feel free to get creative. You can even use your forearms to apply compressions to the shoulders and back. When kneading tired muscles, use more of a grasping action with your whole hand. If the thumb is the only way to go, try bracing it with your other hand. We brace our fingers all the time to not only apply more strength, but to minimize wear and tear on individual digits. By the way, knuckles work wonders on the feet.
Just because we’re professionally trained doesn’t mean we’re above using tools either. I own a couple of hand held massagers which you can buy for five bucks at either Bath & Body Works, or Bed Bath & Beyond (they even work on the outside of clothing). I also have a few for deep tissue and trigger point work. However, those are a bit more expensive and require more skill and practice to use effectively. You can easily bruise some one, or lose an eye. Last I checked career choices are limited for pirates.
If you’re too lazy to go to a store, you can probably find a few tools to use in the kitchen. Knives, meat mallets, and blenders are good for mutilation, so stick to some big spoons, ladles, or a rolling pin to experiment with. Try not to spend too much time in the kitchen though, it may be difficult to convince your kids you’re playing doctor while mommy’s tied up and has an ice cream sundae on her crotch. “No Timmy, that’s not what popping a cherry means…”
My understanding of most relationships is that if your hands are even ON your significant other, then you’re a step ahead of the game. As long as you stay away from inflicting pain, you’ll be doing just fine. Do what comes naturally, don’t rush, and alternate your hands. Don’t worry too much if you don’t have the time or lack the creativity to give your spouse an effective rub down. After all, you can always send them to us.