It's not news that sex after kids can reduce foreplay to a nod that says, "We've got five minutes, meet you in the bathroom." (And I'm talking the kind with rubber ducks in the tub. Not some "up in the club" kind of business.) Between small people that need you and fighting to stay awake past 8:30, it can be hard to find the time for those meandering, deeply connected sessions that fueled your pre-kid days.

But let's be real. Foreplay is awesome. One could even argue it's better than the main course. First of all, it's always on the menu, no real prep required. It's a fun way to keep things interesting if you're trying to get pregnant, and sometimes more enjoyable when you already are. There's also a never ending selection of toys to make it more fun. As with anything though, the same old recipe can get a bit boring after awhile. One of my new favorite ways to spice things up? Massage candles.

What is a massage candle?

Generally made with a blend of wax and nourishing oils, massage candles offer all the ambiance and sexy vibes of regular candles but transform into a sultry massage oil as they melt. If you've ever had the pleasure of a hot oil massage you know there are few things more relaxing than warm oil poured over your skin. It arouses all of the senses and instantly ups the hotness factor to 11.

To get the most out of your massage candle experience, go ahead and give it a light about 15-20 minutes before you want to use it. (The smaller the candle, the less time it needs!) Once enough has melted, extinguish the flame and wait a minute or two for it to cool a bit. You can then pour directly onto the skin, or into your hand before massaging it anywhere your body needs a little extra attention. The best part is you don't even have to be good at giving massages for it to feel absolutely incredible. (One word to the wise, however: Do NOT use it as lube or on the genital area.)

And because pouring hot melted oil all over is as potentially messy as it sounds, I highly recommend either throwing down a towel or at the very least, swapping out your good sheets for the night. Is it worth the extra trouble? Unequivocally yes.

No time for these shenanigans? Don't count yourself out. Massage oil candles are an awesome way to indulge in some self care. Instead of slathering on some lotion after your shower, take a few minutes to dim the lights, light your candle and oil yourself up instead. (You'll barely hear the banging on the door, I promise.)

Massage candles are a growing market (not a surprise given the fact we're all kind of candle obsessed these days) with a variety of blends, scents and textures available. From the fanciest French-crafted luxuries to travel-friendly beauties from our favorite sexual wellness brands, here are some of the best massage candles to explore with a partner or even solo.

Best Massage Candles

maude burn trio

Maude

$18

Burn Massage Candles

Maude was my first intro into the world of massage candles and got me hooked from first light. They’re made from a blend of nourishing jojoba and soybean oils which makes them rich and hydrating without being super greasy. They come in two scents, No. 1 which is a sultry leathery scent with notes of amber and tonka bean, and No. 2, a fruitier (but still super sexy) scent with notes of pink pepper and lemon. It also comes in a completely unscented version as well. Most conveniently, they come in two sizes the smaller of which is great for travel. (And nice for quick sessions since it’s ready in just a few minutes.)

jimmyjane santal massage candle

JimmyJane

$21

Santal

I admit, I’m a sucker for all things Santal. The famed Le Labo Santal 33 perfume, santal scented incense, basically if it promises those rich, velvety scents, I’m in. So of course I have to give a shout out to this stunner from sex toy experts, JimmyJane. It’s made from a blend of natural jojoba, shea Butter, vitamin E, aloe and soybean oil which melts at around body temp and at 32 hours burn time, it’s going to last awhile. I also appreciate the vessel itself which not only looks pretty on your nightstand but employs a highly useful spout to help make pouring more precise.

lelo flickering tiuch massage candle

Lelo

$34.90

Flickering Touch Massage Candle

It’s no surprise that purveyors of some of the sleekest vibrators around also have the market cornered on massage candles. Formulated with all-natural soy wax, shea butter and apricot kernel oil these sleek candles come in three gorgeous scents to suit any mood (Vanilla & Crème De Cacao, Snow Pear & Cedarwood, and Black Pepper & Pomegranate) and have a 36 hour burn time. Also, is that not the most sensual looking candle you’ve ever seen?

lucky thirteen massage candle

Lucky Thirteen Candle Co.

$22

Massage Candles

The massage candles from Philadelphia based small business Lucky Thirteen were dreamed up by a mama who wanted to find a stronger way to connect with her husband. They’re handcrafted with blends of soy wax, essential and fragrance oils, cocoa butter, shea butter and sweet almond oil and come in a handful of comforting scents that are equally awesome in the air as they are on the skin.

mutha aphrodisiac massage candle

Mutha

$65

Aphrodisiac Massage Candle

If you’ve already fallen in love with Mutha’s cult-adored, purple chrome packaged body butter, this one is a no-brainer. The luxe cocoa-scented candle is everything I love about fancy things that post up on my bedside table. One, it smells AHmazing. Like an elevated version of the iconic Palmer’s cocoa butter which wafts over without even needing to be lit. Second, it’s crafted in France, the perfume capital of the world. This is all I ever need to hear in order to fall head over heels for anything. It’s just who I am as a person. Third, just look at it. The matte black vessel is incredibly sexy and the pour spout is the perfect touch. I’ve reserved this one for special occasions only and am grateful for its 50+ hour burn time. It’s made from a soybean oil, coconut oil, and beeswax blend that’s the perfect complement to their body products as well.