As we draw near the unofficial end of cuffing season, it’s time for one last hurrah. But this isn’t just any old celebration, this is the creme de la creme of all celebrations of “Love & Happiness” *cues Al Green on the record player.* Many people crash and burn on this special day, so, I have taken it upon myself as the resident know-it-all and love doctor to help you out. Here are my tips for having a great Valentine’s Day?

Lower Your Expectations:

One of the biggest problems with Valentine’s Day is that people go into it with a lot of expectations. They build up these over the top fantasies like wanting to be led by a unicorn down a path covered in rose petals or having a fancy dinner of Lobster Tartare at a beachside chalet that’s lit with Egyptian Candles.

All of that is too much emotional pressure and a foolproof recipe for disaster. Firstly, those kinds of experiences are rarely executed well (assuming that you can find a unicorn in the first place). More importantly, everyone else is trying to do the same thing on the same night! Watching all that nervous energy unfold all around you is going to be counterproductive. You have to remind yourself to relax. Go easy. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to impress your partner, far from it. But don’t conjure up the Taj Mahal if all you can build is a bungalow. Rather, build your bungalow and do it well.

Consider Indulging in Activities rather than Things:

Every year, we hear all these adverts that entice us to spend the size of Dangote’s fortune on things that will hopefully show our partners just how much we love and care for them. But people tend to forget that new things get old. Especially if you’re on a budget, you don’t need all that crap that you’ll likely forget about before the year’s over. Instead, you can try knocking back a bottle of wine and making playlist, taking a dance lesson, trying out a wine and paint class, or you can spend the evening doing the world famous Love Quiz.

If your partner will go for it, consider doing your celebrating on a day that’s not Valentine’s Day. Just don’t do it on the 13th. That day is for the side pieces and and mistresses. Bottom line sha, get creative. Especially in this economy, there are options that won’t make your bank account cry. Find them.

Want, Will, Won’t List:

Admittedly, this one requires a little bit of leg work on the parts of everyone involved. But it might actually be the one that might be the most useful, not just for the sexy time during the big night, but also throughout your relationship. There are different variations on this but the general idea is pretty simple. You start by creating three columns: one for things you WANT to do, one for things that you WILL consider doing, and one for that you WON’T allow. Then you slowly fill the columns according to your preferences. It’s a great way to get to know your partner and see where you might be in sync, discover things you might want to explore, and find out what the hard limits are in your relationship.

Most people use if for the sexy stuff, but the great thing about it is that you can use the idea for all sorts of aspects in your relationship (for example which chores around the house each person prefers to do). Also, the list is not set in stone. You can move stuff around things change in your relationship. It’s probably wise to do this at least once a year (Easy Valentine’s Day tradition……hint hint). Many people like to create their own, but you can also find some online, like this one. I think it’s pretty extensive (but not exhaustive) and it even has some items that relate specifically to some fetishes for all the closet kinksters and soon to be kinksters in our midst. You’re welcome!

I’m going to stop here because I’ve got my own plans to go work on. I’ll catch you on the other side.

Bonus Tips:

  1. Consent is sexy… Don’t ever forget that.
  2. If you decide you’re feeling adventurous this Valentine’s Day, you should know that there’s more to kink than 50 Shades of Grey.
  3. There’s no law that says that romantic love is the only kind of love that should be celebrated on Valentine’s Day. So, if you’re single, celebrate your friends, your parents, and most importantly, celebrate yourself.

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