Feature photo by Terren

Hello again, my lovelies. I’m back from a much needed hibernation. I hope you have all missed me terribly and have not forgotten to masturbate regularly while I was away (it’s much more fun than flossing).

Let’s see…it’s February. That means Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. I don’t think it’s any secret that I’m not exactly the most romantic type of women. Request that I show up to dinner completely naked except for a trench coat? I will check yes on that RSVP! Cook me dinner and gaze soulfully into my eyes as you offer me roses and undying love? Well, that’s just going to make me feel awkward.

It’s right around now that jewelry store commercials inundate you with images of shadowy men and women exchanging diamonds or dorks squealing, “He went to Jared!” I don’t know about you, but if I’m getting a diamond, I’m going to yell, “Check this shit out! It’s a fucking diamond!”

One theory about the meaning of Valentine’s Day is that it is a misspelling of galantine, in reference to all the gallant young men ardently pursuing their heart’s desire in the spring time. The letters v and g were once interchangeable in Latin. Over the years, it’s morphed into another present heavy holiday. It’s hard not to feel like you have to blow a lot of money on your lovah this time of year (and, if you’re anything like me, I bet your bank account is barely recovering from Christmas). I could tell you about all the fabulous sexy gifts you can get one another: jeweled anal plugs, chocolate body paint kits, maybe you can even try a strap on for the first time. All of those are great ideas, but are they the right idea for him/her?

The Guide to Getting it On has a whole chapter dedicated to romance. With regards to finding the right gesture, it suggests that you keep an eye out for details about what your partner enjoys to build up a reservoir of romantic ideas. There’s no easy, quick fix for a romantic idea. Sorry, I can’t come up with one for you. I’m not dating him/her. You are. Not to mention that you’d be surprised what some people will find romantic. Jewelry is lovely and so is lingerie, but I absolutely melt when someone finds out what charities are important to me and makes a donation. Swoon!

The Guide to Getting it On also stresses that no amount of romantic gestures will make up for a lack of trust. So don’t be a douche-bag and think you can make up for a shaky relationship with jewelry or a threesome on Valentine’s Day. Lastly, romance is all about being thoughtful so everyday romantic gestures like changing a tire or sorting out the recycling should be appreciated by both partners year round. This way you won’t have a Valentine’s Day hangover that stresses your relationship (“Well why can’t you be like that more often?” Nag, nag, nag).

Which brings me to my next point about Valentine’s Day: I’m a single lady this year and oh-so-happy to be so (and not in a cliched breaking-a-heart-shaped-piñata anti-Valentine’s Day kinda way). Love is wonderful. I just realize that there is more than romantic love to be grateful for. That is why this year I’ll be attending Depaul’s VDAY 2011 production of The Vagina Monologues on February 19th with a few of my favorite girls. The show is at 8:00 pm at the Student Center, Room 120, 2250 N. Sheffield Avenue. Tickets are $10 and proceeds benefit Apna Ghar and Rape Victims Advocates. Valentine’s Day is a perfect opportunity to remind ourselves to care for ourselves, our bodies and those of the people we love.

I also have a date with myself to get a pap smear and STD test on Valentine’s Day. If you stop and think of it, it’s pretty creepy that Valentine’s Day and venereal disease have the same initials. So, just in case, here are a few tips on how to avoid Valentine’s Day VD.

  • If you’re just at the start of a relationship, don’t let your partner try to sweep you up in the romance of the holiday and convince you to have sex without protection. That “ah, baby, c’mon don’t you trust me? I really want things to be special tonight” crap shows disregard for your safety, not to mention proper sexual etiquette. Dump at your leisure.
  • You know all that everyday romance stuff I was saying earlier? Someone who is willing to go and get tested for STD’s with you is pretty fucking romantic.
  • If you don’t want to have sex on Valentine’s Day, you don’t have to. And don’t let anyone tell you you’re “ruining the romance”. They’re ruining the romance by being assholes.
  • Don’t leave your condoms at home because you’re single and feeling sorry for yourself. Sure, you think not having protection will prevent you from having sex with a loser, but what if that just means you have unprotected sex with a loser? Or what if the hot bartender hits on you?
  • If you just started seeing someone, don’t leave the condoms and dental dams at home because you’re scared she/he’ll think you’re slutty. It doesn’t matter what they think. You’ll totally be thinking you’re an idiot later if you catch something.
  • For the love of God, if you’re going to have a Valentine’s Day orgy, be mindful of the bodily fluids.
  • Okay, for those of you who love being single and want to stay that way, February is a tough month to start casually dating or sleeping with someone. The Valentine’s Day mystique is a bit much for some and they may be looking at you with stars in their eyes, thinking you’re “the one.”  Be very clear with your intentions at all times but especially when Cupid and Hallmark are making it their business to make people fall in love. If you’re not careful, you could catch an STD called Drama.

And don’t forget to stop by Tulip Toy Gallery in Wicker Park and check out their hilarious Valentine’s Day window display. You’ll never think of a box of chocolates the same way again.

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