Cures for the V-Day blues

It’s almost Valentine’s Day. Although I’ve succeeded in writing holiday-themed sex columns for lots of other holidays (Thanksgiving was the hardest), it’s always nice to have an opportunity to write for a holiday that is already sexually charged.
I wrote my first and second V-Day columns when I was feeling sweet, sappy and in love. Last year, I was on more of a single and bitter kick when I wrote an anti-Valentine’s Day column on why it’s great to be single this time of year. So the thing is, I’ve realized this Feb. 14 holiday means many different things to many different people. No matter if you love love, love to hate it or even if you couldn’t care less, the big day is coming.

p. Now, if I were feeling cynical, I’d be tempted to fill my 800 words ranting about how Hallmark created a holiday to prey on our emotions and require us to spend lots of money on cheesy stuff because the economy is still suffering its post-Christmas slump. And don’t get me wrong, I like chocolate as much as the next girl, but something about the Feb. 14 hoopla makes all the romance seem forced and insincere. You didn’t get your girlfriend that little stuffed bear with a heart on it because you were suddenly inspired by the depth of your love for her and couldn’t resist. You did it because you had to or you would have been the bad boyfriend who forgot Valentine’s Day. Seriously, it can be a totally manipulative holiday.

p. But what if you are feeling really romantic on Valentine’s Day? What can you get your significant other to prove just how much you care about them and how far you are willing to go for them when you’ve already said “I love you” with chocolates, roses, whipped cream and pink lingerie? My suggestion this year is to get yourself and your boyfriend or girlfriend a third partner. That’s right, nothing says true love like a threesome. Plus, as an additional bonus, your single friends won’t feel so bitter and left out.

p. Okay, I’m kidding. There are few ways to ruin your relationship more quickly than to invite a hot girl to join you and your girlfriend in bed on Valentine’s Day. Threesomes are for single people. That’s right, singles — here’s your reason to celebrate V-Day. All the other single people are feeling left out and desperate, too, so don’t settle for finding just one random hook-up that night. Instead, find two or even three.

p. There’s nothing wrong with being single on Valentine’s Day, especially if you’re only in the market for a good hook-up. It’s a much better strategy then going on an “I hate Valentine’s Day” campaign, because those make you seem resentful. You can bet that, given a slight change of circumstances, many of the protesters would be excitedly making dinner reservations and buying chocolate hearts. I honestly hope that those with extravagant celebrations aren’t doing so to show off their love to the rest of the world instead of to their significant other, but it sure does feel that way sometimes if you’re outside that lovey-dovey loop.

p. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-love, or even particularly anti-romance. Being in love is fantastic and frustrating. It’s scary, exciting, comforting and overwhelming, and frankly, it’s probably one of the best emotions to celebrate. But being in love should be a celebration in and of itself — every day, a celebration of the luck required to have someone who makes you happy in your life. It’s actually pretty sad if you only take the time to celebrate it with an awkward Hallmark card once a year.

p. I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t really know what you ought to do next Wednesday, and I don’t actually care that much.
Is that sacrilegious?

p. I’m a little nauseated by the commercial bandwagoning, but if that’s what warms your significant other’s heart, go for it. And really, there’s no point in being bitter, because frankly, we all have love in our lives — your friends, your family, your past, your future, yourself — and it’s all worth celebrating.

p. So forget Feb. 14. It’s just another day. What’s important is the significant other in your life and what you mean to each other. And your love for your friends, too (although those relationships are less likely to be featured in the sex column). Sorry to end on such a sappy note, but I swear it’s sincere. If you celebrate love everyday, it takes away the power of the V-Day — the good, the bad and the ugly — and puts it back into what’s significant.

__Kate Prengaman is the Flat Hat Sex columnist. Even though she thinks Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark holiday, she’s not above accepting a box of chocolates here or there.__


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