February 07, 2011

Forget the Hearts & Flowers: A Kinkier Guide to Valentine's Day

by Kal Cobalt

Not everyone is a “roses-n-chocolates” kind of lover. Some of us are even irked by the idea of a greeting-card-industry “holiday.” But that doesn't have to stop them from making the most of the sexy mood permeating everything from grocery stores to restaurants come February 14. Here are some suggestions for enjoying V-Day for those of us with darker tastes & kinkier vibes (including singles)!


Not a flowers person? Not a problem. While there are a million ways to go that aren't the usual Valentine's decor, you can double down by trying for some twists on the usual while maintaining a distinctly kinky vibe. Think condoms scattered on the bed like rose petals. Try a bouquet of single-serving flavored lube. Arrange your favorite flogger's tails into the shape of a heart (or buy a heart-shaped novelty paddle to leave bright red reminders of the day on your sweetie's behind).
LELO Sensua Suede Whip]

Impressions Hearts Paddle

Fetish Fantasy Series Japanese silk rope

Don't forget the lighting, too — and don't get suckered into making everything pink if that isn't your bag. Maybe romance, to you, is a frilly blindfold while your buddy keeps the lights on at full force to see what ruthlessly sexy things they're doing to you. Or, if you're the type to usually watch one another, kill all the lights for a change of pace.


I don't know about you, but the standard "romantic" love-song fare doesn't get me in the mood. It's tough to find good recommendations for alternative nookie tracks, so here's my humble attempt to fill that hole (ahem).

The Social Network (soundtrack); Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Though this is far from an obvious pick, I promise it will work perfectly...for some of you. It has a driving beat without being clubby, contains no lyrics, and is an engaging mixture of electronica, piano, and guitar. If you're a geek, this one's probably for you. Pro tip: be sure to listen to the whole thing first and program out tracks that don't suit your mood; there are a couple of outliers that might be jarring in the heat of the moment.

Standby; I Will Never Be The Same. If you like dark, steamy tracks featuring sexy rhythms and sultry male vocals, this one is for you. I particularly recommend it if you feel like you've heard it all in this subgenre; IWNBTS is masterful at creating fresh tracks that sit so perfectly in your collection it seems like they've been there for years. If you like it, you're in luck, too — their second album is coming soon.

Aral; Catherine Lara. Not all sex music has to be dark. Deeply violin-based, this album largely maintains an upbeat tempo throughout excursions verging from jazz to ethnic to electronica, with the occasional vocal thrown in for good measure. The album's world-beat sensibilities and clear mixing make for a pleasing companion to a happy romp in the sheets. This one can be hard to find, so be sure to start looking for it early.

Zen Bound (soundtrack); Ghost Monkey. There's a growing trend of spectacular iPhone game soundtracks, but this one is my personal favorite. The game is based on winding rope around various figures, and the soundtrack beautifully incorporates the sound of twisting, straining ropes into an aural landscape both relaxed and engaging. It's a no-brainer if your sex life includes ropes of any kind, and an excellent choice for meditative sex practitioners or those who could use some help relaxing in the sack.

A Special Note For Singles

Let's get one thing perfectly clear: There is absolutely nothing wrong with being single on Valentine's Day, and there's no reason to treat it as something you can't participate in without a partner. Serve yourself a romantic dinner (whatever “romantic” means to you), enjoy a scrumptious dessert, and give yourself a sexy present. Whether your flavor is romance novels, hardcore porn, a fancy new toy, or just a “night off” in the tub with a good book, honoring yourself should be at least as important as it would be if you were planning a night with someone else.

While Valentine's Day may seem insipid or contrived to many of us, there's nothing wrong with a day reminding us to celebrate our love lives, whether we share that with others or are currently in a satisfying relationship with ourselves. Don't let the frills and hearts get in the way of the fireworks!