Copyright 1998, Michael Ra Bouchard, Ph.D. All rights reserved.
"Valentine's Day Gift Guide for Lovers"
by Michael Ra Bouchard, Ph.D.
In my role of Erotologist and Romance Advisor, I'm often asked if I have any romantic and sexy gift ideas for an especially romantic Valentine's Day.
Do I have ideas? Is the spirit of Don Ho still crooning and tourist still swooning to "Tiny Bubbles" in Waikiki? You bet I have ideas! Just so happens this lovedoc long ago signed up with Cupid for a lifelong apprenticeship in the art of loving and romance, so we're in this together.
Similar to a couple's anniversary, Valentine's Day is our annual opportunity to show and tell our Main-Squeeze or wannabe Main-Squeeze (and for some of you I know, a few Side-Squeezes too!) just how much they mean to us and enrich our life. Lover to Lover. How you plus me equals the sum of us as a couple. And the gushier the better! After all, Valentine's Day is nothing if it's not about schmaltzy and over-the-top gestures of affection.
Now, aside from the usual suspects- flowers, chocolate, jewelry- timeless favorites all of them, don't overlook that tireless tradition of Lovers, the exchanging of a heartfelt and sentimental Valentine card. Preprinted or homemade, express your most tender feelings while unabashedly affirming your love and unquestionably proclaiming your perpetual devotion. And for those of you who have a harder time verbally expressing your love, be it due to shyness or tongue tied-ness or both, now's the time and here's the place to boldly say it in a thoughtfully composed heartfelt note or poem that sincerely declares your inner most feelings. Remember, today is the day of all days to indulge in over-the-top emotive proclamations. So don't hold back. You liberally trip the Love Light-Fantastic with Valentine sentiments honoring and cherishing your Beloved from your Heart of Hearts.
Perhaps no better gift may be given than the gift of your self to your sweetie, through special time together. As in personally delivered back and foot rubs for one example, or lovingly prepared and shared homemade meals for another, or through the sharing of an endless variety of lovely, romantic experiences. Enclose a hand-written "gift certificate" in your card which entitles the bearer to specifically selected "Personal Services" from you upon redemption. Be daring and creative! Or, enclose a "Reservation for Two" to an even more indulgent "Sensuality and Pleasure Date" and create whatever delicious mood you wish together.
For those of us in warmer climates, imagine packing up a sumptuous picnic feast, blanket and candles before heading out for a romantic sunset dinner for two in a nearby park or beach. For the rest of you in colder climates, use a little imagination and create an intimate picnic in your living room, or better yet, your bedroom! Or, how about custom designing a sensual setting at home sure to float your lover's boat, quite literally, by transforming your bathroom into a romantic pleasure sensorium, complete with flowers, soft music, scented candlelight, bubble-bath, wines, fruits, juices and chocolate goodies. Feast it all in as you lovingly bathe together, ala the classic romantic baseball film Bull Durham.
Whatever you do, dare to be imaginative, creative and a perhaps a bit more risqué than usual. You might consider surprising your Beloved by having your hair styled in a way you know s/he adores, or by wearing a favored shade of lipstick, perfume or cologne, or perhaps by trimming your beard or mustache the way s/he prefers for nuzzling and kissing. Dressing up sharp and sexy for the occasion with extra style and flair adds fire to a sensual ambiance no matter where you go. Most of all and no matter what, you'll want to relax and simply be and enjoy yourselves- remember, it's all about the heart connection!
And while you're at it, try this- reach out and touch and kiss your partner as if for the very first time. Hold hands, look deeply and lovingly into your partner's eyes, caress each others' face and body. Only now when you touch him or her do so for your own pleasure, not just theirs. Sounds backwards, I know, but when you take your own pleasure from the touch you are giving then the pleasure your honey receives from you is all the more exquisite. No pressure in only pleasing yourself now, is there? And believe me, it's much more fun doing than reading about it. Try it, you'll see!
Other romantic gift ideas might include: Nourishing your lover's heart and soul with CD's of inspirational new age, romantic jazz or classical music. Do some homework and enroll the two of you in an upcoming "art of loving" relationship enhancement seminar in your area, or if you prefer a more physical approach, enroll in a local swing or square dance class. Both can bring you closer while getting your hearts pumping together. You might also research online and purchase a video or DVD of romance enhancing sexy films to watch together.
Or, take a decidedly more laid back and tactile tact by arranging for the pampering of your bodies through rejuvenating facial and whole body massage services from a local professional, a luxury that's always to be savored. It's a sure bet you and your Valentine will radiate and feel terrific after a session with one or more of these thoughtfully indulgent gifts.
Of course, please remember that no gift, no matter how exciting, luxurious or extravagant can ever match genuine expressions and personal demonstrations of Heartfelt Love for that special Light of Your Life. In this season of Lovers, vow to frequently display through affectionate word and deed your gratitude for the nurturing bond you and your Truelove share. And for that matter, while you're becoming comfortably in the habit of openly expressing your lovey-dovey feelings, why not decide to seamlessly continue this appreciative Valentine's Lover's spirit all 364 other days of the year, too? Doing so enhances the Gift of Love and Intimacy for you both year-round!
And, by chance, should you find yourself presently unpartnered and a bit melancholy over it this year, despair not. Rather, rest in the truth that we can all certainly be our own best Valentine anyway, so give yourself permission to go for it by treating and loving yourself especially well this solo-flying holiday as only you yourself can, Lover. In addition make a point to let your Heart Light Shine with loving kindness towards everyone you encounter on Valentine's, and for that matter, each and every day. Be love and you'll always have love.
And while you're at it, why not demonstrate your love, care and affection for close friends and family by making or purchasing special little treats for them to enjoy. And hey, let's not forget to call or write one of our first and all-time favorite Valentines- our own Mother and/or Father, Grandparent, Uncle or Auntie, whoever that special person(s) was and still is who way back when made you feel exceptionally loved and accepted.
So this Valentine's Day, please don't hold back, let your Heart, Mind, Body and Spirit deeply resonate with and enthusiastically vocalize all the Love you hold for your Beloved(s). It's been wisely noted that you'll never run out of ways to express your Love when you come straight from the Heart. And, unlike most things in life, the more Love we give, the more Love we have. Such a deal!
Your Sentimental Valentine,
Aloha and A Hui Hou!