Maybe more than most holidays where gift giving is encouraged, Valentine's Day feels like a DIY kind of holiday. Feeling loved is great, but without knowing why we're loved, without understanding the peculiarities of our partners desire, a generic expression of love will fall flat (unless, as some marketers have pointed out, that generic expression of love is a flat screen TV, in which case, apparently, it's all good).
This might sound like a justification for being cheap, but believe me, it isn't. If you've thought it out, and if you put your heart into it, nothing is sexier than something you’ve made yourself. DIY is the ultimate eroticism because in creating something for your lover from scratch, you are evoking the most basic act of creation itself, the lust from which we all first sprouted. Or, in less ridiculous language, when you put time and effort into making something it comes across. It’s a way of showing that your love is personal.
Consider then the following ideas for Valentine’s Day gifts that will wow your lover, speak your desires, and cost almost nothing!
Write Love Poetry
Forget about the flowery verse you’re imagining with a lot of “thous” and “beset”. Over thinking it will only take away from the spontaneity and fun. If you don’t have a lot of prior experience, don’t worry about writing a sonnet or even something for public consumption. Write fun, raunchy, bawdy love poetry. If you want to get laughs, make sure it rhymes. Try not to rhyme yourself in a corner (avoid the words “orange” and “vagina”). Need more help? Check out About.com’s Guide to Poetry or watch this video on How to Write a Haiku
Homemade Sex Toys
A store bought sex toy can be a great gift, but how much more special is one made by your own loving hands? Homemade sex toys may lack the glitz of a shiny new gold plated vibrator, but no mass manufactured vibrator, no matter how powerful, can communicate the kind of love as a handcrafted erotic instrument. Avoid anything that might shock or burn (unless requested and carefully supervised) and remember to bring a sense of humor.
Share Your Story
Whether you were fixed up on a date, met at a funeral, or were childhood sweethearts, take some time to write out the story of how you first met your partner, and how you fell in love. Don’t try to be “writer-ly”. Just tell the story in your own words. What was happening in your life, and in the world around you when you first met. What did your family and friends think of the relationship at first. It can be a fun personal exercise in memory recall to do this, and if each of you does it, you’ll be amazed at the details only one of you will remember, and the small differences in the way you both remember it happening. The goal here is not historical accuracy. Focus as much on the emotional memories as the concrete things that happened. If you want to add something sexual, you may find inspiration in our guide to writing your sexual history.
Take Sexy Pictures
You could surprise your partner with a slideshow or suggest that you spend the day taking sexy pictures of each other. Either way, professional erotic photographer Chris Ablett offers these tips on how to take erotic photos. Whatever you do, don’t forget to cover your privacy needs, and shoot safe this Valentine’s Day.
Collage Your Sex Life
One way to deepen intimacy over time is to share more with each other about those parts of your sexuality that you tend to keep hidden out of fear or shame. We all need to hold something back (some of us more than others) but there's room to share as well. If you're not a big talker, another way to share is to show. Give some thought to what sexy (or raunchy) looks like to you. What does it sound like? Whether you want to go low-fi with some magazines and a glue stick, or use technology (hello Pintrest) and create a digital collage, give your partner sexual inspiration, by sharing some of what inspires you sexually. If you're not sure where to start, here are some tips on sharing sexy pictures and sounds.
Write Your Own Sex Manual
I’m not suggesting a second career as a sex expert, or putting together a 200 page manuscript. Even if you don’t have ideas of your own, check out these sex tips for the rest of us and pick a few of your favorites (or adapt a few to make them more to your liking). Then make a book to present to your lover. Get old school with construction paper and white glue, or fancy with bindings or complicated folding arrangements. Either way, it’s a handmade gift and a nudge in a few new sexual directions.
Get Crafty and Sexy
We tend to associate arts and crafts with something for kids. But arts and crafts can not only be fun, it can be adult (and even erotic). Whether you want to try your hand at sexy cross stitching, erotic rug hooking, or explore sensual ceramics, it’s time to get your hands moving (and dirty) for Valentine’s Day.
Make Your Own Sex Checks
This always popular gift item available at many fine sex shops offers a series of gift certificates, each good for a sexual service, romantic evening, or simply a night off from household responsibilities. One check might be redeemable for your unconditional sexual services for a day, another might be good for a back rub, or breakfast in bed, in the nude. The beauty of this gift is that you make the checks, so you get to determine the focus and boundaries of all the action.