In case you couldn’t tell by the title, I very much dislike Valentine’s Day and all that it stands for; you will never find me glorifying V-Day and all of its lovey-dovey-ness. Normally I try to stay impartial in my writing but I just can’t with this. It is a Halmarky, socially and culturally constructed crappy holiday that I believe does more harm than good for people, coupled or not. Partners should show affection, praise, support, appreciation and authentic sentiments of love throughout the whole year; “I love you” isn’t said with chocolate truffles. So to push back on all of the annual Valentine’s Day hype, I have listed my top reasons why sex and love (not saying those two things always go hand in hand) is just as good if not better throughout the year. All cupid lovers may want to avert their eyes.
1. You don’t have to sit through a fancy dinner
Homemade dinner or not, sometimes you just don’t want to wait to get a little frisky with your partner. But there are these unspoken steps that are in this unwritten Valentine’s Day date playbook that say you need to have a nice dinner first before anything else. Then there are these expectations that you can’t eat heavy foods like pasta because they’ll make you bloated or put you in a food coma. And you can’t eat foods like asparagus or garlic that will make your breath and your nether-regions “smell funky”. If you want to get intimate with your partner now and eat later, do it; Valentine’s Day expectations be damned.
2. No need for chocolates and flowers
Again, there is this expectation on V-Day that you must give your partner a heart filled with chocolates and roses or a fancy cologne. But then there is a hidden assumption that if your partner only gets a box of chocolates then that’s a “lame” gift and they should have been more creative and thoughtful with their gift giving, because these gifts are supposed to be tokens of undying love right? So these stereotypical “Valentines” that line drug store shelves all throughout the months of January and February are pretty worthless, even though there is the expectation that you need to buy those things. Forget the chocolates and flowers, especially if you are only buying them to appease your partner and to “score” with them later. That’s not showing your love that’s being selfish.
3. No comparisons need to be made
Despite the gripes listed directly above, there are those people that do go above and beyond on V-Day with the diamonds. It is great to buy something really nice for your partner (if you have the means, which many don’t), but money doesn’t buy love. And we all have those friends, or even ex-partners around Valentine’s Day who are so eager to show off the diamond necklace their partner got them; or worse people who want to compare notes on the sacred Valentine’s Day sex. I don’t celebrate V-Day with my partner and am always asked by co-workers and friends what I “got” for Valentine’s Day and there is always this smug or pitiful look I get when I say “nothing.” We should not view our relationships in comparison to other people and couples around us, about the gifts we receive or the sex we have. Let’s not try to out Valentine each other.
4. No need for expensive Valentine’s Day cards
If you need Hallmark to tell your partner you love them for you, we may have a problem. Sure those cards can help you get started, but if you just sign your name at the bottom and seal it up, how sentimental is that really? Not to mention those cards are $5 each! So you’re paying for someone else to write a poetic verse for your partner that you’re just going to throw away at the end of the month. Why not write your own sweet sentiments instead; it would mean more and cost less.
5. No feelings of being ostracized for being single
V-Day also sucks because it is a holiday for couples only. There seems to be insidious cultural fears that being single means that you’re alone and being alone is bad; Valentine’s Day just enforces that assumption. This elitist (too much?) couples-only holiday completely disregards very happy and content single people, that are perhaps also having awesome single sex not with a committed partner. Valentine’s Day is pretty shaming of single folks. There are these assumptions that if you’re single on V-Day your lonely, sad, depressed and buying boxes of chocolates for yourself to drown out your sorrows. Not true! Embrace the singledom! Single folks having safe fun sex, can be just as fulfilling and enjoyable as couples having safe fun sex.
6. There’s less pressure to perform during sex
I save #6 and #7 for last because I think they are the most important. As mentioned above, there is this sacredness to the sex that is had on Valentine’s Day (que the rose petals). But heaven forbid (pun intended) if you don’t have this superb sex because of performance or arousal issues; this is seen as a big failure. A man’s ability to perform sexually is more culturally important and arguable humiliating than a woman’s ability to become aroused or “get wet” in order to have sex with her partner, largely because men’s sexual satisfaction is valued more than women’s. Having trouble getting excited to have sex can be caused by a multitude of reasons such as medications, mood of the day, alcohol use, the list goes on. And that personal struggle of challenges with performance and arousal should not come with added pressure because it is February 14th.
7. There’s less pressure to consent to sex …
or less pressure to submit to sex. Women are often expected to have sex, to put out, on Valentine’s Day especially if they are in a committed relationship with their partner. Similar to the high stakes of sexual performance and arousal on V-Day, there’s also high stakes around having sex period. These are some of the common lines many of us may have heard at one point or another; “It’s Valentine’s Day baby, why don’t you want to have sex? Please can we? I bought dinner tonight, and bought you those nice flowers. We can just start slow, you’ll get into it.” Of course this pressure of having sex, maybe not giving enthusiastic consent, coercive sex, is not just a struggle on Valentine’s Day, but every day for women and even men.
As a final public service announcement as we wrap up, no amount of dinners bought, flowers delivered or chocolates given to someone means that anyone of any gender needs to have sex because it is “owed;” especially on a day that is supposed to be filled with love.
Feature image courtesy of Shutterstock.
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