ColumnHating on Valentine’s Day is nothing new. In fact, you’re in a very small minority if you earnestly adore putting on your little red dress, going out to dinner, and getting (cheesy) jewelry from your significant other (or fantasizing about any of the above).
SNL’s recent spoof on last-minute gifts kind of says it all. But if you’re one of the millions who despise, lament and regret having to participate in V-day, I actually believe you can hack it, transforming it into an authentically awesome holiday.
Screw conventional chocolate hearts, pesticide-laden flowers, Chinese factory-made teddy bears, slave-mined gold, blood diamonds and corporate chain store cards. Continue to boycott all that BS, because you’re eco-aware and besides, this Valentine’s Day hack requires just one ingredient: you.
Whatever your relationship status, you likely spend more time thinking about what’s wrong than what’s right. We humans tend to do that: rather than living in the moment and enjoying it, we fret about when the moment will end. Whether you’re happily single, casually sleeping with someone, bitterly single, newly dating, in a long-term relationship or just sexting, V-day tends to remind you of what you lack.
Are you not having sex with your partner anymore, even though you feel like he/she is your best friend? Have you just broken up with someone (for good reasons) and yet you’re still feeling unready to even flirt? Are you a newlywed just realizing that marriage isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? Even if you just met someone and you’re bubbling over with passion, oxytocin and high-expectations, you know it won’t always be as perfectly perfect as it seems to be right now. Because your life is not a rom-com, and that’s a good thing.
Most of us play the dating game with a toxic false premise – that love is bestowed upon us from some outside force. That’s why Valentine’s Day can be such a miserable, mocking, malicious experience for so many. Our outsized, manufactured romantic expectations – the ones the culture force-feeds us 365 days a year – are transformed into a monstrous mélange of cookie-cutter Hallmark cards and impossible reservations on February 14th. Let’s flip the script, shall we? It’s time to stop looking for love, and to simply BE love.
Any relationship, even the most egalitarian ones, even the ones in which sexual attraction seems to never cease, even the ones that seem like they’ve been spun from an irony-deprived screenwriter’s fever dream – yes, even those relationships suffer from the same false premise. If you arrive at the doorstep of your next relationship feeling needy and unlovable, the lover you choose cannot fix that. Not that you have to come to new partnerships without battle scars – god knows we all have those. But you have to come, at least, with a willingness to be vulnerable. The healthiest relationships are those in which both partners aren’t afraid to ask for what they need, and that requires bravery. I also believe that we have to trash the patriarchal concept of “forever after,” but that’s just me.
More important, whether you just met, you just broke up, or you’re twenty years in, you have to remember that you’re already whole. He can’t fix you. She can’t heal you. All you can do is support each other for as long as it lasts. All you can do is know that you’re enough, all day, every day, and on Valentine’s Day.
And that, my friends, is how you can hack Valentine’s Day. Or forget all of this heavy stuff and eat a boatload of ice cream, get drunk and have sex with a stranger, masturbate, get drunk and have sex with your lover, go out with your besties and dance all night, or all of the above (in any order that makes sense). Bonus: V-Day coincides with a Full Moon this year, and it falls on a Friday, so you have a lovely excuse to stay up all night to get lucky.
Join me on Thursday evening for a Live (Eco) Sex Chat on Facebook. I’ll be answering your burning questions about sustainable condoms, organic lube, sexual fetishes and/or positions, sex toys, orgasm, Orgasmic Meditation, and whatever else you want to know about. I’ll also be giving away three signed copies of my book “Eco-Sex: Go Green Between the Sheets and Make Your Love Life Sustainable”(Crown Publishing/2010) and samples of my favorite lube!
Keep in touch with Stefanie on Twitter: @ecosexuality
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