My Hands Are My Heart (Valentine’s Day)
So … what are you doing for Valentine’s Day this Sunday?
“My Hands Are My Heart,” Gabriel Orozco, 1991
Remember what Kristen and I did last year? I planned a little surprise trip up to a winery, which was lovely. This year, though, I’m broke and Kristen doesn’t like spending money, so we’re taking swing dancing lessons through February (which we both LOVE) and staying in this weekend, cooking and holing up with each other.
All I really want to do lately is get lost in her, talk to her, touch her, explore her. I’ll probably make a little card or love note too … I’d love to write a perfect poem for her, one of these days. I ran into this lovely haiku the other day, and you know how sometimes you read things and they are just like so fucking perfect that you feel like you’ll never write something that good? I kind of love that feeling. And I really love this haiku.
I have never felt
more completely like myself
than when I hold you.
Not that I’ll stop trying to write her a perfect poem. I will, I am. Just that I keep running into things that are so perfect. Like this: “She wasn’t doing a thing that I could see, except standing there, leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together.” — J.D. Salinger (posted on my tumblr media log recently). Maybe I just need to do some sort of collage or compilation.
On a related note, I was listening to Dan Savage’s podcast Savage Love, which, if you don’t listen to, I highly HIGHLY recommend, he’s sometimes a bit of a jerk, yes, and occasionally has some bad slips of the tongue about plenty of hot-button things, but he’s honest, and very sex-positive, and I’ve learned a LOT from his work over the past ten years. Last week, at the beginning of his podcast, he had this to say:
Valentine’s Day is a week and change away, and when you’re a sex advice professional, as I am, you get a lot of calls on the run up to Valentine’s Day, asking for boiler-plate love and romance advice from bullshit publications that the rest of the year pretend that sex doesn’t really exist. And what they want is usually this bullshit deep-fried funnel cake sugar coated romance crap, and not real romance: you know, “how do you sex up your Valentine’s? How do you make it more erotic?” And what they want to hear is candles, and dinner, and wine, and flowers.
What’s crazy about all the standard Valentine’s Day gifts is that they all have narcotic effects, really! Go out and have some wine, and eat a big rich meal, and you’re really not going to want to fuck when you get home! You’re going to want to fall the fuck asleep. And then you get all these letters—if you’re a sex advice professional, as I am—the day after Valentine’s Day, from people who are worried about the health of their relationship, or whether their partner is really attracted to them, because they went out and had this big romantic Valentine’s Day date and dinner, and then they didn’t fuck because they fell asleep, or he fell asleep. Well of course he fell asleep. He had a gut full of steak and booze and rich crap.
You know, if you want to spice up your sex life, on Valentine’s Day, stay the fuck home, do something that gets your blood pumping, like move your ass, don’t feed your face, and then bone each other! Done! The end, right? Don’t make reservations. Don’t fall into the restaurant industrial chocolate complex conspiracy that is Valentine’s Day, and think you have to mark it by pouring money into … whatever! You need to pour your own bodily fluids into each other (if you are fluid bonded, if not please use condoms and barriers and whatever)! And you can do that best if you stay the fuck home!
You know what you should do, if you do go to the restaurant—and you probably should go the restaurant, waiters gotta eat, I put myself through school waiting tables, I don’t want to like kill the restaurant industry (I don’t think I have that power)—FUCK FIRST. Fuck at four o’clock, if you have dinner reservations at eight. Fuck twice if you have dinner reservations at eight, then go to the restaurant. And toast the awesome relationship you have, and the amazing sex you just had, and then go home and collapse into bed, and fall the fuck asleep.
—Dan Savage, Savage Love Podcast episode 172 (transcribed by me, errors are probably my fault)
Now, I’ve always been a sex-at-night kind of person, probably because I like staying up late, but my days are often so jam-packed lately that I’m finding Kristen and I do this quite often—we go out to some awesome event, or for a great meal, then we end up crashing. This definitely made me think about planning the evening (and the sex play) with a little bit more intention.
I know, I know, Valentine’s Day is a cheesy corporate and capitalistic holiday, and we shouldn’t need excuses to show our loved ones that we care. But, to be honest … I’m a romantic, and I like the excuses. I also fight with my tendency to over-shower, over-give, over-love someone, and an event gives permission to channel those tendencies into gifts or romance.
So the question remains: what are you doing for Valentine’s Day this Sunday? What do you wish you were doing? What’s the romantic Valentine’s Day that you will always remember?