journal entries

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.

Daily Haiku on Love by Tyler Knott Gregson

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?

Published by Sinclair Sexsmith

Sinclair Sexsmith (they/them) is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queers" (AfterEllen), who "is in all the books, wins all the awards, speaks at all the panels and readings, knows all the stuff, and writes for all the places" (Autostraddle). ​Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and they are the current editor of the Best Lesbian Erotica series. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert, and they live outside Seattle as an uninvited settler on traditional, ancestral, & unceded Snoqualmie land.

13 thoughts on “My Hands Are My Heart (Valentine’s Day)”

  1. I got my wife swing dance lessons for xmas and we're going on a field trip with the class to go dancing on vday. Otherwise, we prolly wouldn't do much of anything. I'm not a big vday person. And now I'm thinking about how amazingly cool a queer swing club would be. All the butches in their zoot suits and all the femmes in their 40s vintage dresses. Everyone having fun and getting sweaty on the dance floor. Sounds like a blast!

  2. Siouxie says:

    The husbutch and me and the little one AND the poodle are all getting on a train and getting out of the city to visit good friends we love on Valentines day. And the little one has a birthday party to go to on Sunday, so we may even manage a romantic afternoon to ourselves if we time it right!

    Happy Valentines!

  3. A dear friend is hosting a "F**k Valentine's Day" party for all us single folks. We're drinking cheap champagne, eating way too much chocolate and playing silly, naughty party games. It's exactly what I needed to distract myself from all the pictures of happy couples on Facebook and the fact that I haven't gotten lucky in months.

  4. gf: honey, what are we doing on Sunday?
    me: what’s Sunday?
    gf: (staring at me)
    me: oops

    Yes, the staying home thing sounds like a perfect plan. :)

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you both!!

  5. Scribe says:

    Wrote my love a little something and framed it. I’m broke and neither of us are much into flowers anyway. We’re backed up against different oceans, so… But I get to go to her next weekend, and we’re so happy about that. She’ll probably be cleaning all Valentine’s Day, lol. But next weekend will be our own special little holiday : O)

  6. Mab says:

    I loved this one and it inspired a whole blog post ( I am another person for poetry. For one lover I bought a notebook and filled it with poetry I liked that reminded me of him and poems I had written about him, as well as short moments of prose where I was just thinking of him. A slightly odd thing to do perhaps but I think it was a good physical thing that showed him he was loved.

  7. Ashley says:

    I am single this year and happily so. I’ll be spending the weekend with my kiddos and enjoying every moment of it. I am grateful for not having to worry about finding the ‘right enough’ ‘good enough’ gift for someone or having the expectation that I will cook some hugely fabulous meal and clean up after it too and I’m really grateful that if I do manage to get laid, it will be because we both seriously want it and not because we’re obligated due to the date.

    I hope you have fun staying in and enjoying each other!

  8. Shana says:

    I have always loved V-Day not for the cards, candy, and flowers aspect but for the stop and smell the roses moment it provides in our busy lives. It's just a chance to reflect on why we fell in love and why we still come together everyday.

    At the request of the Mrs. I'm cooking a big dinner. Chine, crystal, fancy centerpiece, the works. Since I'm in school I don't cook as much as I used to and we both miss it. Will take Dan's advice about the afternoon lovin'. Cheers.

  9. KrysJ says:

    As a single gal in NY, I’m completely boycotting Valentine’s Day. Me and my single friends went and had a spa day last saturday, complete with manis, pedis, waxing and facials. We are all rocking black nail polish this week (anti-vday color we call it) and tonight we are getting together at the movies for Wolfman. Then we will probably go to the bar and celebrate being fabulous and single! :)

    Truth be told…I’d much rather be doing something romantic with someone special but…those are the breaks!

  10. swing dancing! i hope y'all have the best time with that (i don't entirely see how one could not).

  11. Kissiah says:

    Last nite we went to a Mardi Gras party with this yummy seafood boil, rices, etc. It was also a play party at the local dungeon. We did remember to eat light and then we played, ate a little something more and came home and crashed. This morning (cough- afternoon) we're still in bed. Dance lessons sound like fun though.

  12. Karen says:

    For the first time in our 5 years together, I gave her roses: 9 yellow ones and 3 red ones. I had my other love, give it to her. I couldn't do it myself, since there is that ten thousand miles of ocean between me and my two loves. For the other love, a really good chat and emails exchanged for the next three days that had her shaken, her breathe taken away.

Leave a Reply