Valentine’s Day for guys is about one thing: Pleasing your date or partner in a way that makes their clothes fall right off. But just because you’re sex-focused during Cupid’s victory lap doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still be a gentleman. Hold the door, share your coat if it’s cold, and commit to your memory these 14 dos and dont’s of pulling off the perfect evening that’ll leave a mile-wide smirk on both your satisfied faces.
Put effort into the planning
From ensuring your personal presentation is on point to tidying up your pad (a must if you plan to bring your date back to your place; a double must if you’re married), you should take preparations for Love’s big day seriously. A case can be made for this attention to detail on a daily basis – why not look and feel your best every day? – but it’s worth a lot more on a day that many people, including the one you’re trying to impress, assign higher significance.
Same goes for the actual date, too. Have your plans all set up and ready to go by Feb. 14 – preferably a couple weeks in advance so you’re not left in the lurch with a disappointed date on your hands – and you two will enjoy each other’s company without obstacles to rain on your wanna-get-laid parade.
Buy yourself sexy-time underwear
Your partner may expect lingerie on Valentine’s Day – it’s almost a prerequisite – but what about you? If you don’t expect undies that enhance your best assets as a gift, buy it yourself and surprise the lucky girl (or guy) with your flair for fun while letting them know you mean business. Maybe you already know what they’d like to see on you (this is where that whole listening and observing part of a relationship comes in handy), but if you don’t, go with whatever makes you comfortable. If you’re particularly adventurous, dodge the boxers and briefs and jump into a jock strap or man-thong. Nobody but your partner will see you in it, so relax and go with the flow. It’ll be on the floor in a few minutes anyway.
Share an experience together
If you’re trying to avoid an overpriced dinner and overcrowded movie theater, consider scheduling an experience date off the beaten path that you’ll both enjoy. Maybe it’s shuffleboard at a local bar or a virtual-reality gaming session or a hatchet-throwing contest – which are all legit things to do if you dig a little.
“There are a ton of things that people can actually do instead of the same ol’ same ol’,” adds professional matchmaker and dating coach April Davis. “Bowling, salsa dancing, ice skating, and rock climbing are all good ideas for winter activities.”
Fall back on Valentine’s Day standards
If you can’t conjure the creativity to plan a date that’ll go down in your relationship’s history, stick to what you know. There’s no shame in the standard dinner and movie if that’s what you’re into. The most important thing – and the only thing your date or partner will care about – is that you were thoughtful enough to remember and committed enough to take charge.
Write a love note by hand
Wanna see those panties drop? Put a handwritten, heartfelt love note in an envelope singing your partner’s praises and recognizing them for all they do for your relationship. There’s nothing sexier than appreciation with a side of vulnerability. It’ll be game on before the ink dries.
Discuss with each other your holiday expectations
I hear a lot of couples say they don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. But why is that? Is it because they’ve both come to that conclusion together, or is one partner just going along with the other’s laziness and lack of sentiment? Avoid hurt feelings – and probably a fight – by discussing how you’d each truly like to spend the holiday. If you can’t agree, compromise. If that’s a bouquet of flowers, a bucket of KFC, and the Apple TV, more power to you. You’ll be the envy of half the men in America.
Have sex before going out to dinner
The irony of that big, fancy Valentine’s dinner with steak and seafood and wine and dessert – which is meant to put everybody in the mood – is that it often leaves you bloated, tired, and broke (which is a mood killer in itself). If that’s your plan, forge ahead, but you’re better off bangin’ it out beforehand. This way you both work up an appetite – and still have the option of round two.
Don’t wing it
If you wait until Feb. 14 to make dinner reservations or other romantic plans outside your home, you’re already in trouble. You’ll be hard-pressed to find anything available, which could put you in the doghouse – or, worse, change your status to single again. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can pull of a date on the biggest dating day of the year in six hours’ time. You can’t, and you’ll be in for a world of hurt if your partner has to sit at home staring at your neglectful mug all night. No nookie for you.
Don’t get wasted face
You want to know who gets whiskey dick? This guy right here – and I’m willing to bet you’re cursed with this debilitating, embarrassing and frustrating affliction, too. Have a drink, maybe two, but cut yourself off before you’re sloshed. Nobody likes a clumsy drunk in bed who lacks the manpower to get the job.
Don’t give sex toys that take you out of the equation
I’m all for introducing adult toys to spice up your love life, but this is where it’s OK (and recommended) to employ selfishness. Instead of one-player dildos and vibrators, pick up couples-oriented hardware, like the Bluetooth-connected, app-controlled Lush that puts you in the driver’s seat while she enjoys the ride, or the Pulse Hot Octopuss, which delivers high-amplitude waves to show your dick a new trick.
Don’t forget to clean up down there
A mouthful of pubes shouldn’t be on the Valentine’s menu. Trim your junk to keep things moving along efficiently once all the dangly bits come out. Your date doesn’t want to pick curlies out of her teeth, and you’re doing yourself a disservice by almost-but-not-quite getting there over and over again because of frequent delays.
Don’t let trivial relationship issues get in the way of having a good time
No relationship is perfect, and we all have things we can work on. Put those issues aside this Valentine’s Day and dedicate yourself to concentrating on your partner’s strengths – and why you fell in love with them the first place. You have 364 other days to bicker with one another, but this day is off-limits. Especially if you want that good-good.
Don’t let the ‘supplies’ slip your mind
In the hustle and bustle of Valentine’s date prep it’s easy to forget a few things, but condoms and lube and whatever else you need to keep your horizontal mambo safe and sexy shouldn’t be among them. In fact, make a list ahead of time of everything you need to do and items you need to pick up so you’re not rushed and flustered when it’s time to get the no-pants party started.
Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and lifestyle expert whose Valentine’s plans include a floor picnic in his living room with candles and cheesesteaks for two – because he’s one lucky-in-love SOB. Connect with Mikey on Twitter @mikeyrox.