Valentine’s Day is here. Are you expecting me to give you tips and tricks on how to make it hotter? Crazy positions that’ll have you swinging from the ceiling fan? That’s probably what I should be saying but frankly, you can get that kind of content on every Cosmo, Bustle, and Refinery29 website. Truthfully, there’s not much I can add to the already saturated “Valentine’s Day Tips” lexicon. You know the basics: wear lingerie, have sex, try to make it good, break out a new sex toy. Blah blah blah.

I’m bored. Aren’t you? That’s the same stuff I’ve been reading since 1996 when I realized Valentine’s Day came with a certain set of expectations (no need to get into the why and how of that discovery…despite popular belief, some of my sexual experiences actually ARE sacred). Fast forward 21 years and it turns out my libido takes a big ol’ nose dive when it’s attached to expectations. Not “anticipation,” that’s different; that’s setting something up that you’re looking forward to. I’m talking about “expectation;” the idea that you should or need to do something. “Should” and “need” are not sexy to me. They’re anti-sexy. They dry me right up. And if ever there was a holiday with sexual expectations built in, it’s Valentine’s Day.

Here’s the conversation lots of us have with ourselves on Valentine’s Day:

“Ugh, ok, so I have to have sex tonight. Is he expecting me to wear something sexy? Probably. But it’s winter and I’m freezing. Plus it’s a weeknight and I’m usually so tired. Ok, fine, I’ll rally. Was I supposed to get him something? Crap, I’ll just give him a card that says “this entitles you to any position you want” or something. That’s enough, right? Are we supposed to do a crazy foreplay thing tonight? But it’s a weeknight and I don’t really have the energy for that. Maybe we can do a Valentine’s Day redo this weekend? I guess I could break out that couples vibrator I bought. It’s really good and I guess it’s pretty hot and different. Fine, that’s my plan: some kind of lingerie and that vibe. That’s enough, right?”

I’m betting you’ve had some version of that conversation with yourself. Yes? That’s why I hate Valentine’s Day. It’s just so….forced. And I think great, orgasmic sex is a product of the opposite. It comes from opting in. Not from doing due diligence because Hallmark says you should.

Don’t get me wrong, I was just on a podcast where I was asked to give Valentine’s Day tips and I did: wear something sexy, leave him a raunchy note before he leaves for work, etc. You know, the usual. Take a listen here. Being the lingerie junkie that I am, I do actually like anything that inspires women to make the effort to strap on some garters and stockings. But I was also really honest that I think Valentine’s Day is a terrible excuse to have sex and try harder. When we treat Valentine’s Day sex as a must-do, we turn it into a prom night where you’re both at the dance and just waiting for the big moment after the music stops.

The reality is having sex on Valentine’s Day doesn’t make us sexier; it just makes us followers of someone else’s path. What makes us lead sexier lives is to make an effort much more often and if we can do that on a more habitual basis, we will set ourselves up for hotter, kinkier, better sex all throughout the year, not just on February 14th. THAT is worth celebrating. Where’s our holiday for THAT?!!?!

Look, I’m not trying to be a downer here. If February 14th is a big deal for you and you love all the hearts and flowers and the expected sex, you go girl. Seriously, that’s awesome. But for me, and I’m guessing for lots of us, it’s just a big eye roll. I’m not saying I’m going to wear black all day and eschew hearts and flowers. I’ll have some chocolate and throw on my favorite lace. But I do that all the time and that’s why I have a sexy life. Not because I screwed on Valentine’s Day.

My point? Give yourself a break and don’t tie your sexual self worth to your performance tonight. You’re still sexy as all hell if you stay in PJ pants and tell him “tomorrow.” In fact, you might be sexier because you had the confidence to say that you have sex when YOU want to, not when the card aisle at Target tells you to. I really do hate being told what to do….unless I’m naked of course 😉  

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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