Hey, you know what’s gross? Those ads all over TV right now where a guy buys a girl some overpriced rocks on a string or a ring, and she lives happily ever after and cries and stuff because oh my god this is all she ever wanted in life. (And don’t even get us started on the Victoria’s Secret ads implying women are all dying to receive the gift of ludicrous underwear.) Valentine’s Day, at its core, isn’t evil: Great love is hard to find, so we see nothing wrong with celebrating it. We’d rather celebrate it every day without crass commercialism lurking, but whatever … Love is about compromise, so we’re willing to give Valentine’s Day a chance, but only by celebrating love with our partners as equals. Corporations want men to believe women are demanding bitches, and they want women to believe they deserve to be demanding bitches. We say fight the patriarchy by focusing on couplehood — and by giving the good men we love thoughtful tokens of our affection.
A few ideas, which apply equally to heterosexual women wrestling with sexist holiday traditions and queer women who need some inspiration, too:
Draw up a bubble bath — for your partner, or better yet for both of you — after you cook a nice, romantic dinner.
Book a couples massage.
Learn about something your partner loves, whether that’s playing Xbox, visiting art museums, or singing karaoke.
Sign up for a beer-of-the-month or wine-of-the-month club that will give you something to enjoy together year-round.
Hit a sex-toy store and stock up on goodies you can try out together — vibrators, lube, massage oil, restraints, blindfolds, whatever turns you on.
Dedicate a night to staying in bed, exploring each other, and doing all that stuff you usually don’t make time for. You know which stuff.
Tell your partner you love him or her. No one ever gets tired of hearing that.