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I’ve never been one for extravagance on Valentine’s Day. No chocolate, no pink and red get-ups, no rose petals on the bed. This year, however, I’ve been reflecting on the importance of romance and what it can mean to engage with it more consistently. My relationship with myself, my friends, and my sexual partners all deserve to be nurtured with a similar fervor, and this week is a perfect opportunity to explore dates of all kinds. So whether your V-Day is solo, with friends, or Rated R, here’s what to pack for the perfect date.
The Solo Date
Wining and dining yourself is an underrated practice that should be year-round, in my opinion, but days like these give you an excuse to go all out, guilt-free. Here’s what to bring on a solo night out, and how to woo yourself beforehand:
The Send by Fresh Sends ($60)
Buying myself flowers has been one of the many little self-loving habits I’ve picked up during lockdown. A fresh bouquet immediately adds a cheerful brightness to your space, and getting something for the sake of beauty alone — for nobody but yourself — can be an incredibly fulfilling experience. Fresh Sends arranges bouquets daily based on what’s in season. Pre-order a bouquet to arrive at your door day-of, so you can start your day off with a healthy dose of self-flattery.
A set from Gooseberry Intimates (prices vary)
Set up your selfie cam, find your light, and take some pics so hot you turn yourself on. Gooseberry Intimates is a family-owned brand that offers chic, affordable lingerie and loungewear. You’ll have no trouble finding something that helps get you in the mood. Plus, you can continue to wear that wry smile out on your way to your favorite restaurant — just throw on a slip, a nice coat, and get ready to dine like a king.
All Times Minis by Miss Grass ($24)
Miss Grass makes THC and CBD products that are created to make you feel good, whatever the vibe you’re looking for. With cute packaging and a mission to cultivate conscious smokers, the All Times Minis are a perfect fit for your purse and your mind set. Clear your mind before you venture out the door.
Confidant Hardcover Notebook by Baronfig ($19)
I feel incredibly sexy and mysterious when I dine alone. It always helps to have something to do, and if the lighting is too dim for a book, I always enjoy bringing a journal along to write notes to myself or just jot down phrases and images I collect while people-watching. Consider it an ode to Joan Didion. Put on your coolest demeanor and make her proud.
The Galentine’s Date
Whether from the safety of a slumber party-style pillow fort, or the scenic setting of a beautiful sunset picnic, these goodies are a surefire way to romance your closest friends.
Puffer Blanket by Buffy ($99)
Buffy’s versatile puffer blanket is made (and encouraged!) to be used any time, anywhere. Whatever part of the world you’re in — and whatever February weather means to you — this soft, durable quilt can be spread out both indoors and out.
Oops! by Le Puzz ($28)
This ain’t your grandma’s jigsaw. Designed by Melbourne/Brooklyn-based design studio Little Troop, Le Puzz makes bold, witty puzzles that bring vintage-inspired visual elements to its eye-catching still lifes.
Valentine’s Day Set by Usual Wines ($96)
The concept for Usual Wines is simple: good quality, California-sourced wine served in single-serve glass bottles. There’s no additives or sweeteners, and each bottle tastes like a fresh new batch — and you never have to deal with a re-corked bottle gone stale. The Valentine’s Day Set, half Brut and half Rosé, comes in a box of 12 or 24, so there’s plenty of love to go around the group.
Happy Hour Edition by Actually Curious ($25)
Actually Curious is a card game meant to foster emotional connections through meaningful questions and active listening. The Happy Hour deck includes questions that explore one’s dreams, ambitions, and positive memories, which is sure to spark some ugly cries and happy-gushy tears.
Valentine’s Day Collection by Studs ($18-$24)
Studs is a fresh take on ear-piercing and jewelry. The brand recently launched an affordable Valentine’s Day collection, with cute heart and flower motifs available in singles or pairs. Mix, match, and trade, like an adult version of those cute BFF necklaces from back in the day.
The Happy Ending
Spend the Night Bag, H*e Bag — there’s many-a-euphemism for the essentials you pack when you know you’re going to get some.
Mid-Rise Lace Thong by Panic Panties ($13)
Panic Panties makes individually-wrapped, cute underwear to stash in your purse or travel kit. Made “for life’s emergencies”—sweating, bleeding, soiling yourself, staying the night somewhere with no backup—these packs are a small bit of insurance, especially in a moment of unexpected heat. And, unlike other emergency-minded products, they’re genuinely cute and comfortable. You’ll want to wear them again and again, even after the panic dies down.
Condoms by Cake ($12)
I’ll spare you the health class lecture. This one speaks for itself. As far as condoms go, I love that Cake offers a variety of sizes and textures.
Blow by BAWDY Beauty ($69)
Blow is an CBD and CBG-infused edible lubricant from BAWDY. The mini-sized bottle is sleek, sexy, and discreet enough, and it can easily pass as a travel-sized perfume oil. Its purpose is to “elevate your oral experience” by adding flavor, heat, and mental calm to an already enjoyable activity. A few drops on your tongue, spread on your lips, or rubbed in between your hands is all you need to get it started.
Dripstick by Awkward Essentials ($25)
The Dripstick has a forever place in my date night bag. One of the more creative sexual wellness products I’ve tried in the past year, Dripsitck is a disposable after-sex clean-up sponge that is about the size of a tampon. You just insert, twirl, and toss, doing away with excess fluids whether at home or on-the-go ;).
Wherever your Valentine’s Day takes you, it’s best to show up prepared. After all – what’s sexier than a well-packed bag?