It’s almost like you can feel the reservation books filling up. Valentines Day is upon us again, giving way to days spent brainstorming new and improved ways to pull at your lover’s heartstrings.
However, if you aren’t particularly fond of showy displays of affection enforced by greeting card companies, we’ve got just the list for you.
We’re hoping you’ve been especially romantic this year and need a break from the usual fall back plan. Either way, we’ve scoured our dirty minds for special ways to heat up the holiday and get those wheels turning. Here are four ways to take an old or new relationship to that next level.
Knowledge is Sexy
Unfortunately, you won’t be taking your babe to Kink.com studios to tour the racy remains of any number of BDSM basement sets inside the San Francisco Armory. (It’s over, kids.) However, you can still learn a thing or two about adult play-time from the fine toy purveyors at The Antique Vibrator Museum. On one of their regular tours, you’ll learn the questionable history of how vibrators were first used by doctors, and then later as household appliances. Needless to say, you’ll also have a clever excuse to pick up a few souvenirs while you’re there. You might also stop by the Center for Sex and Culture, which provides judgment-free education, cultural events, and a library and media archive that appeals to audiences across the sexual and gender spectrum. Tip: if you find a book worthy of transferring to the bedroom, you could start your own private “book club.”
An antique vibrator, circa 1920 (Courtesy of The Antique Vibrator Museum)
Relax the Senses
What’s better than one sensual massage? Two sensual massages. There are plenty of spots around the city with couples massages or you can also visit a more holistic center like The Love Institute, which surveys techniques in line with “the language of touch.” If your sense of adventure—and tolerance for erratic temperatures—is high, you’ll find your zen moment in the outdoors and lose those silly clothes at North Baker Beach, where clothing is optional. There’s probably extra credit if you bring a picnic and stay to watch the sunset. If you’d rather dodge the elements and stay indoors, try Kabuki Springs & Spa, or The Hot Tubs in Russian Hill, where you can get your soak on for a few hours before your dinner plans. It might be just the spark you’re looking for to light up the rest of the evening.
Bathers at Kabuki Hot Springs & Spa (Photo by Frankie Franekey)
Stay Classy (and Sweaty)
Maybe you’ve had your fair share of moving your bodies around together, but when was the last time you stopped to be mindful of your physical experience together? Get your heads out of the gutter, because there’s more than one way to get in touch with the senses and feel your blood pumping. Ritual Hot Yoga is just one of many great spots to experience bikram yoga—but here you also get a mini massage at the end. Want to go even further? Try a Valentine’s Day Introduction to Sensual Play at The Nexus Center, a community space for connection, play, and creative self-exploration. What’s in store: the taste of strawberry on your lips; the subtle smell of a rose; a surprise ice cube. Here, you’ll learn new ways to tantalize your lover through the five senses.
Feel the sweaty burn of hot yoga (Courtesy of Ritual Hot Yoga)
Be Saucy and Cheesy
What could better than catching some low-quality footage of nude bodies gallivanting across the screen (yes, we mean vintage pornography)? Kozy Kar, or “The Only Bar That Matters” according to their website, is a staple of San Francisco bar culture. Settle into an old waterbed or take a whirl on the guest stripper pole and maybe you’ll learn an odd thing or two about each another. For a night of jazz entertainment and burlesque—not to mention, some pretty stellar cocktails—head over the bridge to Starline Social Club in Oakland for Cupid’s Cabaret. If you want to step up your game even more and are feeling curiously ambitious, you could also double-down on the smut and make your way up to North Beach/Telegraph Hill in the city together to get a little more than you probably bargained for. Regardless of the final plan, we’re rooting for you.