Olive Von Topp
12 Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day: Pandemic Style
Updated: Apr 20, 2021
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. For some of us, that means nothing. But for others, it could be a particularly difficult this year. It’s the dead of winter here in Canada. We are in the middle of our second lockdown in Ontario. And we just can’t do a lot of the things we normally would do to get through this time of year. Or to celebrate like we normally would. Many of us are away from the people we love and that can make things like Valentine’s extra hard.
For those who are partnered (and able to see their partner or not) and who want to celebrate in quarantine, here are a few ideas to make this day safe and sexy:
1. Schedule time for intimacy rather than sex
Scheduling time together is important. Things are busy. Everyone is home all the time. Life is happening. For lots of folks, their sex drives have been affected by the stress of the pandemic and that is totally okay. Sometimes our libido is mismatched from our partner’s. Sometimes pressure to have sex can add to the stress.
I suggest scheduling time for intimacy together rather than sex this Valentine’s (and all the time).
How can you build intimacy?
Can you have a bath together, make-out, lie naked and touch each other, give each other a massage, snuggle?
Asking each other how you want to feel (ie. relaxed, connected, degraded, desired, etc.) and creating ways to help your partner experience those feelings outside of sex can be really helpful to alleviate pressure if either or both parties aren’t feeling like having sex these days. If it heats up and all parties want to have sex, great. If not, doesn’t matter. It is more about the experience and intimacy you are creating.
2. Have a romantic picnic in your living room
You can get take-out from your favourite restaurant or make a little charcuterie board/picnic. Roll out a blanket, light some candles, perhaps have a glass of wine, use a picnic basket if you have one, and sit together on the floor if this is accessible for you.
If you and your partner aren’t able to be together in person, you can still both do this virtually from your respective homes and try to create the experience of being together IRL.
3. Give ‘gifts’ in your partners love language
Do the test to figure out each other’s love language if you don’t already know and do something for each other in the other’s love language.
For example, if their love language is acts of service, make them dinner or clean the house. If it is words of affirmation, write them a letter about why you love them. Many of these can also be done if you are apart (send them a gift or letter in the mail, spend time together online, hire someone to shovel their driveway, etc.)
4. Learn and perform a strip tease for your partner
Give your partner(s) the gift of strip. There’s something so hot about a partner stripping for you. Their vulnerability, their confidence, getting to admire their body and watch them enjoy themselves.
5. Quality vs Quantity
You don’t have to have a ton of time to spend together for Valentine’s. It is more important that you spend quality time together rather than quantity. Schedule time after the kids go to bed to be present with each other. Put your phones away, pour yourself your favourite drink, sit facing each other on the couch, touch each other (maybe even a foot rub) and just talk. Even just stare into each other’s eyes. Just be present with each other.
I often suggest doing a relationship check in. Some questions you an ask each other:
What are you loving about our relationship right now?
What do you need more of?
How have I made you feel valued and supported lately?
How can I do more of that?
What do you need from me this week?
These types of questions can be really great for creating connection. And you don’t have to be in the same city/space to be able to do them.
6. Take an online workshop together
There are tons of great sex educators out there with great online workshops on any topic you can imagine. Sign up for a live or recorded one. Ask your partner what topic they are interested in or pick a few and ask them to pick one. Try out some of the suggestions from the workshop afterwards.
This can also be done if you don’t live together/can’t see each other. You can both watch it together and then talk about it afterwards. What did you like? What did you think about ____? Would you ever want to try_____?
7. Do a sexy treasure hunt
You can place cues are your home or go to different locations that are significant to your relationship. You could have you, or a particular sexy act, or a massage, or a romantic bath, or a new toy/sexy something as the treasure at the end.
8. Play a relationship game
There are all kinds of games on the internet designed to help you feel more connected or to up the sexy factor and many of which you can do with a partner even if you aren’t able to see each other. You can even purchase some online. Sex stores might be a good place to look for sexy games.
9. Have a sexy dance party
Put on a cute ass outfit, turn down the lights, turn up the music and the heat and grind it out. You don’t have to be a good dancer. Press your bodies together and move your hips in a circle. Let your hands explore each other’s bodies.
10. Buy a new book and read together
It can be a relationship book or even a sex book about a topic you might be interested in. You can read certain chapters together (even from a distance). Take turns reading to one another. Ask questions from it (ie. would you ever want to do this? What do you think about that?) or just try out a few of their suggestions.
11. Transform your living room
Turn your living room into a bar or a club or different country and fantasize that you are there. Decorate your place. Get dressed up. Make fancy cocktails. You can even role play that you are meeting for the first time or that you are different people and see where it takes you.
12. Build a day of pleasure
Schedule a bunch of pleasure activities that your partner likes to do. Do they like to sleep in? Get up with the kids (if applicable) so they can. Do they love their head stroked? Make sure to build that into your day.
Pleasure is an embodied experience. Engage all of your senses. Here are some questions that can help you plan pleasure that considers all of your senses:
How can you create activities for them to be in their body?
What senses can you let them experience?
What smells do they like?
What do they like to eat? Drink?
What do they like to look at?
What do they like to listen to?
How do they like to be touched?
Can you schedule a day of even just small pleasure activities?
How can I create pleasure for my partner in and out of the bedroom today?
These are just a few (non-exhaustive) tips for making this Valentine’s in quarantine special. I know it isn’t the same, but with some creativity and effort, it can be just as special.
And remember... it is just a day.
Be careful not to put too much pressure on it/your partner/yourself. While it is nice to find a day to honour your love for your partner(s), it is important to try and cultivate this connection all year long.