Things that top my turn-off list include: bragging, the smell of hot dogs . . . and obligation. I regularly punk-out on birthday sex, anniversary sex . . . I didn’t even have sex on my wedding night. Not because I’m opposed to celebrating these occasions—I live for birthday cake, anniversary dinners, and Valentine’s Day chocolate. (I’m really, really, REALLY okay with the parts of special occasions that involve eating)—but as soon as I feel like I should be having sex, the thought short-circuits my arousal mechanisms. My sexual systems go offline. Instead of seductive lingerie, I’m reaching for my sweatpants and the doggie bag from dinner.
For me, Valentine’s Day can mean an extra heaping of pressure, as it also marks the anniversary of the day my husband and I started dating. Calendar-mandated romance I can do—it’s why I chose Valentine’s day to ask him out in the first place. But in the past, I've felt like there's a lot of expectation around sex. I wake up the morning of February 14th and it's as though the world is chanting, "Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it!"
This year, I’m kind of broke and super-busy because of school. Instead of a fancy dinner or trip, my partner and I have planned a really low-key celebration of food truck take-out and wandering the streets of San Francisco for the evening. And when we get home, we’ve made plans to spend lots of physical, intimate time together—touching, cuddling . . . and not having sex. This year, I proposed taking sex off the V-Day agenda altogether, and my husband happily agreed. It’s not because we’re not into each other. But neither of us is into the idea that the happiness of the day is dependent on whether sex happens or not. We love each other, we get to be with each other—that’s all either of us really wants for Valentine’s.
We can always get busy on the 15th, right?