The world has gone bondage mad. As if unrestrained restraint ‘outrageously’ demonstrated on morning TV wasn’t enough, everyone by now will be aware of the grey shaded movie being released on the 13th February. The day before Valentine’s Day. That’s right, it’s another year where we all go 50 shades of absolutely mad about bondage – and don’t forget the jiggle balls or lip balm, come to that.
With so much emphasis on being kinky and increasing expectation for adults across the world to be tied up and spanked this Valentine’s Day, it’s easy to feel just a little bit under pressure to perform. This should be the most romantic day of the year, traditionally, and pressure isn’t sexy. There’s really no need to feel guilty if you’re not a kinky type. The world may be Grey-obsessed but as long as your attention is on the one or ones you love that’s all that really matters. After all, Valentine’s Day is simply one day where we celebrate being able to publicly show what we should be feeling throughout the year.
If you don’t feel like getting kinky, tied up and spanked, or fantasising about a jiggle ball wielding billionaire, why not have a really alternative Valentine’s Day and go vanilla? There’s nothing wrong with celebrating the sensuality that vanilla can arouse – just like there’s nothing wrong with not being in a traditional and dare I say it heteronormative and gender binary couple-set.
Regardless of whether your Valentine’s Day means a red roses and hearts celebration as husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, boyfriend and boyfriend, wife and wife, husband, wife and boyfriend, or countless others, I hope you all make it the most enjoyable day for you that you can. Plenty of people don’t want to celebrate especially for or on Valentine’s Day anyway, writing it off as a commercialism too far. That’s fine, your choice. Personally, I do enjoy having a day to make an extra fuss of my partner as well as break out the bubbly and Belgian chocolates. I’ve also got a weakness for red roses, so it’s all good with me.
Those who are without a life partner or sex partner needn’t feel left out either, although it’s obvious to see why plenty may feel that way in the month of hearts, roses and couples, couples, couples. For me, Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love. It’s important to love yourself. Those of you familiar with my blog will be aware of the importance I place on self-love – even if this mainly demonstrates here as a physical self-love. Mental and emotional self-care is just as important, if not more so.
If I were single, I’d still be inclined to celebrate Valentine’s Day with an evening of self-love. A neck deep bath surrounded by Lush products. A bottle of champagne. My favourite waterproof vibrator, then the Doxy Massager waiting by the bed afterwards. Warm towels at the ready. A box set of my favourite TV series. A delicious meal just for me.
I can’t as easily imagine being vanilla, sorry guys. But I have friends who tell of their incredibly steamy and romantic love lives where yes, the sex may be missionary and yes, the sex may be in the dark and you know what? That’s ok. It’s no one else’s business to judge you, your relationship or your sex life – as long as it works for you and your partner that’s the important factor.
That’s not to say all vanilla sex is in the dark or missionary either. For many people, intimacy and tenderness are entwined – just as for many kinky people intimacy, firm control and physical punishment are entwined. Discovering your loved one’s body with massage oils, fingertips and tongue during a softer focus, romantic foreplay session could help ease away the pressure to get tied up and spanked.
I don’t believe there should be any pressure to live up to perceived-to-be-new sexual fashions or whatever the world decides to spotlight as the latest and greatest display of passion. I do believe that the responsibility of all those in a relationship is to make each other feel valued and loved – in whatever form that takes for you.