Look, nothing against a candle-lit dinner, but why not mix it up (and spice it up) a little come February 14? Whether you and your partner have been together for years or just a few months, it's the perfect time to really get closer to each other. Ahead, six surprisingly sexy Valentine’s Day date ideas -- because the last thing you want is to get stuck at an overpriced, overcrowded dinner.
Act like a kid again
“Make the evening an epic playdate,” suggests sex & relationship Expert Jen Elmquist, MA, LMFT, Evine After Dark co-host. Relationships thrive when you’re laughing, so channel your inner child and do one of the activities that you used to love as a kid. A few of her suggestions: Hit the playground, arcade, or amusement park, or stay at home and play board games (for kisses!).
Sharing an experience that triggers an adrenaline rush will increase your connection, says Elmquist. Activities such as a hot air balloon ride, trapeze class, or indoor skydiving will not only get your hearts racing, but also strengthen your bond.
Go toy shopping
“Adding an intimacy product can help you both learn something new about your partner and enhance your pleasure,” point out Elmquist. If you’re not entirely comfortable hitting the sex store, try online shopping together, each of you selecting one toy that you’d like to try out. Need a little inspo? Elmquist says both the NEO by Lola Premium Couple’s Massager ($99; evine.com) and the Kama Sutra 4-Piece Treasure Love Set ($45; evine.com) are great for couples.
Stare into each other’s eyes
Stay with us here. It may sound cheesy, but simply taking the time to look at your partner (like, really look) can have a profound effect. “There’s a deep, non-verbal connection we make through extended eye contact, but usually when we’re intimate we close our eyes,” explains Elmquist. Sit across from one another on the bed and look into each other’s eyes…no touching allowed (at least at first). Do so for one minute, working your way up to five minutes. You’ll be amazed by the effect this simple exercise has, she says.
Instead of going out or going away on Valentine’s Day, spend the night planning your next adventure, whether that’s a date night, a weekend getaway, or a more exotic vacation. “Locking in the reservation can be the perfect gift to your relationship, and nothing is more exciting than thinking about a shared future experience,” notes Elmquist.
Hit the apps
More specifically, the Inscape app ($58.99 for a yearly subscription), which now offers sex and intimacy meditations. The four-part series (geared to both individuals and couples) focuses on using touch, breathing, and sensation to maximize your sex life. In theory, staring at your phone during a romantic evening is not advisable, but we’ll go ahead and say this is a worthy exception to that rule.