Let’s get it on …

Lorain E. Ogden

Sweet suggestions for spicing up Valentine’s Day love-making

“For some people getting crazy is getting out of the missionary position,” health education specialist and human sexuality instructor Laurie Wagner said.

Credit: Andrew popik

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking of a unique way to have a romantic evening with that special someone.

There may have been a time when dinner, a movie and some intense gazing into each other’s eyes were enough to get you both in the mood. But what can you do if those intimate moments with your significant other have become as predictable as Old Faithful?

“Sex is boring,” admitted Jeni Thomas, a former Kent State student. “You can only do the same thing so many times.”

Thomas has been with her boyfriend for more than four years.

Katherine Schneider, director of marketing for Ambiance, agreed.

“After you become comfortable with someone, you have to open the door to communication and try to find ways to get those butterflies back.”

Certified health education specialist and human sexuality instructor Laurie Wagner said people want to really impress their significant others — at the beginning of the relationship. But after couples become comfortable with one another, they tend to stop trying so hard.

“People would go insane, really, if they had to maintain that same level of excitement throughout the whole relationship,” Wagner said.

Short of going insane, what can couples do?

Wagner said it really depends on the couple.

“For some people getting crazy is getting out of the missionary position.”

Wagner said whatever a couple decides to do in the bedroom, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.

“Think about it before you do it,” she said. “If you’re into bondage and you’re going to tie your partner up, you need to make sure your partner doesn’t have issues with it so he or she doesn’t end up trying to call 911.”

Wagner said this requires good communication between partners.

“So many people have sex but aren’t able to talk about it. If there’s something that you need to make your experience better, you should be able to say, ‘This is what I need,’ and talk about ‘How can I get you to go along with it?’”

Going along with it

Wagner said you shouldn’t really need a card or dice to tell you to kiss your partner for two minutes, but the games and toys offered at stores like Ambiance can help couples get the things they might not be getting to “get them in the mood” — like foreplay.

“People may run out of a variety in the things they know how to do,” Wagner said.

Well, where technique may be lacking, technology can take over.

“Ambiance has a number of non-intimidating massagers that come in softer colors and are very small to introduce the concept of using marital aid,” Schneider said. “Once they use that, they’ll come in and branch out and try other things.”

Marital aids?

Schneider said Ambiance also has lingerie, games and other “top-of-the-line” toys such as “The Rabbit,” which gained notoriety as the massager of choice on the hit HBO series “Sex and the City.”

High-tech toys like “The Rabbit” are not for beginners, though.

“That’s something people have to work up to,” she said.

While some may find that sexual fulfillment comes with AA batteries, Thomas isn’t convinced that buying lacy lingerie or complicated electronic devices is the solution to breaking out of the “same old, same old.”

“We got a lot of returns at Frederick’s,” Thomas recalled of her year-long stint at the lingerie boutique Frederick’s of Hollywood.

“Guys would come in by themselves to buy some lingerie for their woman, but would end up offending her because they’d get the wrong size, or they’d get something that she’d think was too sleazy.”

Thomas recommends that if men want to get something for their women to wear, they should steer clear of the frilly bra and panties and instead go for a sexy gown.

“Most women want something a little more classy,” she said.

Wagner said women have a fantasy wrapped around sex, whereas men focus on the physicality of it. She said you can see the difference in approach to sex by watching porn.

“The male version of porn usually goes something like, ‘Here I brought you a pizza, and now I’m naked, and now we’re having sex.’ The female version of porn is like, ‘We met in Italy and spent the day together and bonded instantly, and all the romance is alive,’ and that is what works for them.”

For many people, finding out exactly what works can be a little intimidating.

For couples who may want to try something new but aren’t quite sure where to begin, Schneider said Ambiance’s “romance consultants” are trained to guide the erotica novice.

“We’re not the kind of store when customers come in we ask them, ‘What are you looking for?’ It’s a little more complicated than that. Not everyone is ready to say, ‘This is what I want.’”

Schneider said “most of the couples that come in are looking for something they can share together. And these toys just add new buttons to push.”

For Thomas, the most romantic Valentine’s Day would have to contain an element of surprise and creativity.

“It’s being inventive. Do something unexpected. If I came home and my boyfriend said, ‘Let’s go,’ and he took me on a romantic getaway to spend a night in a hotel decked out with rose petals, flowers, champagne and room service, that would be perfect.”

Whatever someone decides to do to make Valentine’s Day romantic for that special someone, it’s going to take a certain amount of planning.

“Don’t wait,” Schneider said. “Shop early. Otherwise you’re going to have to wait in long lines of men.”

“Making the time and making the effort is something you have to plan,” Thomas suggests. “You have to plan the time together. Life interrupts, and there’s not always time for sex.”

Wagner said planning a romantic evening for Valentine’s Day is important but something that should not be limited to just once a year.

“I think that a person’s sexuality is as essential to their well-being as breathing, sleeping or eating,” Wagner said. “A healthy sexuality is necessary to staying healthy.”

Contact features reporter Lorain E. Ogden at [email protected].