Valentine's Day: Setting the Mood (cont.)

My husband usually starts things, but I'd like to try to start things too. I'm looking at Valentine's Day as my big opportunity. Can you give me tips for initiating things? I'd like it to be a nice surprise, not a total shock. How do I get started?

"It's important to get in sync with your mate, knowing what his or her expectations are and sharing what yours are."

You can do any of the following:

You can send him a note in his briefcase, lunch box, wallet, any place he would find it. This note has a checklist of sexual activities that you would be willing to offer him when you have your get-together on Valentine's. He could then return the note complete with checkmarks and you could then start from there. Some people have secure email situations and do the same there.

You could also make a list of things and ask him "Which of these would you not want to have happen?" He could cross those out so that you wouldn't shock him or frustrate him if you're really worried about doing something that would be upsetting to him. In addition, you could make a list of sexual activities that you would enjoy receiving or participating in and ask him which of those he might want to do.

Another idea involves some dice. Some of the sex toy stores sell little pink dice that have verbs and body parts on them so that you roll the dice and do what the dice say. That can be fun, unusual, a little bit risky, and potentially exciting.

Yet another approach might be to get an explicit video for after-dinner viewing (adults only, of course) and pretend to be having group sex by being sexual while the video's on. Or, check out the activities that the people are doing in the video and ask if any of those would appeal to him. Some of the videos that are available these days have a bit more of a plot and character development than some of the usual tapes sitting on the shelves. Some director/producers to look for include Candida Royale or Deborah Shames. These two producers have a woman's sensibilities in mind and don't always approach it from what I call the "gynecological camera angle." There are sexual moments, they just don't rely on super close-ups as much as many of the other available videos.

I'd like to try some toys, and I'm sure my husband would be turned on. I don't know where to get them, except at a local store and I'm afraid to be seen going in or out of there. Where could I get toys and do you have any suggestions for first time toy users?

Here are some web sites that I know of to be reliable businesses, good products and fair pricing:,, and These all have reliable folks running them, good policies on sales and they will not sell your email address to anybody. If you can get a second-day UPS shipment, you might have your toys in time for Valentine's Day.

Good starter toys: Massage oil or lotion, ostrich feather (not to be used with the lotion or oil), vibrator that is often called the vibrating egg or pearl vibrator. Some men enjoy a strap that is wrapped around the base of the penis and snaps around the top of it. These help some men feel like their erections are a bit more firm and they act kind of as a pushup bra for male genitals. Some men like the way they feel and some of their partners like the way they look. I think these are good starter toys.

"It goes back to the concept of giving a gift the receiver would like, not a gift the giver would like."

My husband wants to try some S/M (sadomasochism). He says it will be OK. I'm a little leery, but I think I can handle a little. Are there ways to make it safe?

When people express interest in S/M, it's really important to learn what they personally mean by that. Some people mean restraint such as tying someone's ankles and wrists with scarves and other people mean behaviors that might leave a mark behind. So you should talk with your husband about what activities interest him and whether he wants to be on the receiving end or the doing end.

When you actually think about most S/M relationships, they have a unique dynamic to them. On the surface, it looks like the receiver is "out of control" but actually, it's the receiver that is in control. How do I mean that? Most people have the receiver list behaviors that they would like, so it is essentially their play list, and the giver or doer just picks the order of the play list but doesn't stray off of that list. That's what makes SM activities fun for people who play it right.

I would recommend that you two put your heads together and talk about what would be okay for you both -- well before actually doing it. You can think up a list yourself or you can locate lists of things by using search engines. There are many S/M sites on the net. That's because it's fairly popular with people in various forms. Keep in mind that S/M activities fall on a continuum with light nibbling and biting on one end and way more intense behaviors on the other. Figure out where you think you might enjoy being.

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