Thursday, October 1, 2009

Romance! Mayem! Excitement!: the XVX Guide to Dating

It recently occurred to me that I have been single for nearly a year. For a while, I was stuck in a state of serial monogamy: back to back to back relationships forcibly stretched across spans of time they hadn't the strength to endure. But luckily, I've finally broken that cycle. The interim hasn't been completely devoid of sexual tension and sultry winks, though; certainly, I've had affections lavished upon me and I've lavished my affections upon certain boys. At first, my excuse for remaining single was, "I'm on the rebound!" but now I'm at a point where I'm actively choosing to be single. The fact of the matter is, I'm too old and too busy to get wrapped up in anyone that I don't have a serious connection with, and I can't make a serious connection if certain needs aren't met. I need a partner that feels equally strongly about eating healthy, staying sober, being fit, and not calling the cops. However, I want someone that stinks as bad as me, swears as much as me, and smiles twice as many times a day. And I also want someone with a real keen sense of romance.

I gotta say, most boys just don't fit the bill. They do not know how to properly woo smelly and smart specimens of my extraordinarily high caliber! It's not like I desire to be doted on or squired around town to flashy events and hip places to be seen, but yeah, I want some flim-flammin' effort from dudes giving me the eye. Now, I'm not throwing this out there as some gender prescription a la, "I AM A GIRL AND THIS IS HOW BOYS ARE SUPPOSED TO TREAT GIRLS!" I think this effort should go both ways, and I expect this as much from myself as I do from my theoretical partners. This lack of interesting romance isn't something I've seen exclusively in the male sex, but I complain about it in these terms because I am attracted to male-bodied people and this has been my experience of them. However, today I am introducing some xvx party ideas about romance! and seduction!, and I want them to be employed across all gender lines.

Because seriously, all of us should be asking more of ourselves in our romantic encounters. Are we really so lukewarm towards the objects of our affections that we can't come up with creative ways to spend time together and express how we feel? Hello, these are the folks that make us say stupid things in otherwise effortless interactions because we're so distracted by how wonderful they are! They make our hearts explode, and we offer them what? Flowers? Candies? Dinners? Movies? Valentine's Day? Puh-lease. I say, death to these cliches! Today, we are getting elbow-deep in romance - the xvx party way:

You know what's fuckin' rad? Scavenger hunts. Scavenger hunts are fuckin' rad. I don't know why we stopped talking about them after age ten, especially since their applications in romance are soooo myriad. When I was in high school, I wanted to ask a boy to be "official" with me, so I made him a scavenger hunt that led to me, and then I asked him. Fuckin' rad, right? You wish you had such an awesome partner - but wait! YOU COULD BE THAT AWESOME PARTNER. Looking for some way to celebrate an anniversary? Scavenger hunt that visits important places from the relationship! Looking for a way to ask your partner to move in? Scavenger hunt that leads to a key to your apartment! Looking for a way to say "I love you?" Scavenger hunt that leads to a big cake with "I love you" on it. (Okay, that is actually very tacky, but c'mon, it has sooo much more visual impact than, like, a heartfelt letter hidden in some bushes. Plus, a lot of cake really is from the heart. Lovin' fresh from the oven, right?) There are a million different ways to do it and a million different reasons to do it, so get creative and make a flim-flammin' scavenger hunt! Your sweetheart is guaranteed to be overwhelmed by your effort (in a good way, of course), and you will be admired by all as A Real Cassanova.

Teach your lover about something interesting or important to you. If you've both wanted to learn plant identification, spend some time at the library researching regional botany, then take the apple of your eye on a plant walk (perhaps one that concludes in a picnic?) Maybe your significant other has expressed an interest in your mother's apple pie recipe, so go apple picking and then make the pie together. Surprise them with a rink-a-dink bike from the thriftstore, and teach them how to fix the flat tire so you can ride into the sunset together. Sharing is caring, and nothing's sexier than a big beautiful brain imparting a little wisdom. Plus, it's an excellent way to get to know someone or make a a real memory if you're in the early stages of courting.

I don't like to promote anything that requires a lot of money here on xvx party. I want to cultivate my life and my relationships in as much opposition to commodities and their fetishization as possible, and I want to suggest recipes and activities that are by and large accessible to anyone and everyone. That all being said, I've always thought laser tag would make an epic first date. Flirtatious overtones to every shot fired, chasing your crush through dimly lit passages and secret stairways, comradely kissing at the end of the merciless slaughter (for in laser tag, you must show NO MERCY!): it's so playfully romantic. Plus, if your date turns out to be a competitive hot head or a thrill-kill that refuses to revisit childhood wonder and excitement, then it's a good thing you find out sooner rather than later. I suspect paint ball could be substituted for laser tag. (Does that scene from 10 Things I Hate About You ring any bells..?) Loser buys/makes dinner.

You and Madame/Monsieur Fabulous are engaged. One of you has just landed a record deal/part in a movie/big account at an advertising firm/something fancy and ridiculous. Attire yourselves in ensembles appropriate to your back story, then spend an afternoon touring obscenely large houses you will never be able to afford. Tell realtors uncomfortable accounts of how you met ("Well, we were both at this abortion clinic, and..."), kiss copiously in closets, and rearrange the contents of people's bathroom cabinets. Make grande proclamations about your future, deem things too small or too simple for your tastes, and talk about how this room or that detail could affect your life. ("You know, this carpet is exactly like the one I lost my virginity on. I foresee a lot of memories being made in this room...") Afterwards, assume your normal identities and spend the evening cozied up in each other's arms, glad to be who you are in this moment in time.

Remember the thrill and anxiety of teen dances (and all their ensuing implications for teen love)? Okay, me neither - but I've seen a lot of it in eighties coming-of-age films, and you and your partner are going to recreate that. Dress to impress as you hit the town for this updated approach to a classic cultural experience. Show up at your partner's house with a homemade corsage, boutonniere, or bouquet, and have a roommate take some precious memory photos at the front door. (Don't forget to smile BIG!) Go out to eat at a restaurant with cloth napkins, and be sure to tell everyone who will listen that tonight is a "special night" and that you're both very excited about "the big dance." Gossip copiously and hold hands. Order one dessert with two spoons/forks/straws, and say, "You get the last bite." "No, you do." "No, you do." - until your server looks agitated. Pay for dinner, and be sure to leave a big tip - partially because you should always do this but also so your date knows how classy you are. This is prom night, after all; you're totally hoping to get lucky. Now, since high school is long behind you, your "prom" could be anything - anything from sitting under stars recounting the horrors and hilarities of those awkward teen years to shaking tail feathers and legs and other whatnots at some discotech. Just be sure to be home by curfew. (Unless, of course, you got a hotel room because you were THAT sure that you'd get lucky...) Bonus points if you/your partner clearly cannot pass for a teen anymore. Ditto if you/your partner pretends to be pregnant.

Books are hot, and what better way to turn each other on than a day at the library. Ask your partner to show you their favorite picture books from childhood. Walk through all the aisles, and point out your favorite authors, books you just read, and books you plan to read. Pick a book to share and then spend the rest of the day in bed reading it to each other. Cuddle, kiss, nap... When evening approaches, try a recipe from a cookbook you found at the library - maybe prepare it while listening to a library CD? Climb back into bed, and pop in something absurd or obscure you found hidden in the library DVDs. Cuddle, kiss, fall asleep: a perfect end to a perfect day.

Speaking of favorites, another great way to get to know each other is to spend a day unveiling favorites. And if you already know your partner well, what better way to celebrate that than by making a day out of all those things they love (because, you know, you love them). There are so many things in this world to appreciate: places, foods, people, restaurants, books, artists, smells... Try to be creative in how you share these things with each other. If your favorite flower is lilac, give your partner a massage with lilac-infused oil. If your partner's favorite food is scones, why not surprise them with a few fresh ones and a side of tea in bed to begin your favorites day? Sharing favorites is an excellent way to open each other up and create joy. It doesn't matter whose favorites you're experiencing because joy is infectious and it will travel between the two of you. If you make a day of favorites, it will easily be one of your favorite memories together.

Romance and excitement don't always have to involve grande gestures. Sometimes subtlety is just as tender, so think of little ways to make your partner smile unexpectedly. Hide smutty notes in their lunch box, or scribble sweet nothings and stuff them in the jeans they'll wear tomorrow. Stick a post-it on the inside of their medicine cabinet so the next time they retrieve their vitamins, they see, "You are the cutest vegan toot machine, and I hope you are having a good day!" Trace "hot stuff" on their car window in the winter so they'll see it when the heat comes on. Not only does it show you care, but it frees your partner from the routines of every day life (if only for a moment). Aww, aren't you the sweetest.

What about you? Have you ever done something particularly thoughtful or romantic for a partner (or potential partner)? What's something romantic someone has done for you? What's your idea of a hot date or a sickly-sweet romantic gesture?


  1. What an awesome post! I love all these plans! I hope you find a partner who "gets" them all and brings his own romantic party plans to the table, too. If I were single and a guy I would be at your doorstep, corsage in hand.

    I am glad you think the grape cake puddingthing looks yummy and I am excited for you to try it out and report your impressions. My partner and I have eaten almost the entire thing since last night, so I know it wasn't just the delirium of baking exhaustion that made me think it was delish. I'm curious to know how you came across it, too, as I just posted it and I don't think it's been linked to anywhere yet. It's always exciting to be found by someone I've never met before.

  2. It's official, I am totally obsessed with your blog.

    I like to consider myself a pretty thoughtful and romantic gal. I thoroughly enjoy surprising people with things that I know will make them smile and I am pretty much the master of cute notes.

  3. Holy Moly are we the same person? forget about the date ideas, first i need to find a date! alas, being xvx in LA is lonely...

  4. Being xvx most places is lonely.