No, but really — how does a person have better sex or a better relationship? The Fresh Toast has enlisted Rachel Krantz, a sex writer and proud canna-enthusiast, to help readers out with some answers as its sex columnist. No question is off limits, and all questions will remain anonymous. Please send your sex and relationship inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, onto this week’s topic: Valentine’s Day and anniversary gift ideas that don’t cost a thing.
Q: Hey. So I saw your guide last week to Valentine’s Day gifts, but I’m really pretty broke right now, and as usual, I’ve left things till the last minute. It’s also just my luck that our anniversarry is the week after V-Day. I’m wondering if you have any ideas for Valentine’s Day and anniversary gifts that I could get my partner that would be more DIY and free. I want it to be nice, but not because I spent money.
A: Great question! While I did include some cheap things in my Valentine’s Day gift guide, it’s true — the best things in life are free. I’m a big fan of the free and sentimental gift, so here are a few ideas for some free gifts that will go a long way.
Give A Regularly-Scheduled Massage
If you want to really be nice (and you’re prepared to follow through) give them the gift of a weekly or monthly massage. Even if you’re not that great at it, just use massage oil and you’ll get better eventually. On a selfish note, this is also a nice gift to yourself. Giving is a valuable skill to cultivate in yourself, you’ll be working your upper body strength, and yes — you might get laid at the end of it.
Write Them A Serious Love Letter
Getting a letter — not just a card, but a truly composed, thought-out letter — can mean a lot. Tell them what they mean to you in explicit terms; the stuff you appreciate about being with them you might think they might already know. Handwrite it once it’s composed on the computer, or at the least, print it out so that they can have a hard copy. It will mean a lot to them to hear you express your love and appreciation in more than cliched or funny terms. Spend time on it.
Make A List Of Reasons They Rock
Similar to the letter, but for those of you that don’t feel like natural writers, this is a way to show your appreciation that will make them feel super-loved. Sit down, and try to make a list of everything you love about them. It can be all the really small things — even the way they hold a fork — and the big things, too. Chances are, you’ll end up with dozens and dozens of items, and if you handwrite it out, you can tell them to keep the list and remember to look at it whenever they’re doubting just how beautiful and awesome they are.
Make a stack of sexy coupons you’re prepared to have them cash in at any time (with your consent, of course). They could read “Dinner cooked by me,” “movie of your choice,” “role play of your choice” — whatever it is, give them a few options of coupons they can cash in over the year.
Flowers Picked From Your Neighborhood
Don’t have money for flowers? What about taking a walk around your neighborhood and picking some flowers and other plants to make a truly original bouquet? Extra points for gathering flowers from your favorite spots together. Adorable.
An Offer To Do The Chore They Hate
Does your partner always end up taking out the garbage? Do they hate grocery shopping? Offer to take the chore off their plate for a year — or even a month. It might end up meaning a lot to them.
A Special Date Night In
My favorite dates are always the ones where my partner cooks me a delicious dinner, and then we sit on the couch smoking a J, listening to music, and talking. Plan whatever you know is their ideal night in. Cook them their favorite meal, and suggest you stay in and watch the movie of their choice, or talk, or play a board game — whatever you know their favorite thing is to do that they wish they could do more often.
An Unplugged Day In Bed
I’ve always had the fantasy that one day, I’ll just spend all day in bed with my partner, and we’ll agree only to emerge for food and water. We’ll just focus on getting to know each other’s bodies even more, and expanding our understanding of what the other person likes. If you think your partner might love a day just dedicated to sex, why not suggest an unplugged day where your only focus is each other’s bodies, the way it was in the beginning?
Act Out Their Fantasy
If you know they have a role play fantasy — or have always wanted to try something in bed like being dominated — take this holiday as an opportunity to surprise them with it. Even if you think playing doctor is kinda silly, why not welcome them home from work with the surprise of already being in character? If they love the idea of being tied up, take the time to read more about how to properly dominate someone and use a scarf at home to do the job. Whatever it is, make it all about what they want — just be sure you can fully commit.
Offer To Help Them With Something They Dread
Similar to doing the chore they hate, this is an offer not to do the thing for them, but to help. Know they’ve been putting off doing their taxes or opening a 401k? Have your present be sitting down with them to get it done. Know they dread talking to their mom on the phone? Have your present be that they can always put the call on speakerphone and you will bear witness to the craziness and laugh about it later. The support will mean a lot.
Slip Them A Note Every Day
If you really want to be romantic and think you can keep it up, slip a little paper note in their bag (ala Mom and the lunchbox) every day for a week, month, or even year. These don’t need to be long notes. Maybe one day it will just be an inside joke. Maybe another it will just say “you look beautiful today.” It really is the sweetness of the thought that counts.
Make A Romantic Presentation
If you’re a true nerd that wants to earn some major points without paying a thing, why not put together a slideshow presentation of your year/months in review? Compile old pictures, messages, and songs, and take them on a trip down memory lane, digitally. How adorable are you?
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