Valentine’s Day Gifts (for Everyone) Found in Portland.
By Claire JeffersEveryone’s favorite holiday (to loathe) will be here soon, and there’s absolutely nothing we can do to stop it. Hundreds of red hearts will tear across the city, restaurants will scramble to meet dinner reservations, and love will be professed via latte art. V-Day is here. But instead of dreading the absence of a valentine, or feeling overwhelmed about what to buy, we’re here to offer some ideas.
First, stop stressing — holiday rules are made for breaking, so take back V-Day by doing something a little out of the norm. We’ve handpicked some alternative V-Day gifts for singles, lovers, and friends alike, and even started a list of unusual activities that won’t leave you broke (or broken-hearted).
Sexy lingerie is cool and all, but everyday cotton underwear doesn’t have to be drab. Check out Étaín Boutique for fun, uniquely designed skivvies that can be just as exciting as a lacy corset, like these Bia Boro trunks and booty shorts ($30) made for those who seek original style and comfort. Étaín is a fit for all your body-positive needs — the shop specializes in carrying styles and brands for all shapes, sizes, ages, and identities.
Ok, hear us out. Sex shops can be intimidating, we know. But what if it’s known as a “sensuality boutique” instead? Now in its twelfth year in the Old Port, Nomia provides women and men (and everyone else) a comfortable and fun environment to explore sex and sexuality. The staff here are pros, and can recommend the right literature, body-safe toys (not that toxic stuff), and fun, locally made gear for the sensually curious. All products shown here are gender-neutral — which means they’d work for whomever you like to get it on with. Pictured is a locally made ball-gag ($36), bondage rope from local Lovers Knot Rope Company ($39), regionally made plug from Njoy ($60), personal moisturizer ($12–14), and a pocket Kama Sutra book ($9.95), just in case.
A classy box of chocolates is never boring, especially when it’s infused with alcohol. Dean’s Sweets features more than 30 varieties of handmade truffles, with flavors like brandy, single-malt Scotch, rum, and tequila lime (a $30 four-pack includes 16). Whether it’s for a friend, lover, or an afternoon treat on February 14, these chocolates are made with pure heart and soul.
Book a “pleasure party” at the Nomia store for a night of fun, laughter, and open conversation with a group of friends or colleagues. Whether it’s a class on sex toys or women’s sexual health, Nomia works to tailor parties for you. ($30/class total, minimum six people)
Order a seasonal arrangement from Field, a florist based in Portland working with locally and sustainably sourced flora. During the winter, Field buys American-grown flowers or sustainably grown imports. Send a bouquet in a recycled vase to a friend. You’ll make their day. ($65–150)
Go on a mystery hike with your lover and lead them to a special tree where you’ve carved their initials.
Spice things up by making a trail of hot sauce bottles from the front door to the bedroom. Perhaps the sauce trail leads to burritos in bed…
Get a group of lady friends together, pack a thermos of hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps, and mark February 14 as polar plunge day. No boys allowed.
Photos by Mark Fleming