7 Alternative Ways To Celebrate Valentine's Day

Hallmark may have hijacked the holiday, but Valentine's Day isn't just for long-term monogamous couples or about cheap, chalky chocolates, and forced sentimentality. Whatever your feelings are about this lusty behemoth, you can choose to indulge in the occasion in ways that fall somewhere between going hog wild to hating on it with a burning passion — and there are plenty of creative options at your disposal.

Although the emphasis on coupledom is one reason that some folks don't like V-Day, that's why Galentine's Day exists. For those unfamiliar with the glory of Parks and Recreation, Galentine's Day is a holiday on February 13 created by Amy Poehler's character Leslie Knope to celebrate her lady friends with a blow out breakfast. There's no reason why you can't fuse the two holidays for a total love fest that doesn't discriminate based on gender or relationship status. Love is love is love, and while it shouldn't be relegated to one day a year, it's still fun to highlight the ones you got feels for with a little show of affection. Here are seven unique ways to celebrate Valentine's Day, from the romantic, sensual and platonic to the straight up sexy.

1. Gift Your BFF A Sex Toy

Intimate partners aren't the only ones who love receiving the gift of a pleasure tool. Talking with your female friends about masturbation is a great way to bond, laugh and de-stigmatize the practice, so it follows that bestowing your BFF with a fave toy can be a win-win, too.

2. Cook Dinner With Aphrodisiacs

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Science says aphrodisiacs don't really work the way we'd like, but the power of suggestion is strong, so what's the harm in cooking a meal using ingredients purported to put you in the mood?

3. Sign Up For A Sex Party

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This idea isn't for everyone, but it you're feeling extra adventurous, what's the harm in using the holiday of love as an excuse to take the plunge and submit an application to a local sex party? For queer ladies, Skirt Club is the hot new place for a discrete, sensual rendezvous — and they just started throwing parties in NYC.

4. Read Old Love Letters

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Some love letters are works of art unto themselves (take Beethoven's, for example), and Valentine's Day is an ideal time to dig into some lesser known romantic missives, like those between Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas published in the book Baby Precious Always Shines .

5. Watch A 70s Porn Classic

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Never seen Debbie Does Dallas or Deep Throat or The Devil In Miss Jones? Now's your chance to crack a beer, open a bag of popcorn, and have at it.

6. Swap Sexy Selfies With Your Friends

If you aren't sexting anyone special this V-Day, why not sext a friend?

7. Try A Little Sex Magick

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Even staunch non-believers can have fun with a little sexual manifestation. A very basic way to try sex magick is by visualizing something you desire, and then channeling the energy built during masturbation (or sex w/ a partner) towards achieving that goal. Check out this book if you're curious about finding out more ways to make your sex magic.

Want more of Bustle's Sex and Relationships coverage? Check out our new podcast, I Want It That Way, which delves into the difficult and downright dirty parts of a relationship, and find more on our Soundcloud page.

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