February 14 can be an eye roll-inducing holiday — and for good reason. Cheap, chalky chocolate, sappy, insincere cards, and the societal pressure to be paired off is pretty distasteful. However, if you're feeling even the slightest bit of stirring in your cold, black heart, there are Valentine's Day gifts that aren't cheesy to gift that special someone.
For those down to do Valentine's Day on their own terms, the first step is to reclaim the holiday from the romantic industrial complex. American romantic ideals are stuck in the 20th century, and there are way too many kinds of affection to fit into one cramped, mass-produced, chocolate box.
It's also important to emphasize that love transcends gender and sexual orientation and monogamy and can be platonic, sexual, asexual, and any mix of the three in a way that ebbs and flows and follows no linear timeline. But beyond any philosophical musings on the nature of love, there is one great unifying truth: people love presents.
I mean, who doesn't want a gift from someone they're sweet on? (Ok, there are people who hate presents, so you should make sure you're aware if that is the case and respect their wishes. Consent is queen, y'all.) But for those who know their significant other, FWB, BFF, or person will open their arms to a gift on a day that happens to be February 14, look no further than this list for Valentine's Day gifts that are NOT cheesy:
Bluestockings Boutique is one of the only shops on the scene offering "underthings for everyone." Whether you and your partner(s) are into wearing slutty femme lingerie, gender-neutral undies, or something in between, a Bluestockings gift card is the perfect way to let them pick their pleasure.
2A Love Note That's Lit
If your babe is a film buff, this mini vintage lightbox is ideal for spelling out your love in lights. The 3-function LED can switch from classic white marquee to color-changing to any solid color, and includes 100 letters, numbers, characters and symbols to create short 'n sweet romantic musings.
3Something Big & Buzzworthy
Wanachi Mega Massager, $66.07, Wanachi
Could your sex life use a little something extra? For the person who has (almost) everything, this massive Wanachi massager comes in black and pink, and is sure to provide an amazing ride for anyone who dares apply it to their parts.
4A Good Book
The couple that reads together has a lot more to discuss together, so gifting you and your beloved a Book of the Month membership could be a good move. Since 1926 they've been culling through hundreds of new releases so you don't have to. Each month you get five titles to pick from, after which you'll receive your chosen book in a cute box ready to be devoured.
For the hopeless(ly morbid) romantic in your life, this spooky, vegan, handmade twist on a classic box of chocolates is a mouthwatering way to indulge in an ethical, sweet treat. Peanut butter cup coffins, cookie dough skulls, and white chocolate skeleton hands are just a few of the sumptuous flavors included.
Astrology-inclined couples take note: AscAlchemical has you covered with made-to-order, handcrafted oils designed just for your sign. Each half ounce of perfumed oil comes in a dark glass bottle decorated with a woodburned disk bearing the astrological symbol of the sign the oil was created for. Use the oil for spellwork or manifestational rituals if you're into that sort of thing — or just add a drop to some coconut oil for a sensual, scented shoulder rub.
7A Wearable Morse Code Message
8A Retro Camera
Stage an impromptu sexy photoshoot with a new camera inspired by a classic design. The Polaroid OneStep 2 comes with a high quality lens, a powerful flash, and a long-lasting USB rechargeable battery so you can document your love on the go.
So whatever you choose to buy your beloved this Valentine's Day, just remember that the holiday doesn't have to be cheesy and cliché, and neither does your gift.