Sid on Sex: A Valentine’s Day Gift That Lasts

Sid Azmi, Owner of Please
“For me, it is the spirit of openness and playfulness that magnetizes me towards my partner.”
Photo courtesy of Sid Azmi

A sincere wanting and need to artfully give is inherent in love;
And love will get its way, for patience it knows,
And what a strength it is!
Your fidelity to love, is all you need.
—Hafiz

Looking for a gift for your partner this Valentine’s Day? Here is a list divided into convenient categories to help you celebrate your love on this pink holiday. Done!

Or is it? After many Valentine’s Days, we begin to realize that our partner already has enough things. What’s more, we have already exchanged enough acts of domestic generosity and kindness in our lives. So we default to the fail-proof V-Day plan: We get a card, make a dinner reservation (and hire a sitter), and even buy a novelty sex toy to spice things up afterwards!

By all means, do all of these things this year. But while presents and gestures are effective symbolic acts of commitment, I’d like to suggest taking a moment together to rethink how you can be better participants in your own relationship.

For me, it is the spirit of openness and playfulness that magnetizes me towards my partner.

For most of us, love finds its way into our lives more than once. In the past, I thought that love was something that happened to me. I simply went along for the ride, thinking myself a lucky passenger, rather than a navigator of my own relationship. But recently, I found myself with a remarkable opportunity to share my love with someone worthy. I decided to think and do something differently: I made a conscientious choice to actively share myself with this person and he, with me.

As a couple, instead of subconsciously falling into a pattern of togetherness (as most of us do), we actively communicated about the various aspects of a relationship that are important to us. One of the things that we agreed upon were principles within our relationship that perpetuate and deepen our respect, affection, and passion for one another.

Principles are guiding beliefs that remain fluid and elastic as they evolve according to life’s shifting circumstances. They are different from rules—a list of things you can and cannot do. For example, one of the principles that we both agreed upon is the importance of maintaining our individual selves. We reserve the right to make time for ourselves and attend to the aspects of our single lives that we cherish. If we can manage this paradox of individuality and duality (and embrace the fact that honoring our own individualism enriches our duality), are we not getting the best of both worlds? With this guiding principle in my mind (and heart), I feel free and cherished as a person, and safe and loved in my relationship. I get to keep being me and enjoy all the extra perks of companionship.

Remember when we were single, and hoped so dearly for the opportunity to rest our love in the welcoming arms of another?

For me, it is the spirit of openness and playfulness that magnetizes me towards my partner. We have the freedom to communicate about anything and everything without fear of judgment. Nothing is ever too ridiculous to be discussed (how about that threesome with your delicious guy friend, baby?). Along with this openness, we share a strong spirit of playfulness—in and out of the bedroom—that provides us the breathing room to create a relationship based on our terms, and held it our own standards. While we can’t predict what the future holds, we get to decide how, when, and why we are headed there.

Remember when we were single, and hoped so dearly for the opportunity to rest our love in the welcoming arms of another? Did we not at some point swear to ourselves to become a better person for the one who chose to be with us? Being able to identify the spirit that brought us together helps us remember why, out of all the people in the universe, we chose each other.

On a day like Valentine’s Day, instead of defaulting to a purchasing a symbolic gift (which is a nice touch regardless!), take this opportunity to rewrite your own relationship terms and reactivate your commitment. Passion and sex, intimacy and love are not things that simply “happen.” They are self-initiated, nurtured internally, and come from a place of self-love. Our active participation is mandatory if we are to experience pleasure and joy, with or without our partners. We are here, in love, and we must meet love with gratitude.

Happy Valentine’s Day, dear lovers! The world needs more of us, now more than ever.

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