It’s that time again. Time to get your special someone that special gift which will tell her or him just how much you care. Flowers, chocolates, jewelry or some sexy lingerie. Time to rekindle that romantic flame that once burned (and maybe still does) deep in your heart, soul and loins. Time to remember how it felt when you first locked eyes, held hands, kissed and made love. Can you get that feeling going again? Or has it been relegated to the list of memories of things past? Feelings of love and romance and, yes, sex with that new special someone are often logged carefully in the archives of our minds where they share space with other nostalgic bits of our lives. Every year, if you’re still with that special someone, you are required by some law of social amenity to remind that person (and yourself) of why you linked lives in the first place. Many cynics have claimed that this so-called holiday, Valentine’s Day, is a corporate conspiracy to get guilty men and hopelessly romantic women (their characterizations, not mine!) to open their wallets instead of their hearts. But are these “cynics” really just a bunch of cheapskates who don’t like opening their wallets for any reason? Maybe, but maybe not. Maybe they aren’t cynical at all. Does love and romance require flowers, candy and sexy underwear? Can you tell your guy or gal how much you care without buying those silly, heart-adorned boxers? Furthermore, why wait for that particular day smack in the middle of February? If you’re a person who chooses to only give gifts on holidays, anniversaries and other special occasions, maybe you do. To be honest, is a gift really necessary to tell your special someone you care? Meaning, a gift which comes in a box, or wrapped in cellophane; one that is purchased with your hard-earned dollars instead of a gift that is truly from the heart. A gift you can give any day, any time, without planning weeks in advance. A gift you give constantly when you love and respect someone and really care about them.

Here’s an idea. Give the gift of you! Be the happy and healthy person that your loved ones deserve. Give yourself the gift of love and then share it. As a well-known fellow Jerseyite says: “If you don’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else.” One of the ways you can love yourself is to be the sexual person you are meant to be. Hey, this wouldn’t be my blog if it didn’t include the topic of sex, right? And sex starts within the individual. Maybe buy that sexy underwear for yourself to wear and enjoy, even when you’re alone. Forget those boxers with the hearts splattered all over them. Wear what you like. Whatever makes you feel sexy. Comfort comes first, so maybe you can skip the underwear altogether, if you’re comfortable going commando, that is. The point here is that you must explore your sexy self first. Once you develop that sexual relationship with yourself, then you can share it with that special someone. Or make yourself that special someone and share it with as many deserving folks as you’d like. Do whatever makes you happy because you deserve it, too.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating a ban on all gift-giving. When I see something in a store or at a flea market or yard sale and think “that would be perfect for so-and-so” I snatch it right up. It’s one of my favorite things to do. The thrill of bringing that object home and the anticipation of presenting it to its lucky recipient are exhilarating to me. Maybe even more exciting for me than it is for them. So, yes, I do love giving gifts. Even more so when there is no date marked on the calendar that says “Day to give gifts.” But if you spend all your energy (and money) on gifts for others, and no time or effort into giving to yourself, what does that say about you? That is why the gifts you give yourself, especially those that make you feel better about yourself, are the “greatest gifts of all.” Being the sexual person you were meant to be, in body, mind and spirit, is really the gift that keeps on giving. Be happy, healthy, loving and caring, and please…..be sexual. Not just on this day of heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, bouquets of cellophane-wrapped flowers, tiny packages of sparkling jewelry tied in ribbons and tissue-paper-enveloped garments meant to excite and inspire, but every day of your life. So this year why not make a Valentine’s Day resolution that equals or exceeds the one you may (or may not) have made a few short weeks ago. Begin a love affair with yourself. You just might find that your loved one(s) will thank you for it…..over and over again. And you will thank yourself for doing it.