Valentine's Day is not a good day for mankind. One of my childhood best friends put it this way: "Valentine's Day is the day where all your single friends bitch about being single, and all your coupled friends bitch about being part of a couple." Further, it's a day where a lot of the commercial gift-giving is framed towards women... aside from boxers with hearts on them, there is precious little that easily comes to mind as a great V-Day gift for the dude in your life.
To combat that, I asked my male friends what they wanted for Valentine's Day. Their answers ran the gamut from silly to serious and from thoughtful to gross. At the end of the day, though, it looks like what most guys want for Valentine's Day is pretty much the same as what most girls want: quality time with someone they love, and great sex.
Without further ado, the responses, from a wide variety of guys.
1. A liberal arts scholar turned frat star
"I want a frat party sponsored by Tinder. But actually, I want a girl to pay for dinner for once."
2. An Ivy-League grad
"I want a woman who knows what she wants from sex... and knows how to say it. And an intertwined network of polyamorous partners that all support each other and form a loving community with me at the center so that I never feel lonely and always feel loved and cuddled... "
3. A rocket scientist with a girlfriend
"1. Hike. 2. Picnic. 3. Anal. 4. The 49ers in the Super Bowl. [Or, alternately] 1. Picnic 2. Owning the 49ers 3. Hike 4. Anal IN the Superbowl Dome."
4. A very, very intelligent grad student
"I want to love someone who feels the difference between passion, compassion, and empathy, who knows when each is warranted, and who can put the latter two on hold to fuck like an earthquake."
5. One of those San Francisco start-up guys
"More than three options for your sexuality and more than two for your gender. Or one OKCupid conversation initiated by a woman. Or an older woman. Like, 10 years older. Or for everyone to text me back right away."
6. One half of a very serious relationship
"Can I be honest? Well... I want a blow job."
7. An American living in the Middle East
"I would like to be able to hold my boyfriend's hand or kiss him on the cheek in public. Sexuality in the Middle East is much more complicated than simply being 'homophobic.' Read Joseph Massad's Desiring Arabs . All that aside, I just want to kiss him in public. And, if we want to get past my 'politics,' then I'd just like to make a huge brunch full of crepes and bacon and shitty American coffee."
8. A high-school valedictorian turned Program Manager
"A sappy, oversized box of CVS chocolates from my mother, to always remind me that there will be only one woman who will willingly do my laundry. Or flowers and jewelry from my girlfriend, because I don't even know what I'd do with that, but fuck heteronormativity."
9. An extraordinarily fast-talker
"My roommate, but a hot, girl version that I could marry."
10. A law student
"A world where people are more concerned about education, the environment, and civil society than overbearing displays of blah blah blah NPR blah blah... or a pretty good hand job. Actual answer: to get through the day without having to talk about it."
11. A fitness instructor
"No drama. If it's insignificant, it doesn't matter."
12. A production assistant livin' the LA dream
"In a hypothetical situation where I'm dating someone I really like, I would ask them for a six-pack of beer, because getting beer as a gift is never a bad thing. But, ultimately, expressing actual love on Valentine's Day seems silly. It shouldn't be a holiday that is the reason for expressing that love, it should be the relationship itself."