How To

Dita Von Teese Is Here to Pull You Out of Your Valentine's Day Rut

The burlesque queen on finding the perfect Valentine's Day gift, and navigating the tricky worlds of lingerie, sex toys, and talking dirty.

Roses: Expected, perhaps, but never a bad place to start.

As a member of the style-conscious Gilt MANual readership, you probably know better than to follow the typical Valentine’s Day playbook. You know, the one that involves picking up some chocolates and flowers at the local drug store, fighting for a dinner reservation, and nodding solemnly at the men at neighboring tables who are also out doing their yearly romantic duty. What you may not know is how to make the holiday feel actually, well, fun. For a little advice on how to cook up an evening that’s romantic, sexy, and enjoyable, we hit up the world’s favorite burlesque goddess, Dita Von Teese, for her take. See below, then check back Saturday to shop her gift picks on Gilt.

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, should we guys be striving for originality, or is it best to stick to the classics?
Stick to the classics… A well-penned love or lust letter, a classic erotic book (hardcover only!) with a dedication, flowers, perfume or lingerie that you know she will love. Take notice of the pretty things she buys for herself and try to emulate what works and makes her feel confident. Take a peek in her lingerie drawer and snap pics of her sizes and favorite styles and use that information to choose.

What are your thoughts on sexy Valentine’s Day gifts? (Something tells me you’re a fan).
I like simple, charming gestures, with a balance between sexy and romantic. Too sappy is too much, and overtly sexual gifts are also missing the mark. The perfect Valentine’s Day offering is a harmony of both.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? The worst?
The best gifts I’ve ever received are things like love letters, art or any gift that took a little effort. The worst is getting a gift from someone you don’t feel romantic about, or getting flowers that were bought last minute at a grocery store. Order flowers in advance from a creative florist.

Define the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.
The perfect gift is something that’s a combination of sweet, sexy and romantic. I’m a little old-fashioned, I like the classics done well, and I like thoughtful gifts more than extravagant ones.

Are sex toys a cool gift, or a cheesy one?
It all depends on the relationship of the couple, of course. I wouldn’t recommend springing sex toys on a woman for a Valentine’s Day gift if you haven’t already experimented with toys together, and always balance out a sexy Valentine’s Day gift with a romantic gesture.

Sex on V-day—like going out on New Year’s (i.e. impossible to live up to the hype) or an opportunity for some, er, experimentation?
Personally, I think Valentine’s Day should just be a day with some kind of romantic expression, which can easily lead to a legendary romp!

What’s the most unexpected way to get a girl excited?
Learn the fine art of properly dirty-talking… and don’t try to learn it by watching porn, because it always sounds lame and contrived. Masterfully spoken, mindful erotic chat is a fine art!

Shop Dita’s Valentine’s Day picks Saturday, Feb. 1, at noon ET >

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