Who would’ve thought? Practical is sensual this season. With gluttony not only out, but out of the question, many lovers are scrambling for gift-giving ideas. If that includes you, keep in mind that sometimes simple and suggestive is the way to go.
This season, it’s all about taking care of each other. To get back to the basics, lovers have been given the perfect excuse to pamper and appreciate each other, which can be done with a sexy twist. There are plenty of Eros-inducing gifts for your own private gift exchange.
Best of all, many of these gifts are affordable and can be found in general merchandise, liquor or "adult" stores, as well as online via a Google or Yahoo search.
1. Pleasure coupons ($5) — Naughty or nice, these booklets are packed with love and sex coupons that your lover can cash in on. From nibbles in private places to holing up in your boudoir for a weekend, to getting a little “kinky,” this gift exemplifies that a pleasure shared is doubled.
2. Body paint ($15) — Who wants Santa cookies when you can be so sinfully sweet? Available in flavors like midnight mocha, body frostings make for frisky fingerpainting. And cleaning up is the fun part!
3. Sexy night planner ($10) — Discover just what kind of sex your partner wants with this private planner. Between the who, what, where, and when, you get all the dirty details you need to know to help your lover to unleash any delectable desires.
4. Erotic magnetic poetry kit ($23.95) — Lovers can’t resist erotic exchanges. I can say this because I have the words from this playful set plastered all over my refrigerator. Couples who visit me somehow always end up madly flirting with each other by my fridge as they take turns arranging these racy, amusing descriptors. This kit will surely kink up your kitchen the next time you cook together.
5. Massage candle ($3.99-$55) — Seduce your lover with scent and touch like never before. When heated, the wax from this candle becomes a hydrating, slippery massage oil. Add to the indulgence by using a ceramic massage stone, like that sold by JimmyJane. Carefully drizzle the oil into the stone’s underside to warm it before turning the stone over and sliding it over your lover’s skin. You can also use body brushes to paint your lover with the warm, melted wax.
6. Loofah ($7.99-$13) — Invite the ultimate in bathing with body buffers, like wool sea sponges or Spongeables, and rub your lover all over. For a more sensual carnal cleaning, add bath products like Vanilla Spice Bath Infusions, Cassis Rose Bubble Bath, Moringa Foaming Bath from the Body Shop, which range from $6-$20.
7. Blindfolds ($24.95-$75) — Sleep or sex may be the eventual challenge for the lucky lover who gets this gift. Available in all sorts of fabrics, blindfolds add mystery and heighten sensations as partners toy with each other.
8. Sexy dice ($13) — Kiss, squeeze, massage ... Let the dice decide what you’re going to do that night.
9. Beer basket ($39.99 and up) — With so many football games right around the corner, a gourmet gift basket packed with your partner’s favorite beverage and snack foods is guaranteed to be a hit. Just be sure to emphasize that the post-game is going to be much more heart-thumping than the actual match.
10. Soaps ($5.95 and up) — Soaps used to be just soaps until companies like LUSH came along. Stimulate your lover’s senses with suggestive cleansers, like the French Kiss Bubble Bar or Sex Bomb Bath Bomb.
11. Champagne and flutes (glass: $2.49 per glass and up, champagne: $20 and up) — Celebrate the two of you with a couple of flute glasses and a bottle of your favorite bubbly. Although you may want to buy the cheap stuff, remember cheap champagne often causes headaches. Champagne connoisseurs tend to recommend brands like Heidsieck, Pol Roger, Philipponat or Gratien’s Brut Classic as good, inexpensive champagnes.
12. Journal ($12.95 and up) — Record your history. Buy a journal that both of you can write in, noting important occasions, feelings for one another, and what you hope the future will bring.
13. Photo album ($6.35 and up) — Capture your story. Print out all those pictures you have on your laptop. Or, dig out old photos in boxes. Then organize and present them in a photo album dedicated to your own personal history together.
14. A homemade gift (Priceless) — Whether or not you’re creative or talented, take a chance and make something from the heart that’s invaluable simply for its effort. Having never been good at arts’n’crafts myself, I made a “What I Love About (Name Here)” yarn-bound booklet for an old lover years ago. Packed with materials from Michael’s, kindergarten-quality cut-outs and words of admiration, it turned out to be quite a hit.
This holiday season is beckoning us to get back to what really matters, while celebrating new beginnings. Giving of ourselves is the greatest way we capture the spirit of the season. Just remember, in keeping with its true meaning, the meaning behind your gift will have a value higher than any price tag.
Dr. Yvonne K. Fulbright is a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of Sexuality Source Inc. She is the author of several books including, "Touch Me There! A Hands-On Guide to Your Orgasmic Hot Spots."