Hyped up for the heart-shaped holiday? Score points with your lady, gentleman or genderqueer lover this Valentine's Day with a handmade card, a homemade treat and a sexy book that'll take you back to bed. Single and looking for that special someone before the big day? Sign up for speed dating. Even if you don't find "the one," at least you'll get some.
Go Early To Bed this year
Sip a bit of the bubbly while crafting a handmade Valentine's Day card at Early To Bed's Valentine's Making Party on Tues., February 10 from 7–9 p.m. Chicago's favorite sex store provides the supplies for this free event—just bring an open mind and your own creative ideas.
Hint: Buy some sex toys while you're here. Later come back for a class like March 3rd's Cheap Sex, which guarantees that good lovin' and a bad economy aren't mutually exclusive.
You'll be extra good lookin' if you get cookin' at The Chopping Block (Lincoln Square and Merchandise Mart locations)
Show your partner the other things that you can do with your hands through a couples cooking class at the lesbian-owned Chopping Block. Get in the mood with "Couples Cooking: A Sweetheart Named Desire," where you'll learn to cook Big Easy classics like herbed crab cakes, blackened chicken (Thursday, February 12 from 7-9 p.m.), or go for aphrodisiacs with "Chocolat: Sinfully Delicious" (Friday, February 13 from 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.) If you'd rather be traditional about the whole thing, try "Romancing the Stove: Hands on Romantic Valentine's Day Dinner" (Saturday, Februrary 14 from 7–9:30 p.m.). We hear these classes fill up fast, so beat the other Chicago romantics and sign up now. More options available online at www.thechoppingblock.net.
Busy in bed with a book
Who says hitting the sack early is for old people? When you've been going at it for hours, you'll definitely need more beauty sleep—and a good book. Buy a romantic, tantric or even erotic fantasy book that you can indulge in with your partner(s). Hit up queer-friendly Women & Children First Book Store in Andersonville or Unabridged Books in Boystown, and ask one of the friendly folks at the front about the newest releases.
Speed dating your way to Valentine's Day
No one likes to be single on Valentine's Day. Plan for coupledom with the Center on Halsted's Valentine's Day-themed speed dating version of the popular monthly events, Men on Mondays and Women on Wednesdays. Adventuresome folks are encouraged to chat and get to know about, well, practically every person in the room. The man-version happens on Monday, February 2 from 6–9 p.m. Ladies should show up on Wednesday, February 4 from 6–9 p.m.
Don't wanna be in Chicago's biggest gay-borhood? Date and Dash
Lesbian Speed Dating keeps it simple at Lizard's Liquid Lounge on West Irving Park. Pull up a chair at this charming, dimly lit corner space whose main eye candy (aside from the ladies) is ruby red bar stools and a long, Art Deco-like wooden bar. But you'll be too busy chattin' it up to notice the décor. Sign up for the Thursday, January 22 speed dating online at www.dateanddash.com.