Getting in the mood with a good book

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and the birds and the bees are ready to get down to business.

February 14 isn’t a holiday just for chocolate and teddy bears and hearts.

It is also driven by more amorous activities.

According to the condom company Durex, condom sales are highest around Valentine’s Day, which are 20 per cent to 30 per cent higher than usual.

More at-home pregnancy tests are sold in March than any other month.

“I think it is pretty much guaranteed that if you have a significant other, you are probably going to be expressing your love physically on Valentine’s Day,” said Jenn Brynsen.

“My boyfriend and I have been together for close to six years, so we try and spice things up.”

“I think Valentine’s Day is a safe time for people to experiment in their sex life. It’s a day all about romance and being with the one you love.”

If book sales this past year are any indication, this Valentine’s Day could lead to some serious experimentation for a lot of couples.

The Fifty Shades of Grey book series created a craze among women everywhere over the past year.

The book is a love story, with explicit sex scenes that explore the world of BDSM (Bondage, Domination, Sadism and Masochism).

In a culture where the number one issue in relationships is low or no sex, Sex and Relationship Therapist Cheryl Swan says we need all the help we can get.

“Erotica has been published in books since we have had written language,” she said, “So Fifty Shades is nothing new and human beings have always been curious monkeys that will try interesting things behind closed doors.”

“It seems a natural progression for mild kink to reach the main stream.”

Even though erotica and its explicit content aren’t brought up in everyday conversations, humans have ravenous appetites for all things sexual says Swan.

“Fifty Shades of Grey is the modern version of a harlequin romance novel and is written in a euphemistic style, which can safely titillate sex starved, ‘good girls’ without raising too many eyebrows.”

Swan has been working with couples for over a decade and has seen Fifty Shades of Grey come into play in her work.

“I have had clients who would read Fifty Shades to turn off their logical minds and get themselves in the mood before their partners got home from work.”

“I think any book of this nature can be an excellent addition to the sex life of the average person.”

“Basically, anything that can help to stimulate creativity and expand the context of sexuality is a good thing,” she says.

A day dedicated to celebrating love and relationships, and with condom sales through the roof, is a day to add some spice to your vanilla (plain, boring, etc.) sex life.

“Human beings are creatures of habit, but to thrive we need a good balance of variety and excitement alongside the stability that keeps us feeling safe.”

“In good relationships, where trust is strong and communication is open, it is easy to bring up new things to try,” said Swan.

If you are struggling with being open with your partner, Swan recommends starting off easy by saying you have a surprise your partner would like.

“You could introduce soft, silky scarves to playfully restrain each other with or try a little role play or dress-up for fun.”

Swan says the bedroom is a place adults can experiment, so keeping it fun and light is the way to go.

As Brynsen prepares for her romantic evening with her boyfriend, will she be pulling from the pages of Fifty Shades for inspiration?

“I have read the books,” she said, “And I don’t think we are quite ready to take things that far.”

“However, reading them does open up a whole other world of sexual possibilities, so the possibilities for future Valentines Day celebrations are endless.”

About Lynsey Hanrahan 5 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Lynsey Hanrahan worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2012-2013 academic year.