Episode III: A non-traditional Valentine's date
// JJ Brewis

"Gimme gimme gimme a man after midnight / Take me through the darkness to the break of the day"


To me, Valentine's Day has always been a big deal. I did not have a love interest until I was 19, but the idea of it always seemed charming. Growing up, I remember my grandma decorating more for Valentine's Day than Christmas. Perhaps her fondness for the holiday rubbed off on me, as each year I always seem to get excited for a holiday about love, despite the fact that I'm generally single during it. Sure, it's just a holiday created for consumers, but it's also a nice annual reminder of what's happening (or not happening) in our love and sex lives.

Most people I know, single or attached, treat Valentine's Day like an over-hyped hassle that never lives up to the ideals of its name, much like New Year's Eve or Halloween. A few years ago, I convinced a few bummed out single friends that we would have a great night out with just the three of us. My good friend Meryl, who had recently dumped her snoozy boyfriend, wasn't sure, until our perky American friend Suzie promised to drive up for the evening from Bellingham. Meryl was convinced.

Our evening started with some mild cocktails (aside from Suzie, who was driving), and we made our way to the now defunct gay bar The Odyssey for an evening of costumed dancing. The three of us showed up armed with gold facepaint, feathers, and warrior-like outfits.

As far as Valentine's Days went, it felt like any regular club night (which, for me, is pretty rare, I won't lie). I was having fun, though, especially when we bumped into our DJ friend Ricky Gaga, who quickly joined our entourage. Meryl painted a gold swipe onto his face in no time.

Despite not drinking, it was clear that Suzie was a bit loopy, and she confessed she was blazed on Five Hour Energy and Rock Star. "What?" she said with a smirk. "I couldn't work all day and then make that drive up here solely on my own endorphins!"

We danced for most of the night, and despite never meeting either of my friends before, Suzie was a hit. The caffeine must have really hit her system because everyone thought she was wasted. "This is the best Valentine's Day ever!" she shouted. "Fuck men!"

And as she said that, a huge shirtless group of gay men around her rejoiced, like a church congregation to their sermon, with Ricky leading the pack. In fact, Ricky and Suzie seemed to hit it off quite well, and despite his major homosexual tendencies, it almost seemed as though the two of them would go home together.

Around three, the club was closing, and I was more than ready to head back home and hit the hay. But Suzie was our driver, and as our special guest, she got it her way when she said, "What's that all-night vegetarian place?"

So we headed to The Naam, which was nearly dead. The four of us seated ourselves at a round table, the sweat dripping off our brows and the gold makeup running down our cheeks like tears of victory. We ordered our food, and without a flinch, Suzie bolted off to another table, where a single gentleman with shaggy hair wearing a striped shirt was hunched over alone on a table.

She sat with him for a good five minutes before the two of them headed back together to our table. He introduced himself as Paul, a South African on a working visa. He took one look at the group of us, unified by our makeup and feathers, and asked, "What are you motley crew? You in a band or something?"

Known for my ability to be quite a good bullshitter, I told him "Yeah. We just finished playing a gig for Valentine's Day." When he asked details about our music, I told him, "We're a party band. From Daytona Beach. We're called Thre$ha. We play Ke$ha covers." This set him off, as he sneered his face, and told us, "I live around the corner. Come have a beer at my place and I'll show you some real rock n' roll."

So we went. He literally did live around the corner from the restaurant. Despite the fact that it was now around 4:30 in the morning, the group seemed interested in where this was going. We ended up in the basement bedroom belonging to a stranger.

He cracked some PBRs, and played us his idea of real rock music – ABBA. Nobody commented on it, as the beer was free, and before I knew it, someone suggested a game of spin the bottle. Within minutes, I was laughing my ass off at the combination: two gay males, two straight females, and a straight guy. Ridiculous. The real twist came when Suzie spun the bottle and it landed on herself. "I guess this means you've all got to kiss me."

Meryl and I were quite honestly tired by this point, but within minutes Ricky and Paul had Suzie completely naked, and the apparently gay Ricky was eating her out. "It's not so bad," he said. "Am I doing it right?" She giggled and said, "It feels like a rim job in the front."

I could not believe what I was watching. Paul seized the opportunity, and whipped out a condom. Quickly, he was fucking her on the bed and I decided to awkwardly slip off. Ricky made a good third player, but Meryl and I were done.

We sat on the floor, listening to the moaning mixed with "Dancing Queen", and I commented, "This is really not where I saw my Valentine's Day going." She laughed and said, "Yeah. 'Fuck Men'? Looks like she got her wish." Despite the fact that they had beautiful figures, I couldn't watch the whole thing. I caught pieces of it, and it just seemed to go on forever. "Is this what straight sex is like?" I asked. "It takes so long." The whole room burst into laughter. It reminded me of how long it had been since I'd had sex myself, and being in this situation made me okay with that.

I don't regret the way that evening went. It makes a great story, and I'm of the mindset that most life experiences give us something beneficial. Despite my common curiosity about threesomes or the like, that night proved me to be a real old-fashioned guy who likes his sex one-on-one in the comfort of a private space.

The drive home occurred in complete silence, as Suzie dropped off the others at their respective homes. Each time the back door slammed, it got that much more silent. Halfway home on the freeway, Suzie and I, alone in the car, caught eye contact and simultaneously burst out laughing. "Not quite cinnamon hearts and paper cards," she said. "But it'll do."

//JJ Brewis, columnist
//Graphics by Lydia Fu

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