Date night and girly stuff

Written by Emily Nagoski, Ph.D.

I'm not one to identify strongly in a gender category, but there are a small number of ways in which I fall squarely into the "girl" camp.

Skin care products are among those ways.

In general, I recommend that folks have pre-arranged sex nights in their lives. I can't get much mental traction behind the idea that it's somehow not romantic to plan ahead for a sexy interlude; what's sexier than anticipating sex ALL FRICKIN' WEEK and then spending time getting ready, knowing you're going to get some hotness on?1

Sure there's an appeal to unbridled, unplanned, spontaneous, and immediate hotness. Not a thing in the world wrong with a can't-keep-my-hands-off-you-a-second-longer-fuck-me-now-or-I'll-fucking-die fuck.

But anticipation is undervalued. Spend 10 minutes every day (five minutes in the morning, five minutes at night before you go to bed) thinking about the sex you'll be having come the weekend and your entire erotic life will change.

And this is where skin care products and other "girly" things can play a delicious role. (NB: just because it's girly doesn't mean men can't play too!)

Date night calls for the smoothest of smooth skin. After a very great deal of hunting and experimentation, I can state with confidence that the best exfoliation/moisturizer I've ever encountered is to be had from Lush's Buffy. Shit ain't cheap, and it's better to buy it in a store rather than have it shipped because it can melt, but used sparingly on special occasions it's Da Best. You won't even need moisturizer.

However, if you decide to use moisturizer anyway, and if there's ever a time for supererogation of softy smoothy, it's date night, in my opinion, don't fuck around with fancy expensive shit. Just buy a bottle of sweet almond oil. Pour some into the palms of your hand and coat yourself with it BEFORE you get out of the shower (or bath) and let yourself air dry.

Pay attention to your feet. Date night is not the time to worry about cracked callouses or unshapely toenails. Also, CRUCIALLY important for everyone, cut, file, and buff your fingernails. You need at least ONE short fingernail. For penetration purposes. Must I be explicit? Use your imagination.

Smell. Perfume is too individual for me to give recommendations, but may I suggest a perfume strategy? Always wear the same fragrance on a sex night, and reserve that fragrance for sex nights. Both you and your partner will learn to associate that scent with sex, so it'll just get sexier and sexier.

Underwear, or lack thereof, is also too individual to give recommendations. I'll just say that it's likely your partner has a preference of kind, and if you don't know what that preference is, you should ask. I can also offer ideas on how to ask in a way that won't freak your partner out.

Example: Suppose date night is Friday. Monday night, as the two of you are tucking yourself in for the night, gently move the conversation to underwear. My sister (the vocal musician) is the one who knows the details about what happens to a person's voice when they're excited, giddy, aroused, teasing, loving, or joyful. Whatever that thing is, do that. (The easy way is, of course, to FEEL excited, giddy, etc.) You want warmth, playfulness, love, joy, confidence, and just a hint of worship for your lovebucket's canoodling in your voice.

YOU: SO... lovebucket?
YOU: I was thinking about this Friday... you know...
LB: ... Yeah?
YOU: Yeah, and I wondered if maybe I could try something.
LB: ...Yeah?
YOU: I wondered... I wanted to play with the idea of sexy underwear.
LB: ...Okay!
YOU: But there are lots of ideas about what makes underwear sexy, so I was wondering what was sexy to YOU.
LB: [worthily] Any underwear with YOU in it sexy to me.
YOU: Awwww, thanks lovebucket! You too! But is there any particular KIND of underwear that might provide a particularly sexy package for my sexiness?
LB: Um, well...
YOU: Like, this one friend of mine likes see-through underwear, but this other friend prefers simple white cotton panties, you know, all virginal and naughty at the same time.
LB: [again, worthily] What do YOU like? Anything you like is fine with me.
YOU: Oh there are some things I like, but for this Friday at least, I kinda wanted to try out wearing something YOU found especially hot. [Juicing up the vocal warmth, maybe turning shyly passionate eyes and wetly parted lips onto LB] I really love it when I know something I've done turns you on.

It almost doesn't matter what words you use, if you get the "tell me how to please you because giving you pleasure makes me feel powerful and helpless at the same time and there's nothing I like better" tone of voice.

Anyway, schedule date night. Prepare for date night. Take loving care of yourself in advance of date night. Improve your sex life, your relationship and your own personal self-regard. Make the world a better place.2

  1. Birnbaum, G. E., Kanat-Maymon, Y., Mizrahi, M., Recanati, M., & Orr, R. (2019). What fantasies can do to your relationship: The effects of sexual fantasies on couple interactions. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 45(3), 461-476.
  2. Meltzer, A. L., Makhanova, A., Hicks, L. L., French, J. E., McNulty, J. K., & Bradbury, T. N. (2017). Quantifying the sexual afterglow: The lingering benefits of sex and their implications for pair-bonded relationships. Psychological Science, 28(5), 587-598.

Haven’t installed it yet?