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Romance is meant to put our feelings on display for our partner. It’s an effort to make intangible emotions touchable. Love tastes like chocolate in my mouth and has the sweet smell of roses on my bedside table. My belief that love is there is strengthened when I can physically experience it.

Providing those tangible anchor points is something kink does best! Our play is full of symbols and rituals that essentially perform the same function as romance — making complicated emotions tangible. Donning a corset feels like putting on strength; the collar signifies my surrender.

These symbols are so much more powerful for the way they speak to those deep and darker parts of ourselves — those shadowy places where a box of chocolates is simply not going to cut it!

In the beginning of relationship we show each other a carefully curated version of ourselves. The frilly Valentine’s Day hearts cater to those sweet parts of ourselves. Relationships get real when you see those darker parts of your partner — the sufferer, the sadist, the slut — and say, yes, please, give me more of that!

This Valentine’s Day, skip the chocolates and try a version of romance that gives love and recognition to the parts of your partner that normally goes unloved and unseen.


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