Give your beloved something original this Valentine’s Day with a little help from this handy gift guide. We have suggestions for jewelry, excursions, erotica, and a veritable Whitman’s Sampler of the best web apps. Happy Valentine’s Day. xxoo, OutSmart
by Steven Foster
This Time You Know It’s for Real
Help your sweetheart mark the moments before you see each other again with an oh-so-sexy high-tech timepiece from Storm. The gorgeous gadgets are famous for their sleek sci-fi styling and occasional futuristic gimmickry (a face revealed from beneath a spiraled shutter mechanism with the touch of a button, for example). Anyone can give a Timex. And these days who can afford to bag a Tag? Storm offers sexy chronology for a price that debunks the cliché “time is money.” Available at P Jai’s Fashion for Modern Men. 2542 Amherst. 713.526.1800.
I’ll Tumblr for Ya
Sure, everyone knows about Facebook. But with people stopping their obsessive posting as of late, FB may become this year’s Friendster. So keep ahead of the curve—and in touch with your lover—with Tumblr. This remarkable app provides completely reliable connection and sharing in today’s digital age. And if your baby wants to begin their own blog to your awesomeness, Tumblr provides easy, artistic templates while allowing you to load both video and audio with a coupla clicks.
Heavy Breathing, Heavy Metal
Gold? So last decade. Silver is the sexy precious metal for 2010. And the pant-inducing jewelry at Silverlust is a sure-fire way to take your significant other’s breath away. Discover a treasure trove of booty at 1338-C Westheimer. 713.520.5440.
Couple’s Movie Tip
You’ll Always Have Paris
If you can’t afford a trip to the City of Lights, then purchase a crisp, crunchy baguette, rich goose liver paté, creamy chèvre, peak-fresh fruit, and a crisp Vouvray. Serve with the subtle, sublime, moving Paris je t’aime. A series of impossibly romantic vignettes directed by 18 of the most celebrated international directors working in film today and starring a sky-full of stellar actors, this cinematic gem is a sparkling celebration of true romance, capturing the passion, pain, and perfection of love.
Wanna Fool Around?
Does your lover like to play around? Let ’em. Give them Popcap Games. These apps cost just a coupla bucks, but with fun, attention-grabbing puzzlers like Bejeweled 2, Bookworm, Chuzzle, and Peggle, this will be the only place they’re looking to score.
Let’s Get (meta)Physical
Of course good love is physical. Nothing expresses real tender loving care like good old-fashioned affection. But how wonderful is it when that flesh communication is paired with the bedrock of emotional and spiritual compatibility? Help you and your companion rise to a higher plane with a gift from Metaphysical Matrix. The ethereal shop offers a wide selection of relationship books, meditative candles, and, of course, tools to help you express all that third-eye thrill through more skin-centric measures. (Meaning they have copies of the Kama Sutra, too.) 2360 W. Alabama. 713.780.9995.
The Elixer of Love
A lover who complains is a lover who’s a loser. Help your lover quit whining and start winning with this totally winning app. The Wine Ph.D allows you to search and research a wide variety of varietals with enough sommelier know-how, you could be one of those wine angels at Aureole in Vegas. You can even upload your own wine info for your fellow oenophiles. Think of it as Facebook meets vineyard. Your grape-crushing crush will pop their cork over this app.
The Half-Mile Club
Do you and your lover like to get high? Psst. Come here. We got just what you need. And it’s totally legal: Rotor Envy. This shockingly affordable helicopter service will shuttle you and your honey just like any A-list celebrity power couple. Don’t have anywhere you need to be? Just go for a little spin in the sky. If this little surprise gift doesn’t impress your date, check ’em for a pulse; of course, if they’re the slightest bit acrophobic, you might need to, mid-flight. http://www.rotorenvy.com
Pull Up to the Bump(er)
“What’s your number? Hang on, let me program it into my phone.” “No wait. I’ll just call you and you can save it. That way you can…” Oh, how last-century cell phone of both of you. Get all the contact info on that hottie you’re hitting up, with the Bump app. This ingenious little application lets you actually smack phones together, and in the process of bumping cellular uglies, transfer all contact information. FYI, that’s all contact information each of you have, so be careful who you share with. Do we love it? Yes. Can we even begin to fathom how it works? No. (Just like we can’t figure out how that wickedly funny iSnort works. But we love them both.)
Tickle Their Ivories
Picture this. A recital room. A vase of roses, a bucket of chilled champagne, and a flickering candelabra atop a seven-by-five-foot Hamburg Steinway Model C grand piano. You in a tux, stroking the ebony and ivory keys, simultaneously strumming your lover’s heartstrings while you Rachmaninoff their world. Who cares if you can’t play—get a boom box and key karaoke the gig. Your significant other will never care. But where can you make this romantic fantasy come true? Dowling Music. They have the aforementioned piano and rentable rehearsal space available for a song. And if you can play? Dowling is the best place in town to get sheet music for your Debussy debut. Ten percent off on music if you’re a teacher, by the way. 2615 Southwest Freeway #220. 713.529.2676.
No, Not the Moon in Avatar
Does your lover love music? Tune them on to Pandora. This killer aural app lets you stream free music to your iPhone and then sends a custom-running playlist based on pre-requested preferences. Granted, many people know about Pandora already, and not just because it shares a moniker with Cameron’s billion-dollar blue-green marble. But what a lot of people don’t know? Word on the cyber street is Pandora may soon morph into a charge site. So give now. Before it costs you. (Gee. Kinda like love.)
Ah, the humble bed. It serves a wondrous, often thrilling purpose. But admittedly, it bears a more than passing resemblance to a drive through west Texas. It’s damn flat. Well make your mattress into a freeway of love with ramps and bumps and such with The Liberator. This purveyor of “bedroom adventure gear” takes the simple concept of the ever-handy pillow and elevates it (and you) to thrilling new levels. Drive safely. Available at Executive Video Superstore. 14002 Northwest Freeway. 713.462.5152.
If you’re a couple, grocery shopping can be a real problem in a relationship. “You forgot the dishwashing liquid.” “I wanted egg whites, not Egg Beaters.” Arrrrrgh … Well, end all that harmony-blasting BS with Grocery IQ. This smart and yummy little app, only 99¢, creates an interactive list for grocery shopping that both organizes and remembers your items. Now if they could come up with an app that made people stop texting while they drive through the damn grocery store parking lot.
Single’s Movie Tip
Out Loud & Proud
Valentine’s Day can be especially brutal for those who are sadly solo. If that’s you, inspire yourself with the affirming Living Out Loud. This fab film features Holly Hunter as a divorcée struggling to get her jolted, jilted life back on track. And with the help of elevator operator Danny DeVito and lounge singer Queen Latifah, she succeeds in doing just that. (The ecstasy-fueled dance sequence is now the stuff of lesbian legend.) Is being alone lonely? Sure, sometimes. But alone can also be lovely.
You may be in love, but you still don’t have the same rights as other couples do. So download the app from the Human Rights Campaign’s Supporting Business That Support Us program. The app ranks companies that score high on the HRC Corporate Equality Index, so you know what products to buy to support LGBT-friendly businesses. If the company’s in red, they don’t do a damn thing for our cause. Yellow means they’re trying. Green means the folks that make these products are behind us 100 percent. The ratings are also based on how good the companies are in their work policies to their own LGBT employees. When you give this gift, you’re giving to more than just your significant other. You’re giving to all of us. Now that’s love.
Hey, Pretty. Wanna Take a Ride with Me?
Red Porsche. ’Nuff said. Porsche West Houston. 11890 Old Katy Road. 281.249.4700.
Steven Foster interviews Henry Rollins in this issue of OutSmart magazine.
Additional reporting by Taylor Goubeaud.