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Last Chance Romance

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If Valentine’s Day is breathing down your neck (sexy, right?), OutSmart comes to your emotional rescue with some last-minute, foolproof gifts
by Steven Foster

Diffuse Me, Abuse Me
With crackling wooden wicks replacing traditional wax-coated fiber ones, WoodWick gave the candle business a frisky kick-spark. And, yes, there’s nothing like a candle to induce romance. But if you want the scent of seduction to permeate your love nest 24/7 without the fire hazard, the WW innovators have done it again. The WoodWick Spill-Proof Diffuser banishes the unruly, accident-prone sticks of usual diffusers and instead utilizes an ingenious wooden cap to delicately release the aroma in a method that’s as subtle as it is beautiful. And at $25, it’s a scentsational steal. Available at Bliss on 19th Street in the Heights.

Jimmy Choo Who?
Fashion can be delicious, but no stiletto this year is as sweet as the one devised by Houston’s toniest “by-appointment-only” chocolatier Expressions Fine Chocolate (3535 Wilcrest, between Richmond and Westpark). Their handmade, entirely edible Dorothy’s Ruby Slipper ($75) is made of solid milk chocolate, coated in crystallized red sugar glitter, and filled with 1/4 pound of mixed truffles in such aphrodisiacal flavors as Chai Tea, Red Wine Raspberry, Champagne, Classic Dark, and White Chocolate Vanilla Bean. This shoe should take care of any Blah-nik gift choices you might be considering. To order, call 713/636-9081.

All Wet
Granted, it’s a little chilly to be thinking about swimwear right now. But you can get warmed up to the concept with Jason Salzenstein’s tribute to watery wardrobe options, Trunk Show: Swimwear Inspires Art. Fashionista Salzenstein features sharply observed analysis of the sexiest suit designers in the business along with swooning, luminous photographs of beautiful boys of summer cavorting in swimming pool skivvies. $32.11, on sale at Amazon.

Playing Your Song
Hannibal Gaddafi once paid $2 million to homeslice Beyoncé Knowles just to have Mrs. Jay-Z sing at his St. Barts New Year’s bash. And for that, the notorious wife-beating ➝ Libyan didn’t even receive an original song! We’ve got a more affordable option: enlist the silken-throated services of David Berkeley. This crooner cutie will take your notes about your sweetie, then pen and record an original song about your beloved for a helluva lot less than Sasha’s fierce asking price. More information is available on his website (davidberkeley.com), but the smart set will simply check out Berkeley when he appears February 9 at the cool new artspace, Photobooth on Montrose, located in the old dry cleaners next to the orginal BB’s. Sure, you could compose your own tune, but … wait … seriously … could you?

Love in a Glass
Dirty martinis? Yes, please. Citron? Cheers! But enough with throwing any rind, pulp, or seed into the vodka barrel. (Whipped cream? Come on, Stoli, ostanovit!) That said, we swoon over blissfully delicate Van Gogh Chocolate Vodka ($29/750ml). Like the best partner, it’s sweet without being cloying, and shows strength without ever being mean. And, like love, it just gets better with age. Available at fine spirit purveyors everywhere.

Beau Geste
Underwear seems more like a gift for yourself than your significant other, but we’re sure neither of you would have a problem with that. Bayou Beau cruised onto the scene with their Gulf Coast Collection, influenced by the verdant colors found on coastal bayous. Their latest collection, provocatively titled Bait and Tackle, sports combinations of black, purple, royal blue, olive green, aqua, and lime. Their graphic, segmented block prints could have been designed by a horny Piet Mondrian. But if you must go Valentine-trite, they do come in red. Visit bayoubeau.com for ordering and nearest retail locations.

Dick? That’s Sir Richard to You!
This may be the sexiest innovation in meat-sleeve marketing since incorporating the wrapper teeth-tear into porn. Sir Richard’s Condoms have taken the simplest idea—packaging—to turn up the safe-sex heat. They’re 100-percent natural latex, vegan-friendly, and slicked with glycerin-, spermicide- and paraben-free lubricant, of course—but it’s their white and matrix-black sleekness, with violet, butterscotch, and emerald coding that makes for a truly great first insertion impression. The rascal wraps come in Pleasure Dots, Ultra Thin, Classic Ribbed, and, for you showoffs, Extra Large. Available at Whole Foods, upscale boutiques, and hotels, as well as sirrichards.com.

Utherworldly & Unconventional
Computers are as much a part of dating now as dowries were in the 7th century and fern bars were in the ’70s. Constant sexual revolution has also brought play toys and bedroom gear out of the dark ages. Combine both your virtual and your paraphernalia fetishes with a date to the Adult Virtual Convention. The first “3-D virtual convention” of its kind will bring together adult-entertainment fans indulging their wishes and industry players hawking their wares in a rowdily rendered space. Tight wraps are being kept on what the rooms of the con will look like—how very S&M of them—but the whole thing is put on by social platformer Utherverse, so it shouldn’t suck. Just beware—that hot blonde dominatrix you’re virtually chatting with just might be a 60-year-old accountant with a wife and three grandkids. February 24–36, go to adultvirtualconvention.com/index.aspx.

Steven Foster is a regular contributor to OutSmart magazine.

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Ste7en Foster

Steven Foster is a regular contributor to OutSmart Magazine.

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