Buy me love

Pub date February 5, 2013

STREET SEEN You are welcome to spend Valentine’s Day as I will this year: corralled onto a dark dancefloor with 200 similar atheists in the face of the love goddess. But as many of you will be happily celebrating with partners (hiss!), I’ve assembled this four-pack of completely locally-made Valentine’s Day gifts. You’re welcome (pfft.)


You can’t get more luxe than this without killing something, and unless it’s vintage, I find artifacts of animal death incredibly unsexy. Tourance makes all its faux fur right here in the city, so if your Valentine isn’t much for Hef wear, check out the line’s vests in faux fox and mink, and its throw blankets modeled on chinchilla fuzz or inspired by mane of lion. Highly recommended for those of us too embarrassed by the word “snuggle” to ever ask to be embraced — nuzzling comes naturally when you just unwrapped the softest garment known to personkind.




Guardian photo by Caitlin Donohue

I am not a fan of gifting chocolates on V-Day to anyone but the most perfunctory recipient (the sweet woman who lives above you, the office manager, one’s priest.) That being said, it is possible to make a case for the originality of this four-pack of burnt caramel bites. The foursome is only available at Recchiuti’s Dogpatch shop, which is tucked into the flank of the factory where the chocolates are made (next to the company’s super-fly Chocolate Lab café, which is doing two dinner seatings for a special Feb. 14 menu.) The doggie designs were born as art made by developmentally-disabled adults at community gallery Creativity Explored, an echo of the for-sale exhibition you’ll find behind Recchiuti’s cash register. And in addition to all these things: doggies. People love those guys.

807 22nd St., SF. (415) 826-2868,


Why does BDSM fashion have to be so damn obvious? Everybody knows you’re there to be roughed up, do we really need to drop hundreds of dollars on the same industrially-accessorized black patent leather that everyone’s wearing? I love Variance Object’s founder Nicole Rimedio for making beaded bondage gear for your kinky-yet-discreet angel. “I love the idea that I may be wearing a rope to bind my lover’s body, but that most everyone else thinks is just an onyx necklace,” Rimedio told me in an email. The line includes pieces strung with super-strong cord that can be worn around the calves, looped underneath the crotch, or tied around wrists. Most everything is modular, for versatility/variety’s sake.



Photo via Yelp

Although you will get side-eyed by many Valentines if you suggest that a bottle of Miller High Life is an adequate way to celebrate Cupid’s aim, warm fuzzies while boozing are still totally possible. Per usual, V-Day falls in the thick of the Bay Area’s marquee week for gourmet brew events, SF Beer Week. So take your low-key, suds-loving babe to Thirsty Bear’s $20-25 “Chocolate, Beer, and Cupid” night to sip coco-vanilla cask ale while making your own chocolates (feel free to bring your boo’s favorite aphrodisiac throw-in for xxxtra points.) Also happening on Feb. 14: sweet and sour beer pairings at The Monk’s Kettle, four limited release brews on tap, with sweet bites from Socola Chocolatier at Speakeasy Brewery’s newly-opened, Kelly Malone-designed tap room. Elixir, Noc Noc, the Sycamore, Rosamunde’s Mission location, La Trappe, and Blackbird are all doing V-Day Beer Week specials as well.

Various Bay Area locations,