02.14.13

Nine Things Women Actually Want for Valentine’s Day 

On this most romantic of holidays, ignore the marketing schemes and find out what actual females actually want. Hint: not jewelry. By Rachel Krantz.

It’s that time of year again. Time for the bitter among us to use the phrase “Hallmark holiday” like it’s going out of style, and the romantic in our midst to try to get lucky.

This is the one day a year when men are supposed to really try and pull it together, and luckily for us ladies, the "the premier Sugar Daddy website" Seeking Arrangement has calculated exactly what we’re worth. According to a poll of roughly 9,000 men, single guys are spending roughly $257 dollars on V-Day, and 77 percent of them are doing it in hopes of getting laid. But guys, (not to exclude those few clueless lesbians), good news! You don’t have to spend all that cash to impress women this Valentine’s Day. Here is the definitive list of the 9 things women really want this year.

You might have trouble making them happen, but at least they’re all free.

1. Equal Pay for Equal Work

Hey, remember this Democratic candidate applause line? Women's pay has been sitting at 77 percent of that of men for far too long, and for college-educated women, it isn't much better. A recent American Association of University Women study found that even when women go to the same college, pick the same major, and accept a comparable position as their male classmates, they still earn roughly 82 cents on the male-graduate dollar. During his State of the Union address, President Obama called on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this year, which would require employers to demonstrate that any disparity in pay is not gender-related. Pass this act, and we women can go buy ourselves our own V-Day present next year.

2. Eliminate Sexual Side Effects of the Pill (or at Least Try!)

This might sound like a weird one, but really, why is this not a bigger deal? The very pill that many women take in part so that they can enjoy sex more freely is also likely making them enjoy that sex less. An Indiana University study found that women on the pill report a lower sex drive, fewer orgasms, more difficulty getting aroused, and having less sex than women who aren’t on hormonal birth control. Being that the pill is the most popular form of contraception in the country, you’d think pharmaceutical companies would be clamoring with all the strength of a Viagra-induced salute to develop a way to alleviate this obviously problematic side effect. Not so much. "I think there's been a serious neglect on the part of the medical profession and the pharmaceutical industry,"  Dr. John Bancroft, one of the few researchers of the side effect, told The New York Times. "We've been trying to bang this drum for quite some time." That’s what she said. And that’s downright absurd.

3. A Guarantee That Fiona Apple Will Keep Making Albums

Really, anyone who's gone through a breakup should not need me to explain why this is vital.

4. More Realistic Orgasm Depictions

We women have made a fair amount of cinematic sexual progress in the last few years. With the rise of indie female directors like Lynn Shelton and Kelly Reichardt, some movies are beginning to portray female sexuality as more complex; but there’s still plenty of catching up to reality to do. Even Girls, a show with supposedly realistically awkward sex, fell into the familiar trap of portraying the average woman as unrealistically insta-orgasmic during the infamous Marnie masturbation scene. We understand the desire to dramatize, but come on, throw us a bone here. It's enough that plenty of men get their first ideas about sex from porn, but now, thanks to TV and movies, there’s also the ingrained expectation (on both sides) that the average woman should be in some sort of ecstasy after roughly 10 seconds of foreplay and 20 seconds of penetration. This V-Day, we’d like to see a depiction of the beginning of sex as it actually is.

5. For the Media to Respect Hillary More Than This

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6. An End to Commercials About ‘Stress Sweat’ and ‘Feminine Odor’

While the array of sexist marketing to choose from is as abundant as the selection of drugs at Burning Man, these smell-shaming commercials win for being profoundly annoying. This year, advertisers decided it’s not enough that women are told to keep our sex organs smelling like the Downy teddy bear. In addition to the plethora of yeast-infection-inducing feminine “hygiene” products we’re supposed to be applying, Secret has come up with a special new smell for us women to worry about. But isn’t all sweat the same, you ask, because you’re gross? No, no it’s not.

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Isn’t it the worst when that cute guy on the train smiles at you because he thinks you’re so disgusting?

7. To Never Hear the Phrase ‘Vaginal Probe’ Again

And certainly never to get one by a doctor. We would also ask for politicians never to use the phrase “legitimate rape,” and to stop using our bodies as strategic political maneuvers, but that isn’t really a gift. It should be a given.

8. For Rihanna to Dump Chris Brown, Preferably in Public  

Most of us feminists know that abusive relationships are no simple problem, particularly when both the abuser and the victim come from families with histories of abuse. But seeing Rihanna blow kisses to Chris Brown at his trial and cuddle up to him at the Grammys had most of us wanting to stage an intervention. We’re not saying people can’t change, but given Brown’s recent bouts of violence, we still think she could do better. Just picture this fantasy: It's Valentine's Day, and Rihanna announces, preferably on live television, that she is leaving Brown for good. She tells her fans it is never OK for their partner to hit them. She asks to stand under our umbrellas, reassures us she has a great therapist, then possibly breaks out into song.

9. BFF Brunch with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey

We don’t even expect them to adopt us. We just want to share unlimited Bloody Marys and talk shop with two of the coolest women in show business. We know if they just got to know us, we’d totally be in.

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And if all else fails, you can’t go wrong with one of these.