Anti-Valentine’s Day Gift List: The Good, the Bad, and the Deliciously Naughty

VITAMIN W is giving away a suprise on this list to one of our newsletter subscribers! To qualify, subscribe to our newsletter by February 13, 2014. We will announce the winner on February 14. (Please note, we do not guarantee delivery by Valentine's Day.)



It’s not that we are anti-love. But the flood of Valentine-red covering everything from TV ads to local pharmacies reminds us of menstrual cycles and war. We get it - retailers inflated this holiday so that they can sell nearly $19 billion of merchandise and services to doting lovers.  But there are consequences in the way they lead us to view ourselves. If you don’t have someone to buy a gift for, then you are inadequate. If you don’t buy your significant other a red-colored schmaltzy gift on the day of Love, then you must be a bad partner, right? Wrong.
Although we do not advocate retail therapy, this is a good time for a little self-love. We present to you a list of our favorite products from three pro-woman companies. Only one is red and many can be used on your own or with friends / lovers. And by purchasing them, you support women-run businesses and causes. So go ahead and share the love.


…for yourself…

The Air Up There Terrarium – Sold at Plum Alley 
Too busy for relationships or pets? This airplant terrarium requires natural light and a good, twice weekly misting. Hang it near a window or anywhere you need a little green in your life. This kit comes with all you need, including the glass, river stone, rope, and happy tillandsia. 

…for your friends…

Gone are the days when girls sat wistfully by waiting for the boys to ask them out. This Valentine’s Day, let the couples enjoy their steak dinner in the boring dull glow of a monogamous relationship while you and your girls hit the bars with this set of Cheek’d cards. Cheek'd is a clever service that introduces real-life spontaneity to online dating. According to its founder and namesake, Lori Cheek, "the concept promotes the use of an intriguing and provocative set of business card sized introductions used to engage a romantic prospect when feeling awkward, shy or simply desiring a new approach."  Whether it's on a train, a cafe, in a bar, at the gym or at the dog park, Cheek'd users can express their interest in someone by coyly handing them a small black card that contains a cheeky phrase such as "Act natural. We can get awkward later." or "I just put all my drinks on your tab." The recipient is invited to go online to check out your profile and decide whether he or she would like to make contact with you through the Cheek'd internal messaging service (personal information and privacy are protected).


…for yourself…

Fuck Off Note Cards – Sold at AHA Life
Be blunt and tell ‘em how it is with this in-your-face note card set crafted in New York. Engraved in black ink on natural white stock, these note cards are complemented with FUCK OFF-lined envelopes for major impact. Be sure to also check out the FUCK OFF Wax Seal.

…for him or her…

Blokket – Sold at AHA Life
Ok this may be a gift to him/her but it is really for you. The Blokket is a signal-blocking phone pocket made from a smart material available with a yellow or pink band, that blocks cell phone signals breaking you free from the chains of smartphone technology. Once removed, your phone will receive missed calls and texts as usual.

…for your friends…

Shake up your bedding with this sardonic set of screen printed statement pillows from author and sometimes stand-up comic Sally Beerworth. Proceeds from each sale go to the Joy of Ex Foundation, which donates money to support people going through rough transitions.


…for him or her…

Oops we did it again. This is the gift that gives back. From oral sex to vibrators, manual and G-spot stimulation to anal sex, the focus here is always on the diversity of women's pleasure and orgasms (in fact, there are only two male orgasms in the film, and no facial come shots). Plus, you'll witness the use of some favorite sex toys: the Hitachi Magic Wand, the Mystic Wand, G-Ki, We-Vibe II, Mustang dildo, Pure Wand, and Fling. The cast of ten includes a combination of mainstream and queer/indie performers; four out of five scenes feature a performer of color. Includes DVD extras on Kegel exercises, safer sex, a vibrator guide, a masturbation montage, and behind-the-scenes footage.

…for yourself…

Forbidden Fruit Personal Massager – Sold at AHA Life
Maybe you travel too much to even take care of a plant. With this fashion-forward bedroom accessory, you only have to cater about yourself while on the road. Its compact toys incorporate a smart travel lock and chargers include adapters for an array of outlets around the world. Inspired by the sensuous fruit found in the Garden of Eden, this apple-shaped personal massager is a whimsical pleasure device designed for climatic results. Move the stem of the apple to adjust the five different settings and seven vibration patterns for up to three hours of erotic stimulation. Each massager includes a smart travel lock, a discreet, hygienic charger and additional adapters for international outlets.

…for us…

Fifty Shades of Grey Hard Limits Bed Restraint Kit – Sold at Babeland

Want to take a stab at sub/dom foreplay? This set has everything you need for full body restraint to turn your bed into a bondage playground—whether you’re at home or on a naughty weekend away. Nylon restraint straps fit beneath your mattress or bed frame with ease and the four soft satin wrist and ankle cuffs keep you or your partner firmly in place for bedroom bondage games. The cuffs can also be attached to each other for handcuffs, ankle cuffs or a hogtie. Slip on the blindfold and let the play begin. Part of Fifty Shades of Grey Official Pleasure Collection endorsed by EL James, the author of the hugely successful erotic novel, Fifty Shades of Grey. Here's where they make an appearance in the novel: "I pull hard against my restraints and the bed creaks ominously, but I don’t care— I’m burning with desire, it’s consuming me. I flush under his stare and my pulse quickens.”
Create your own erotic romance novel-esque evening with the Shades of Grey edition Love is Art kit. It includes all of the materials you need to safely capture an intimate night of love making on canvas like plastic sheeting, white cotton canvas, non-toxic paint, disposable slippers and body scrubber. The final piece is an expressive, modern work of art with a Jackson Pollock-inspired feel.


AHAlife was founded by Shauna Mei who moved to the U.S. after the Tiananmen Square massacre in China. Since then, Mei has been kicking ass in everything she does, from working at Goldman Sachs, to co-founding an investment boutique with the former CEO of Marc Jacobs to founding AHA Life at 27.  Her company is a curated online marketplace for creative, inspiring objects made by independent designers and artisans. Maybe if the world had more strong female role models like Mei, we will have more women taking leadership positions.
Babeland founders Claire Cavanah and Rachel Venning felt that Seattle needed women-friendly sex shops instead of dimly lit sketchy stores with a tattooed man behind the counter. Since it was founded in , Babeland has expanded to New York city and now features a educational website so that women and men can explore their sexuality in a safe environment both offline and online.
According to Plum Alley’s founder Deborah Jackson, ““I founded Plum Alley for women to create products, build companies and enhance their esteem and wealth. We offer 3 things: a way for women to raise money for projects, hire experts to help them and provide a way to sell their products with an emphasis on their story.”
Photo Credit: © pekkic -