By Diane Anderson-Minshall
Originally published on Advocate.com February 12 2014 7:00 AM ET
Rainbow Jewelry That’s Not Tacky
At the women's high jump world championship in Moscow last year, Emma Green Tregaro painted her nails in the colors of the rainbow flag as a protest to Russia's antigay laws. But on the day of the finals, the Swedish athletes association forced her to remove the rainbow nail polish. Inspired, Efva Attling — the leading jewelry designer in Scandinavia and one of Sweden’s most sought-after designers (Madonna is a fan) — created this great silver necklace where you can't see the colors, but you can read their names stamped in metal. Not only is this piece gorgeous and modern, but 30 percent of all proceeds go to Hetrick-Martin Institute for at-risk LGBT youth. $235, EfvaAttling.com
Note: The necklace isn’t available until next week. If you can’t wait, consider an earlier unisex necklace, like Homo Sapiens, a reminder that we’re all equal, or Peace, designed with Yoko Ono, with proceeds going to charity.
Make Him Your Magic Mike
Yes, we all know giving your lover lingerie for Valentine’s Day is really a selfish gift. We’re OK with that. And this sexy Brazilian tuxedo thong, a fun black-and-white design with bow tie detail right where it matters, is perfect. $17, eBay.com
And for the truly smooth “Magic” look, include the new Gillette body razor, the first by the brand “specifically designed for the male terrain.” Available in stores Friday.
A Sex Toy That Costs as Much as a Diamond Ring
Show him you really appreciate what he can do with exquisitely constructed Earl from Lelo. It's a nonvibrating gentleman's pleasure object, available in silver or 18K gold plate, which is designed to provide targeted prostate massage through anal penetration. Think gold is just excessive? Well, precious metals offer added stimulation when warmed or cooled, making for quite the sensory revelation. It comes presented in an elegant wooden gift box with matching cuff links, a manual, a satin pouch for stylish storage, and a one-year Lelo warranty from lesbian-owed Babeland. $1,590 in silver, $2,590 in gold, Babeland.com
Plan That Weekend Getaway
Tired of watching him drag an overstuffed Ziploc bag filled with his grooming essentials on his overnight visits? Get him the cute Hey Handsome shaving kit bag made from canvas and denier nylon water-repellent fabrics. Nickel hardware, leather handle and accents, and a screen-printed message on the interior make this bag the real deal at a price you’ll love. Make it even better by slipping in a plane ticket to your favorite getaway spot inside. $60, OwenAndFred.com
Don’t Forget the Ladies
It doesn’t come with cuffl inks, but women deserve their own sophisticated sex toy — and if you’re dating her, you’ll appreciate the extra hand (er, tongue) you get with the Ora oral sex simulator. It’s a round, easy-to-grasp toy, made of ultra-smooth silicone, and it features a moving element covered by just a thin layer of silicone that is capable of delivering long swirling strokes as well as fast flicks on and around the clitoris. It can move in full and half circles, with 10 rotation and vibration settings, plus it has an “intense” setting (complete with memory function) that’ll offer her a 30 percent stronger surge whenever she wants an extra sensation. This toy is completely waterproof to a depth of three feet, and is also rechargeable via wall socket with 90 days standby. Oh, and if you leave it on a table accidentally and mom stops by, she’ll be none the wiser. Watch this totally-safe-for-work video and you’ll suddenly understand the appeal. $159, Babeland.com
I’ll Take My Chocolate Frozen
Skip the packaged dime-store chocolates and try something fun and all-American for your partner: personalized ice cream. Ecreamery will make you a personalized gelato, sorbet, or ice cream with flavors and mix-ins you choose. There are seven varieties of chocolate alone, all the usual suspects, plus dozens of more exotic flavors like sea salt and avocado. Add-ins run the gourmet gamut as well (though we’ve yet to meet someone who didn’t like the chocolate chips and bacon combo). Labels can be personalized with messages (Marry Me?) or your names. Not cheap, but a total delicagasm. $59 for a half gallon (sold in four pint containers), Ecreamery.com
Naughty, Knotty, T-T-T-Tease Me
A tiny and adorable book with classy illustrations that literally show you the ropes, Naughty Knots: Light Bondage & Bedroom Tricks will let you use old sailors’ techniques in a sexy new way and find out how to tantalize your partner without going full PVC bodysuit on him (or her). This pocket-size book is perfect. $9, Amazon.com
Mark His (or Her) Territory
Love and Pride’s luxe cotton Faceplant pillowcase sets, which come in either Hers/Hers or His/His, are perfect V-day gifts. Everyone sleeps, so make sure s/he knows where the sweet dreams are supposed to happen. Bonus: The 300-thread-count cases come in a beautiful organdy envelope, and a portion of every purchase goes to Marriage Equality USA and the Matthew Shepard Foundation. $44, LoveandPride.com
Got a Femme (or a Drag Queen) in Your Life?
A handbag is the perfect gift, then, especially this pulp novel-styled Don't Push Me Around BookPurse. With a solid front and back and black-crushed velvet sides, this purse exudes campy, retro sexiness. $175, MaddiePowers.com
Literature the Way Shakespeare Should Have Written It
Every bookworm loves literature, but this gift goes far beyond that. With these personalized novels, same-sex star-crossed lovers can now star in the most famous love story ever told, Romeo and Juliet, except in your story it’s Juliet and Juliet or Romeo and Romeo or, you know, Bob and Sanford or Mary and Alice. A brutal feud, growing love, lovers desperate to stay together against all odds. Prepare for your betrothed to swoon when he or she gets this personalized novel. $30, UStarNovels.com