By NATALIE BAKER, KELLY CLARKE, LEAH DIMATTEO, CASEY JARMAN, NIGEL JAQUISS, MICHAEL MANNHEIMER, AARON MESH, JAMES PITKIN, ARI PHILLIPS, BRITTANY ROGERS, MATT SINGER, BETH SLOVIC, HANK STERN AND BEN WATERHOUSE
Well, it's February again, and the pressure's on: What are you going to do to prove to the Hallmark-driven world that your love for your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner/spouse/fuckbuddy is more deep and true than any other? We don't know—we're just as creatively tapped as you are. So we asked a wide swath of Portlanders, both well known and obscure, how they make their loved ones happy, and their answers were far better than we'd ever imagined. And so, we proudly present, 50 ways to please your lover.
1. ELEANOR O’BRIEN
Actress and creator of
an ensemble show about the sexual fantasies of real women. The second edition of
runs May 6-29.
How she pleases her lover: "Recently having experienced a dip in the ol' sex life (fiance working 60-plus hours a week), I decided to put myself in front of him, literally. I am familiar with his porn sites of choice, and thankfully, he tends toward the amateur (Pichunter being a favorite). I took a whole series of shots of myself (yay Photo Booth!), some with our cats, some with an array of salad fixings, all pretty much anonymous (I don't want just anyone able to see me and my pussies), and I posted them on the website. The next time he logged in, he was greeted with the "new pics of the day" category, featuring his beloved intended. Debauchery ensued...."
2. JEFF MCCARTHY
Pastry Chef at Ten 01; blogger at mrjeffmccarthy.com
How he pleases his lover: "I did have someone tell me once that my double chocolate cookies were 'better than sex,'" McCarthy says. Here's the recipe:
1 pound dark chocolate
2 ounces butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
12 ounces chopped chocolate chunks
1. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler.
2. Whip the eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla in a bowl mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
3. Fold the melted chocolate and butter mixture into the eggs.
4. Sift and fold in the flour and baking powder.
5. Fold in the chocolate chunks.
6. Let the batter rest in the fridge until firm. Scoop onto a parchment-lined pan and freeze 1 hour (up to 1 month.)
7. Bake in a 300ºF convection oven for 8 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake another 4-5 minutes. Cookies should still be loose in center when done. Cool 15 minutes before serving or storing in an airtight container. IMAGE: Leslie Montgomery
3. MODOU DIENG
Artist, co-director of WorkSound Gallery
How he pleases his lover: Despite his rep as a forward-thinking artist, this Senegal native is a straight-up traditionalist when it comes to showing somebody he cares: "I don't have anybody. I'm single. But I like to give flowers. And jewelry and books…. I kinda like to try to make the girl look good, smell good and eat well," he says, laughing. And when he wants to seal the deal? "I'm kinda shy," he admits. "A bit of wine, dim lights, good music and to make love. That's what we all want, eh?" We're betting he's not going to be single much longer. IMAGE: Courtesy of Modou Dieng
4. CLARA PERKA
Greenpeace canvasser, musician
How she pleases her lover: "Following your heart can be the hardest thing for a person to do, but that's what I did," says Perka, 25. The signature gatherer, who also plays keys in the local progressive hip-hop soul band Notes From Underground, had been living in Boston for six years when she decided to pack up and take the 2,500-mile trip to Portland to be with Mike, her boyfriend. "I try to make him happy by simply being there for him," she says. "By being his best friend, his support and by loving him unconditionally." She also gives "a fantastic back rub, on a very regular and very volunteer basis," and makes "one of the best spaghetti sauces you will ever taste." IMAGE: Leslie Montgomery
5. CHUCK CURRIE
United Church of Christ minister
How he pleases his lover: "We're both kind of Star Trek geeks and will probably dress up in character and reenact that famous scene where Captain Kirk and Lt. Uhura kiss. Lots of Romulan ale will be consumed. Then it will be time for bed, where we can count on at least 15 minutes of alone time before one of our children wakes up and need help going to the bathroom." IMAGE: Leslie Montgomery
6. FELICE SHAYS
Sex educator at local "female friendly" sex toy boutique She Bop
How she pleases her lover: With my teeth.
I love kissing—I love toys. And teeth are the toys that you carry with you all the time. Gently, sweetly, firmly, menacingly—I love to bite the tongue, the lips...both inside and outside.
7. BRANDON ROY
Professional basketball player, Portland Trail Blazers
How he pleases his lover: "Just giving her time, more than anything. Flowers and some candy and just being able to spend quality time with her. She's simple: As long as you're spending time with her and giving her a day, she's happy with that. Last year, after the dunk contest, I took her to dinner and [we] went out for ice cream when we were in Phoenix [for All-Star Weekend, where Roy has been for the past two Valentine's Days]. We had our night to ourselves, and I thought it was cool. This is our job, but I don't want to make it my life. So we got away from it, and I was still able to give her her time on Valentine's Day." IMAGE: Courtesy of Trail Blazers
8. UN-VALENTINE’S NIGHT OUT
Who needs love? Stumptown Stages presents an
-romantic cabaret hosted by Lava Alapai and Corey Brunish and featuring musical theater performers Lisamarie Harrison, Mont Chris Hubbard, Debbie Hunter, James Peppers and Alina Ziak.
9. KARLA MOORE-LOVE
City of Portland council clerk
How she pleases her lover: Karla Moore-Love, whose job it has been for 10 years to manage City Council's weekly meetings, has no love for roses. The universal symbol of amore causes the 50-year-old Portsmouth woman's eyes to itch. To please her partner, Moore-Love stayed mum about this unfortunate fact for five years, never revealing she'd prefer a different gift. Eventually, under duress, she protested that the roses were "too expensive." After finally letting it slip that she was allergic to the flowers, her honey adapted. This year? He'll probably make steaks for dinner, Moore-Love says.
10. CHRIS TSEFALAS
Owner of Hawthorne institution the Perfume House
How he pleases his lover: "There will be nothing in your lifetime that will match perfume in the memory of the person you've given it to," Tsefalas says. Not a surprising answer coming from the proprietor of a shop stocked with more than 1,500 high-end fragrances. But the Portland native, whose expertly trained schnozz makes him something of an olfactory Jedi, isn't making a sales pitch: He's been buying perfumes for his wife, Christina, since they met at Franklin High School over 60 years ago. Back then, "I didn't know what I was doing," he admits. These days, though, he certainly does: He recently gave her a half-ounce of her favorite fragrance in a handmade, limited-edition diamond bottle. Tsefalas says guys clueless about a scent with which to surprise their own significant others shouldn't go expensive for the sake of being a bigshot—but they shouldn't be cheap, either. "The man will come in and say, 'I'm buying myself a shotgun to go hunting, so I better get my wife a bottle of perfume.' I say, 'How much did you spend on the shotgun? Because you better spend the same amount or she's gonna use the shotgun on you.'"
11. Julie & Julia
Okay, this is damn sweet idea for the obsessive foodie dork in your life. The Heathman screens the charming Julia Child biopic Julie & Julie while you grub on a six-course dinner revolving around recipes from Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, from the infamous duck en croute to lobster thermidor and tarte tatin. I know, best idea ever. The Heathman, 1001 SW Broadway, 790-7752. 6:30 pm Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 13-14. $75 per person, wine and gratuity not included. Call to reserve.
12. RAYLEEN COURTNEY
Owner of burlesque production company SinnSavvy Productions
How she pleases her lover: "I'm willing to try anything twice. We also watch a lot of tasteful porn together—and I'm not stingy with footrubs."
13. DR. ALLIYAH MIRZA
Founder of Earth Erotics adult boutique, a green adult store offering organic lubricants and nontoxic vibrators.
How she pleases her lover: "As a 29-year-old in a new relationship, the sexual spice is brand spankin' new and thus remains unaided for the most part (although such aids are a crucial part of my income!). I run my website eartherotics.com and the Earth Erotics Parties program from my home, which, over the years, has resulted in piles of sustainable sex toys, organic oils and other eyebrow-raising mysteriously orgasmic objects lying around on my counter tops, my desk and even the garage. Although we don't always use them at this stage in our sex life, having erotic toys lying around the house is a huge turn on for my partner—and I rarely make it through the day without a tasty lunch break in the bedroom. He loves peeking over my shoulder as I am working—knowing that he will get a glimpse or earful of something fun and new that is guaranteed to turn him on. Here's to truly breaking the monotony!"
14. PHIL GEFFNER
Owner of Escape From New York Pizza
How he pleases his lover: "I'm probably the wrong person to ask. I'm kind of on a sabbatical [from relationships] right now. If pressed, I'd say don't do the 49 things to piss her off and you're off to a good start." IMAGE: vivianjohnson.com
15. KIDS’ “I LOVE THE ZOO” OVERNIGHT
Talk about a public service. The Oregon Zoo is letting kids stay overnight Saturday for less than it would cost to hire a baby sitter. You're still deserting your child for "special mom and dad alone time," but at least it's vaguely educational. (We're still pushing for an auxilliary event where adults can "visit" the zoo overnight too, and get it on like animals.)
16. ST. VALENTINE’S DINNER AT SUZETTE
New Alberta crêpes haunt Suzette gets sweet with a Roaring '20s theme dinner complete with silent Rudolph Valentino flicks, swoony music and a prix fixe menu of crostini, savory crêpes (crab, leek and gruyere; three mushroom), garden salad and bittersweet chocolate soufflé tartlet for two with port poached cherries. Suzette, 2921 NE Alberta St., suzettepdx.com. Seatings at 5:45, 6, 7:15 and 7:30 pm Sunday, Feb. 14. $20. For reservations e-mail email@example.com.
17. BRUCE WIDDIS
Street musician and violin teacher
How he pleases his lover: "As a street musician, I find it's really fun to play love songs for people on Valentine's Day. People seem to really like that.... 'My Funny Valentine' is a good one. I have a girlfriend named Connie. Last year, I gave her a big box of chocolates and a really big bear for Valentine's Day."
18. J. NULL
Contract analyst at a local hospital
How he pleases his lover: "Pleasing my lover is an intricate ballet of touch, thoughtfulness and blatant self-interest in maintaining my sex quota. First, there are the tactile and sensual means—strong-handed back rubs, long sessions of eye-rubbing when she has a nasty hangover or simply staying up late on the phone with her while fighting the siren song of sleep. These are pretty standard, week-in, week-out moves that I use to stay on top of the pile. Every so often, though, I drop the flower bomb on her for no reason. Alternating the flower bomb with dinner dates at nice restaurants result in me getting at least third-base play on the serious reg. For big dates, like Valentine's Day, birthdays or anniversaries, I try to line up either large-scale gestures, like a long, romantic weekend on the coast, or sentimental moments, like revisiting the site of our first kiss, date, etc. Moves of this nature pretty much set me up for a minimum bronze in the Sexual Olympics. Oh, and if you were expecting something graphic, well, sometimes I do oral...."
19. CARLA AXTMAN
Blogger for BlueOregon
How she pleases her lover: Axtman, a sharp-edged political blogger, says she and "her sweetheart" exchange text messages several times a day. "Just little things like 'I'm thinking of you,'" Axtman says. "He's in meetings and I'm in meetings all day. It keeps the connection alive. Something about texting is nicer than voicemail. It's an intimate, immediate thing. No one else can hear or see the message. It's private."
20. CORMAC O’HAGAN
Being an adorable 8-year old
How he pleases, uh, people: "Well, I feed my dogs, and that makes them happy," O'Hagan says. He also helps his grandma walk, because she recently broke her foot. "And, I clean the house for my parents, and I play football with my mom and dad." Rock on, Cormac!
21. DR. HAROLD G. VICK
Gynecologist—in the practice for 33 years and still loving it
How he pleases his lover: Vick seemed slightly peeved when asked this question, but gave WW an earnest and straightforward answer after we mentioned that someone whose line of work requires them to deal with women's most intimate parts must know a lot about this topic. "I'll tell you exactly what I do for Valentine's Day. I make her a homemade Valentine's Day card and try to express my deepest feelings for her," he says. "I've done that for the 42 years I've been married. Just truth. No embellishments. That's it."
22. DEE AMUNDSEN
Director of Outreach at Washington State School for the Blind in Vancouver
How her lover can please her: As a visually impaired person herself, Amundsen knows how much of dating has to do with the eyes. "We make our judgments and we understand people through our first visual impression of them," she explains. "A cute guy may look at me and make eye contact, but I can't see his face [or look back at him] so he may think I'm aloof or a snob…. Blind middle-school kids have a heck of a time." She says the best way to please a visually impaired person is to just give better clues. "Use good descriptive language and use your name and the other person's name. If somebody just says 'Hi,' I have no idea if they are talking to [me.]" And as for presents, this divorced mom says personal gestures go a long way. "My two grown sons give me things for Valentine's Day like coupons that say "Good for Three Days of Driving," she says. "I like to come home and find that my roommates have done the dishes—little things that are sweet, little everyday courtesies."
23. LARS LARSON
Super-conservative KXL 750-AM talk-show host
How he pleases his lover: You might think there's a racy answer in store from Larson, 50. After all, he's long pitched the "good night's sleep" he and his wife, Tina, have gotten thanks to a certain mattress company sponsor, and he's fond of a good cigar. Alas, he's no President Clinton in this regard either—sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Larson is making Tina smile this week by taking his wife, whom he still calls his "sweetie" after a dozen years of marriage, on a cruise of the western Caribbean.
24. CARL WOLFSON
Very liberal KPOJ 620-AM morning co-host
How he pleases his lover: If Larson's answer from the right-tilting end of the radio dial seems tame, surely the "free love" left won't disappoint when it comes to gleaning a wild way to a lover's heart. But Wolfson, a natural comic, offers a very prosaic secret to making his partner, Gary, happy. Wolfson, 56, folds Gary's shirts, keeps him laughing and makes sure to take great pride in his accomplishments.
25. CIRQUE L’AMOUR
"A classic tale of love beneath the big top," adapted from Charlie Chaplin's
by Wanderlust Circus, with a four-course dinner by Le Pigeon.
26. AMY KAROL
Author, crafter and celebrated blogger behind Angry Chicken
How she pleases her lover: The idea of mass romance gives craft blog goddess Amy Karol the creeps, she says. That and the fact that her wedding anniversary is at the end of February gives her ample reason to skip Valentine's Day. And yet, for a woman who has been known to make her own deodorant and bust out Anthropologie-style dresses in mere hours, crafting is practically as second nature as breathing. Even if she skips making a present for her husband, Karol says she will make "wee tokens" for her young daughters. This year's endeavor? Wooden boxes lined with fake fur and filled with chocolate and heart-shaped lockets. "I might bury them outside and draw maps and make them dig them up," she writes. "A little fairy tale Grimm-style love is always popular around here."
27. DAVID BRIGGS
Owner/creator of Xocolatl de Davíd
How he pleases his lover: A man that concocts moan-worthy chocolates, salted caramels and even "foietella" on a daily basis, Briggs, 33, has a built-in way to please his lover with his job. But he says he refuses to mention his occupation when he meets a woman. "It's cheating," he says. "I don't have the bravado to use the line, 'Hi, My name's Dave and I'm a chocolatier.' I'd kick my own ass if I heard myself say that." The single chef says showing love boils down to "actually paying attention to [someone] and being interested in what they are doing." Then again, he's also been known to woo with food. He once made his date fondue with Tater Tots. Taste Briggs' wares at the Xocolatl de Davíd Wine & Chocolate tasting at Domaine Serene Winery, 6555 NE Hilltop Lane, Dayton, 11 am-3 pm Saturday, Feb. 13. $25. Info at domaineserene.com.
28. EVA DARLING
Jazzercise instructor, server at Departure
How her lover pleased her: Sometimes love means never having to stop drinking. Darling, 31, was with her husband (now ex-husband) at a dance club in Sydney, Australia. She was feeling sick and trying to calm her stomach when... "I threw up—just a little bit!—but I threw up," she explains. "I put my hand up to my mouth, and my husband saw it and immediately reached his hands out and caught my puke in his hands. It was kind of hilarious in a way, but in the end it was really touching, because it was such an instant reaction for him to put me first." IMAGE: Natalie Baker
29. TOM RANIERI
Owner of Cinema 21
How he pleases his lover: "If you're in a long-term relationship, learn how to keep your fucking mouth shut. Don't say that thing you feel compelled to say that you'll regret. Even if it's a small thing. Learn the beauty and bliss of silence."
30. NICO BELLA
How she pleases her lover: "Flirting is sexy and exciting. It can even feel a little naughty, and let's face it, naughty is a great big turn-on. Since I spend a lot of time in public in my underwear, it pretty much kills the element of surprise in Sexy Town. I don't really go for the costume-y sexy at home—leave that to the amateurs. However, I love stockings. Stockings and their respective garters (forget the stay-ups, ladies; first of all, they don't, and second of all, no one needs to see what grip-stop [does] to their thighs) make you feel sexy, and if you layer correctly they don't need to be removed at game time."
31. SECRET ADMIRER SOCK HOP
East End is throwing us all the cute high-school prom we never really had, with cheap drinks, oldies covers and a featured exhibit of secret Valentine's messages they've been collecting all month.
32. ROEY THORPE
Pro-choice and gay-rights advocate
How she pleases her lover: "On a recent date, nestled in between a fabulous dinner and the theater, we paid a visit to She Bop, a high-end boutique owned by women that specializes in sex toys. We had a lot of fun picking out what we wanted to buy, and did not leave empty-handed. We found things that we wanted immediately, and also some things we're considering for the future." IMAGE: Tom Martinez
33. VANA O’BRIEN
Marriage and family counselor and prolific actress
How she pleases her lover: "What I've been reading lately is an interesting book that came to my attention from a client of mine, called The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. [It] makes the case that people don't feel like they are loved because the person they would like to be loved by is treating them like he or she would like to be treated. There are different ways people experience being loved—it has to do with the way we're brought up—and he delineates what they are. If you feel loved by people saying kind, loving, wonderful things to you, but your partner grew up [being] shown that the way you feel loved and the way you experience love is by doing nice things for people, taking care of them, paying their bills, and so on...in their mind they're doing what feels right, but they don't realize that that doesn't translate. It behooves people to find out what that is—what makes their partner feel loved and cared about. It's reciprocal. The partner needs to find out what that is about you.... Also, I am a huge believer in notes. Sending postcards and leaving notes around the house, things that arrive at your partner's place of work—spontaneous ways that you let people know you're thinking about them."
34. DAVID BRAGDON
Metro Council president
How he pleases his lover: Bragdon is a man of varied pursuits—he's a Pink Martini groupie who traveled to Manhattan to see the band for his 50th birthday, and a world traveler who loves nothing more than traveling across Russia on a slow-moving train. But when it comes to keeping his live-in lady friend happy, he's strictly low-profile. "I keep her out of Willamette Week, " he says. "That makes her happy."
35. A ROSE AND A SONG
Tell your special someone that you love them by paying someone to tell them that you love them. That's right. Valentine's telegrams—performed by Portland's only classically inclined singing telegram company—are now up for grabs.
36. ED FORMAN
Self-help guru and talk-show host,
How he pleases his lover: "Send them daily cell-phone pics of your Oden. Speak only in emoticons. Leave little sticky notes for your sweetheart around the house…then laugh together at how dumb that is. Call him 'Horse Cock' in front of his buddies. Try classic role-playing games like 'Big Bird & a Cowboy,' 'Woody Allen & his Adopted Daughter,' or 'Lincoln Battles a Sexy John Wilkes Booth.' Film a porno with his best friend wearing a mask of him…he'll get the idea."
37. EMILY CABLE
Server and cook at Pizza A Go Go
How she pleases her lover: " I leave the country to give [WW Music Editor Casey Jarman] some time to himself."
38. SINGLES CPR
Lose your inhibitions and get down on your knees...then bend over...and tilt your partner's head back to listen for signs of breathing. It's CPR for singles! Now that's hot.
39. CHELSEA CAMPBELL AND DERRICK MARTIN
Co-singers in local swamp-folk outfit St. Frankie Lee
How they please each other: There are a lot of musician couples in Portland, but few combine the crass with the heartfelt like Chelsea Campbell and Derrick Martin of St. Frankie Lee. When they're not cooking vegan beef stroganoff or trading vocals in the band's Americana-leaning tunes, Campbell and Martin also like to please each other in...other ways: "We sing-read erotica aloud in the voices of spinster aunts," they explain. "As long as there's consent, you can't judge." IMAGE: Leslie Montgomery
40. KEVIN PALAU
Executive vice president of the Palau Association, the Beaverton-based global evangelical group
How he pleases his lover: Palau, 47, travels extensively for his job. And he says the way to his wife, Michelle's, heart is twofold. He plans a monthly date for them. And he gives her "15 minutes of kid-free, uninterrupted, focused attention to talk when he gets home from work." Amen to that. IMAGE: brianleephoto.com
Totally screw up V-Day? Someday Lounge gives you a second chance at love next week with something we've all been waiting for: the "most heartfelt romantic comedy about strap-on anal sex ever" performed by NYC-acclaimed group Pack of Others.
42. MEGAN HOOTE
Porn clerk at the West Burnside Fantasy for Adults Only who loves "to help people embrace their sex lives!"
How she pleases her lover: Hoote, 23, who wasn't a fan of Valentine's Day before she started to sell dildos three years ago, stresses switching things up. "I like to just stick my ass in her face. I, like, get it up in there, and she really enjoys that," she explains of her way of wooing her girlfriend. "But the main thing I'd recommend to people is spontaneity—you don't want to keep doing the same mundane things every day."
43.-46. A cross-section of responses from drinkers and staff at Northeast Alberta Street hideaway Bye & Bye collected the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 3:
43. "Please trim for a better rim." —Jamie, massage therapist
44. "Dress up like Icarus, show up late—but with a hamburger, and say 'I love you.'" —Ryan, student
45. "How do I please her? With her own self-indulgence." —Nick, student
46. "Don't ask me, I just got in a fight with my girlfriend. It's like talking to a dog." —Bye & Bye bartender
47. MARY WHEAT
Portland Police detective
How she pleases her lover: "She loves it when I cook. I'll go buy live crab up at City Market. Put some beer in the water, boil them and serve them with butter. And she bought these little heart-shaped dishes that you cook molten chocolate cake in. We start out with some Prosecco, and then go into red wine."
48. BYRON BECK
Writer, blogger, pro gadfly
How he pleases his lover: Oral. All the time.
49. TED KULONGOSKI
How he pleases his lover: A 69-year-old Democrat, Kulongoski is in his last of two terms as governor after a long career in state politics that began when he entered the Legislature in 1974. We tell you those dry factoids in this ode to romance because it helps to explain Kulongoski's anecdotal answer about what he does that makes first lady Mary Oberst smile: "My wife called me up on Jan. 11, 2010, at 2 o'clock and she said, 'Are you as happy as I am?'" he told WW at the end of a recent interview. "And I didn't know what she was talking about. She said, 'This time, one year from now, you're going to be free.'" IMAGE: leahnash.com
50. WW Valentine’s Distillery Tour
Shameless promotion of our own excellence alert: Sample Portland's best local spirits, from House Spirits to Artisan, and local grub from Farm Cafe and Saint Cupcake among others—and when you become drunk (with the awesomeness of Portland food and drink), snuggle close to your chosen one and ride it out in the back of one of PDX Pedicab's pedal-powered vehicles.
WEB BONUS 51. “MIRAGE”
employee turned local exotic dancer
How she pleases her lover: Mirage and her mate dig homey stuff, like cooking together, massages and spontaneous adventures around town. "For us, its all about communication and enjoying the simple things together," she says. "Sunny vacations on our anniversary are the ultimate escape. Oh, and of course, she gets the best lap dances!"
Valentine's Day Events
The Kama Sutra Carnival
Vagabond Opera, Pepe & the Bottle Blondes, the Shanghai Woolies, belly dancing, a kissing salon, Lulu's delicious chocolates.... Need we go on? Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell St., 284-8686. 8:45 pm Saturday, Feb. 13. $20-$25. 21+.
Pants-Off Productions' queer response to Valentine's Day showcases sexy burlesque, hot dance performances and numerous other unconventional undertakings. Romantic? Not really. Hot as hell? Yep. The Egyptian Club, 3701 SE Division St., 236-8689. 8 pm Saturday, Feb. 13. $5-$7 sliding scale. 21+.
Is your first love the dance floor? Holocene's longest-running dance party (that'd be seven years) brings you the latest in global electronica, and this weekend it's donating a third of the proceeds to Mercy Corps. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 239-7639. 9 pm Saturday, Feb. 13. $5. 21+.
Rock 'n' Roll Prom
Sallie Ford the Sound Outside, the Monarques and Portland Ukulele Project play a free show with classic cover sets and a whole lotta love. Rontoms, 600 E Burnside St., 236-4536. 8 pm Sunday, Feb. 14. Free. 21+.
Valentine's Day Swoonfest
Justin Townes Earle and Joe Pug perform for a warm night of country tunes. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St., 231-9663. 9 pm Sunday, Feb. 14. $11 advance, $13 door. 21+. Tickets at ticketswest.com.
I Heart Improv
It's improvisation, like when you brilliantly explained to your fuming now-ex-girlfriend that the unfamiliar lingerie in your dirty laundry was totally a three-months-early V-Day gift for her, except this is funny and onstage. The Brody Theater, 16 NW Broadway, 224-2227. 8 pm Saturday, 7 pm Sunday, Feb. 13-14. $12.
Cover Your Hearts
Go to a sweet shoegaze show to benefit kids' music education. Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th Ave., 248-1030, Friday-Saturday, Feb. 12-13, 8 pm, $10 advance. $15 door, 21+.
Lovewave: A Valentine's Day Experience
Some of Portland's cutest musically inclined couples perform together in a fresh take on romance in the Portland music scene. Look for Ana Rodriguez from Magic Johnson paired up with Total Bros' Ethan Jayne, along with other talented twosomes. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 239-7639. 8 pm Sunday, Feb. 14. $5. 21+.
Super Sassy Saturday Short Shorts 'Stravaganza
The title of this dance party says it all...synoptically. The Dunes, 1909 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 10 pm Saturday, Feb. 13. $5 ($3 for those wearing short shorts). 21+.
Seven Minutes in Heaven
Portland Story Theater presents an evening of romantic tales. Hipbone Studio, 1847 E Burnside St., 793-5484. 8 pm Friday-Saturday, 2 and 7 pm Sunday, Feb. 12-14. $12.
Relationships: The Tangled Webs We Weave
The Portland Storytellers' Guild talks love. Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd Ave., 249-3983. 7 pm Saturday, Feb. 13. $5, $10 per family.
Husband-and-wife duo Dan Murphy and Sharon Maroney perform A.R. Gurney's play about the correspondence of two lovers from second grade through middle age. Broadway Rose New Stage Theatre, 12850 SW Grant Ave., Tigard, 620-5262. 6 pm Sundays, Feb. 14 and 21. $40.
Earthstone Entertainment premieres a comedy about a Southern beauty pageant, plus a V-Day brunch. Scottish Rite Center, 1512 SW Morrison St., 844-4090. 10 am Sunday, Feb. 14. $29-$60.
20 Erotic Shorts
An admirably self-descriptive evening of short, sexy plays about everything from sexy doughnuts to musical Star Trek fan fiction, presented by the Working Theatre Collective. Eff Space, 333 NE Hancock St., Studio 14, 360-739-8523. 8 pm Thursday-Sunday, Feb. 12-14. $10-$15.
FOOD & DRINK
The Art of Espresso
Get buzzed on love as Pazzo barista and latte-art champ Kevin Emmons leads a Caffe Vita tasting, talks brewing methods and demystifies fancy espresso-drink foam tricks like "etching" and "free pouring." Pazzo Ristorante, 627 SW Washington St., 228-1515. 3 pm Saturday, Feb. 13. $5. Call to RSVP.
V-Day at Andina
The Peruvian dining room seduces with three-course dinners plus a half-bottle of bubbly, live Latin tunes from Danny Romero Trio and a "Peruvian Love Potion" of purple açai and tamarind nectar at the bar. Andina, 1314 NW Glisan St., 228-9535. Seatings available 5-10:30 pm Sunday, Feb. 14. $75-$195, depending on the Champagne choice. Call to reserve seats.
V-Day Bar Avignon
No reservations? No problem. Wine boîte Bar Avignon's got three courses for $30—oysters on the half shell, salad, a Carlton Farms chop and chocolate pots de crème included. Done and done. Bar Avignon, 2138 SE Division St., 517-0808. Available 4-10 pm Sunday, Feb. 14. $35, wine not included.
My Beery Valentine
Local suds lovers Brewpublic partner with adorable NoPo pub Saraveza for a tipsy lineup of fruit and chocolate beers (among other drafts). We're talkin' fascinating stuff like Upright's cherry wheat Saison (Four Play), Vertigo Razz Wheat, made with 12 pounds of raspberries per barrel) and Love Potion No. 9, Block-15's "chocolate raspberry oatmeal stout" made with roasted freakin' cacao nibs. Plus, chocolates from Equal Exchange. Even better? Proceeds from all the sweets sold benefit Mercy Corps efforts in Haiti. Cheers! Saraveza, 1004 N Killingsworth St., 206-4252. All day Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 13-14. Free entry.
V-Day at Carafe
French stalwart Carafe gets busy with four courses of goods like scallops with Meyer lemon jam, saucisson en brioche and frozen mocha soufflé. Carafe, 200 SW Market St. 248-0004. Dinner hours Saturday, 5 and 7:30 pm only Sunday, Feb. 14. $72 per couple. Call for reservations.
V-Day at Belly Timber
Get hot 'n' heavy on Hawthorne with Northwest menu choices ranging from pork cheek and kale lasagna to duck sausage with black trumpet biscuits and "Stumptown custard and caramel foam." It's one of the last dinners original Belly Timber chef David Siegel will prepare before jetting off for his world tour. Belly Timber, 3257 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 235-3277. Dinner hours Sunday, Feb. 14. Call 235-3277 for reservations.
Din Din V-Day Dinners
Portland's Din Din supper series has a clear theme this V-Day: "The theme is sexy: sexy food, sexy drink, sexy people," co-organizer chef Courtney Sproule writes. That means chestnut Madeira custard, hanger steak and beurre rouge, panna cotta and honey-poached figs…. All served at the intimate Chef's Studio. This is gonna be good. The Chef's Studio, 2818 SE Pine St. 7:30 pm Saturday, 6:30 pm Sunday Feb. 13-14. $60, includes wine pairings. To reserve your seat, mail check to Courtney Spoule, 900 NE 81st Ave., No. 114, PDX, 97213. Include number of guests and phone number. Call 971-544-1350 or visit dindinportland.com for info.
Ace Hotel/Clyde Common New Continental Breakfast Party
Start your romance off early with a sneak peek at the Clyde's new breakfast menu (Olympic Provisions cured meats, eight-minute eggs, Pearl Bakery breads, Stumptown coffee and breakfast cocktails) served buffet style at the Ace Cleaners. Plus, the management's promising live music, photo fun and crafty Valentine's card-making supplies, courtesy of ReadyMade magazine. Ace Cleaners, 403 SW 10th Ave., 228-2277. 10 am-2 pm Sunday, Feb. 14. $20 advance, $25 day of (cash only), $15 for Ace Hotel guests. Drinks not included. Tickets available at the front desk of the adjacent Ace Hotel.
V-Day at Genoa and Accanto
The newly revived Italian house boasts a bountiful five-course Venizia menu for V-Day (cannelloni stuffed with chard, roast duck with whole wheat pasta, scallops with squid-ink sauce, pear brandy soufflé, etc.) while its cheap-date little sister Accanto woos with happy-hour prices on tagliatelle with Dungeness crab, duck croquettes, fritto misto, micros and cocktails all day long. Wow. Genoa/Accanto, 2832 SE Belmont St., 238-1464 (Accanto, 235-4900). Genoa menu available through Sunday, Feb. 14. $55. Call for reservations. Accanto V-Day happy hour Feb. 14 only.
V-Day at East India Co.
Get spicy with a surprisingly inexpensive Indian feast including paneer, saffron-infused chicken kebabs, jumbo prawns, rosemary naan, chocolate kulfi and more. East India Co., 821 SW 11th Ave., 227-8815. Dinner hours Friday-Sunday, Feb. 12-14. $60 per couple. $80 per couple with wine pairing. Call to reserve.
V-Day at the H50 Bistro
Hotel Fifty's swank little bistro touts four courses for under $40 this V-Day, with tastiness including rocket salad, seared diver scallops and whimsical "marshmallow gnocchi" with Nutella pudding and "smoke." V-Day for Two hotel package also available (room, bottle of sparkling wine, chocolates, long-stem roses, $100 dining credit at H50) starting at $219. H50 Bistro, 50 SW Morrison St., 484-1415. $39 per person. Call to reserve.
Kenny & Zuke's Cheap Date
Bless this frugal bunch. The deli boys are pimping two three-course meals (a pair of fully loaded sandwiches and sides, soup or salad and a sundae for two) for $20 a couple. Kenny & Zuke's, 1038 SW Stark St. 222-3354. Dinner hours only Sunday, Feb. 14. $20 a couple.
V-Day at Meriwether's
The Northwestern chalet promises a roaring fireplace, candlelight and a four-course dinner packed with squash soup, duck egg raviolo or lobster and beignets "in a bag." Meriwether's, 2601 NW Vaughn St. 228-1250. Dinner hours Sunday, Feb. 14. $75 per person, $95 with wine pairings. Call for reservations.
V-Day at Lincoln
The North Williams Avenue dining room makes love to your mouth with three courses of Northwestern eats, with choices like pork paillard with polenta, sorcetti with mustard greens and bittersweet chocolate terrine with Griottine cherries. Bonus: Local florists Quince will deliver flowers right to your table if you plan ahead. Lincoln, 3808 N Williams St., No. 127, 288-6200. Dinner hours Sunday, Feb. 14. $50, not including drinks or gratuity. Call for reservations. Contact Quince at 407-2999 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jupiter Hotel Distillery Row Sleepover
The Jupiter Hotel knows the secret to getting busy: a deal that includes a tour of local distilleries—from House Spirits to New Deal—with transportation there and back, and a cushy "deluxe metro" hotel room to play in afterward. The deal also includes a pair of $20 coupons for bottles at participating liquor dens. Free breakfast, too. There's also a "Love & Lust" package that involves thong underwear, if you're so inclined. Jupiter Hotel, 800 E Burnside St., 230-9200. $169 for one night, $259 for two nights. Call to make reservations or visit jupiterhotel.com.
For the Love of Nigori
Oddly enough, sake and chocolate are a perfect match. Let Forest Grove's SakeOne elaborate with a cacao- and sake-tasting blowout. This year, 15 percent of proceeds are donated to Haiti relief. SakeOne, 820 Elm St., Forest Grove, 357-7056. 11 am-5 pm Saturday-Sunday Feb. 13-14. $10.
V-Day at Nostrana
Make this V-Day a literary feast. Romantic Nostrana lady Cathy Whims creates a big, seven-course Italian feast inspired by author Marlena de Blasi's love story A Thousand Days in Venice. Chapters include baked oysters, leek gratin, tortellini, quail sausage, the "mythical orange tart of Anacapri" and more. The end. Nostrana, 1401 SE Morrison St., 234-2427. V-Day menu available dinner hours Friday-Sunday, Feb. 12-14. $50. Call to reserve a table.
V-Day at Ned Ludd
The wood fired-oven-obsessed eatery presents a clever idea for V-Day: a six-course dinner with drink pairings, where each couple gets two different dishes during each course, from smoked trout with lemon cream to scallops and escarole. Get it? You're gonna have to get close and share to taste everything. Ned Ludd, 3925 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 288-6900. 5:30 and 8 pm Sunday, Feb. 14. $85 per person. Call for reservations.
V-Day at Metrovino
The Pearl District wine hub woos with a four-courser boasting everything from a stellar charcuterie board and oysters with Dungeness crab to salmon with lobster sauce or short ribs and a chocolate-and-sesame semifreddo served in a phyllo nest with brûléed bananas. Metrovino, 1139 NW 11th Ave., 517-7778. Available 5-9 pm Sunday, Feb. 14. $60. Optional wine pairings $25 or $50. Call for reservations.
V-Day Mint 820
Saying "I love you" at Lucy Brennan's wee dining room and adjoining cocktail hideaway means lamb osso buco, crab cakes with ginger-caper rémoulade and cinnamon-infused caramel chocolate fondue, among other vittles. Plus, an avocado daiquiri or two never hurt anybody. Mint, 816 N Russell St., 284-5518. Sunday, Feb. 14. Call for reservations or visit mintand820.com.
V-Day at Proper Eats
St. Johns' homey vegan market and eatery spreads the meat-free love this year with a four-course feast, wine/beer included. There are even gluten-/soy-free options for loved ones with allergies. Proper Eats, 8638 N Lombard Ave., 445-2007. Seatings at 5:30 and 7:30 pm Sunday, Feb. 14. $30. Call for reservations. Info at propereats.org.
V-Day at Saucebox
The original downtown swank scene, Saucebox, pimps this V-Day with a special cocktail spiked with schizandra, a potent Chinese herb that apparently fixes everything from irritable bowel syndrome to skin disorders in addition to "strengthening sex organs." Saucebox, 214 SW Broadway, 241-3393. Dinner hours Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 13-14. Call for reservation or visit saucebox.com.
V-Day at Simpatica
Portland's friendliest dining hall celebrates with four courses for $55. We're talkin' wood-grilled oysters, blood-orange salad with a Dungeness crab puff, beef cheeks with truffled spuds and frozen chocolate mousse. Simpatica Dining Hall, 828 SE Ash St., 235-1600. 7 pm Sunday, Feb. 14. $55, plus wine and gratuity. Call to make reservations or email email@example.com.
V-Day Dinner and Brunch at Salty's on the Columbia
Live with a view of the Columbia River this weekend. The special menu includes smoked-salmon Gruyère fondue or shucked oysters, lobster ravioli or king crab, and mocha-porter cheesecake, among other treats. Salty's on the Columbia, 3839 NE Marine Drive, 288-4444. Dinner hours Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 13-14. Three courses for $52.95-$79.95. Call to reserve.
Teardrop V-Day Cocktail Pairing Dinner
The mixology masters at Teardrop (David Shenaut and chef Chris Degenhardt) unleash a high-class liquor and food journey with a grape-based theme for V-Day. There's only one seating, at the bar, so reserve your seat ASAP. Teardrop, 1015 NW Everett St., 445-8109. 6 pm Sunday, Feb. 14. $100. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
V-Day at Ten 01
Chef Michael Hanaghan gets diners in the mood with oysters, braised pork belly, wagyu culotte with crispy bone marrow and chocolate fudge cake with a salted caramel core. Ten 01, 1001 NW Couch St., 226-3463. Dinner hours Sunday, Feb. 14. $65 per person. Call for reservations.
V-Day at TeaZone/Camellia Lounge
Sip tea and nibble on scones, Devonshire cream and lemon curd with your Valentine all weekend. TeaZone, 510 NW 11th Ave., 221-2130. 11:30 am-4 pm Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 13-14. $18.95 per person. Reservations required, call to reserve your seat.
V-Day at Urban Farmer
The Nines dining room scores one in the theme department with its "Foods to Feed Each Other" menu, which includes cold-water oysters and caviar with hominy cakes. Urban Farmer, 525 SW Morrison, 802-4900. Dinner hours Friday-Sunday, Feb. 12-14. Menu prices.
V-Day to Go Meals
Planning to skip the restaurant hassle and serve your beloved in bed? Local markets can help make that happen. Elephants Deli (elephantsdeli.com or call 299-6304) offers whole V-Day meals at $19.95 a pop that include everything from crab-stuffed mushroom caps and Florentine steaks to chocolate-dipped strawberries and housemade Ding Dongs.
SHOPPING & LOVELY RANDOMNESS
Love Is in the Air
Snarky Cards' Alisa Starr offers "the most charmingly tactless" custom valentines you've ever laid your lustful eyes on at this last-minute Valentine's shopping event, and that's reason enough to go. Featured apparel by Project Runway's Janeane Marie Ceccanti could be another. Radish Underground, 414 SW 10th Ave., 928-6435. 5-9 pm Friday, Feb. 12. Free entry.
International teas, a tea master, handmade chocolates and a short partner meditation await the eight people who sign up to participate in this intimate Valentine's yoga affair. Elementum, 2368 NW Thurman St., 275-7717. 2 pm Sunday, Feb. 14. $130. Call 971-275-7717 to register.
Tom and Mom Cat Special
Nothing captures the intimacy of V-Day like a cheap sterilization of your pussy. Low-income households only. Deal runs Sunday-Wednesday, Feb. 14-March 17. $10 neuter, $20 spay. Call 234-7182 or visit animalaidpdx.org for referrals to the nearest participating clinic.