Last year’s Valentine’s was great. I had just started dating Andy and we went with a bunch of friends to the SF Valentine’s Day Pillow Fight. We laughed, we cried, we smacked people with down pillows… it was just super. In fact, Andy even put together this snazzy video of our exploits:
But I digress.
A year later and happily single once again, I wasn’t sure how to spend Valentine’s. In fact, I became incredibly self conscious about doing ANYTHING on February 14th alone. Suddenly everyone seemed to have a date to everything, and there I was having flashbacks of being the chubby, unpopular kid that no one wanted on their soccer team; having to go up the ski lift with the instructor when I was 9 because no one wanted to be my buddy …
… wallow, wallow, sniffle…
And then the phone rang. It was my friend Michael calling to invite me over for Valentine’s.
Before I continue any further in the story, Michael has to be explained. The guy is a TOTAL character. He’s a Princeton grad in electrical engineering, who left his job in the culinary department at Google about a year ago to pursue the life of a slacker (or hippie, as he prefers to be called). And frankly, it’s quite impressive. He somehow manages to pay his insanely low rent (<$400) by doing a variety of odd jobs: selling olive oil, catering, running mail around town, waiting in line at the passport office, a brief (and thank god, unsuccessful) attempt at making edibles for the dispenseries and a variety of other, likely shady and barely legal activities.
This is also the man that is pursuing a polyamorous lifestyle with his fantastic girlfriend, Aislynn (seriously, I love her). She’s a professional dominatrix and Michael is the ultimate submissive. They totally make it work.
Along those lines, Michael has been trying to get me in the sack for months: he invited me to some post-Thanksgiving sex retreat in Santa Cruz and most recently was trying to get me to go on a couples retreat again for Valentine’s, before that fell through. His success is, well, not happening, but I appreciate his effort and enthusiasm. Really, I do.
All this mixed and muddled together makes Michael is a ton of fun. He is also one of the best cooks I know. And while I was a bit surprised to hear he wanted me to come over for Valentine’s with him and his girlfriend after the sexscapade weekend went bust, I’m not going to say no to homemade ravioli.
As I arrive, Michael and Aislynn are putting the final touches on the ravioli and he casually mentions that there are two other couples coming tonight. It once again seems a bit strange that I am the only single person there, but I shrug it off.
Michael immediately puts me to work in the kitchen and then pops out for a moment, in search of something he wants to show me. And here’s where things get interesting:
He comes back into the kitchen and is holding a book akin to The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Tantric Sex. He begins to flip through it, while explaining that maybe after dinner we can go through some of the exercises with the other couples (all of which, I now learn, are poly)…
Hold on just. one. minute.
I thought I was here for ravioli. I didn’t know I was going to get roped into some 6 way tantric Valentine’s eve cluster fuck.
I express my skepticism over tantra and my (lack of) desire to appreciate it with at least 4 strangers, but Michael is a very passionate guy. And so he dismisses my concerns and continues to try to show me one of the easier and more meaningful tantric moves.
He approaches, places his hands on either shoulder and begins to move his hands slowly down my collarbone and over to my arms and down to my fingers. Of course this is all whilst I am holding a chunk of parmesan in one hand and a grater in another, so whatever significance this ‘technique’ may have is entirely lost on me as I consider whacking him over the head with the cheese grater…
I hold myself back from my fleeting, dasdardly plan and instead bark, “stop touching me”.
That seems to get the message across. Michael desists, let’s go of my arms and agrees that now is probably not the right time to teach me tantra.
And so we continue cooking.
The other couples arrive about 20 minutes later and they’re absolutely delightful. The food was fantastic, I got to try Michael’s homemade spiced vodka and the roasted fennel was out of this world.
Lesson learned, I’ve always heard there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and I guess it’s true. But I certainly wouldn’t change a thing