You do not need to celebrate Valentine’s Day to feel the air that blows on 14th February. It’s contagious. ‘Love is in the air.’ So the saying goes. Those who cannot feel it in the air, can at least see it from the over commercialization of love products in the media, the red decorations of most public centers and special gift items designed for this purpose.

I find the lingerie shops most tempting!

Owing to the contagious nature of this occasion and perhaps the fear of stigmatization, 14th February becomes a terrible time to be single.

As a result, most single people, who otherwise might not be interested in dating or ready for love relationship hurriedly accepts proposals to be ready in time for the Valentine’s celebration. Blind dates become a viable option in this regard. Those whose relationships have not been working and therefore on the verge of break-up defer it until after the month of Love. There are always the unlucky ones who despite their efforts end up on Val’s day without a Valentine. To avoid being stigmatized, these individuals buy gifts and mail it to themselves as if it was received from a lover. At least they also had something. But Val’s day is not only about its contagious nature or pervasiveness. It is also about gifts and for some, sex.

Let’s start with gifts.

On this day people go to unimaginable lengths to demonstrate their love through gifts. It may include spending a lifetime’s savings or a loan facility on various treats to make their loved ones feel truly loved.

Indeed it is estimated that about 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sold each year around the globe. America alone spends $12.2 billion on chocolates, $359 million on cut flowers, and $2.4 billion on diamonds. These estimates do not include luxurious gifts like homes, vehicles, etc. These wonderful gifts are like starters, which precede the main meal – called sex.

On Valentine’s day, it has been reported that some people engage in sexual orgies; sometimes very dangerous and experimental in nature. For some, this may include anal sex, homosexual sex and group sex with weird sex positions and the use of health threatening aphrodisiacs. It is speculated that most of these sexual activities happen on office tables, private video rooms, shores of beaches, nightclubs, the back seat of cars, etc.

Still on sex, whereas most innocent people (Virgins) are ‘shredded ‘ on this day, there have been stories of many married people and those in committed relationships cheating on their partners on this day. To them, the day presents a golden opportunity to escape from the boredom long-term relationships present to engage in something more adventurous. It may include sleeping with a work colleague/boss, ex-lover, and anybody who might be interested. After all ‘any water can quench fire,’ they retort.

The shortage of condoms which normally comes with this celebration amply demonstrates the indispensability of sex on this day.

But is valentine’s day worth the international celebration, commercial investments and the individual sacrifices with its attendant repercussions if it all about gifts for sex?