Staying in is sexier than going out on Valentine’s Day. That’s according to new research* by Durex Ireland. The survey finds that although two thirds of Irish couples plan to mark 14thFebruary in some way, over half (47%) would rather stay in and watch a film with their partner.
While a ‘movie night’ is the desire of over half of the couples surveyed, 19% of those in a relationship would like to go out for the standard romantic dinner on Valentine’s and a further 18% would like a night away in a hotel.
The national poll, which surveyed 1,000 Irish adults, was carried out by Durex Ireland to launch its new ‘Cut the Clichés’ campaign promoting the brand’s ‘RealFeel’ range of condoms and lubricants. The ‘RealFeel’ range delivers natural skin-on-skin feeling putting real feeling back into sex. As part of this campaign, Durex Ireland is calling on couples across Ireland to do away with tired old romantic clichés this Valentine’s Day and reignite the intimacy with their partner.
According to the Durex Ireland survey, a loved-up 24% of couples are looking forward to Valentine’s Day and a further 26% of those would hate it if the day was not marked in some way. However, almost a third of those in a relationship (32%) say that the most romantic day of the year is not significant and a cynical 17% think it’s overly commercial.
When it comes to Valentine’s gifts, typically cliché presents are a big no-no among both sexes. The survey found the worst gifts to receive as voted by men and women are:
- A teddy bear (29%) 1. A teddy bear (32%)
- Flowers (27%) 2. Sexy underwear (29%)
- Sexy underwear (19%) 3. Chocolates (12%)
Specifically, an ‘I Love You’ teddy bear was named the worst Valentine’s cliché overall with 42% of Irish people saying it gave them the ‘ick factor’. Over a quarter (28%) say the traditional dozen red roses is overly clichéd and is a turn off. Popping the question also rates high on the schmaltz radar with 9 out of 10 saying that getting engaged or married on the 14th February is the ultimate cliché.
The Durex survey also finds that when it comes to PDA’s, we’re tolerant to a point with 53% saying they think they are lovely. However, a prudish third (32%) say a PDA is fine as long as it’s just holding hands but kissing in public is not ok.
To celebrate this new campaign, Durex Ireland has enlisted the help of sexologist Emily Power Smith to help couples keep from simply going through the motions this Valentine’s Day and to put some real feeling back into their sex lives.
Commenting on the research Irish sexologist Emily Power Smith says:
“When it comes to gifts or ways to spend Valentine’s Day the clichés exist because they were at one point the most popular way to express love. “I love you” teddy bears were once novel and replaced flowers and chocolates as the currency of love. Now they are deemed passé and are often replaced with staying in and watching a movie. Sure, it’s free, no effort is required and watching a good movie will quash any chance of a meaningful conversation for those of us who might be exhausted, broke or not wanting to take any romantic risks. But is that really any better when real connection is required?
Judging by the Durex Ireland research we are in need of a shake-up and a rethink about how we approach romance and our relationships. There is nothing wrong with clichés if they are meaningful to you. But if you’re trying to repair an intimacy chasm by using the cliché as a Band-Aid, it’s time to consider your options for creating a deeper, more authentic connection (which inevitably leads to better sex!). This is what the Durex Ireland campaign is all about. So on the 14th February instead of going through the same tired old clichés, why not try something new with your partner.”
Emily Power Smith’s top tips on how to reignite intimacy in your relationship this Valentine’s Day
- The foundation of good sex is feeling connected. This can happen differently for different people. Some people (often female) need to feel a non-sexual connection before they can feel sexual, and others (usually male) find that they feel connected as a result of being sexual. Rather than blaming each other if you need different things to feel connected, start a conversation where you can share your personal views and needs around connection and try to learn about each other. This is best done outside the bedroom over a cuppa or glass of wine.
- Get yourself a really nice lubricant. It’s a good rule to always have lube by the bed for self-loving, stimulating your partner, and for penetration as it provides a sexy slide. If you worry about hurting the penis when giving a hand-job, introduce lube. Suddenly you have the freedom to try different strokes, pressure and speeds. It has been known to turn novices into sexperts! However it’s important to remember that lube is not a replacement for a proper warm-up for those about to be penetrated!
- Learn to communicate about your sexual needs/desires/wants. If this seems difficult start practicing alone by describing what you’re doing while self-loving to get used to hearing the words coming out of your mouth before trying with a partner. Talking about what you like can be easier when outside the bedroom. Give your partner a head’s up before the conversation so they know what’s coming and remember to keep it light and focussed on what you’d like rather than what they do wrong
- If penetrative sex has always been your main course, it’s time to re-assess your menu. Penetrative sex will not always be possible for a variety of reasons such intimate discomfort (often remedied by a good lubricant). If that’s what you rely on for satisfaction it can leave you bereft, frustrated and angry if it isn’t possible. Think of your sexual menu more as a table of Tapas with penetration being one of many dishes. It may be your favourite, but if it’s off the menu there’s loads more you can try. It gives you choice and freedom to express your sexuality no matter what happens.
- Get your kit off! Once you’re in bed and warmed up get naked. Choose skin-on-skin over snugly PJs and see what happens. If you can’t fall asleep in an embrace then give yourselves a good ten minutes naked before rolling away from each other. But give yourselves that time every night for two weeks. Being naked together in an embrace may be all you have energy for so don’t expect fireworks every time. Just enjoy the touch, smell and warmth of your partner and relax into a loving state.
The Durex RealFeel range is available nationwide and has a RRSP of RealFeel 6’s €12.99, RealFeel 12s €18.99 and RealFeel Lube 50ml €12.49. For more information on great sex, visit: