Sunday, 6 February 2011

Dark romance - a Goth's guide to Valentine's day

Source: Tumblr
This photo is SO beautiful. I must find a white dress...
Valentine's Day - yay!
Goth subculture is often referred to as 'darkly romantic', so it's no wonder that a lot of Goths enjoy the yearly hearts-and-flowers fest that is Valentine's Day - although often with a dark twist, and preferably avoiding the more commercial, cheesy, greed-driven aspects of February 14th.

In fact, many counter-culture brands such as Nightmoth, Ophelia's Art and Lilac Twist specialise in dark and Goth Valentine's cards, often featuring black humour. Goth clubs all over the world hold special Valentine's events where single Goths can party and coupled-up darklings can spend the night dancing together.

Goth couples may celebrate by heading out to the spooky club; enjoying cemetery picnics together; watching a Bela Lugosi film by candlelight; or more traditional pursuits such as going to the cinema or out for dinner. Gifts with a Goth twist may include chocolate hearts - in the shape of realistic, anatomical hearts - black or deep red roses (even roses made of metal, velvet or leather are available online - what Gothy lady wouldn't want a red velvet rose to lay across her pillow?), or perfumes from alternative creators like Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab or Blooddrop.

Valentine's Day - you're kidding, right?
Conversely, a lot of Goths hold the opinion that Valentine's Day is a ridiculous overblown cheesefest and either avoid it like the plague or attend events such as the London Vampyre Group's annual Anti-Valentine's Party (you may wish to check whether the event you were thinking of attending at your local club is a Valentine's or anti-Valentine's event...).

Whilst I am personally a lover of Valentine's Day, I can empathise with this view, as with all the modern hype springing up around the event, it's easy for genuine romance and affection to basically get smooshed by all the money-spinning.

Many Goths (and an awful lot of other people too; although I have noticed that this view is especially common amongst Gothy types) feel that you don't have to buy into the modern media-driven cult of 'spend spend spend' to have a meaningful and romantic day with your loved one; and as such consider that Valentine's Day is neither here nor there since they can enjoy romance as and when they feel like it rather than having it scheduled for them on the 14th of Feb.

My significant other is a non-Goth
I'm in this boat myself - the guy I have been with on and off for the last, wow, nearly seven years now is certainly not Goth. Valentine's Day for a Goth/non-Goth couple often involves a certain amount of compromise - whilst I wouldn't like to drag him off to the spooky club and force him to dance to The Sisters of Mercy, I draw the line at going to see the latest Adam Sandler movie.

A romantic date for us is usually quite traditional, for example going out to a nice restaurant (an excuse for me to get all Gothed-up in heels and bustle) or to the cinema (we both like vampire movies), as that's the easiest way to find something to do that suits both of us. The best date we've ever been on was when I got my tattoo, and then he took me shopping, and we went to a lovely tapas restaurant... it was fantastic (although it was a huge surprise - I wasn't expecting the tattoo appointment to turn into such a wonderful day so I was wearing a baggy DV8 Fest T-shirt and black skinny jeans for comfort. Yeah, that got some looks from the waiters at the restaurant...).

My significant other is Goth, but I'm not...
Whilst it's always nice to give a nod towards your beloved's subcultural preferences (a Goth-themed card or bouquet of roses would do quite nicely), it isn't necessary for your Valentine's Day to be completely dipped in black, unless it's something you've talked about and have agreed on. Honestly, if your idea of a romantic Valentine's doesn't involve cemeteries or black and white vampire movies, that's absolutely fine.

However, as alluded to above, if you don't want to spend the day listening to Fields of the Nephilim, please bear in mind that your loved one may also not wish to go to the local karaoke night or Valentine's Day line-dancing extravaganza (for example). Take time to talk about it and find something that you can do together that you will both enjoy.

Listening to: Patience Worth (Piano Version) - Faith and the Muse


Anonymous said...

Ah, Valentine's Day. I never really got into it nor learned to despise it, but all the talk about roses and picnics (whether in cemeteries or not) has me wishing I had someone to spend it with.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot. That dress is beautiful! And I'm not terribly crazy about white.

ilikebiscuits2k11 said...

I think I might spend my Valentine's Day with cake and Peter Murphy.
Sounds good to me.

Oh hey by the way, I'm your newest follower. I'm not really a goth but y'know... I have a pair of Demonia platforms ;) Bam.

Ashes Fall down said...

Valentines day is the best time to brake out the horror movies and have an excuse to die your hair red other than loving the color

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