How do you please your Valentine?

From dark chocolate and zombie movies to lap dances and sloppy kisses, Louisvillians share the many ways they show they care

Louisville is for lovers, and love is hanging heavy in the air right now. Blame Hallmark all you want, but everyone puts out for their partner this time of year — whether it’s in the form of chocolate, jewelry, flowers, dinner or PajamaJeans. LEO scoured the city to ask a very personal and intimate question: How do you please your Valentine? Here are 33 answers that just might get your creative juices flowing. Enjoy. —Sara Havens


Matthew Landan

Owner of Haymarket Whiskey Lounge

“With bourbon, stout beer, chocolate, reefer and then …”

Greg Fischer

Mayor of Louisville

“My wife is my only Valentine currently at home — my two daughters are out of the city. So my wife and I will no doubt hold hands and look lovingly into each other’s eyes over dinner and speak about what our most proud accomplishment is, and that is our four children.”

Attica Woodson Scott

Metro councilwoman, D-1, and coordinator of Kentucky Jobs with Justice

“My children are my Valentines, and I will please them by renting the DVD ‘Capitalism: A Love Story’ so that we can have a conversation about the real meaning of Valentine’s Day.”

Lola Licious

Member of the Va Va Vixens

“Make a calendar of sexy photos for his eyes only.”

Edward Lee

Chef and owner of 610 Magnolia

“You’d expect me to say that I would cook a gourmet meal, but that’s too obvious. The element of surprise is what my wife likes. Doesn’t have to be extravagant, but thoughtful: a poem, a big teddy bear, exotic flowers. But every year it has to be different, that’s the key. This year, maybe it’s a mention in this LEO article that says, ‘Hey honey, I love you like crazy!’”

Darshwood the Conjurer, aka Richard Gensemer


“You know, among the many secrets I keep, one I shall never reveal is how I please my Valentine. I will, however, tell you this: ‘Pick a card … any card’ does not count as foreplay in our house. Took me a long time to finally figure that out!”

Jim Wayne

State representative, D-Louisville

“When I asked my future father-in-law for his daughter’s hand in marriage, he offered the recipe for a successful, happy life together. With a broad grin, he said, ‘Jim, give her whatever she wants!’ I’ve followed his counsel for 26 years. On most Valentine’s Days, all she really wants is lots of dark chocolate!”

Anonymous Rustic Frog stripper

Naked dancer

“I got one word for you: food. I’m a really good cook.”

Terry Meiners

84 WHAS Radio host

“I please my Valentine by shutting the hell up and listening.”

Star Auerbach

Owner of Stellar Sweets bakery

“I buy them tons and tons of Stellar Sweets truffles and eat it off their naked body!”

Jim Welp

Assistant V.P. for Communications and Public Affairs at Bellarmine University and a LEO Weekly columnist

“Attention men: Valentine’s Day is, of course, a vast conspiracy to make us look stupid, which is an insult to our ability to make ourselves look stupid. The plot works because any resistance runs counter to our prime directive, which is to gain access to boobs (or, if that’s not how you roll, dicks, which have been permissible since 1968; some restrictions apply, especially in rural areas).

Fortunately, in my post as research intern at The Institute For Gettin’ It On, I’ve discovered effective strategies to help men cope with Valentine’s Day. My research reveals that the following items make terrible Valentine gifts: fishing tackle, auto deodorizers, salmon jerky, The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Calendar and anything from the Swiffer family of products.

Instead, try: chocolate-covered Xanax (unless your special someone is Pauladeenetic, in which case substitute Victoza ’n’ celery with fat-free cream cheese), a hot stone massage (note that these “stones” in no way refer to your own anatomy), and original poetry (stay away from scatological rhymes, no matter how tempting). If you go with the latter, be sure to accompany it with chocolate or a massage. Godspeed.”

The Heavy Hitter, aka Darryl Isaacs

Personal injury lawyer

“Over the years, I have come up with different ideas. First, in the morning, I leave a nice Valentine’s

card somewhere I know she will find it after I leave for work. Then, during the day, I have red roses delivered with another card. Finally, in the evening, I let her pick whether dinner is out or at home. I make sure I give her a box of candy after dinner. Then, I let her pick whatever activity she wants to do for the late evening.”

Zanne Koehne

Insurance business and Fleur de Lez co-president

“How would I please my lady on Valentine’s Day? I could answer this romantically and say that I would learn a cute song on my ukulele and sing it to her by firelight. I could answer this comically and say that I would load her up like a 9-mm at the gun range. I will, however, answer this realistically and say that for Valentine’s Day, I am going to learn how to do something that I do not know how to do and use that new skill to make my Valentine something. Self-improvement is super hot, and my Valentine will think so also.”

Dick Sisto

Jazz musician

“A true love (Valentine) requires no pleasing. It simply exists and grows from year to year. Thirty-one years shared with my wife Penny — in which we raised children, inspired each other’s art and practiced a spirituality we discovered together — has resulted in the deepest love. As it happens, my best musical composition, ‘Love Grows Deep,’ is a tune about that.”

Scott Mertz

Bandleader of Your News Vehicles

“I’m a very ‘traditional’ Valentine: pull the hair, spank till it stings.”

Johnny Berry

Honky-tonker and student

“My Valentine is my lovely wife, and yummy food, either homemade or out, is the way to go on Valentine’s Day.”

Doug Schutte

Owner and executive director of The Bard’s Town

“I am so unqualified to share how to please one’s Valentine (simply ask my gaggle of exes), I thought I should simply not write anything. Then I realized: One of my greatest skills is not pleasing others, particularly Valentines. So for those looking to disappoint, read on …

1) After having been in a relationship for more than five years, proceed to write a piece for the local paper called ‘VD: Cards and Flowers or a Shot of Penicillin?’ in which you argue against love. That should really make your sweetheart warm and fuzzy all over. And if that’s your idea of foreplay, then, yes, you are as dumb as me. (Sadly, I actually did this in the early 2000s.)

2) Lock yourself away to finish a play sometime in early to mid-February, and then completely forget about Valentine’s Day. (A bit of advice: When it gets to be about 8:14 p.m., and you still have yet to acknowledge the day, and your ‘sweetheart’ enters the room holding any sort of potential projectile … DUCK. You’ll thank me later.)

3) Get her a heart-shaped Valentine chocolate box … that, when opened, reveals porn. (She laughed on the inside, you’ll tell yourself.)

4) Buy her some wonderful jewelry … with the wrong name on it.

And if none of that does the trick, try breaking up with her. Because in all honesty, if you’ve actually done any of those things, you might have just given her the greatest Valentine’s gift of all. Well done, my friend. Well done.”

Dawne Gee

News anchor for WAVE-3

“I take care of my Valentine well! My Valentine gets absolutely everything, because I am my Valentine. I spoil myself something awful.”

Xander Havens

Fifth grader at Fairdale Elementary

“How I please my Valentine is by giving her a Ring Pop and a very special drawing of a heart with our names in it. My much older girlfriend, Jackie, liked it.”

Tim Koons-McGee

Co-owner of Comfy Cow

“Just last night, before Roy got home, I had taken out the recycling, unloaded the dishwasher, and folded and put away a load of laundry — all rarities I have to ashamedly admit. He said, ‘That’s almost better than a _____’ … well, let’s just say, a double scoop of our Java Chip in a waffle cone!”

Robin Reikes

Illustrator and art educator

“Sanf (see below) and I met in high school, and there has never been one boring minute in the 30 years I’ve known him. It pleases Sanford when I try to approach our relationship like improvisational comedy. I try to say ‘yes’ to him, then make my own contribution. I can’t be too focused on whether the reality being presented makes sense. I try to adjust my response rather than alter his lines. I try to be funny, a sense of humor is helpful. It doesn’t matter what it is, if it’s at all reasonable, I try to say ‘yes.’ ‘Yes’ is a gift that keeps on giving!”

Sanford Reikes


“After 20 years of being lucky enough to be married to my best friend, I try to show her that I love her for who she is as herself, not just as a wife or mother. Also sex.”

Teneia Sanders


“I personally like to do lap dances and spanking! It’s how my Valentine likes it, and I get to be a ‘Dirty Girl.’”

Will Roberts

Musician in The Pass

“Take her to see Jim James at the Seelbach. Actually, she took me. I was pleased.”

Angie Fenton

Managing editor of The Voice-Tribune and WHAS-11’s “Great Day Live!” entertainment correspondent

“Pleasing my Valentine is easy: He loves a quick rubdown with a few kind words about how beautiful he is, followed by a wet, sloppy kiss (his doing), a good dinner and a big ol’ greasy pig ear. Though I’d love a human Valentine, I’m still searching for one, so this year my sweetheart is my 12-year-old black lab chow, who is also loved by his four-legged sisters, Herbie, 8, and Yoda, 2, found dogs — all. I know Bud is on borrowed time, so this V-Day is extra special. Plus, he’s also the perfect Valentine: He loves me always regardless of the day. Oh, and he also doesn’t mind when I put my cold feet against his belly. Try finding that in a human Valentine.”

Butch Rice


“My Valentine’s name is Harvey. She’s a 6-foot invisible rabbit. We do everything together. For Valentine’s Day, we snuggle and watch ‘Watership Down.’”

Dennie Humphrey

Owner of Monkey Wrench

“Although my Valentine’s Day will fall on a Monday due to the business I run, this is how it will be: On our first year as married Valentines, I really want this to be special. We will begin our day with breakfast in bed (it is our favorite meal of the day — wink wink!). Then I plan on taking a trip down memory lane to the place where my repeated attempts to first kiss her failed. Coincidently, it is now the Homemade Ice Cream & Pie Kitchen, so I’ll throw in a sweet dessert to increase my chances this time. We will then spend the day on a course of her choosing, which, knowing her, now will probably lead us to laughter and spontaneous fun. Then to our favorite restaurant, Jack Fry’s, which we save for special occasions. I’ll have flowers, candles and music ready when we get home to cap off our night with breakfast in bed.”

Kevin Gibson

LEO freelancer and member of The Uncommon Houseflies

“The way I please my Valentine is pretty simple, really: I respect her privacy and therefore don’t publicly share the ways in which I please her. What am I, an idiot? I’d be in the doghouse until autumn if I published that information in LEO. Also, lots of sweaty, panting sex. With biting.”

Laura Shine


“I basically believe Valentine’s Day is pure propaganda, consumerism at its worst, manipulative and alienating to all who don’t have a sweetheart. That being said, I’m newly in love and can’t wait to celebrate!”

Detective Bo Brady

The Bar Belle’s mutt

“Woof. Ruff. Bark. Hoooowwwwl.”

Translation: “I’m going to please my Valentine, Miss Bella, by taking her on a date to Three Dog Bakery, and then a walk through Cherokee Park. If she lets me escort her home, I hope to get in a few ear licks before her brothers catch me. Paws crossed!”