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9 Cheap, Sexy At-Home Dates

9 Cheap, Sexy At-Home Dates

Money’s tight everywhere these days, but that doesn’t mean romance and seduction have to suffer a write-down.

Spending time together on the home-front not only eases the financial burden, it also provides an intimate backdrop for learning more about each other and building trust. Choose a theme or activity that you both enjoy or share a bit of yourself by introducing your fling to one of your fancies. It’s also easy to incorporate friends into the mix for added variety.

Restaurant Makeover
Not a Jamie Oliver in the kitchen but still want food to be part of your night at home? No problem. Order mains as takeout from your favorite restaurant and set up a romantic table for two at home (dimmed lights, candles, table linens). Ordering just entrees for takeout means you save on appetizers, marked-up wines and desserts that you’d normally order when dining out. Uncork a good but inexpensive bottle to accompany (see sidebar for suggestions), and try coercing a friend to play waiter for you, offering to do the same for them another night. Make sure they understand they’re to hit the road as soon as appetites are sated.

International Affairs
Maybe you both backpacked through Mexico after college or you both did exchange programs in Ecuador while in high school. Share your love of another culture by throwing an international night. Come up with an easy menu — Mexican, for example — and prepare your meal together. Borrow a few marimba and salsa CDs from the library to give your dining some atmosphere, and finish it off with a Mexican flick (Amores Perros is a fabulous one, if you haven’t seen it) on the couch.

Cinema a Casa
Try adding some sass to the classic movie night at home. Pick a theme like worst horror movie ever, best sci-fi flick or most unworthy Best Picture Oscar winner. Each person brings one video. Don’t forget to prep your space for a night at the cinema. Pop fresh popcorn, drink your beverages through straws and make sure to watch all the DVD preview trailers to get in the mood. And, please, don’t forget to turn off your cell phones.

Backyard Getaway
You don’t need to go far to take a vacation from your everyday… at least not if you have a bawdy sense of humor. Take a trip into the great outdoors with a backyard camping adventure! Set up a borrowed or rented tent and show off your inner grilling guru with dinner cooked over a camping stove (or use the barbecue if you feel like cheating). Borrow a chiminea or backyard fireplace and tell scary campfire stories while you roast marshmallows for fireside s’mores. Then, lay side-by-side on your back and look at the stars (or satellites, if that’s all you can see in your location). The key to making this one as authentic feeling as possible is never going back into the house except for washroom breaks.

Game Plans
Does a little competition get your juices flowing? Up the ante with some board games made just for two. There is a modest outlay for the purchase of the initial game, but you can use it over and over again. A quick trip to your local sex shop provides a whole world of options. If pursuing passionate play is too presumptuous at this stage, borrow or rent a video game system and show off your playful side. Better yet, haul out your old Atari and Tetris game and set up cross-legged on the floor. Ms. Pacman never had it so good.

In Vino Veritas
Nothing wrong with a little old school wine tasting. Buy according to your budget, and try pairing with interesting food selections. Learn a bit about tasting reds and whites, and you can even have fun pretending to be wine snobs. The information on wine critic and author Billy Munnelly’s site billysbestbottles.com is comprehensive and divided by prices, and he even has a wine game on the site. If you’re not into wine, sample premium beers instead, which would probably cost less in the long run, too. Whatever you decide, first make sure your guy or girl enjoys drinking alcohol beforehand prepping for this evening.

Spring Break
If you’re both bummed about being unable to afford the sunny March break vacation this year, bring the beach to you — and again, don’t forget to pack your sense of humor. Crank the heat, wear your bikini or trunks (hello!), lather sunscreen (or self tanner) on each other and recline on towels on the floor. If any of your plants have survived winter, gather them together and place them around your beach area. Download the sounds of surf on the net (or pop in some Bob Marley) and set on repeat and refresh with icy margaritas or limey Coronas. If you want to really run with the theme, consider going for a “swim” in the tub, complete with toy fish and salt (not suds) in the water.

Rock Me Amadeus
If music gets your mojo going, propose a spin-off with your date. Kathryn D. from Chicago says, “I brought over my iPod and we alternated playing our favorite 80s tunes from our collections. By the end of it we were dancing fools, motoring around doing the robot and trying to do the worm on his kitchen floor. It was such a fun night, and sharing those favorites really made us click.”

How Sweet It Is
Got a soft spot for the sweet stuff? Chef up a decadent dessert together — homemade green tea ice cream, say, or chocolate lava cake — and let the sugar highs soar. Round out the thrill with a little fresh fruit (some studies claim that bananas have aphrodisiacal properties). Paul Y. from Minnesota says, “I’ve heard about a study that claims that some women would rather indulge in chocolate than sex, but the last two dessert dates I’ve hosted have proved that women prefer chocolate AND sex.” ‘Nuff said.

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