Survey Reveals: Valentine’s Day is a Minefield

February 3, 2014    |    By +
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Compared with the months long ramp up to Christmas, Valentine’s Day seems like a simple holiday. Yet after we surveyed more than 1,200 adults across America for our survey, we found that the expectations and fantasies for Valentine’s Day differ widely between men and women, leading to potential disharmony on what is supposed to be the most romantic holiday of the year. For example, 60 percent of men said naughty gifts are a turn on, while the exact same percentage of women said naughty gifts are a turn off. Uh oh. Sounds like this holiday could be a minefield. When you’re thinking about what to get your love for Valentine’s Day, we hope the insights from our survey help guide you to romance.

See the infographic for more details what men and women find hot and not for Valentine’s Day, but here are some highlights.

  • If they want to be naughty, both genders are most turned on by an adult movie. But proving that women are more cerebral when it comes to sex, one-third of women said that racy novels get them in the mood, while books ranked last for the more visually oriented men (14 percent).
  • Sixty percent of men just need to see their sweetie to get in the mood, but that only works for a quarter of the women.
  • What else gets guys going? Wearing sexy lingerie and cooking dinner for him at home.
  • Forty percent of men believe that taking their partner out to dinner will get her in the mood. Men also thought that flowers and a chivalrous gesture would go a long way.
  • What really does it for women? Fifty percent say a chivalrous gesture will get them in the mood. Or, take her out to a nice dinner or for a weekend getaway.

At Last: Agreement!

Phew! Men and women do come to terms on a few points. Both genders said that a candlelight dinner at home is better than a fancy dinner out; that a romantic getaway is more fun than a staycation; and preferred flowers over champagne as a gift. 

What Will They Spend?

Survey results also revealed that most Americans don’t plan on spending more than $50 on a Valentine’s Day gift. But, men are 2.5 times more likely than women to spend $100 and up on a gift for their sweetheart. Who says that chivalry is dead?

Visit for Valentine’s Day gift ideas, including under Valentine’s Day Gifts for Guys, Under $50, and Gifts for Women, Under $50.



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Meet the Gurus

Kathryn D.W.
Kathryn Drury Wagner is the senior manager of content at She was formerly the executive editor at Honolulu Magazine, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Oahu. Her career has included staff positions at Country Living Gardener and Power & Motoryacht. Her latest book is "Hawaii's Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!"

Gwen P.
Gwen is the Editorial Curator at In addition to writing blogs, she creates gift guides, curates the site, and produces content for our social media channels. As a freelance writer, she created blogs on fashion, art, travel, health and lifestyle. A talented jewelry designer, she's also a yogi and a hospital volunteer with her therapy dog, Lilo, a Pomeranian.