Looking for the perfect holiday gift for your date/partner/New Year's Eve trick? Let's look in our little swag bag of unsolicited samples sent by non-Santas, and see if we can't share selective solutions.
You want classy? We've got classy. Take your date out to one of the many nightlife events the California Academy of Sciences, the de Young or SF MOMA, and present them with "Girl With Pearl Earring" earrings. The Katherine Kornblau necklace and earrings, on sale at the de Young Museum Store, make a perfect statement for your trans or biofemme pal/date/amour ($295).
You want something a tad more butch? Also at the de Young Museum's fab shop, a lovely coffee table book of George Bellows paintings that features his pleasantly homoerotic boxing matches from eras gone by. Nothing spells romance more than a hot toddy and some vintage pugilism ($40). www.famsf.org
Looking for a stocking stuffer with a more direct approach? The folks at Ansell were very forthcoming with samples, and we didn't even ask! Both their brands Lifestyles and Skyn offer their "thinnest condoms ever," which makes for an excitingly safe yet intense encounter or three. Really, we have to test these goodies for your benefit! And thank goodness for the natural color. Green and red may be the holiday colors, but the only stick in those tints one should be sucking are candy canes ($10-$20 a box).
And what's a condom without lube? A rough sleigh ride ahead. Fortunately, Astroglide also sent us some good goo, samples of their latest "Premium Silicone Personal Lubricant," because Crisco should be reserved for making sugar cookies. And we can attest to its lubricating longevity! The lube, not the cookies ($5-$12 a bottle).
Also in our swag bag, the Astroglide Lube™ Personal Massager might be a bit small for some accomplished bottoms (unless your partner's an elf), but consider it more of an anal aperitif.
If you and/or your mate/date enjoy the new "suits are sexy" trend (Seriously, when were they not?), dress him up in your love at the new renovated Wilkes Bashford. The sartorial centerpiece of downtown retail has been going strong for decades, and their new digs offer a classy shopping experience. Buy your love a tie, just to see how fast it can come off. For the ladies, the women's collections are oh so glam. (375 Sutter St.)
Also in the upscale avenue, the new Wingtip offers designer men's clothes in the gorgeous setting of the old Bank of Italy. You'd be best to get your sweetie a gift certificate and go along for the shopping spree. The sheer ambiance of leather belts, fine suits, wine, spirits and cigar accessories, along with a variety of classy aftershave and grooming products, should be any gentlemen's (or a stylish drag king's) aphrodisiac. 550 Montgomery St. www.wingtip.com
Let's say your paramour's of a certain age, that is, s/he recalls black and white TV, or has a vintage affinity. Spend a little campy listening time with Edie Adams Christmas Record Featuring Ernie Kovacs. These recordings from the 1950s comedy show will have you chuckling in your PJs.
For little crossover between Christmases past and present, Tracey Thorn's new CD Tinsel and Lights serves up the singer rich vocals, backed up by Ben Watt (the other half of the wonderful duo Everything But the Girl), Leo Taylor and other guest musicians. Contemporary holiday tunes never sounded this cool. www.traceythorn.com
And to get you dancing around the living room, Remember the Party's seven-disc CD collection includes all the great classic disco tunes from their popular local parties. Each set includes full-color artowkr and play lists. $50 plus shipping. www.remembertheparty.com