VALENTINE'S Whether you're hopelessly in love, completely philophobic, or somewhere in between, here's a sweet slew of events on the horizon that won't tap you dry. We've chosen our favorites that are all less than $20 (except for a couple worthwhile charity fundraisers). Now go out and get starry-eyed, you kid.
Aphrodesia Afterhours Valentine's Day Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, 100 John F. Kennedy, SF. (415) 831-2090, www.conservatoryofflowers.org . 6 p.m.-10 p.m., $10. Chocolate is hands down the best part of Valentine's Day. Join local chocolatier TCHO's chief chocolate guru, Brad Kintzer, for his demonstration on how to transform beans into bliss. Afterwards, grab a love potion from the Cocktail Lab, frolic amongst the orchids, and enjoy a live performance by Le Quartet de Jazz. Remember to take a picture in the photobooth — a night dedicated to chocolate is a night to remember.
Love on Wheels dating game Public Works, 161 Erie, SF. (415) 932-0955, www.sfbike.org . 6 p.m., $5 for SF Bicycle Coalition members; $10 for non-members. The cutest people always seem to be railing past each other on their bikes. The SF Bicycle Coalition is going to sit all you guys down so you can date already. Lovebirds will quiz three potential dates (hidden from view) and go on a date provided by one of the sponsors. This annual tradition is a cute hoot.
"Animal Attraction" NightLife aquarium gallery and sex talk California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse, SF. (415) 379-8000, www.calacademy.org . 6 p.m.-10 p.m., $12. Cal Academy's weekly Thursday evening party, NightLife, is launching a new gallery for fish-lovers (and friends!) with a series of reproduction-themed talks. Various experts will be talking about mating strategies in the animal kingdom, penis bones of different species, and the sex life of Zodiac signs. Dr. Carol Queen from Good Vibrations will be sharing her knowledge about the science of orgasms. So let's do like they do on the Discovery Channel.
"Cupid's Back" sixth annual Valentine's Day party Supperclub, 657 Harrison, SF. (415) 348-0900, cupidsback.kintera.org. 8 p.m.-midnight, $30-35. Gay charity impressario Mark Rhoades is back — like Cupid, you might say — with this popular shindig that brings together oodles of hot men. DJ Juanita More will fluff the crowd, and it all goes to help out our invaluable GLBT Historical Society. Shoot your arrow and it goes real high ...
"Go Deep" lube wrestling for the boys El Rio, 3158 Mission, SF. (415) 379-8000, www.calacademy.org/events/nightlife . 8 p.m.-11:30 p.m., $10–$15. What says romance more than watching half-naked queer boys with fantastical monikers like Yogzar and Red Dragon wrestling in a vat of lube? Slide your way into V-Day at this monthly (second Thursdays) grip 'n slip put on by neo-Vaudevillian troupe SF Boylesque, with DJ Drama Bin Laden, a performance by the Bohemian Brethren, and Cajon food from Family Meal available on the back patio.
Bardot A Go Go Pre-Valentine's Dance Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell, SF. (415) 861-2011, www.bardotagogo.com . 9 p.m., $10. "Music by French people for everybody" is the motto of the neato longtime roving Bardot A Go Go — and that includes a bubbly beretful of cute folks who revel in 1960s pop glamour filtered through contemporary va-va-voom. Live band Nous Non Plus is très adorable, and DJs Pink Frankenstein, Brother Grimm, and Cali Kid bring French kisses galore. Plus: free hairstyling by Peter Thomas Hair Design, d'accord.
I Heart Some Thing The Stud, 399 9th St., SF. (415) 863-6623, www.studsf.com . 10 p.m.-late, $8. "We love love! We just love it!" scream the awesome queens of Some Thing, the mind-altering weekly friday drag show and party at the Stud. You may detect a hint of the sardonic in there, but the smart Some Thingers always cover their bases with a healthy dose of sincerity to go with the staged pop culture send-ups. heart-shaped performers include Glamamore, Manicure Versace, Cricket Bardot, and Nikki Sixx Mile. Afterhours dancing, too.
Mortified's Annual Doomed Valentine's Show DNA Lounge, 375 11th St., SF. (415) 626-1409, www.getmortified.com . 7:30 p.m., $14 adv; $21 at door. Do you remember your first kiss when you went in for the gold, missed completely, and your lips puckered mid-air? Well, the folks at Mortified sure do. They have sorted through the oldest and nerdiest notebooks, letters, photos, and shoeboxes so that they can share with you their most humiliating romantic encounters. Reinvigorate your disdain for this holiday by taking comedic comfort in the mishaps of these thick-skinned Valentine's veterans.
Ninth Annual Food from the Heart Festival Ferry Building Marketplace, 1 Ferry Building, SF. (415) 983-8000, www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com . Through Saturday. 5:30-8 p.m., free entrance. Nothing says "I love you" like food. Give the gift of a happy stomach to your lover this Valentine's in the candlelit Grand Nave of the Ferry Building, with a night of dancing and eating. Revel in the magic of the waterfront, sip on wine poured by local Napa Vinters, and taste a scrumptious hors-d'oeuvre or five.
"On The Edge 2" erotic photography exhibition Gallery 4N5, 863 Mission, SF. (415) 522-2400, www.gallery4n5.com . Through Sunday. Gallery hours Fri., 4 p.m.-9 p.m.; Sat., 11 p.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m., free. Valentine's Day may be about romance for some people, but for us it's about getting naked. (And eating, but mostly getting naked.) This group exhibition features 400 pictures of artful sexiness taken by 25 erotic photographers who bring on the nudes.
"Drunk with Love" with Carol Peters The Emerald Tablet, 80 Fresno, SF. (415) 500-2323, www.carolpeters.net . 8 p.m., $10. Carol Peters, a.k.a. "Velvet Voice," is known for her passionate and amorous renderings. For one steamy night in light of Valentine's Day, Peters will grace the stage to croon sensual tunes that capture the many dimensions of love.
Valentine's Surprise SF Lindy Ball Womens Building, 3543 18th St., SF. sfswingjam.eventbee.com. 7:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m., $22 This Lindy Hop and Swing ball is actually the centerpiece of a three-day swing summit in celebration of romance (check the website for full line-up) — because what says, "I love you" more than artfully mopping the floor with your partner? We sure don't know. Hoppin' workshops and technique tune-up sessions complement the ball, which consists of a Lindy contest, live swing music, and a surprise 91st birthday celebration for classic movie star Ray Hirsch. Lessons offered!
Watson's "Naked at the Art Museum Scavenger Hunt" Legion of Honor, 34th Ave, SF. (415) 750-3600, legionofhonor.famsf.org. Through Sunday. 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m., $20. Who said museums had to be tame? Bring a lover or friend this weekend to the Legion of Honor for a sexy scavenger hunt. You will scope the halls for studly sculptures, titillating paintings, bathing beauties, and many sexy inanimate objects more. Museums will never be the same again.
SF Mixtape Society's "Under The Covers" music exchange and contest The Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St, SF. (415) 440-4177, www.sfmixtapesociety.com . 6 p.m., free with mix. Don't have someone to make a mixtape for this year? It's OK. Your ex's music taste was awful anyways! Put that playlist you love on a CD, cassette, or USB drive and have it land right in the ears of a random yet lucky someone. You'll end the night with someone else's coveted mix, and everyone will get to vote for the playlist with the best track listings and artwork.
Litquake Literary Festival presents: Love Hurts readings of grief-stricken passages of love and lust The Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St, SF. (415) 440-4177, www.litquake.org . 7 p.m., $10. Ten Bay Area writers will give their own cynical (and mostly hilarious) twists on the forlorn words of some of the most melancholic and/or melodramatic novels ever written. Come sort out the parallels between drug dependency and romance in Valley of the Dolls, the masochistic plotline of The Story of O, and many more classics that well forewarned of broken hearts.
Club Neon's Eighth Annual Valentine's Day Underwear Party The Knockout, 3223 Mission, SF. (415) 550-6884, www.theknockoutsf.com . 10 p.m.-2 a.m., $5, free with no pants before 11 p.m.! This is THE event for fresh and nubile indie heartbreakers, stripping down to make you all "damn!" and stuff. One of our favorite annual pantsless throwdowns, with steamy rock DJs Jamie Jams and EmDee making you want to take it all off.
The Fifth Annual Poetry and Music Battle of ALL of the Sexes Uncle Al and Mama Dee's Cafe at POOR Magazine, 2940 16th St, SF. (415) 865-1932, www.poormagazine.org . 7 p.m., $5-$20 suggested donation for dinner and show. Instead of scribbling your words in to a Hallmark card, show off your love this Valentine's in rhyme and verse. All proceeds will support POOR magazine, a local arts organization that advocates education and media access for struggling communities. The theme is 1950s, but the beats will be timeless.
Love Story film showing and gala with Justin MX Bond Castro Theatre, 429 Casto, SF. (415) 621-6120, www.castrotheatre.com . 8 p.m., $10 film only; $25 for gala tickets. Relive the drama, the tragic heartaches, and the swooning love story of the 1970 film classic. Ali MacGraw will be at the Castro mezzanine in person, "Theme from Love Story" will be sung by Katya Smirnoff-Skyy, and special guest Mx Justin Vivian bond will be doing a "sorry" medley.
Passion Punch Valentine's day kickboxing class UFC Gym, 1975 Diamond, Concord. (925) 265-8130, www.ufcgyms.com . 6:30 p.m., free. Valentine's got you foaming at the mouth? Let it out. This 60-minute class will incorporate dynamic boxing moves so that you can punch away all the annoyances you will be feeling by the end of this day.
The Crackpot Crones present "I Hate Valentine's Day" sketch comedy and improv show The Dark Room, 2263 Mission, SF. (415) 648-5244, www.crackpotcrones.com . 8 p.m., $20. Outrageous duo Terry Baum and Carolyn Myers are providing a public service for the romantically challenged. They will be making fun of everything Valentine's related — especially silly little concepts like true love and soul mates. Belt along to the song, "The Twelve Days of Being Dumped," and give your best evil cackle at this sketch comedy show.
Valentine's Day Party with T.I.T.S and Uzi Rash Hemlock, 1131 Polk, SF. (415) 923-0923, www.hemlocktavern.com . 9 p.m., free. There is no need for all the fuss, the fancy gifts, the cutesy ribbons, or the overpriced dinner. If you're sick of the pink, come dance your anti-heart out at this doom punk show. Flowers wilt anyways.