Whether you’re looking for love or found the only other weirdo who could possibly appreciate you, Valentine’s Day should be about more than sitting at a restaurant overpaying for oysters (that, let’s be real, don’t set the mood at all). Here are some love-themed events that will get your juices flowing.
Learn something: Like a history class with only the interesting bits that got glossed over, the always educational, always booze-fueled Society for the Advancement of Social Studies will take on Valentine’s Day at the fourth annual Sexy SASS, with talks like Everything You Need to Know About Pulling Out (But Were Afraid to Ask), “educational” mail-order erotica, and a historical overview of venereal disease to remind you that, ironically, we’re all here because of condoms (and antibiotics). Feb. 9, 7 p.m., The Bedford, 110 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn
Do a solid for a friend:Make up for all the gross behavior that couples slide into when it comes to their friends (missed dates, PDAs, etc.) by presenting your most eligible BFF atFriends of Single People, hosted by Punderdome 3000’s Jo Firestone. An hour of mingling will let you feel out the field, then a live dating show will sort the new couples for the boozy afterparty.$5-$8, Feb. 10, 7 p.m., Littlefield, 622 Degraw St., Brooklyn
This is just the beginning of Littlefield’s Valentine’s-themed shows, which continues withIt’s Friday, I’m (Not) in Love, a singles dance party with an all-black dress code ($5-$8, Feb. 12, 10 p.m.), then a totally improvisedFringe musicalbased on a real-life couple in the audience ($10, Feb. 13, 7 p.m.) and ending with a wallow through a special best-of edition ofThe Rejection Show($10-$12, Feb. 14, 7 p.m.)
What is love?At Columbia’s Leroy Neiman Gallery, over 40 artists offer their interpretations of this thing we call love, from desire to forever, inLove 2016.Through Feb. 17, Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-5 p.m., 310 Dodge Hall, 2960 Broadway
History buffs:You probably know the bloody story of this day’s namesake saint, but how did it become the official day of chocolate hearts, flowers and love? The Brooklyn Brainery will take a look at the evolution of the holiday in the U.S. from the Victorian era to today atA Cultural History of Valentine’s Daywith discussions and themed activities.$10, Feb. 10, 6:30-9 p.m., 190 Underhill Ave., Brooklyn
Tweak your technique:The women paid to figure out love, dating and relationships will tell it like it is at The Strand’sThis Is Why You’re Single. Soak up the hard-won wisdom of authors and podcasters Laura Lane and Angela Spera, who will lead a funny night of introspection, along with other sex-centric writers and columnists.Age 21+, $15, Feb. 12, 7 p.m., 828 Broadway
Scary good: If you’re counting down the days until Halloween, prepare to fast-forward a few months. Blood Manor is tailoring its year-round haunted house for Valentine’s Day with the Bloody Valentine's Weekend. What’s more romantic than wondering if you’re looking at chocolate or blood while contemplating the truly ominous promise of being “together forever”? “RIP” tickets are available if you want to skip to the front of the line. $30-$45, Feb. 12-14, 163 Varick St. —T. Michelle Murphy
Get some advice:Hosted by newly anointed funniest Twitter user Lynn Bixenspan,Relationsh*t!starts with the latest round of everyone’s best/worst love life stories, followed by an onstage therapy session for one lucky(?) oversharer. Comedians from Upright Citizens Brigade, “America’s Got Talent” and more will vie for the privilege of being psychoanalyzed.Age 18+, $10 door, Feb. 12, 9:30 p.m., QED, 27-16 23rd Ave., Astoria
In the stacks: Tickets are miraculously still available for Valentine Tours at MoMA, which starts with a wine-and-hors d’oeuvres reception then leads you and bae through the museum, including the special exhibition, “Toulouse Lautrec’s Paris.” $200 per couple, Feb. 13-14, 11 W. 53rd St. —TMM
Find unconditional love:The companionship of a pet can be just the antidote to all this human misery. Best Friends Animal Society is holding a Valentine’s-themed pop-up adoption on Feb. 13-14 from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. with treats, make-your-own valentines and a rose if you find your special furry someone. Not ready to make a full-time commitment? Learn more about fostering at a mixer on Feb. 12 beginning at 5 p.m. Adoptions are $25 for dogs and cats; all events are free.159 Bleecker St.
For the exhibitionists:No Pants Subway Riders, this is your next-level challenge. Take it (almost) all off for love atCupid’s Undie Runfor a mile(ish) sprint in your "bedroom best" for a fundraiser benefitingThe Children's Tumor Foundation. The best part: Runners go at their own pace, and the event is bookended by a pre-run ceremony and post-run open bar.$55, Feb. 13, noon, Stage 48, 605 W. 48th St.
A themed affair:When he’s not taking us back to the Jazz Age during the summer, Michael Arenella and his sextet (heh) are keeping things hot with romantic jazz standards at theSweetheart Soirée. Four floors of the private Norwood mansion will be taken over by this black-tie affair, with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres to fuel your dancing (lessons included).$95, Feb. 13, 9 p.m., 241 W. 14th St.
Love on the spot:Love hurts, but looking for it can be even worse. Laugh them off with comedian Lane Moore, who’s been swiping right along with you to createTinder Live!, where she matches up in real time to see where it goes. For Valentine’s Day weekend, she’s invited along some celebrity friends to vet the profiles — probably a good tip.Tickets at the door only, $12, Feb. 13, 8 p.m., 702 Union St., Brooklyn
Movie night: Bushwick’s new indie cinema, restaurant and bar Syndicated is pairing highbrow and lowbrow films, which this weekend is all about love with either an “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” pairing (for the cynics out there) or a matchup of the heartrending “Once” and the horrific “My Bloody Valentine,” all with a special menu for the holiday. $3-$5, Feb. 13-14, 40 Bogart St. —TMM
The hunt for love: Do something more fun than dinner — especially if this is your first date. Slattery’s is here for you with the Amazing Valentine’s Day Scavenger Hunt of physical and mental challenges to see the city in a fun new way. $25, Feb. 14, 2 p.m., Slattery’s, 8 E. 36th St. —TMM
Sexy fun: Inviting you to “bring a lover … or leave with one,” The Love Show promises a scintillating evening of seduction — onstage and perhaps off! The Slipper Room’s famous burlesque repertoire is always a little naughty, but for Valentine’s Day they’ll spice up their usual blend of burlesque, cabaret, ballet and comedy with vocalists, a contortionist and magic. $10, Feb. 14, 8 p.m., 167 Orchard St. —TMM
Lose your inhibitions:Forget love and just give in toLustat House of Yes, where all of your senses will be needed for the most decadent party of the year: dinner served to you from naked bodies, erotic art, live Cuban music, a hot wax play area and aerial performers. Dress is “elegant, sexy and creative,” whether that’s black tie or fetish gear.$81+, Feb. 14, 7 p.m.-2 a.m., 2 Wyckoff Ave., Brooklyn
Laugh it off:If you want to rejoice in some nudity and don’t have a Valentine, Lot 45 is here for you. They’re hosting the fellas of Bushwick Bears Podcast and the ladies of Boobs of Bushwick forFu** V-Day Extravaganza, a night of clothing-optional comedy and DJing by the Boobs’ Kate Chiplinsky. Because more than anything else, human bodies are hilarious.Free, Feb. 16, 9 p.m., 411 Troutman St., Bushwick
Great minds think alike:If your favorite book is important enough to include in your dating profile, the Strand’sMust Love Books: Literary Speed Datingis for you. Each attendee (ages 21-39 only) will go on 10 five-minute dates, with time to mingle afterward if someone else caught your eye across the room. Comedian Scott Sharp will break the ice with some stand-up, then stick around as the guide of the evening. Tickets include a drink and Gooey&Co butter cake.$15, Feb. 18, 7 p.m., 828 Broadway
An iconic proposal:Have an iconic New York moment by proposing at the Rockefeller Center ice rink. TheEngagement on Iceprogram clears the floor for you and your love, all set to your favorite song and a rinkside champagne toast. Packages start at $350.