Baby, it's cold outside . . . but inside, if you do it right, it's hotter than Hades in August. Of course, we're not speaking for everyone here—the holidays are still primarily about family, togetherness, and high-calorie foods. But for many, Christmas is a time for getting closer—in a physical way. There's something about the scent of pine needles and eggnog, the sweet sound of carols and cash registers that really gets some people (not including the odd elf fetishist) into the giving and getting-some spirit. American merchants, being the smart capitalists they are, have made sure that even in these economically depressed times there are still plenty of ways for you and yours to get your jingle bell rocks off.
From the always- reliable sex boutique Babes in Toyland (707 E. Pike, 328-2914 or www.babeland.com) comes several surprisingly affordable holiday-themed options:
*WINTER ESCAPE ($40): a romantic bath-time pack, equipped with the waterproof anthology Aqua Erotica, festive Confetti Bubble Bath, and the waterproof Tsunami Vibrator (batteries included).
*SPICY DELIGHTS ($35): a slightly more naughty pack that includes Dirty Dice, tropical fruit-flavored Wet Lube, a jar of Chocolate Raspberry Cream, and the Lipstick Vibrator (batteries included).
*HOT BUTTERED BUNS ($35): an introductory anal pleasure pack that includes the iridescent purple Ripple Plug and the red Little Flirt, along with soft turquoise Pleasure Balls and Slippery Stuff lube.
*JINGLE BELL BONDAGE ($45): a deluxe assortment of tactile pleasures, including Foxtail Cuffs, a Satin Mask, and a small Rubber Flogger, along with Tweezer Clamps and a Silver Bullet Vibrator.
You can always stuff your lover's stocking with the best-selling Fukuoku ($23) and Nubby G ($18) vibrators, or the Waterdancer ($23) and Wrist Rocket ($19). Even if you didn't see the perfect sexy present here, BIT thoroughly covers all pref- erences and peccadilloes, whether you're looking for a sweet treat or all-out raunch. When in doubt, just pick up a gift certificate.
Those who like their sex a little less literal may want to log on to www.tantra.com, which bills itself as "the premiere international Web portal for seekers of spiritual sexuality." Pick up one of the following for you and your pretzel-limbed partner:
*INTRODUCTION TO INTIMACY (regularly $104.50, reduced to $94.50 for the holidays): for couples new to tantra, a video called Ancient Secrets of Sexual Ecstasy, the CD Full Bone Hollow Moon, a bottle of massage oil, and one Ritual candle to "begin the tantric journey."
*THE GIFT OF TANTRA FOR WOMEN ($132): a box that includes a book, an audio guide called Freeing the Female Orgasm, a video, and "sensual products," including Crystal Vagina Strengthening Egg, Natural Sensation for Women, and one Ritual candle.
*ECSTASY TRAINING GIFT BOX ($188): a package including three videos (two on achiev-ing multiple orgasms), two CDs, one bottle of Amrita Massage Oil, a rabbit fur massage mitt, and one silk scarf.
*TANTRIC PLEASURING PACKAGE ($198): perhaps the ultimate, with two books, two videos (including Accupressure for Foreplay), a rabbit fur massage mitt, one silk scarf, one bottle of Amrita Massage Oil, one jar of edible Dark Chocolate Bawdy Butter, and one jar of Edible Tangerine Love Balm.
There are many other products on offer at www.tantra.com, including some crazy kind of herbal Viagra that will arrive at your home in a plain, discreet brown wrapper. Not that Tantric people have anything to be ashamed of.
If you just want to get wet, there's always TUBS (50th and Roosevelt Way N.E. 527-8267). Rent a tub by the hour with your special friend, or give them a gift certificate— one certificate is $17.95 per person/per hour, but if you buy eight, you get two free.
Why nobody has ever before thought to combine lingerie shows and tanning beds is beyond us. XOTIC TAN, with locations in Seattle and Portland, had foresight enough to corner that market. For the holidays, couples and singles alike are welcome to visit one of two Seattle locations (1320 E. Pike, 323-8964, and 13737 Lake City Way N.E., 364-8088) for a private lingerie show with up to two girls or a fully equipped dungeon with professional dominatrices. When you're done, the tanning's on the house. Call for prices and other info.
Of course, all this is just the tip of the erotic icberg—but for those looking to go a little beyond the mistletoe, Seattle itself, as well as nearly infinite online options, offers plenty of opportunities to ensure that your holiday—whether it be Christmas or Kwaanza, Hanukkah or Ramadan—won't be a "Silent Night."