Great sex doesn’t always just happen. Sometimes, it takes a little planning, especially if — like many Americans — you’ve been in a bit of a sex rut. Do some prep work by turning your bedroom into a love nest: Make the bed (with new, or at least clean, sheets), tidy up, light a candle or two, and queue up a sexy playlist on your iPod. If you do go out to dinner, don’t overindulge, and hit the sack early so you’re not too tired for intimacy. – Do you have great ‘sexpectations’ for Valentine’s Day?

“IT’s EVEN better when you help,” teased Lauren Bacall.

It certainly is and that goes both ways.

For guys it can often start with chocolate or flowers, maybe a single flower if you’re on a budget. For girls it really begins with making sure you actually tell your lover what you want, what you expect. Making anyone guess in this day and age is nuts.

A surprise can go both ways and not always good either.

For most, sex is on the menu, but I’d include connection and intimacy as well, especially for new couples, couples in a sex rut, or people who just want to go out and mingle. It’s actually good for your health.

That means at any age sex is a good, even important, component that age shouldn’t change. Take a cue from the video below… “Intimately involved… intimately interested…”

But please watch the sexting! Watch the temptation to let it all hang out on Facebook, which is never a good idea. Beware of the difference between being brave and being stupid, because tomorrow is another day and you don’t want to step out on Valentine’s Day and end up falling off a cliff.

As for the “Galentine” business geared to Christian singles, whatever works, but it sounds terribly over exercised to me and I spent most of my life single, a church goer, but preferred something else.

Picking a movie, having a favorite glass of wine or even bubbly, with a bit of chocolate, always did it for me. But then, I loved being single and Valentine’s Day was just another opportunity to celebrate my freedom and happiness. I’d call my hooked up gal pals to make sure they’d telegraphed to their man their sweet expectations (or sexpectations).

And, ladies, if you are completely turned off, maybe today is a good day to think about turning yourself back on.

Once Mark and I fell in love, well… many a Valentine’s Day we’re both so busy, so we celebrate early, like we did this past weekend. We’ve both got 15 hour days today, so he’ll likely crash early, because he was up at 4:30 a.m. for work, while I’m in the midst of a big project, so I am distracted and focused and humming.

It’s a commercial day, but there’s always a way to use it as an excuse to think about your life, because we all live alone, even when we’re in love, married or in relationship. Maybe the most important thing you can do for yourself today is ask yourself if you’ve got the life you want. It harkens back to my trademarked relationship column back in the mid-90s, What Do You Want?

If you don’t have what you want, do something about it. That’s an important Valentine’s Day present that will resonate well beyond today and is something only you can give yourself.