By Katie Tandy
Sick of hearts, bears, chocolate, and "You better wear that necktie I bought you last Christmas for our two-paycheck-expensive French dinner tonight" Valentine's Day bullshit? Tell 'em to stuff it where the sun don't shine.
Forget Hallmark and candlelight, here are the top five testosterone-laden, certified Valentine's Man Dates that are sure to deliver a dose of dude-dom.See Also: Five Great Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day for Under $25
Let's start big (breasted). The strip joint in SOMA offers a bevy of gyrating babes and, be-still-your-beefcake-heart, an all-you-can-eat free buffet every day from 11:30 - 2 p.m. This V-Day, come check out the come-hither ladies like Chandler, Bobbi, Danika, and Isis and remind yourself that your balls were made for swinging, not for busting.
Not a g-string sort of gentleman? Fine by us. For more artistically leaning chaps, we've got the Vortex Room (also in SOMA), a bonafide bad-ass and covert theater space that whips up weekly offerings of sublimely strange and retro films. On Feb. 14, check out Mad Love (hailing from 1935 and "suitable only for adults") at 9 p.m. or Crazy Love (hailing from 1987 and touted as "highly controversial") at 11 p.m. They've got a a full bar -- BYOB also goes down -- and a heart chock full of kitsch and wonder.
If you dig black eyeliner, punk rock, bike parts, and breakin' out a slew of surly dance moves, then Box Dog Bike's Goth party is gonna be your bag. "Show up at 7:30 for refreshments and inner pain," boasts the cheeky invite. Rumor has it there'll be free beer and a stellar playlist for you to shake your sad-sack tail feather. The dark-heart deviance will end around 10:30 so plan on tying one on early.
Few things feel manlier -- or impishly boyish shall we say -- than the giddy-smooth touch of a Nerf gun. The foam darts, the eye-singeing colors of the injection-mold plastic, and the guttural squeals of your comrades as you hunt them with faux rage has enough nostalgia to kill a pony.
Join Jericho, an urban spy game with Nerf guns Feb. 14 and channel your inner 007 as you skulk, creep, and crawl all over the city.
Each group of "agents" will toggle between different missions, delivering top-secret documents or eliminating their opponents. Whether you're on the prowl for a rugged lady or simply want to feel the hot sting of a high-five executed in perfection, Jericho is an ideal way to wheedle some double-agent smooches or get tanked in the trenches with your comrades. Best of all? It's free and you can craft your own ass-kicking costume. Starts in Union Square at 7 p.m. Make sure to RSVP.
Few things fuel a bromance like a sharp dose of healthy competition. Get your fill of back slaps, banter, and booze at Buckshot Restaurant, Bar, and Arcade. From skee-ball and darts, to pool, pinball, and classic arcade games, this divey gem is a one-stop spot for all things rough and tumble. From an Ike Turner cocktail (a shot of Hennessy and a slap in the face) to a menagerie of mounted dead beasts, you'd be hard-pressed to feel more manly. Bring cash, your swagger, and a greasy grub appetite; it gets crowded and vaguely collegiate in the "I need to scream every word of 'No Diggity No Doubt' and maybe pick a few fights before bringing you in for the ultimate bro bear hug way."