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What Do the Signs REALLY Want for Valentine’s Day?

Does anyone else find it a little odd, a wee bit peculiar that Valentine’s Day falls during Aquarius season?

Sure, it’s right at the tail end, but wouldn’t this obsession with partnerhood and sentimentality make sense during something like Taurus or Libra season. You know, zodiac signs that are ruled by Venus, planet of love and beauty, and not by both Saturn (the ruler of time and responsibilities and restrictions) and also Uranus (planet of surprises and expansion and free-thinking). Saint Valentine’s Day, though, has been around for a long time, so maybe there’s something to it.

At first, Christians were celebrating the feast day of a martyr, but over time, Valentine’s Day took on an association with romantic love, especially as the concept of romantic love itself became more popular. This year, in February 2024, we’re going to see Mars — planet of passion and sex, among other things — enter Aquarius on February 12, just in time for V-Day, followed by Venus on February 16. So, yes, hot times are ahead — but also, watch out because Mars conjuncting Pluto is supposed to make us ESPECIALLY sensitive to unbalanced power dynamics.

A gif of roses being watered by a hand

No matter what zodiac sign(s) are your sweetie(s)’s, it’s probably a good idea to butter them up with what they really, really want for Valentine’s Day. The following answers can also apply to rising signs. Find out your sweetheart’s sun AND rising to create the perfect combo. Make what could be a tumultuous Valentine’s Day instead a moment of respite, sensuality, and care.

And what do we here at Autostraddle’s Trashology Desk think the zodiac signs really want for Valentine’s Day? Tune in to find out.

Aries / Aries Rising

A hand chopping down a tree with an ax

To smash. But (maybe) not in a sexual way. No, take your Aries somewhere where they can go hog with a sledge hammer, even a saw. This could be camping where you let them unleash themselves on some sticks, hacking and sawing, breaking down dead wood to build a fire. You might want to take them to one of those rooms where you break things. This is an actual service, apparently. Maybe if it’s snowing where you are you go out and build some snow forts and get into a snowball fight. A slight varient of this is some kind of (SAFE) target practice. Take your Aries to try axe-throwing or archery. Whatever you do, they’re going to feel sooooo much better after they work out all that nervous energy. Then, retire for a hot bath or shower, a sweet little dinner, maybe some cuddling. All that aggression will be gone AND you’ll be their favorite person for coming up with something that utilizes their energy so well.

Taurus / Taurus Rising

Femmes luxuriating next to a well dressed table

A really curated meal followed by the gift of a sex toy and low stakes cozy sex — yep.

Taurus is ruled by Venus and honestly, Valentine’s day would be at home within their season. You can give your Taurus what their sign really wants this Valentine’s Day with a little (or a lottle) effort. For the purposes of this recommendation, I hope you’re a good cook, but I’ll offer some alternatives in a second in case that isn’t your strength (it’s okay!). You are going to need to start now, subtlely gathering information. You are not just a partner now, you are a SPY. Start taking secret notes on your Taurus’s favorite dishes, foods, drinks, spices — on their palate. Do they prefer sweet, bitter, salty? if you don’t already know this, it’s time you did.

Now, you are going to plan a multi-course or multi-plate meal. Make sure your Taurus knows that they’re coming over for Valentine’s Day and that you’re taking care of dinner. Do not divulge any further details. Research, look at recipes, scheme, budget, shop, prep (maybe days ahead of time), and execute a whole ass dinner for your Taurus. It might be a spread of multiple plates that you all graze on while watching a movie. It might be an occasion where you are bringing out an appetizer followed by more courses, one by one. I’ll leave this up to your discretion and the way only you know you and your partner intimately. For help, you might want to turn to these 25 low effort gay dinner party dishes, three-ingredient dips — or to a book where I find the recipes generally hit for vegetarian or vegan options, although they can be a bit arduous. Pair dinner with alcoholic or non-alcoholic options — but whatever you do, make them sensual and interesting. If you are not a cook, try pairing pre-made items with yummy drinks. It might be time to get into tinned fish.

At some point during the dinner, maybe before dessert, gift them with a new sex toy (provided you have the budget), or — for a lower budget option — tell them you’ve set things up for a massage for them in the bedroom after dinner. Keep what happens next slow, sensual, and appreciative of your Taurus’s physical body and relationship to sensuality and pleasure.

Gemini / Gemini Rising

A person with a bob haircut in a library

Gemini really wants for you to deeply, unwaveringly indulge their latest obsession. Sure, they might move on from it soon, or it might be a new interest that sticks — but what matters to the heart of your Gemini is that they are Consumed With This Passion Right Now. You can prepare a meal showcasing multiple preparations of your Gemini’s new favorite food, take them on a trip to a historic site related to something they’ve been reading about (and bringing up in conversation lately), or go on a trip to procure seedlings of a plant they’re planning to grow this spring.

This is so highly specific to your Gemini’s interests that I can’t give you a lot of detail, but whatever it is they’re into right now, lean in. You don’t have to go with traditionally romantic trappings in order for your Gemini to feel like the plans you’ve made are romantic. You’re embracing their fascinations, their obsessions, their interests and dreams — and that, friend, is the way to their heart.

Cancer / Cancer Rising

Two femmes embracing in the woods

Cancers often love rituals. It’s kind of similar to how they enjoy creating a home, a nest, a fortress or a sanctuary. It’s about the forethought, the planning, and recognizing the emotional significance of material items and actions. If you and your Cancer are magical types, then either designing a ritual for or with your Cancer could mean doing just that, creating a space for setting intentions with each other for something you want to build or, if things aren’t that serious yet, something that is a goal of theirs. Focus that heightened, raucous energy toward obstacles that need tackling, toward passions that need igniting, toward raising your energy levels. You might want to try burning some herbs** or making a special herbal tea to drink together, such as one with a rose base (provided your Cancer is not allergic).

If witchiness isn’t your thing, do not fret! You can apply careful planning, forethought, and attention to significance to a scavenger hunt or other date-long game you make up for your Cancer! Create puzzles, plant clues, and challenge them to make it to their reward at the end of the game. They’ll know that you care. The reward? That’s up to what your Cancer digs. A secret picnic laid out somewhere new, a reservation at a sauna, a tour of someplace they’ve wanted to go, a gift of some kind. Go forth and plan!

** Please do the research and if you’re not an Indigenous American, please do not burn sage — especially white sage as it’s seriously under threat from white people being assholes right now. For my fellow white people: there are a number of other burnable materials that are closed outside of their cultures and practices of origin, so double check before you buy / use something. You can use the search term “INSERT NAME OF HERB + appropriation” in your favorite search engine to check. Many practitioners in closed practices have generously done us the favor of already publishing information about herbs and practices that are inappropriate for white people or people outside their tradition to use or take part in. It’s generous, helpful and leaves no reason to not know.

Looking for alternatives? Mugwort is a plentiful herb that is culturally appropriate for anyone, including white people, to burn (and your local witch shop may stock it, but also you might find it at the grocery co-op, too, as a medicinal herb), for example, and doing so offers cleansing properties and also is said to stimulate visionary dreams. Lavender and rose (again, available to be purchased easily as they’re both used in teas) are two other options, and both lend a calming and romantic vibe. For burning herbs you cannot bundle with string, I recommend a heat-safe vessel and the use of charcoal briquettes.

Leo / Leo Rising

A person sitting by a body of water

A Leo will enjoy having their own mythology recognized, reflected back at them. Yes, showy parties are something Leos enjoy, but if you want to demonstrate your passion, they are the ideal target for an ultra-personalized gift memorializing something special to them. You should be thinking of getting something meaningful to them framed. You could get a copy of a short story they published matted. You could take a shadow box and curate a series of personal artifacts from trips you’ve taken and put them together in an aesthetically appealing way. For something lower stakes for a newer relationship, make a Powerpoint presentation about how cool they are… then present it to your Leo. They’ll be absolutely chuffed.

Virgo / Virgo Rising

Your Virgo’s heart, like all of ours, has been hurting. Beneath a Virgo’s detail-oriented, sometimes harsh but often sensual personality is also a deep sense of duty and responsibility for others. This Valentine’s Day, why don’t you propose doing something to heal yourselves or your community? Ask your Virgo if they want to organize a small benefit to raise some money for mutual aid, lead a letter writing night, or plan a potluck for friends and lovers (as opposed to just monogamous partners) this Valentine’s Day. The work of building community will leave both of you feeling like your cups are filled, and, hey, no one said you can’t make out later that night.

Libra / Libra Rising

A queer person in the style of Wednesday Adams

To be hypnotized by a hot queer hypnotist into solving their most nagging personal problem. Maybe she feels like an imposter or they’re tired of feeling guilty all the time. What if he’s struggling with following through on an important project? Time for hypnosis. This will be especially calming for this sign this Valentine’s day as the stress of Pluto conjunct Mars might leave your Libra feeling a little frayed as they attempt to find balance and see all sides of every situation. If you cannot find a hypnotist in your area, store bought will do (or like, do some research such as with this WikiHow article — and yes I think referencing WikiHow is inherently silly). Now, either deliver your Libra lover into the arms of a hypnotherapist who knows what they’re doing, or learn self-hypnosis and guide your Libra through a relaxing and affirming session. Even if you fail, it is a worthy effort.

Scorpio / Scorpio Rising

A black person voguing

Your Scorpio wants you to raise the stakes, turn up the heat, escalate the drama. So, Scorpios can be covertly power-hungry AND they’re also ruled by Mars, which is coming into some spicy territory in terms of astrological placement this Valentine’s Day. But sexy Scorpio (despite whatever may be distracting them when it comes to power dynamics outside of their sex life) would much rather pay attention to Power Dynamics That Are For Fun — trust me.

Depending on what your Scorpio is like, this could mean anything from asking them to play an involved and highly competitive board game where the winner gets a scrumptious prize to literally booking some time for the two of you at a dungeon, to anything north or south of these options or in between! The point is to think of an environment with designated perameters that will allow your Scorpio safe and constructive avenues to lean into their desire for playing with the dynamics of power and control. Also, if you wanted to get them a gift gift, they would probably appreciate jewelry or perfume/cologne/scent over flowers or chocolates, something dark and a little edgy.

Sagittarius / Sagittarius Rising

A black person with a large afro starring off into the sky against a desert background

For you to challenge yourself to outmatch their adventurous spirit when planning a date. Yes, you are going to want to plan something outrageous, adventurous, wild, fun. I am also going to ask you to refrain from proposing in 99% of cases here, okay? Don’t make the adventure about some larger goal. Leave the adventure a fun adventure for adventure’s sake.

Do you have the ability to take a mid-week road trip? Is there a local rave you can go to the weekend before or after? Is there something magical that happens in nature near you at 5:00am that you want to rouse your Sagittarius for, like watching the sunrise from a mountain overlook? Could you go looking for Right Whales off the coast of Florida, for example? Do some research around what’s local, available, possible, within your budget. The point is to go hard!! Some people might think “going hard” means going expensive or involving substances — but that is not necessarily true. Challenge yourself to do something so outside of the norm of what you would normally do that it will feel like you and your Sagittarius have been transported to another lifetime. Don’t set expectations, but set yourself up for a situation where you’ll have memories you can treasure forever. That’s what your Sagittarius wants.

Capricon / Capricorn Rising

A queer person in glasses with a flower and a book of poetry

Filthy poetry. Did you know Capricorn’s Tarot card is “The Devil”? You might think of Bette Porter, other infamous hard-working dykes when you think of Capricorns… but the thing is, that is all tied together with their wild side. Capricorns are earthy in a hardcore way. Yes, this means they are grounded, steadfast, aware of the material and deeply tied to their work. It also means that they are intimately acquainted with their bodies, their shadow sides, the sensuality to be found in the the kind of dark that smells like wet forest and cunt.

I recommend you undertake the intimidating but certainly rewarding task of composing filthy poetry or prose for your Capricorn OR of finding appropriate poems and prose to read aloud. Either way, compose a lovely scene for the two of you — a meal, drinks, a bath, an otherwise sensual environment, and tell them that you are going to read to them. If you composed this work of poetry yourself, you could also hand them your words to read to themselves (just in case speaking out loud is too much for you in this scenario). Paying attention to this darker side of your Capricorn and capturing it in words will make them feel truly, deeply known.

If poetry is not quite your medium, you could try drawing, music, photography, leather — any way that you work, that you craft — to make something sexy for your Capricorn. It’s the combination of work, of effort, of the creation of an artistic and material product combined with an understanding of your Capricorn as a sensual being that is the gift, that is what this zodiac sign really wants this Valentine’s day.

Aquarius / Aquarius Rising

one femme person telling a secret to another

To hear that you think they’re good. Even better, to know that you see them — and that you know and understand the ways that they are trying to be good. Valentine’s Day is located in Aquarius season, and again, it feels odd… unless you realize that this sign is only aloof because they’re trying to look out for everyone on a broad level. This can also mean they have trouble prioritizing or looking out for themselves. Their attention to broader trends, to big picture thinking, to understanding others can also translate to a low opinion of themselves, because they really do analyze it all.

You actually don’t have to plan much that is special. Let your Aquarius take the lead and help them plan what they want to do. Contribute meaningfully. Offer up what you want to do, because they will be happy if you are. Then, when things are quiet, let them know how you really feel about them. Tell them why you like them. Tell them about things they did that you admire. Affirm your Aquarius. They’re tired. Tomorrow is yet another day of looking out for others, but let this night be a break, a time for reflection and recognition and solace.

Pisces / Pisces Rising

They want the basics. Pisces is often all high-minded, but have you ever gotten your Pisces a nice bouquet? Have you considered that they might have always been perceived of as too superior to enjoy basic things?

Consider — especially if your Pisces is Butch or Masc — if they have ever gotten the Prince / Princess treatment for Valentine’s Day. If not… do you think that might actually be something they want? You don’t have to buy into the flower industry. You can go local, go for a living plant, a terrarium (a terrarium making workshop even), something else entirely. You don’t have to go with flowers! But, leaning into the traditional side of romantic will be a welcome surprise for this old soul who is used to being thought of as too mature or wise for such things. Indulge yourselves with simplicity. The work of making the world better is lifelong and it continues in the morning whatever you do tonight. Trust me.

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Nico Hall is Autostraddle's and For Them's Membership Editorial and Ops Dude, and has been working in membership and the arts for over a decade. They write nonfiction both creative and the more straightforward variety, too, as well as fiction. They are currently at work on a secret project. Nico is also haunted. You can find them on Twitter and Instagram. Here's their website, too.

Nico has written 227 articles for us.


  1. Hey just want to say that sage is a huge genus of plants, found worldwide, with a plethora of cultural practices around it. A much better rule of thumb for acting ethically is 1) will consuming this plant put it in peril? and 2) don’t do religious ceremonies if you’re not of that religion
    You can burn incense, but doing it with one of the religious ceremonies, is a dick move.
    You can burn sage, especially if it’s a weed you pulled from your garden or side of street etc, but don’t smudge cause that’s a dick move.

    Critical thinking is just as important as listening, and I wish it was emphasized more.
    Corn and cacao (chocolate) were and are of high religious and cultural significance to peoples of mesoamerica. Should you stop eating those? Perhaps, but critical thinking is the most important tool to answer that question

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