Got questions about navigating life with diabetes? Ask D’Mine! Our weekly advice column, that is, hosted by veteran type 1 and diabetes author Wil Dubois. This week, Wil is prepping for Valentine’s Day — which happens to follow his 30th wedding anniversary recently! He has some thoughts that require his “guy hat” insights, so here goes…

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A’Mour, type 3 from Arizona, writes: Put on your guy hat, Wil! I need your advice on what to give my too sweet T1 sweetie for the big V-day. I want something to show I care, but also something a guy would actually like. Are electronics too impersonal? Is candy out? What about a big tub of ready-to-gnash popcorn? Macho diabetic alert jewelry? Dudes don’t like stuffed animals, right? Or should I just put on a sexy “Teddie” and say, “Here I am!” As you can see I’m in a lot of trouble here…


Wil@Ask D’Mine answers: The Teddie. Definitely the Teddie. To men, nothing says love like sex. It’s always the number one “gift” item on every man’s list for Valentine’s Day. And for anniversaries. And Father’s Day. And birthdays. And the Fourth of July. And Chinese New Year…

Yeah, I know. How caveman of me. How very inappropriate in this #themtoo, sensitive, touchy-feely, ultra-politically correct, post-feminist era. But it’s still true. Guys like sex. We’re hard-wired for it, we’re interested in it, we spend a lot of time thinking about it, we enjoy it, and it’s no secret it’s what we are after with our investments in what we are buying the ladies for V-Day.

Yes, men invest two billion dollars in flowers each year in hopes of getting lucky. 

Which is not to say, contrary to popular female belief, that men don’t incorporate love into sex. We do. And while it’s true that men love sex, that doesn’t mean we don’t love sex even more with women we love. So I say go ahead and buy yourself something sexy, wrap yourself up in it, and let him unwrap your gift. It’s low carb, cheap (at least if you’re the one giving the gift of sex), and good exercise. Oh. But one word of caution. Sex as a gift needs to be different from daily sex. That might mean role playing, if you suspect your partner is into that sort of thing, or you can consider—within obvious limits—consenting to a sex act that you know he’d enjoy, that you aren’t generally too keen on.

Oh dear. I see arrows pointed my way, and they ain’t from Cupid. 

Hey, I’m not suggesting you demean yourself here, but rather, I’m pointing out that if sex is given as a gift, it needs a unique flavor. That could be something different or special, or something as simple as letting the encounter be all about his pleasure, with you doing all the work, rather than the fully mutually beneficial encounter that I believe the lion’s share of couplehood sex should be. 

Of course, if you are a female reader not yet to the physical point in your relationship, this would be the worst possible gift. Still, if this is the case, you can still give the gift of sex in another way: By paying honest homage to the fundamental guy-ness of all things related to sex; and by that, I mean instead of the gift of recreational biology, give a sexy gift. A gift laced with sexual appeal and innuendo.

For instance, you could give him an old-fashioned pin-up calendar. The censorship police haven’t brought down Playboy just yet, and even though the Sport’s Illustrated Swim Suit calendar is hard to find at retail these days, it’s still sold online. And if you want to mix and match male interests, you can get calendars of scantily clad females with cars, with motorcycles, with airplanes, with guns(!), with construction equipment, and more. The list goes on forever, there’s even one that mixes girls with golf.

And they say men don’t multitask well.

Anyway, your guy will enjoy the view each month, and be reminded that you aren’t some insure, crazed, possessive harpy that won’t let him follow his natural instinct to take a second (or third) look at a pretty lady. Feminists will disagree with me, but from a guy perspective this will bond him more closely to you. A woman who trusts him and understands male nature? 

Now, that’s hot.

Better yet, if you want to take it up a notch, get together with some lady friends and get some sexy shots of yourself (nothing you’d be embarrassed for your grandmother to see) and have a one-off calendar made of you from a vendor like Shutterfly. You can be your guy’s very own Miss January, Miss February, Miss March… Talk about bragging rights.

Personalized or stock, a girly calendar isn’t going to turn him into a cheating dog, unless he was one in the first place, in which case he doesn’t deserve the calendar, much less electronics, popcorn, and all the rest.

So speaking of electronics…. a good V-day gift? Personally, I don’t think so. Home electronics just don’t say “love” to me, but that may be a generational thing. Sure, who doesn’t like a new toy, but I’d save the gadgets for B-days. 

Candy is a traditional V-day gift, at least from men to women. I’m not sure how that got started, because it really is a horrible gift for anyone, PWD or sugar normal. I love you, here’s a box of food with no nutritional value that will get you fat and make your face break out. Go figure. Perhaps it has its origin in hunting, gathering, and the role of men bringing home the bacon. Or maybe it was just the marketing genius of the candy companies. Popcorn is fine, if he likes it, but I think it lacks the personnel quality a romantic gift demands. So what about the jewelry? Nothing says love like jewelry, right?

Jewelry is a great gift. Enduring. Often expensive, showing a willingness to invest in a relationship, and if worn frequently, reminds the wearer of the person who gifted it. But tread lightly on medic alert jewelry. As we pointed out in our Christmas gift giving guide, it’s generally a good idea to separate the diabetes from the PWD when it comes to gift-giving unless the gift is for a diaversary

And stuffed animals? Dudes like stuffed animals just fine. At least this dude does. For years at the clinic a fuzzy, fat little black gorilla hugging a big red Valentine Day heart to his chest sat on my bookcase. A V-day gift to me from my very own T-3. It was a cute gift and I appreciated it.

But I would have rather had sex with her.


This is not a medical advice column. We are PWDs freely and openly sharing the wisdom of our collected experiences — our been-there-done-that knowledge from the trenches. Bottom Line: You still need the guidance and care of a licensed medical professional.