Get your ‘skank’ on 

Tips for a risqué Valentine.

BE MINE: Valentine bras.
  • BE MINE: Valentine bras.

There’s this Valentine’s-themed commercial for one of the local singles “chat” lines that I’ve seen about 800 times in the last two weeks — a hot little blonde rolling around in a red nightie, telling would-be callers, “With so much romance in the air, you’re bound to hook up!”

Hook up? Really? Not “fall in love,” “find someone special” or even “meet someone who doesn’t have a social disease”?

Sounds a little low-expectations to me, but hey, if it’s gum-popping hoorishness the people want, gum-popping hoorishness they shall get. And so, without further ado, I bring you the Shopping Chick Valentine’s Tour de Skank.

Alphabetical order all right with everyone? Great.

We start at the Armadillo’s Hands, a one-time head shop at 6813 Col. Glenn that’s now diversified into “exotic clothing” and related gear. It’s about as skeezy as you’re going to get without an “XXX” in the store name, with about half the inventory thoughtfully hung from the ceiling. Lots of leather and zippers, a smattering of vinyl, a few things so strap-heavy and intricate that I never could quite puzzle out exactly what went where. But there’s plenty of more mainstream — even pretty — skank as well, like a magenta lace cupless bra (supports ’em underneath but provides no, ahem, coverage) with matching crotchless panty for $31. Or, you know, just buy the set of penis cookie-cutters for $15, and, as a co-worker of mine suggested, whip up a batch of sugar cockies.

Next stop: Cupid’s, 9700 Rodney Parham Road. If role-playing’s your — or your potential bed buddy’s — thing, this is the place to go. They have more riffs on the Schoolgirl, Naughty Nurse and Candy Striper fantasies than I could count, as well as a matching athletic-mesh crop-top-and-panty set straight from the “Girls of the PAC 10” issue of Playboy. Don’t overlook the bodystocking wall, either. It’s not just see-through one-pieces — Cupid’s selection includes babydolls and other one-size types of lingerie as well. After all, nothing says class like a crotchless teddy in a pantyhose wrapper.

Top skank honors, though, have to go to the vinyl lace-up peasant blouse ($30), but only if you pair it with the floor-length vinyl fishtail skirt ($50). Just don’t forget the talcum powder. Or, in a pinch, a bottle of Hot Hooters Warm-Up Booby Oil, price unknown.

Cupid’s also has its share of more traditional lingerie, and they win bonus points for carrying just about everything in plus sizes (including a camo babydoll nightie with a faux-bullet ornamentation to set off the cleavage). There was even a very lovely red Asian dragon-print merrywidow on the sale rack for $40.

If “skanky” is a little farther than you’re comfortable going — if you’d rather shoot for “racy” or even “risqué” — then try our last tour stop, the upscale and respectable Barbara Graves Intimate Fashions. There’s plenty more to choose from here than staid housecoats and beige bras.

My absolute hands-down favorite is a pink sheer full-length robe ($90), trimmed in faux fur and designed to flare out at the hem. Very Eva Gabor, except for the matching thong. Add coordinating kitten-heel slippers ($42), a martini and a purred “Dahling!” or two, and sit back to wait for Cary Grant to come feed you bon-bons.

I also liked a pretty red silk chemise ($42) and a pink bra and panty set embroidered with fuschia and white swirls ($32 and $16). There’s a good selection of garter belts, corsets and merrywidows as well — including a fun $75 turquoise and black one that looked kind of saloon-girlish — and this is definitely the place to go if you’re planning a Valentine’s wedding and want some spicy white underthings for the after-party. Like, say, a sheer white cupless Jezebel bra ($21). Not particularly blushing-bride coy, but I doubt the groom would notice much.

What was that number again?...





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