Even though it’s often touted as a Hallmark holiday, Verotica Storm from Ucluelet’s Playground of the Senses encourages locals to stop and smell the roses this Valentine’s.
“Appreciate your significant other and take the time to say good morning or goodnight in a meaningful way,” she said. “It’s the little things you do to celebrate each other with because you fell in love with them for a reason.”
Storm’s ritual with her husband of five years, Damien, simply involves a morning cuddle and a steamy cup of joe.
“Every morning we drink coffee in bed before we start the day,” she said. “We have our first one or two cups of coffee in bed, chat and start our day. It’s a great tradition.”
Storm, who has worked as a life coach and taught courses in human sexuality, opened Playground of the Senses about a year ago at its new location in the heart of Ucluelet’s Main Street.
Since moving downtown, Storm has seen more locals wander in and said tourists are pleasantly surprised by what they discover inside.
“Everyone that walked in the doors loved it. They loved the smells, loved the hand rolled incense, loved the crystals,” she said. “And for the ones that haven’t come in yet, I invite them to come in and check it out for themselves.”
She likes to think of her store, which she co-owns with her husband, as a sensuality boutique. Their mantra is to celebrate the senses and they aim to elevate the spirit of anyone who visits.
“Whether that’s through a stick of incense or pleasure a la carte, we just want everyone to enjoy their lives because if they enjoy their personal lives then the world is a better place,” she said.
“I’ve had some real honest, heart-to-heart conversations with people because this is an aspect of their lives that is either taboo or dirty or nobody can talk about it, but I will talk to you about my best pleasure toy the same as I would talk to you about my best crystal. I think that takes the scariness away.” For couples that are slow to warm to the whole new world of sensuality, Storm offers some expert advice:
“Start off by enjoying a yummy, decadent chocolate dessert with one fork,” she said. “And then come see me for some massage oil…”