Patti Stanger is the feisty and unabashedly honest star of the hit Bravo reality series The Millionaire Matchmaker. Her company, The Millionaire’s Club, was founded in 2000, and claims to help financially successful men find beautiful, successful women. We’re fascinated with Patti because of her outrageous philosophies (on women: “I can’t do much over 45…and if they’re overweight, it’s almost impossible) and proclamations (“If you give a woman chocolate, I bet you get a blowjob.”) Whether or not you agree with Patti’s jaw-dropping statements, you can't deny that this lady’s onto something: she has a 99% success rate in matchmaking. Who better to talk to around Valentine’s Day than a modern day Cupid with a shiny new heart-shaped engagement ring?
Q. Suggest an affordable gift that screams "millionaire style" for those of us on a budget.
A. For a man, it’s always a pen, an elegant and beautiful one, and something that they can always carry with them. For a woman, I’d suggest a bejeweled compact. We all want pretty little things to put in our purses.
Q. Most romantic gift you've ever received? Besides your engagement ring, of course.
A. It’s my diamond heart necklace you see me wearing on the show. Andy [my fiancée] designed it at my favorite jewelry store in Los Angeles. It’s my favorite gift because he gave it to me six weeks into the relationship, and he took me to Santa Barbara where we got a room (a million roses all over the place), overlooking the ocean.
Q. Worst Valentine's gift you've ever received?
A. Oh god...this is the worst thing in the world: this guy made a coupon online that he designed himself saying he would take me to Disney World someday. Someday! That was the worst present I've ever gotten in my life. He definitely could have afforded to buy me flowers or candy.
Q. The cheesiest?
A. The cheesiest one was a stuffed teddy bear with our names written on it. I was like, ‘How did you find this thing?!’ So nerdy!
Q. What's the naughtiest gift you've ever gotten?
A. I got a Kama Sutra kit once. Those are really cute and funny actually. I also got a vibrator one year.
Q. What type of gift would you suggest for a new relationship?
A. For a new relationship, I'm a big fan of the vacation. Go away for three days and really break out the bank. See things along the way to create memories. If you live in NY, go to the Hamptons or Cape Cod or one of those cute country towns in Upstate New York. She buys him something, he buys her something. BUT the guy should always be spending more money than the girl.
Q. Splurge on flowers or a dinner date?
A. Dinner date. I like having flowers given to me, but don’t ever give flowers to a man, it’s too feminine. 1-800-Flowers has the Patti Stanger Bouquets. If you're dating someone and you've only gone on two dates, and you don’t know what to get her, it tells you which bouquet to buy. If you’ve been going out for a while and want to get engaged, get her the Mother Bouquet.
Q. What specific gifts should people splurge on?
A. For women, jewelry. Spend some “bank-y bank” on either diamonds or gold. I'm a big white gold fan. You can start out at earring level, then bracelet, then necklace, then go to the ring. For men, I think it’s a watch. An expensive, expensive watch. Men are watch collectors. (And you never buy them socks or shoes because then they will run away from you. That's a Jewish superstition.)
Q. Fancy meal or home-cooked meal for Valentine's Day?
A. Here's the rule: if he never spends a dollar on you, you do not make him a home-cooked meal. If he has spent a lot of money on you, then definitely go with the home-cooked meal. You see, if he’s been cheap in the past, you shouldn’t be spending $250 at the grocery store to pull out all the stops.
Q. Tell us the top 3 gifts on your wish list.
A. Well, I got one already: the Chanel cuff with rhinestones.There were none left in the world and I found the last one in Vegas. Now I want diamond hoop earrings, thin ones because I already have thick ones. I'm also debating whether to get the iPad or the iTouch.
Q. What gift will make your lover never want to see you again?
A. A card. Just a card. I'm sorry, but you can go to the chocolate store and buy her a box of chocolates. You can go to the flower shop right on the corner. There's no excuse to NOT spend SOME money. I'm really, really repulsed by people who don't.
Q. You recently said on an episode of your show, “If you give a woman chocolate, I bet you get a blowjob.” Does that rule apply to Valentine's Day, or are chocolates too unoriginal?
A. For Valentine’s Day, my standards are much higher! If you want to get blown, you’d better bring on the diamonds, not just chocolate. With Godiva, you might get a handshake. But you are definitely not getting a blowjob from just chocolate on Valentine’s Day.
Q. What is your rule of thumb regarding how much to spend on a Valentine's Day gift?
A. It depends on your income. If you're a millionaire, I want to see you spend a couple thousand dollars. If you're a struggling student, or you've just lost your job, a couple hundred dollars, maybe $150. And if you're in the $50 lane, you've got to be creative. If you live in a warm weather climate you can go to the beach and have a beautiful picnic and put all the money towards a bottle of champagne. Then get some KFC and cupcakes.
Q. When, if ever, is it okay for someone to gift a sex toy?
A. After monogamy, like, 6 months in. You want to pump up the volume? It’s okay to go out and buy the cock ring that wiggles. (I tried that last week, by the way.) But you know what I think is cute? Find a high-end sex store, like Hustler, and go pick out something together. Hey, she might surprise you and get the kegal balls.
Q. A lot of people say lingerie is an outdated and clichéd gift. Do you agree?
A. It is, and I'll tell you why: it’s a gift for the guy, not a gift for her. Chelsea (my VP of Matchmaking) got that as a Christmas gift and was pissed off.
Q. Do you ever re-gift?
A. Not to a fellow life-mate. You can re-gift to acquaintances, co-workers, people you don’t really know. But if you re-gift too close to home, that’s just bad karma.
Q. Describe you dream Valentine's Day scenario.
A. I want quiet time. I would love a quiet evening in Santa Barbara, overlooking the ocean, with great food and wine. Or even a trip up to French Laundry in Napa. Then, of course, great sex.