R&B artist Tank performs an intimate Valentine’s Day set at Opera. (Josh Sisk/FTWP)

February 14th is a day to spend time with the one you love or, alternately, ditch that person in an effort to get next to a handsome, chiseled R&B heartthrob.

Singer Tank gave a special Valentine’s Day performance at Opera Ultra Lounge on Tuesday evening, and for every couple cuddling on the dance floor, there was a couple with one half standing in the back of the room while the other half pressed up against the stage, hoping to get a better look.

The Maryland-raised artist — sporting a skintight red V-neck sweater for the occasion — definitely courted the attention, but he recognized that he was there to prime the couples (and singles) in attendance for a night of romance. “I got you,” he said upfront, promising that his early-evening show would set the mood for a sexy night.

He started things off, naturally, with “Sex Music,” from his most recent album, 2010’s “Now or Never,” and then eased into “Slowly,” the sultry radio single from his 2001 debut, “Force of Nature.”

During “Emergency,” a slow jam in which he uses his powerful voice to wail “it’s an emergency” over and over like a siren, Tank paused to survey the women in the crowd about their grooming habits. “How many ladies paid for their own hair and nails tonight?” he asked. When lots of hands flew up, he said, “Now that is an emergency!” In a unique act of chivalry, Tank then passed out money, reimbursing one woman for her manicure, another for her pedicure and so on. “Tank paid for that!” he announced after each disbursement.

After singing what are probably his two best-known hits, 2001’s “Maybe I Deserve” and 2007’s “Please Don’t Go,” and working in shout-outs to Southeast Washington and his alma mater, Temple Hills’s Crossland High School, Tank wrapped things up by taking requests. He then sent everyone off with a Valentine’s Day warning to drink responsibly and “be careful with that candle wax.”

Godfrey is a freelance writer.