“But I want to watch The O.C.”
That was my fiancée’s response when I’d brought up the idea of engaging in some early Steak & BJ Day celebrations last week. Having completely run out of Netflix options, we had decided to binge the classic series, but first, my editor was expecting a top-notch report on what could otherwise be deemed Double Meat Day or International Men’s Day. Needless to say, my vegan fiancée was more excited about rewatching a 14-year-old angsty drama about rich teens than she was about observing the antithesis of a Hallmark holiday.
According to internet lore, Boston radio DJ Tom Birdsey conceptualized the holiday back in 2002 as a kind of “Valentine’s Day for men” because in his view, Valentine’s Day catered more to women than it did to men. Observed one month after Valentine’s Day, on March 14, Steak and BJ Day has supposedly become a popular “holiday” on which men can rightfully prod wives, girlfriends and flings for a beej after eating a medium-rare steak. Guys should be buying into this big-time, right?
Before I was allowed to celebrate, my fiancée required we watch an episode of The O.C. Afterward, she went to work on making me a steak as I excitedly riffled through a pile of oral sex aids from various PR companies promoting Steak and BJ Day as a legitimate event. Being vegan, my fiancée refuses to touch raw meat, so I had to settle on her version of a steak: a giant Portobello mushroom that had marinated in various sauces and spices. It was actually very good, no thanks to the holiday’s creator who seems to think veganism and vegetarianism aren’t practiced by men. Afterward, my girl had a glass of wine, I had a beer, and then it was show time.
Since we’re a relatively young couple, a blowjob isn’t something I normally go without, so admittedly, I wasn’t as excited as most dudes may be. Regardless, being the dedicated journalist I am, I decided to tear open a pack of strawberry-flavored BJ Blast, an oral sex candy similar to Pop Rocks, to make the experience worth while. When in Rome, you know? But this particular experience was…well, it was strange. I can’t really explain it aside from saying it literally felt like Pop Rocks crackling against the shaft my dick—because that’s exactly what it is. The sensation isn’t arousing in the slightest.
Next, we tried a vegan line of flavored lubes from Wicked Sensual Care. This stuff tasted great—the salted caramel flavor would be phenomenal on ice cream—but should it be a bedroom staple? No. Not at all. My penis shouldn’t have to taste like a cinnamon bun in order for my partner to want to go down on me. Not yet, anyway. Check back in 50 years.
By 9 p.m., the whole celebration was over and I was downstairs pouring her another glass of wine while she got ready for bed. (A baker, she has to be up criminally early.) We then watched Spring Baking Championship until she fell asleep, leaving me time to reflect on the entire charade. After some consideration, I kind of felt gross about it.
Two years ago, OfficialSteakandBlowjobDay.com announced a joint campaign with Coppafeel to support breast cancer awareness. Essentially, after donating money to Coppafeel, the campaign would send an email notifying your partner of your philanthropy and request her participation in Steak and BJ Day. While having good intentions, I can’t help but feel that it’s a disingenuous act created to legitimize the holiday in a woman’s point of view. After all, what the hell does giving a blowjob have to do with breast cancer? Call it coercion for a cause.
Being a male sex writer, my fiancée and I actually share a healthy sex life—and one that certainly doesn’t require a holiday to go down on each other. We just do it when we feel like it—as all couples should. Because of the forced nature of this holiday, though, I get the impression that the entire event is crafted for men in sexless relationships who need an excuse to get affection from their wives. That’s unfortunate.
Even sadder is that it doesn’t seem many men are using the opportunity. Speaking to Babeland, a popular online adult retailer and sex-education company that operates stores in New York City and Seattle, I asked whether the store gets a spike in blowjob-related product sales in March. The site reported no discernible increases. Apparently, even though publicists and the internet love plugging the holiday as a reason to invest in new sex toys and more, it still isn’t catching on among the masses. In that way, Steak and BJ Day may share more with Valentine’s Day than its creator has hoped. That is, that they’re both disposable to couples with healthy sex lives who never need an excuse to do it.