Men: rejoice! If you tiptoed intact across the minefield of Valentine’s Day last month, your reward is coming. March 14 is unofficially “Steak and Blowjob Day”, when you can sit back and relax and let someone else do the work.
Or maybe not.
Steak and Blowjob Day was conceived—and this should surprise no-one—by a radio DJ. The credit generally goes to Tom Birdsey of Boston’s WFNX, who introduced the Steak and BJ holiday concept on his show in 2002. However, Birdsey claimed he got the idea from—wait for it—another radio DJ, Dave Rickards, who floated the concept of a Steak and Knobber Day back in 1998.
Controversial since its inception, Steak and Blowjob Day hasn’t managed to attain a comfortable position on the calendar. A 2015 article in The Daily Dot, “The short, stupid history of Steak and a BJ Day”, states it’s “unclear…whether anyone has ever actually observed it”, and expresses the opinion that “the holiday exists to prompt workplace arguments or cringe-y remarks about relationships, gender equality, and—why not!—cancer.” The cancer reference appears to result from an attempt to pink-wash the day as a breast cancer fundraiser, perhaps to make the idea more palatable. But is anyone swallowing this?
Not surprisingly, reaction to the concept of Steak and Blowjob Day is sharply divided. Men’s magazine Maxim, in their recent article, “There’s an actual holiday called ‘Steak and Blowjob Day’, and it’s almost here”, called it “the greatest holiday of all time” in which “dudes everywhere are repaid for all the thought and careful planning they put into making Valentine’s Day as romantic as they can manage.” Meanwhile, over at the Huffington Post, a 2014 article headline sums up their opinion: “Steak and BJ Day makes us want to gag”.
What do real people say about the concept of Steak and Blowjob Day? I conducted an informal poll of a number of worldwide acquaintances. The question I put to them was, “are you for or against this idea of a holiday, and why?” Here’s what they had to say (some names have been changed to protect privacy):
First the men: Chris declares he is “for” the holiday. “I like a good steak,” says Chris. Over in enlightened Europe, Pertti takes a different view. “I’m against it, ” Pertti says. “Not as a notion of sexual expression but as a notion of one-sidedness, mainly to fulfill the masculine way of dominance over femininity.” David takes a more philosophical view. “My wife and myself have never celebrated this holiday,” David says. “It isn’t that we are against it or for it. We just see no need to set aside a date to have steak and amazing sex. We should be able to do that whenever we want, in my opinion. If others choose to celebrate it, that is fine with me, we just don’t see the need to.” Sammy provides the last word for the men, stressing the critical importance of “doing only one thing at a time.”
Now the women, who had rather more to say about it: Penny doesn’t see the need for this holiday. “I thought Valentine’s Day was for both men and women,” she says. “I don’t feel men need a holiday based on their need for a blow job.” Anita has a somewhat different perspective. She feels the day is “ideal for men who do not dare to ask for it the rest of the year. For the rest it is as silly as Valentine’s Day. If you can only think to be romantic or sexy with your partner one day a year, it is a bit sad. And certainly it should not be used to oblige someone, but maybe as a friendly reminder.” Margot was neutral about the holiday. “I have never spent it,” she says, “but it sounds fun IF you have a suitable partner.”
Evelyn was one of the few people I contacted who had heard about this holiday before; she thinks it’s a funny idea. “It obviously mocks the expectations guys are exposed to on Valentine’s Day, “she says. “Personally I never did ‘celebrate’ Valentine’s Day; even during my longterm relationship I never received nor wanted chocolate, flowers, etc. Here in Germany I feel there is less pressure to do something special on that day. Since I do believe I have a good sense of humour, I can imagine treating my boyfriend to a surprise ‘steak and blow job day’—just not on a regular basis.” Christine, on the other hand, had never heard of such a day. “The name of the day might offend some people or put them under pressure,” says Christine. “On the other hand I am an hedonist who thinks that celebrating joyful things is not a bad idea. Live and let live if possible. So if people enjoy it, why not… as long as others can do what they want to do.”
Even if you haven’t heard of Steak and Blowjob Day, millions of others have—and they’ve been watching Steak and BJ videos on Youtube for at least ten years. One of many videos, the animated Steak and a BJ Day Song by Warp Zone considers the pairing of fellatio and filets, while in another, Werd McCompany sets a hiphop-inspired rhythm to its head-bobbing Steak and a BJ Anthem (It’s My Day). I found both videos amusing, although the latter one had some imagery that might offend some people.
Over at Twitter, anticipation for the day is mounting. The number of tweets using the hashtag #steakandbjday began swelling in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day indicating that pre-holiday excitement is building. Tweeted expressions of expectation and meat preparation tips are interspersed with commercial offerings of related merchandise, including greeting cards and bedroom accessories.
Although this holiday hasn’t achieved official status, it has managed to spawn (at least one) official website. We know it’s official because it says so in the name: www.officialsteakandblowjobday.com. Not only can you purchase Steak and Blowjob Day merchandise, but you can send an invitation to your partner to help you celebrate the day (a minimum $3 donation, 80% of which goes to fight breast cancer, is required.)
The holiday is probably meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but not everyone will view it that way. While researching this topic, I noticed a marked difference in attitudes between Europeans and North Americans: the former were generally comfortable expressing thoughtful and reasoned views on the topic, while the latter were more likely to respond with humour, uneasiness—or not at all.
As with many topics surrounding relationships and sex, opening up a discussion about Steak and Blowjob Day is best approached with an open mind, a sense of humour—and realistic expectations. After all, perhaps the real function of the holiday is the discussion it stimulates.