Valentine’s Day will look very different this year, mostly because we are all not really supposed to be out like that, and also, because Build-A-Bear, the mall mainstay beloved by children and adult stuffed-animal aficionados alike, is horned up and ready to give it to you, good.
In the ad pictured above, it seems that the Build-A-Bear company is suggesting that there’s such a thing as an “after dark” iteration of its bears. Though I imagine this to be popular with Disney adults and people who like it when their partner wins them a giant Rasta banana at San Gennaro, I am not sure the Build-A-Bear people understand that “after dark” suggests something other than romance—namely, fucking. Imagine that.
Clicking on one of the links provided led me to Build-A-Bear’s “Stuffed Animals for Adults” section, which, to my relief but also my disappointment, was not full of built bears with a Rabbit vibrator where their little hearts normally are. Instead, there were a wide range of Valentine’s Day offerings for the discerning adult looking to inject a little amour into the proceedings before injecting a little something else, if you get what I’m saying. (Sex. I’m talking about sex. Thank you.)
I’m not opposed to the idea of a stuffed animal attempting to seduce me because I am always up for an adventure, but the offerings from Build-A-Bear are worrisome in how wholesome they are. Yes, it’s a problem that I’m calling for these stuffed animals sold on a website meant for children and the adults that supervise them to be sexier or at the minimum, sluttier, but if they’re truly going to commit to this bit, then, I want a little more than what we’re getting.
Nothing says “I love you and wish to spend at least one to two more years in your presence or at least until this pandemic is over” like a Swarovski-encrusted, ultrasuede bear who lacks any of the qualities (cuddliness, softness, fur?) that make an actual teddy bear appealing, and resembles a teddy bear stripped clean of its fur and stuffed into a gimp suit.
Mr. Swarovski Crystal has a few other friends that are just as unappealing as he is, but my interest was unfortunately piqued when I saw the lion in his full glory. Monsieur Lion got a blowout for the occasion and comes equipped with a bottle of champagne, but only one glass. Sir? That whole bottle better be for me or you leave it on the kitchen table on your way out.
Again—I do not want to engage in any sort of sexual activity with this lion, as he is a stuffed animal and also, very small, but he is cutting a dashing figure in the robe and the Hefner pajamas. Even though the champagne is attached to his wrist like a corsage because he has no fingers, and the cup in his other paw is a cardboard cutout, I like to think that this lion would be considerate on a holiday that doesn’t mean anything by respecting the wishes of his Valentine, whatever they may be. This lion will let me order takeout and watch TV while not speaking but will also indulge me if I want to do something “fun” and out of character like “go for a walk even though it’s cold outside so we can look at the stars.” I am a professed Valentine’s Day-grinch, for no reason other than EVERYTHING IS STUPID, but this sexy lion for adult children has maybe changed my mind. Thank you, Build-A-Bear, for all that you do.
(Updated 3/2/22 with new details)