It’s time to congratulate the internet: Instagram’s sneakiest phenomenon now has a name. Thirst Traps. Whether you set yours to engage in innocent banter with followers you would (hypothetically) like to “Netflix and Chill” with, or whether you carefully construct them genuinely hoping to make a fantasy come to life, it’s safe to say this Instagram trend is causing a lot of controversy.
But before we get all Freudian, what are “thirst traps”? Essentially, “thirst trapping” is the logical evolution of “gatsbying,” a trend that consists of posting a public Instagram story with the intent of arousing the interest of one person in particular. Or, as Urban Dictionary defines it: “a sexy photograph or flirty message posted on social media for the intent of causing others to profess their attraction.”
Thirst Traps can take many forms. Unless you are particularly brazen, if you are in a relationship, it is more likely that you are stuck in someone else’s thirst trap than you are setting your own. How does this work? Basically, you follow a bunch of people. For most of us, a handful (give or take) of these people you will either have slept with, flirted with, or want to sleep with.
These are your thirst traps. Identifiable by their prominence in your direct messages, the fact that their insta-stories are always at the front of your queue, and the fact that they are the ones who you always check have watched your stories or liked your photos.
The thirst trap is set when these ‘crushes’ post a suggestive photo or video, and wait for you to engage with it. If you respond consistently over a given period of time, you are considered “caught” in their trap. While this is an excellent way for (single) socially awkward people to flirt, without embarrassing themselves (in real life), the problem arises when single people’s “thirst traps” start attracting those in relationships.
— #AnybodyButBuhari2019 (@Eerinmide) 3 March 2019
After all: no matter how happy you are with your partner, sometimes you just have a certain nostalgia for old habits…
I miss having a boo to send thirst traps to pic.twitter.com/Gp87lGXJLw
— ✨ (@KILLKOBRA) 27 February 2019
And, as many a “thirst trap layer” has pointed out, it’s important to strike while the iron is hot…
I will thirst trap while I can. My body is not gonna look this good forever.
— Emily Ferguson (@emilyferguson_) 27 February 2019
So whether you are looking to play the field, or keen to rekindle your relationship by laying thirst traps for your partner, here are some top tips for laying the perfect thirst trap, courtesy of someone who’d know—American singer/songwriter Austin Mahone.
- Shirtless pics
- Gym selfies
— AM2DM by BuzzFeed News (@AM2DM) 4 March 2019
Not convinced? Still reckon this is all just media hype? To prove “the thirst” is indeed real, listen to this story by Twitter personality Cassandra Blackwell: “A couple of days ago I posted a photo with a flower emoji covering my breast. A man messaged me asking: how many retweets for you to remove the emoji? I replied: Paypal me $100,” she told Vice in an interview.
“The interaction made me laugh so I tweeted a screenshot of it with a link to my Paypal and…. men are ridiculously thirsty. Five hundred dollars thirsty. I want to be clear that I didn’t remove the emoji for anybody. Nobody who paypalled me even reached out. I paid my overdue phone bill and donated the rest of it to Planned Parenthood.”
So there you have it. Now get out there and get “laying”…