Anyone who knows me knows that I have an abundance of celebrity crushes. They vary in intensity, and most come and go, but Chris Evans is a rare star that has held a consistent place in my heart.
In fact, he recently made a cable-knit sweater look so good on screen that I literally gasped in a theater. But despite my burning passion for the guy, he is not, under any circumstances, allowed to break my neck.
I lay down this ground rule because over the past few years an especially thirsty group of Twitter users have started a trend that I refer to as “violently horny hyperbole.” Essentially, you prove how hot you think a person is by tweeting a request for them to physically harm you in some ridiculously extreme way, like so.
I would pay for Chris Evans to snap my neck like a kit kat
— reese (@ifcapdiesidie) May 8, 2019
Chris Evans could cut my throat, snap my neck, and hide my body and I would be ok with it
— Matt (@BraveNewMatt) March 17, 2019
Chris Evans could snap my neck, chop me up, roast my carcass over a pit of fire and eat the shit outta my bones like a fucking Viking and my ghost would be so honored. I love that man :))
— ☆ 𝔢𝔩𝔥𝔦𝔰𝔞 ☆ (@fatherelhisa) January 6, 2019
SEE ALSO: The horniest moments of 2019
To be clear, I think a mold of Evans’ jawline belongs in the Louvre, but he’d better never run me over with a truck. I would gaze into his blue-grey fleck-filled eyes for a full 24 hours, but he does not have permission to punch me in the face.
The rise of kinky, violent tweets
As GQ noted in 2019, extreme violence is a major trend in tweets today, but pop culture has been slowly embracing references to pleasurable violence for years. One of the earliest examples they found is the 2004 film, Mean Girls, when a character describing Regina George says with a smile, “One time she punched me in the face. It was awesome!”
In the years since Mean Girls, a lot has changed. BDSM and other kinks have become more publicly discussed and accepted. The popular 50 Shades of Grey trilogy kicked off with a book published in 2011, and movies followed, helping to normalize a lot of the domination-based fantasies that people tweet relentlessly about now. The internet has also become a much less uptight, informal space in the past decade.
As memes became increasingly popular during the 2010s, people started to become more comfortable joking about and vocalizing their horniness — especially on Twitter. In 2013, you may recall Amanda Bynes shook things up by tweeting, “I want @drake to murder my vagina.” In a 2017 interview, Bynes explained the infamous tweet, saying, “I was serious, but I was also on drugs. So that was my way of saying, like, ‘Let’s do it, man!’ But I was, like, on drugs and trying to be hilarious.”
As time goes on, these kind of tweets are getting darker and more detailed, and it feels now as if we’re in some messed up competition to out-horny each other by coming up with the most outrageously violent scenario.
God I hate to be that girl but I would literally let Timothee Chalamet run me the fuck over with a semi trailer and spit in my caved in face
— emily-jane (@EMILYFUCKINJANE) January 8, 2020
So why are we like this? In a 2019 article for the Cut, Gabriella Paiella argued that the increase in violently horny hyperboles is a result of the dire state of affairs we’re living in. “We’re constantly being reminded that the Earth is going to be virtually uninhabitable by the end of the century, that capitalism is wholly unsustainable, and that we’re just one push of a button away from perishing in a nuclear war,” she wrote, which feels 100 percent true to me.
The idea that at any moment we might all be destroyed could very well explain why we no longer seem to care about the severity of the words we type, but it’s also why I’m having a hard time embracing the trend.
Tragedy feels too plentiful to joke about
The majority of the time, reading these unnecessarily violent tweets makes me nervously laugh and say, “what the fuck,” like Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep. But that’s not to say that I don’t occasionally find them funny. Bynes’ tweet is a perfect example of one that strikes just the right note. “Murder my vagina” is worthy of a spit-take in my opinion, but had Bynes tweeted, “I want Drake to murder me,” it would have been a different story.
i’m watching season 4 of Line of Duty for the first time and… Thandie Newton arrest me, frame me, kill me, saw my body up into pieces then get away with it challenge
— Louis Staples (@LouisStaples) August 18, 2019
I’m turned off by violently hyperbolic horniness not because of some prudish aversion, but because we’re confronted with so much terrible stuff during the course of any given day that I’m finding it harder and harder to laugh at terrible fictional scenarios — even when the jokes are intentionally overblown.
It’s not that I am taking the tweets literally. I clearly know people don’t actually want to be brutally murdered, even if their killer is a Hollywood fave. But it feels like repeatedly poking fun at and desensitizing actual tragedies and abusive behavior is a line we’re crossing needlessly.
To me, the trend has peaked to such an extent that it’s almost becoming a little shopworn as a joke. I’m all in favor of keeping crush Twitter thriving, and we shouldn’t shy away from expressing our pure thirst either. But surely we can tone it down a little with the beating and the killing.
Celebrities aren’t into it either
I’m not the only one who seems to think these violently horny pleas have gotten out of hand. Actor Penn Badgley, who plays stalker and serial killer Joe Goldberg on Netflix’s You, seems a little scared by it. You fans have been thirsting over Badgley’s violent and problematic character so much that’s he’s had to consistently remind people that, actually, murdering is bad.
When Badgley hit one million followers on Instagram he celebrated with a “don’t like my character because he’s a murderer” PSA, and he’s also had to shoot down people’s attraction to Joe in several interviews and tweets.
Badgley isn’t the only celebrity who’s not exactly thrilled by reading violent horny tweets about himself. BuzzFeed’s “Thirst Tweets” series offers a firsthand look at celebrities responding to fans’ requests to be strangled or punched in the face, and some of the reactions show genuine confusion.
After reading a thirst tweet that said, “I want Milo Ventimiglia to suffocate me with his thick ass cheeks and snap my neck,” Ventimiglia replied with some pretty sound logic: “You wouldn’t be around to enjoy it…” When John Stamos read the words, “John Stamos is so powerful, how is it that any age I want him to break my back like the seal on a water bottle,” he gave a concerned look to camera and asked, “Why would I do that?”
PG-13 tweets are still funny
There’s no denying that violent tweets leave an impression, but lower-stakes thirst tweets can be great, too. One of my favorites is from 2016 and simply says, “I would take Chad Michael Murray’s jawline out for coffee.”
Or what about the one where you apologize to John Mulaney after he pours soup on your lap. Heck, John Mulaney could pour soup on my lap and Andy Samberg could cheer him on and I’d apologize to both of them. Profusely.
Just because a horny tweet isn’t violent doesn’t mean it won’t pack a punch. Remember the horny Beto tweet about the Texas Congressman being able to make your calves cramp? That nearly broke the internet.
There are so many good ways to be horny that aren’t extremely violent or painfully overused. But if you’re not fully ready to abandon your violent tweet habit yet, maybe try starting small. Instead of saying “run me over with a truck,” how about something less destructive like, “hit me in the head with your Golden Globe?”