Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Thirsty: An Investigation on Desperation


I’m often posting in social media for Male Media Mind, promoting discussions to raise the consciousness of our community, meeting new people in the process, often having a good time just observing how people behave. I’ll inevitably encounter a post about someone being thirsty, or how everyone is a hoe, or disparaging the entire community for their sexual behavior. I can understand this from an outsider, but this is almost always from an active participant of the community. Many of these groups feature men looking to meet other men, presumably for a date or a connection that could lead to one. There are usually lots of hot selfies of cute guys in different stages of undress, seemingly bored and lonely, looking for some form of human connection. Even if that connection is not explicitly sexual, the connotation is to promote availability. I get that we’re going to have an opinion about all of these posts, but what I don’t get is why those opinions are so universally negative. It seems that we’re fine with being sexual, but as soon as we see someone else doing it, we condemn them as thirsty hoes desperate for dick. Why is that?

What does it mean to be thirsty?
Thirsty is defined as someone who is too eager to get something, especially sex, but there are deeper connotations to the word. Often mixed in with the notion of thirstiness in a certain "scrubbiness" or lack of depth. Not everyone is supposed to be creative, interesting, or informed about social issues and current events, but thirsty brothas are the ones who want everything from you, but have nothing to offer in return. And people will disagree about who’s thirsty and who isn’t, so depending on who you are, our conversation isn’t going to be as interesting if that person’s character doesn’t mesh with mine. Starting a conversation can sometimes be like pulling teeth with some people, but someone else could come along and talk all day about things I’m not remotely interested in discussing. It seems the only things some of these guys are interested in are things I find boring and vice versa. We’re not compatible with everyone. I can live with that. I am my own special kind of crazy and not everyone is going to be into that. Still it could be said that even beyond compatibility issues , ome people have more going for them than others and this plays a certain role in talking about being thirsty.

Why the condemnation?
When I think of the problem of being thirsty I don’t think of it as something to condemn, but rather something to pity. It sucks to not be able to find what you’re looking for. I feel sorry for them because I was once one of them. You can never really know what’s going on in the interior life of other people, but we all give off cues. I thought I was pretty good at hiding mine, but I probably seemed just as desperate as I felt. During the time, when all I thought about was finding a love to call my own, I held grudges against those sex partners I met who were just trying to have a good time, who were often themselves thirsty in their own way, unable to define what it is they really needed int heir life.

In the motion picture "Her", there is a scene in which a blind date is coming to an end. The two had a great time, laughing at each others jokes, eating and drinking together, clearly anticipating spending the night together. When they left the restaurant and got close to the man’s apartment, the woman said that she didn’t want to waste her time with someone who wasn’t serious about a relationship. She said she didn’t want to get fucked and never hear from him again. He was clearly having a great time with her up until this moment but wasn’t ready to make a commitment to her on the first date. He said something about calling her later and going out again, but instead of taking him up on his offer; she flips out calling him a few names and storms off angry and hurt. In that quick reversal, going from wanting a commitment from a man she just met to wanting nothing to do with him, she revealed the dark side of thirstiness.

What if he had lied to her in order to sleep with her, wouldn’t he still be the same guy she didn’t really like? The only difference after the lie would be that she would have continued to date someone she really didn’t like. She didn’t want a relationship with him; she wanted a relationship with someone, anyone, and when it came down to it she really didn’t care who it was. Thirstiness is the recipe for getting relationships wrong and ultimately getting your heart broken.

I don’t stand in judgment of the thirsty among us since I’ve counted myself among them, but I do judge the ones who judge them. It seems like they protest a little too much. Certainly thirstiness is unattractive, and if I had a friend who was displaying that sort of behavior, I would try to break it down for them in the hopes they might find what they’re really looking for. But for those guys who stand in judgement of perfect strangers, having no emotional stake in their well-being, pointing the thirsty out in hopes that they can draw some stark contrast between the thirsty and themselves, I hold nothing but contempt for them and they come off to me as sad and pathetic.

The Thirst-haters
It really annoys me when a guy really wants to have sex with a guy but doesn’t do it because he wants to separate himself from the thirsty. I get the idea of waiting because you really don’t want to confuse your feelings for him, or you’re not sure you want to make yourself vulnerable with a guy you don’t know well, but for the thirst-hater they do it so they won’t be perceived as thirsty. The reason they have such strong feelings about the thirsty stranger is because they stand in judgement of themselves and their own desires. If you want to have sex with him and the only reason you don’t is because of what other people might think of you, then you’ve got bigger problems than just being a little slutty.

If you're always worried about what other people think or what the bigger story is, you can’t live in the moment. The urge to think about what might be and what it all means in the bigger sense or to other people is a trap. It’s not healthy. I’ve come to realize that any time spent trying to figure out the course of a relationship is time taken away from enjoying the presence of that person in your life.

It’s impossible to make yourself not want something you really do want, but you can put that desire into proper context. Often we focus on what we want so badly that we forget to think about the things that go along with it. Now that I have a loving relationship, I have a whole new set of problems, a whole new set of wants and needs that I could do better to manage on a daily basis, but when I was thirsty I pushed that out of my range of view even though I knew it was there. I have the perspective to realize now that no one ever gets all of what they imagined they wanted, not really, it’s all about learning to love what you’ve actually got that makes you happy. And if you’re lucky you may get some of what you really needed and didn’t even know existed. Being happy doesn’t mean letting go of ambitions, but rather not being controlled by them.

Age and perspective
Is being thirsty just an effect of being young? No, but age can bring perspective and thirstiness is brought on by a lack of it. So a little bit of experience gives someone older a greater opportunity to expand his perspective by learning from his accumulated experiences, but that doesn’t mean that he always will. I see a lot of middle-aged men still on the prowl, still acting a little desperate, and still unsure of what it is they really want. It’s a mistake to extrapolate from someone’s age how they approach sexual relationships, but that isn’t to say age isn’t a factor.

Each group in social media have different age ranges and thus tend to have a different feel to them. A lot of the groups that cater to the thirsty are often filled with the young. I enjoy browsing the hot guys looking for likes and attention, but I hardly ever feel like an integral part of those communities. Maybe that could account for some of the negativity toward the thirsty. Maybe the thirst-haters don’t like being made to feel like an oddity. I admit it can be annoying at times when the conversation can’t move beyond sex, but for the most part I’ve never felt the need to lash out at anyone. There are other groups you can join. You don’t have to take someone else’s choices as a personal affront to your own. What makes it so bad is that at some point we’ve all been a little thirsty for attention even if we may go about it in different ways.

It just seems that some of us are in denial of our thirsty nature. Yeah, some of us are worse than others, but the haters seem to think that they weren’t as bad as the rest of us. When in reality, they were just as bad or worse than the average thirsty brothas looking to meet someone new. It’s like an emotional immune system. One cannot feel guilty or ashamed of one’s own behavior if he’s completely oblivious to it. So while the thirsty are annoying and mostly self-destructive, the thirst-haters actually cause strife in these groups and grow to hate the places where the thirsty gather. We need to call them out for their bullshit. At some point we all have to realize that we’re not the ideal person we all wish ourselves to be. The reasons why some of us have such a strong reaction to the thirsty is self-hate turned outward. It’s time we forgive ourselves for being sexual beings and in the process stop being so judgmental of others.





MALCOLM TRAVERS
Male Media Mind