Basically, anything that can be fancied, we attempt to fancy.
December 13, 2017 8:55 AM   Subscribe

"Nichole Perkins was parched. 'The thirstiest,' she offers. And who could blame her? The writer had been scrolling through Twitter when she came across it—a photo of Luke Cage actor Mike Colter, seated, smoldering. She paused. And then she wrote 'I bet he mashes his cornbread in his greens, eats it with his fingers, then looks at you like 'you next.' Elsewhere, Bim Adewunmi read Perkins' tweet and gasped for air. She was scandalized, appalled, horrified! She was in love: 'I was like, 'It's so disgusting! It's disgusting. Oh my god, it's amazing.' She had known Perkins for years, but the tweet was a revelation. Perkins wasn't just a likeminded woman on the internet. She was the rarer breed: a friend in filth." And thus - Thirst Aid Kit, a buzzfeed podcast, tumblr, and twitter, was born.

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"Talking about who we fancy is obviously a very shallow pursuit, but it is also a deeply human one. Thirsting is revelatory on a cultural level, and when it comes to lust, we must remember that it is all learned — taught and reinforced from the time we are first able to process texts. It’s about so much more than a square jaw or the shape of a curl. To talk about who we fancy is to talk about politics, art, economics, migration patterns, history, and of course, our loins. Sure, we traded Tumblr links and gifs about our thirst objects, but we also spoke openly about how we came to arrive at this place. How our histories — which inevitably intersect with pop culture — allowed us to arrive on a social media platform, sweating and giggling over people who will probably never know we exist."
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"I know people will go, 'Oh, how is it different than if it was a bunch of dudes doing it?'" Adewunmi says. And it's true: a Buzzfeed podcast in which men sat around, documenting—in sometimes vivid detail—their attractions to women celebrities would likely not go over well. "But the power structure means it is different," Adewunmi says. By which she means that men and women aren't equal, and so when women dissect a photo of Mark Ruffalo, it doesn't feel quite like it would if a bunch of dudes put Kate Upton under a microscope. Our culture is still a patriarchal one, Adewunmi maintains, defiant. So with this new podcast duo, raunch becomes subversive, even radical. Eventually, Adewunmi would like for Thirst Aid Kit to push audiences to really examine their desire, why it takes the shape it does, what influenced it. And if that makes listeners blush, well, good.
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posted by ChuraChura (31 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite


 
To what extent do they discuss desire and why it takes the shape it does?
posted by koavf at 9:04 AM on December 13, 2017


Girls https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oQGzsJFdBEI
posted by Oyéah at 9:05 AM on December 13, 2017


#girlzone
posted by entropicamericana at 9:17 AM on December 13, 2017 [2 favorites]


Here for it!
posted by Space Kitty at 9:18 AM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]


koafv, as they say, it is the sort of the point of their podcast.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:20 AM on December 13, 2017 [3 favorites]


OH THEY HAVE VERY GOOD TASTE
posted by redsparkler at 9:22 AM on December 13, 2017


Relevant to my sexy sexy interests.
posted by Kitteh at 9:33 AM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]


I'd like to add that I don't understand why partners can potentially be upset or weirded out when you talk about the hotness of famous dudes (or other dudes) out loud. I realize that they may feel inadequate or anxious but let me tell you, my dudes, until the day Idris Elba or Sebastian Stan comes knocking on our front doors, we're all good.
posted by Kitteh at 9:35 AM on December 13, 2017 [9 favorites]


This is such a delightful podcast! It's fun and funny and sexy and thoughtful and validating AF. And yes, they objectify the guys, but they also talk about how the roles they've taken and their media (social or otherwise) presence plays into whether or not they fancy them, so it's not all physical. I found it particularly moving when they talked about all the times Andrew Lincoln has played opposite a woman of color, and how important and affirming that was to them (and, especially in Bim's case, a key component of her crush on him).
posted by natabat at 9:49 AM on December 13, 2017 [6 favorites]


This video seems relevant: Boys
posted by hfnuala at 10:17 AM on December 13, 2017



I realize that they may feel inadequate or anxious but let me tell you, my dudes, until the day Idris Elba or Sebastian Stan comes knocking on our front doors, we're all good.

I think that's it right there. The hinting that a partner is with you because of a lack of opportunity, and would be dismissive of you entirely if only some other person would just ask.
posted by skinnydipp at 10:22 AM on December 13, 2017 [12 favorites]


Thanks for the reminder-- I'd heard a preview of this podcast on Another Round and liked it.

I'm looking forward to unashamed celebration of female desire (and not just drooling, yeah) since it's so often treated for laffs in society -- even now in this "sex positive" day and age.
posted by travertina at 10:28 AM on December 13, 2017


I dunno, I'm not a massive thirster (though I do like a picture of Sebastian Stan biting his lip) but I think part it's not merely a lack of opportunity stopping it. I don't think Keanu or whoever would ever be a prospective partner, I just like to appreciate them and I like photos and films that acknowledge that women like to be the gazers sometimes.

There's a definite difference between images that assume the audience will be a man wanting to be the pictured man and ones that are aimed at a woman audience. And it is interesting to discuss what the differences are and why.
posted by hfnuala at 10:32 AM on December 13, 2017


I'm digging the tags on the Tumblr entries. A young Benicio Del Toro:

#That'll do Ben #THAT'LL FUCKING DO.

Idris Elba as Heimdall:

#this wig was an atrocity against norse god and norse man #but handsome is handsome #what dat sword do?

Sebastian Stan:

#Enhanced By Beard™ #A surprisingly nourishing snack
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:40 AM on December 13, 2017 [6 favorites]


I think that's it right there. The hinting that a partner is with you because of a lack of opportunity, and would be dismissive of you entirely if only some other person would just ask.

People gonna have self-confidence or not, but thirsting for celebrities while in a healthy relationship has been an acceptable normal idea for so long there was a Friends episode about it. Like it is so... regular.
posted by danny the boy at 10:41 AM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]


Soooo...did Michael Colter by any chance become aware of that tweet and then record a video of himself doing that and then make it available for viewing? Asking for a friend.
posted by lord_wolf at 11:12 AM on December 13, 2017 [4 favorites]


I feel like fandom has had this discourse down pat for quite some while now?
posted by praemunire at 11:17 AM on December 13, 2017 [3 favorites]


until the day Idris Elba or Sebastian Stan comes knocking on our front doors

honestly even if they DID. how did they find my house, this is suspicious. i want both my kidneys, thank you.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:53 AM on December 13, 2017 [9 favorites]


(I have no problem whatsoever with partners making thirsty lunges at famous, near-famous, infamous, not famous men)

In my own limited experience, when the people I've been with say things like "Idris Elba is so hot" (using Idris for convenience and duh) and I ask them why they say that or what's going through their head, they never really have an answer.

If I press, it usually comes down to something like, "I would never be with Idris Elba anyways so why does it matter? He's just hot leave me alone."

This actually does bother me, because shouldn't we all be aspire to be the person Idris Elba would quit the movie business for? I don't like the idea that there's some unquantifiable difference between my beautiful girlfriend and the women that Idris Elba dates. More to the point I don't like the idea that my girlfriend thinks that there's a difference between herself and the kind of woman who would be able to date a movie star.

My problem isn't so much that people drool over famous men, but that they seem to excuse their drooling with this tacit put-down of their own selves. Like, love yourself! If you think Idris is hot just own that, and fuck anyone who complains and especially fuck the part of your brain that says it's OK to think Idris is hot because he's too hot for you.

Rambling a bit, sorry.
posted by Cpt. The Mango at 12:12 PM on December 13, 2017 [3 favorites]


I have a huge auditory crush on Bim Adewunmi. She is a delight!
posted by amanda at 1:33 PM on December 13, 2017 [4 favorites]


"I would never be with Idris Elba anyways so why does it matter? He's just hot leave me alone."

To see it more positively, though: Idris Elba doesn't actually exist. There exists a British actor named Idris Elba, but Idris Elba, the celebrity, and subject of your fantasies, is a media creation. So you will never be with Idris Elba. It's impossible.
posted by airmail at 3:02 PM on December 13, 2017 [12 favorites]


I thought that I posted another comment here but maybe I closed the tab before saving. I am asking, "To what extent do they discuss desire and why it takes the shape it does?" because that is the extent to which it is interesting to me. Discussing desire and its origin is actually very intriguing but GIFs of men with muscles is not. So can anyone give me any perspective on this?
posted by koavf at 4:50 PM on December 13, 2017 [2 favorites]


There are extremely few GIFs on this podcast.

It's two (one not American) women writers/journalists (who are also really funny) of color talking, sometimes with guests, about attraction and desire and most significantly thirst, the way women/people perform lust/attraction and communicate/bond in the language of thirst. They don't spend every episode describing Idris Elba or GIFs of Idris Elba for 40 minutes, though they could probably make that interesting for at least several episodes. They spend a lot of time talking about the behavior and appearance and image including social media presence and fandom/thirst culture around those people/types of specific desirable people or archetypes, which may sometimes involve discussing GIFs.

Desire is the topic of the show, and it's desire in context so there are also facets of history, culture, politics, gender, race, pop culture, politics. I'm not sure what else you're concerned they might discuss; if your concern is that they talk about desire like women instead of men or doctors yep, they sure do. It's not an audio powerpoint presentation. It's not porn, though sometimes some racy stuff is discussed or quoted.

Listening to one would likely answer your question best. Each episode is roughly 40 minutes.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:14 PM on December 13, 2017 [5 favorites]


Well, I take it for granted that audio does not contain animated images but from quickly clicking on the links to the blog and Twitter accounts above, that is what I saw. So if that is consistent with the podcast, I would have just ignored this thread. I saw the quotation at the end of the initial post and thought that was an interesting subject. Hearing two women (or men or whatever) of any background just dish about who is hot and who is not has zero interest to me. It is low overhead for me to click on a Tumblr account, see GIFs and close the tab. It is quite a bit more to invest in three or four 40-minute episodes to get a feel for something.
posted by koavf at 5:27 PM on December 13, 2017


i think the two articles i posted in addition to the links to their twitter and their tumblr do a pretty good job giving you a sense of the tone of the podcast. It's a podcast about desire with the perspective of 'the female gaze,' and also a 'gaze of color.' It is not always serious; they read sexy fanfic to each other. It is not always silly; they talk a lot about race and culture and how that figures into desire and thirst.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:11 PM on December 13, 2017 [7 favorites]


I haven't posted here in ages and logged in for the sheer purpose of espousing my undying love for this podcast, and my oversized crush on Bim Adewunmi's accent. I didn't think it was possible for a podcast to take the place of Another Round in my heart, but Thirst Aid Kit has done it.
posted by likorish at 6:16 PM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]


It's two (one not American) women writers/journalists (who are also really funny) of color talking, sometimes with guests, about attraction and desire and most significantly thirst, the way women/people perform lust/attraction and communicate/bond in the language of thirst.

I feel it's important to say that these are two Black women writers. That's important to me because of the existence of respectability politics and the effect it has on Black women's sexuality, and how Bim and Nichole delightfully thumb their noses at such expectations. I might like Thirst Aid Kit if it had white female hosts, but I doubt I would cape for it the way I do with Bim and Nichole as hosts.
posted by likorish at 6:19 PM on December 13, 2017 [8 favorites]


YES! Thirst Aid Kit is The Best. I've been listening ever since I was introduced to it via Another Round, and it is 100% wonderful. It's so life-affirming and interesting and funny and great. Thanks for the post!
posted by aka burlap at 7:19 PM on December 13, 2017


honestly even if they DID. how did they find my house, this is suspicious. i want both my kidneys, thank you.

Right? If Sebastian Stan and Idris Elba showed up at my door, I'd sooner assume they were shapeshifting succubi than the actual Sebastian Stan and Idris Elba. I mean, I still would, because what a way to go, but I'd know it was an illusion. Just like I know all the shit I project onto my celebrity crushes is just that: a projection! A projection based on a managed and mediated media presence that may or may not have anything to do with said celebrities' interior lives! Thirst for assorted hot celebrities is, to me, a wholly different and separate thing from actual, real life attraction to a person you actually interact with.
posted by yasaman at 8:12 PM on December 13, 2017 [7 favorites]


it should be normal to desire other people even if you are in a monogamous relationship, famous or not. you probably shouldn't be like 'oh my god I'll lick that juicy, muscular thigh' to your partner; you should probably be sensitive about anything that de-centers them in context of the boundaries that you've established whether it's about desire, kinks, finances, or whatever

for me, I think the celebrity aspect is just the buy-in: we all know who Idris Elba is so sure, absolutely give me another reason to think about him. but that aspect of honesty tempered by sensitivity should be natural in any healthy relationship, imo
posted by runt at 9:16 AM on December 14, 2017 [1 favorite]


In case you need this this morning, here's Jon Boyega and Oscar Isaac reading thirsty tweets about themselves.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:44 AM on December 15, 2017 [2 favorites]


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