From “Fleabag era” to “flop era,” 2022 was a year of eras. But none left a greater mark than Not Okay actor Dylan O’Brien’s. The actor upped the ante and shook us out of our sad girl stupor by tweeting two words, “slut era.” 


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His tweet ushered in a horny state of mind for anyone who came into contact with his powerful words. However, as much as we wanted to embrace our slut eras, we often fell short. This disconnect between expectations and reality led to a meme where Twitter users declared slut era, followed by something glaringly un-slutty like, rewatching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban or checking to see if your crush has viewed your story.

But there was one area where we consistently rose to O’Brien’s challenge: thirst commenting. 

Being horny on main has been widely accepted since at least 2018 and the thirst tweet economy has only gotten progressively more competitive. By 2019, violence became the mainstream way to express your attraction (“step on my neck,” “run me over with a bus,” break my back like a glow stick”). While that level of aggression remains foundational to the genre, we’ve evolved to heights of horniness that involve self-inflicted pain and the stench of desperation. These days in order to express even a modicum of arousal a flair for the dramatics is a must. 

Here are some of the key vocabulary and phrases used to express thirst in 2022. You’ll notice it looks identical to the average comments section on a hot person’s TikTok. 

Babygirl

“He’s so babygirl” is the new submissive and breedable, a phrase used to describe when a man is so primally attractive that you want to provide for him that became mainstream in 2021. Babygirl a term of endearment for when a man is being cute, comfortable in his masculinity, or weak in an evocative way. Women reclaimed babygirl and used it as an adjective to infantilize grown men. 

Barking 

Once upon a time, barking or woofing on the internet was used to call out racism. Now you might bark or woof in the replies of someone you feel a strong, animalistic attraction to. 

Boyfriend

Like babygirl, boyfriend was used in stimulating and invigorating ways this year. Boyfriend was a job description and an adjective. “He’s so boyfriend here” is a tried and true response to an image or video that stirs up the “we’re dating” delusions.


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Don’t ask me the color of anything 

This saying became a popular TikTok comment late last year and is still holding strong. It’s used when horny tunnel vision kicks in and you can only focus on the person in question…or even on their specific body part. 

I’m sat

I’m sat implies deference to someone’s erotic gravitas. In May a clip from Love Island season 3 went viral where Olivia tells Chris she’s done with the conversation. Chris replies, “sit back down.” To which Olivia responds, “I’m sat.” In the over 138,000 videos on TikTok, the snippet is used to express who you’d unequivocally obey by displaying their photo when Chris says “sit back down.” Users shortened the soundbite to be used in comment form.

Just fell to my knees (in a Walmart)

It’s no longer enough to say you’re down bad. In 2022 we got descriptive and we got specific. “Just fell to my knees in a Walmart” is for when you’re so overcome by desire that textbook horny language couldn’t even begin to describe what you’re going through. The statement encapsulates the theatrics and madness a good thirst trap elicits and is part of a genre of sayings that overruns the internet. 

Synonyms include “Gnawing my own arm off,” “Collapsing as we speak,” “Just broke down,” “Have to focus on my breathing to calm down,” “Knees shaking, eyes rolling, toes curling,” “Changed the trajectory of my life,” “Bites fist,” “Gonna faint,” “I feel dizzy,” “I can’t do this right now,” “I am unwell,” “Lord, I am not your strongest soldier,” “Punching air,” “Banging my head against the wall,” “Sliding down the wall dramatically,” “Dangerously horny,” “Help,” “I’m sick,” the list can go on.  

Just moaned out loud 

You get the gist. 

We can’t mention “just moaned out loud,” without acknowledging its elder sister “Didn’t mean to moan like that, my bad,” a turn of phrase popularized by a beloved reaction meme. The meme in question of course being a car selfie of internet comedian, Casey Frey, overlaid with “Didn’t mean to moan like that, my bad” in blue text. Both expressions convey a lack of control in response to a stimulus.

Kicking my feet and giggling 

So giddy that you may even be twirling your hair too. 

Yes, chef

A defining lusty moment of the year was the release of The Bear on Hulu this summer. In it, an artfully tattooed Jeremy Allen White portrays Carmy, a stressed out fine dining chef who inherited his late brother’s sandwich shop…in a tight white tee-shirt. Carmy is visually the perfect scumbag and it awakened something in many viewers, so much so that some dubbed summer 2022 “hot line cook summer.” And perhaps the sexiest part of the show was the intensity with which he ran the sandwich shop and managed his staff to which they all responded, “yes, chef.” Horny watchers were desperate to be on the receiving end of those orders, forever altering the connotation of that phrase (and the replies to images of Allen White on Twitter). 


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[Redacted]

Sometimes it’s more powerful to leave some things to the internet’s (dirty) imagination. “I want her to [redacted] and [redacted] until she [redacted],” does just that. [Redacted] is only one example of this fail-safe method of thirst tweeting. The approach makes what’s left unsaid so loud. 

Synonyms include “*****,” “If I spoke–,” “Much to think about,” “I might say something,” “Listen,” “This better not awaken anything in me,” and “The things I would let them do to me.” 

Smash

With one simple word you can declare that you’d bang, no questions asked. 

Like most things smash was reintroduced into the internet’s horny lexicon thanks to a TikTok sound. In December of last year, users @qezzg and @fizag01 posted a video using a Peppa Pig character filter. It landed on Peppa Pig and one said, “smash.” The other responded, “Suzie!” To which she replied, “Wait, what was the game? Smash or pass?” With over 39,000 videos and counting, it became a go-to sound to use in response to any photo or video where you’re just so overwhelmed by your attraction that you can’t focus on anything else. And when you’re too lazy to make a whole video about your interest, a smash comment will do the trick.

Can’t wait to see what 2023 brings, we’re constantly achieving new heights of horniness!

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