Is Your Social Media Thirst Trapping Sending Major Red Flags To Potential Partners?

If you’re unfamiliar with “thirst trapping,” it basically consists of posting sexually suggestive or otherwise productive photos of themselves online solely for the purpose of receiving compliments, likes and other forms of validation in exchange for the photos. While every woman should be able to celebrate her body how she wants, I can’t help but think that being that so open on the internet with your body may be sending the wrong message to potential partners.

  1. It leaves little to the imagination. At the heart of it, thirst trapping is all about posting a sexy and provocative photo to the internet. That means a low-cut shirt, bare midriff, or a booty shot. Most times, when you take a thirst trapping pic, you’re going to show off your body. While there’s nothing wrong with showing off and being proud of your body, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise if some people are turned off by your openness. You might say that if a guy is turned off by you embracing your body and being open then he’s not the kind of person you want to date anyway, and if so, that’s fine. But sometimes modesty can be sexy too.
  2. He might not think you want a real relationship. Along the same lines, if you’re entertaining comments, likes, and DMs from strangers it might suggest that you’re more interested in playing the field than in being in real, serious relationship. Of course, posting provocative pictures online doesn’t automatically suggest that you’re not girlfriend material — that would be silly. However, it could suggest that you’re not interested in focusing on one person’s attention and affection. If you’re not, that’s fine, but if you are looking for a boyfriend, you may want to think about what your social media actions may be conveying to others.
  3. Thirst-trapping is a derivative of hookup culture. Also, social media is closely intertwined with the hookup culture in our society. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a woman asserting her sexuality, it might be the case that thirst trapping encourages casual sexual encounters and contributes with the myriad of ways that you can get into casual situations. In some ways, thirst-trapping puts the cart before the horse.
  4. It sends a message that you’re way too accessible. If you have unrestricted social media profiles and you post sexy photos to all of them, you open yourself up to the entire internet and feasibly the entire world. You’re just way too accessible. If someone wants to get to know you and then realizes that everyone and their mother is getting to know a whole lot of you, it could really turn them off.
  5. It gives off needy vibes. Science suggests that incessant sharing on social media perpetuates anxiety, depression, and feelings of loneliness and social isolation because of the feedback loop associated with the nature of social media. If you’re seeking attention through social media because you’re lonely, you might actually be sending those vibes out to potential suitors too. As a result, the sexy vibes you think you’re sending might not be the ones you mean to send out.
  6. It suggests you’re just seeking attention. We all want attention, I get that. But if you’re always uploading photos of you in your underwear, what else could you possibly be looking for? This is especially true if the only photos you upload are provocative selfies. Compare this behavior to those fit trainer type dudes who crowd your newsfeed with videos and photos them working out and drinking protein shakes. After a while, you start to wonder if that’s the only thing they can bring to the table.
  7. A guy might not want to compete with all of your followers. Successful thirst trappers tend to have a lot of followers and interested parties. I don’t know about you, but if I know that a guy is getting a ton of attention from women on social media and in other ways, it kind of turns me off. I don’t want to have to compete with the entire world for his affection or for a chance. I think some men may view thirst-trapping the same way.
  8. Your online persona influences what people think about you. It’s not fair that we’re judged by what we post online, especially if you’re a woman and you’re proud of the body that you have and that you work hard to maintain. Why can’t we be professional and sexy? Or sexy and seriously looking for a relationship? In part, it’s because our digital and real-life personas often overlap and clash. If you post bold sexy photos of yourself online but you aren’t necessarily a bold person in real life, it causes confusion for those who may interact with you. It can influence your reputation. Plus, people are influenced by social norms and stigmas and use information on your social media to inform themselves of who you are and what you’re about. This is why celebrity sex tapes, porn, d**k picks, and other types of sexual media have the reputation that they do (not counting revenge porn, which is a serious and disgusting crime). Sex is associated with a certain level of openness and publicness among other things. These things, good or bad, affect the way you are perceived in the world. Unfortunately, we’re in the throws of hookup culture and social media madness…and for now, provocative photos have a certain meaning.
  9. Some of the hottest things about you have nothing to do with your body. You’re probably amazing in so many other ways that don’t stop with your face or body. But if you only highlight the physical attributes that come to the table, you’re only giving potential suitors that much to evaluate you on…especially if you are looking for love online. Showcasing other parts of who you are is just as valuable.
Marie is an ambitious millennial woman, leading a corporate life by day and doing her best to live, laugh and love.