The Complete Guide to the World of Thirst Traps

Because If You’re Doing It Right, There Isn’t Just One Kind

By Bailey Edwards ·

It’s 2018 and sometimes even everyday existence is drama. But on this fine Tuesday we’re going to spend a little time digging into the highly developed world of Instagram drama—more specifically, thirst traps. Unsure what a thirst trap is? Urban Dictionary defines a thirst trap as, "A sexy photograph or flirty message posted on social media for the intent of causing others to publicly profess their attraction.” In other words, an intentional move to cause sexual dehydration in your followers. However, thirst traps are not just simply a hot picture of yourself. The world of thirst traps is vast and nuanced, and, to the untrained eye, might just seem like your run-of-the-mill social media presence. But with this helpful guide, you’ll be able to spot all kinds of thirst traps to see them for what they really are... and slide into their DMs anyway.

The Traditional Thirst Trap
This is a hot selfie best utilized on Instagram. These traps are best when uploaded to your Instagram story, not posted to your Instagram, so that you can specifically see if the target of your trap has gotten dehydrated and watched your hot story. If you must post to your Instagram, where it will permanently live, it is best to post a picture where you look extremely hot but are with other people. This makes you look hot, but not thirsty yourself. 

Please note: For snapchat, you can get crazier because who the fuck is even on there anyway. For Facebook, you look thirsty posting anything sexy there. Facebook is for moms. Let it die. 

The Intellectual Thirst Trap
This is a picture or video (story or post) of something in your life that is smart, interesting or unique, but not twee. You can technically be in these photos, but it should not be forced. Examples could be: an exotic travel destination, a very good book you’re reading on your porch, etc. Please, god willing, do not add a wannabe-profound quote about life and love accompanying this picture. Be earnest, not thirsty. Let them look for the watering hole. 

The Strategically Targeted Thirst Trap
This is a photo, either of yourself or truly anything, that is strategically uploaded after someone you’re interested in starts following you on social media that you know will explicitly interest them. You could be in it, sure, but the point is more that you are aware that your crush is now watching and you want this photo to be their introduction into your highly curated life. If your crush is from New Hampshire, don’t post a picture of New Hampshire and be like, “love New Hampshire so much!". Be an adult and stalk the shit out of them and figure out something obscure and random and subtle. It should seem almost accidental, but you’ll be well aware it most certainly is not. In this case, you and only you know that you are thirsty for their attention, but to the masses you look like you drink the recommended 8 cups of water a day.

The Revenge Thirst Trap
Post break-up (any varying degree), ideally a week or two after, uploading a story or post of yourself having a fun-as-hell time. Should this be forced? No! Do you need to look super hot? Yes, but not in an overt way. This thirst trap serves two purposes; to tell your ex you’re fuckin’ good without them, and to tell the rest of the world you’re out here and freely accepting DMs. Full Disclosure: most people will know this is a thirst trap. That’s okay. As long as you’re not breaking up and revenge thirst trapping once a month, the people in your world will forgive this. Go on, parch your followers. 

The Princess Diaries Thirst Trap
This is, generally, a selfie on your Instagram story where you look very cute but kind of silly or awkward. It’s not your classic sexy Instagram selfie, because you’re looking a lil goofy but in a fun way. Not so goofy that you don’t look fuckable (patriarchal standards, thank you!), but goofy enough that you look like a fun loving person who has a healthy sense of themselves and know you’ll get laid regardless. Important to still look hot here, too. God willing, don’t forget to be hot.

The Second-degree Thirst Trap
This is where you have a friend (who you know is followed by the target of your trapping) post an incredibly hot picture of you to their story or post. This is my personal favorite; your hands are the most clean, but your crush is getting the best version of you. You look both extremely hot and not so into yourself that you’re desperate to post this very hot picture of yourself to your own account. Everything is better with friends, including creating a desert for which all those you wish to trap will search helplessly for water. 

Bailey Edwards

Bailey (@bedwerds) is a comedian and writer in NYC. She smells of autumn.

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