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What Is a Thirst Trap: Are You Perpetrating Low Self-Esteem?

What is a thirst trap? Do you follow the trend for the right reasons? Taking sexy snaps might seem harmless, but what is your motivation?

What Is a Thirst Trap

Social media has major positives. Not only can we talk to anyone we like, at any time, but we can reach out and contact a crush, without the embarrassment of speaking face to face! The problem is, social media these days is starting to feel a little, well, fake. Which leads us into delving into the why and what is a thirst trap.

Nothing is real, everything is inflated, and we’re all too busy comparing ourselves to everyone else to really sit back and see what it all means.

What happened to genuine connections? What happened to “I am what I am?” Surely there’s some real happiness to be found in thinking that way?

[Read: 16 signs you’re an insufferable “attention whore”]

What is a thirst trap?

Take a look at your Instagram feed now; go on, look. How many pictures can you see where someone is either showing a little too much skin, flaunting their assets, or showing off their muscles? There’s bound to be at least one, probably a lot more.

There is a term for posting photos to social media designed to get people looking at you. It’s called a thirst trap.

While posting photos of yourself looking great certainly isn’t a crime, ask yourself why you feel the need to do it. You might be thinking ‘what is a thirst trap’? I’m only showing off a little, but the bottom line is that if you’re posting sexy or provocative snaps online because you want to get attention, why do you need it? Why do those comments and likes make you feel good?

Why set a thirst trap?

There are four reasons why most people set a thirst trap.

– They’re having a down day and want a boost to their ego

– Attempting to show someone what they’re missing, e.g. someone who has turned them down or their ex

– They’re trying to keep up with a false reality they’ve created online

– They want to make someone else feel bad

None of these are particularly constructive when you break them down. They all point to low self-esteem and a need for validation to feel good. Perhaps it’s time to seek out good feelings from other things, like enjoying a hobby or working on your career.

[Read: How to be comfortable with yourself: A guide to not giving a f*ck]

The problem is, like it or not, we’re all appearance-focused these days. We want to look good for ourselves, but we need those compliments and likes to validate that we do actually look good. We don’t take our own word for it, and instead we need someone else to say it before we believe it.

You can try and find other excuses if you want to, but most of us fit into this niche. I’ll admit that I do sometimes. Post a selfie, pout a little, show a little skin, and wait for the compliments to come your way. You might also harbor hopes that a special someone you have your eye on will see your photo too.

We’re only human after all.

What is the problem with using a thirst trap?

There’s no problem, provided you’re doing it for a good reason and not because you rely on comments and likes to feel good about yourself.

We live in a celebrity world, and when you see the likes of the Kardashians, Jenners, and everyone else in-between posting sexy snaps with a pout, it starts to feel like it’s something we should all be doing. We might not all have the cash to afford the luxury outfits and backdrops that the Kardashians do, but we can do our best, at least!

My opinion on it? It’s all little bit fake.

Ask yourself why you’re doing it. The only “good” reason is that you know you look good and you want to shout about it. There’s no problem with that. The difference between this scenario and the others is that you know you look great, so likes or not, you’ll still feel great anyway. You’re not relying on anyone’s validation.

If that’s your true reason, hand on heart, then I say go ahead and be as thirsty as you like.

If you can’t genuinely say that you don’t care whether anyone likes it or not, you’re setting off down a dangerous route. The need for acceptance basically points to a low level of self-esteem. If that’s the case then you would be better off focusing on how you can boost your own level of self-worth, without bringing anyone else into the equation.

Can thirst traps be dangerous?

It depends. If you’re happily married or in a serious relationship, your partner might take serious issue with you posting sexy snaps for someone else to like. Would you like your partner to do the same thing? Probably not.

It could also mean that you’re sending out the wrong impression of yourself. Sure, you look great. You’re sexy as hell and everyone’s salivating over your latest snap, but is that what you want to be known for? You could have the greatest brain in the world, but if you constantly post photos showing half of your body with a pout in place, they’re not going to focus on you, they’ll focus on the outer image you’re projecting.

Even if you’re trying to get someone’s attention, e.g. a crush you haven’t the nerve to ask out directly, they might mistake your intentions for something else entirely!

It basically comes down to what you’re trying to achieve and what it means to you. [Read: How to send nudes that sizzle without getting burned]

What do you want to achieve?

What is a thirst trap, other than to basically show off? Nothing. That’s all it is.

You also should be super-careful where you post these photos. Your personal social media feeds are probably safe. You have these locked down and know the people on your friends list. It’s a good idea to check your privacy settings to ensure that nothing you post is accidentally public. And be wary who you accept as a friend. If you’re posting these snaps to dating sites however, be extremely wary.

Thirst trap photos on Tinder are not going to give you the attention you want and only show you the worst of humanity. By posting a photo such as this, you’re basically saying that you’re after something physical. It’s likely to cause the odd half naked *or even naked* pic to come your way in return. If that’s what you want, hey go for it, I’m not one to judge. But if it’s not what you want, be very wary indeed.

What is a thirst trap useful for? Boosting your own confidence in the right way, and that’s the only acceptable reason. Knowing you look good and owning it is an empowering thing, but not feeling great and needing someone else to tell you that you do, that’s something to work on.

In that case, work on boosting your confidence in healthier ways. Upgrade your social life, learn a new skill, join the gym. Basically, do something which takes your mind away from the physical and moves you towards empowerment. Life isn’t about sexy snaps, it’s about feeling great and owning it, both inside and out.

[Read: How to master the thirst trap without looking too thirsty]

So, what is a thirst trap? Now you know it’s something to approach with caution. A photo because you look great is harmless, but a photo because you need validation to tell you that you look great is something else entirely.

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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...
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