Let’s Face It, Being Horny Is Fundamentally Embarrassing

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Horniness is often portrayed as a whimsical force. The cartoon wolf with his eyes popping out of his sockets and tongue rolled red carpet-like across the floor. Jason Biggs shagging the eponymous pie in American Pie. Comically exaggerated at best, slapstick at worst. However, this is to ignore its true nature. Horniness is a state of suffering. It physically pains us to experience it. When we see a photo of a hot person, the common response is "ugh". When certain men do that thing where they wear a white T-shirt… Terrible, awful, just take me out back and shoot me now, like a sick horse. When women just...simply exist? I mean, forget about it.
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Horniness is the place where absolute vulnerability and desire meet. A pink mist rolls over your brain like a soft-core winter fog and makes you do things, like throw your back out taking a selfie that has both tits and arse in the frame, search your contacts for the person you’ve renamed "PIECE OF SHIT SCUM OF THE EARTH DO NOT PICK UP" and send it to them. And when you put something like that out there, ideally, you want a response somewhere along the lines of:
"Fuckkkkkk
I’d do anything for it"
Because that’s what good sexting is: two anguished souls debasing themselves for a chance to be released from their prison of filth. Unfortunately the times in which we live have diminished flirting to a pre-emptive fire emoji on Instagram and now straight men are comically bad at sexting. It’s partly to do with fear, partly out of self-consciousness or ineptitude, but overwhelmingly due to disinterest. For years now women have complained of putting themselves out there only to be met with a "wow" and no follow-through. It confuses me, then, that Adam Levine’s "flirty messages" to model Sumner Stroh are being met with overwhelming criticism – not because he allegedly cheated on his wife, Victoria’s Secret Angel Behati Prinsloo, while she was pregnant but because of their sub-par erotic quality. One person said he "sexts like he’s 17 and has never fucked", which is funny and true in essence but from where I’m sitting a statement of fact not of value.
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What nobody seems willing to accept is that sexting is fucking embarrassing because being horny is fucking embarrassing. The only thing more humiliating than being caught actually having sex is being caught trying to have sex, because you get a bird’s eye view of just how pathetic it is. How many times have you started thinking about someone you fancy at work or on the bus and snapped back to reality 20 minutes later with no idea where you are or how much time has passed? How many times have you wriggled like a worm back into the bed of someone who has disrespected you but has a really nice neck? How childish, how fundamentally 17 years of age, to be so rattled by someone in a low-cut dress or a pair of grey joggers that you respond with six rapid-fire messages beleaguered by spelling errors. True horniness is an all-consuming feeling: a spell, or rather a curse, that makes you do and say things you ordinarily would not do or say. In many ways it’s the real sixth sense. All the other senses disappear when it's present and are heightened once more when it leaves. And all those qualities that seem so vile in the cold light of day: the desperation, the shame, the begging. That’s hot. That’s sex, unfortunately.
Adam Levine, in the messages we have seen, is deeply horny. From "it is truly unreal how fucking hot u are" to "watching your ass jiggle on that table will permanently scar me", they reveal a man who has closed the door on rational thinking and self-respect. He is on his knees and that – while we hate to see it – is what happens when you want to fuck. The Cut called the messages an "assault on romance" and Jezebel said the Maroon 5 frontman "isn’t much of a wordsmith". I don’t know about you but if I were looking for romance I would find it in whoever wants to roll my joints and drive me to Burger King at half past midnight. If I wanted a wordsmith I would read Joan Didion. If someone sent me a thoughtfully worded, grammatically checked WhatsApp screed about how much they fancy me, like James Joyce writing to Nora Barnacle about wanting to fuck the farts out of her arse, I would run for my life. Entertain no man who sees your nudes and is able to respond with something more coherent than "tity huge booby ,, fuck".
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True horniness is an all-consuming feeling: a spell, or rather a curse, that makes you do and say things you ordinarily would not do or say. In many ways it's the real sixth sense.

Yes, Adam Levine’s messages are deplorable in that he's (allegedly!!) pursuing an affair while his wife is carrying their child but as far as sexts go, they’re fine. Good, even. They’re in keeping with the shameful little dance we call "pulling" – an art which has, it seems, been abstracted or intellectualised to the point of no recognition. We can look at Timothée Chalamet or Harry Styles and write in-depth, academically reasoned essays about their non-threatening appeal. We do not think twice about dropping a "mommy" beneath TikToks of Doja Cat performing or opening our mouths for Slowthai to spit into. But when it comes to actively trying to link someone within the realms of possibility, when it comes to real game, we shrink in the face of potential rejection. Or we become cringe and free, like Adam Levine.
No matter which way you slice it, sex is about power. How much you are willing to concede, in what ways and to whom. I, personally, would never respond to a sext that didn't sound like the writer was tying their shoelaces ready to run across burning train tracks for a shot at it. When I posted something to this effect to my Stories, someone responded: "If my sexts ever saw the light of day I'd rightly be crucified and that's just the way of it." I believe this to be true. We can hate Adam Levine for crimes against marriage, decency and – depending on your personal stance on Maroon 5’s discography post-Overexposed – music but we cannot hate him for saying what so many of us these days are too cowardly to: "I may need to see the booty."

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