Private, secret “finstas” of the past have bled into many people’s personal accounts, too. From thirsty memes to sexually-charged recipes, people are creating and sharing kinky content on their public accounts. Yes, the 2020s has seen the normalisation of flagrant horniness online. It’s the “Great Hornification of the 2020s”, “The Horny 20s” or maybe, “The Hornycene”.But how did we arrive at BDSM recipes and creampie memes shared on main? And what does all of this mean for real-life sex-positivity? TikTok is becoming the app du jour for the majority of the population, and its influence on humour and culture is undeniable. It’s fitting, then, that TikTok is where the journey down the rabbithole, to trace the genesis of social media’s accelerating hornification, begins.FOODTOK, SPLOSHING AND CULINARY THIRST TRAPSTo truly understand how everyday content got so horny, we have to look at three streams of content on TikTok: FoodTok, sploshing and culinary thirst traps. They share a common link: food and sex.One of TikTok’s most popular subcultures is Food TikTok, or FoodTok. On the app, FoodTok hashtags have amassed over 57 billion views, a staggering number considering the app truly only took off in 2018. On FoodTok, you can see recipe videos, captivating meal vlogs, restaurant reviews and hypnotic lifestyle content, made popular by creators like Emily Mariko.
Since the heat of the pandemic and its multiple lockdowns, social media is hornier than ever.
In 2021, Eater solved the mystery behind “[everyone’s] least favourite gross viral food videos”.The videos all led back to one man: a Las Vegas magician by the name of Rick Lax. His network of creators made viral “prank content”, and the disclaimers on all of his Facebook posts insisted everything had been made “for entertainment purposes only.”The videos were perfectly constructed to engineer virality, and all shared a distinct energy I could only identify as bad porn. On TikTok, it’s speculated that these types of video pander to sploshing, a fetish under the “wet and messy” umbrella group. Sploshing generally involves getting off on the experience and sight of dousing oneself, or another, in food substances. While it’s undetermined whether the creators in Lax’s network are sploshers themselves, one of the creators, Getti Kehayova, told Eater the videos were “all positive” and “about making people go ‘what the eff?’”. But sploshing isn’t the only kind of kinky food content going viral on TikTok.