“Hold you down while i choke you and Fuck that ass that i own.” “you look so gorgeous and hottt! See you v soon.” “OMG !!! I can't wait to F--K you! I want my puma soooooo bad, you are soooo f*%ing HOT!!!”
Just as the caves in Lascaux are painted over with bulls and horses, these phrases are sketched into my memory. They’re the bad sexts of some of society’s greatest achievers, respectively: Tiger Woods, one of the most dominant and successful golfers of all-time; Salman Rushdie, actual knight and winner of the Man Booker Award; David Boreanaz, who was on Buffy. Titans of culture and capital they may be, but eloquently horny they are not, and in this we understand them. We may never know what it feels like to drop in an eagle on the 17th hole, but we can all remember our fingers hovering over the “send” button, ready to expose our depraved desires to a consensual party.
On Thursday, the canon of awful sexts made by famous men received a new entry: Jeff Bezos. This week, Bezos announced his impending divorce from his wife of 25 years. In response, The National Enquirer published a couple of racy sexts he’d sent to Lauren Sanchez, his alleged mistress. “I love you, alive girl,” he said in one. “I will show you with my body, and my lips and my eyes, very soon.” In another: “I want to smell you, I want to breathe you in. I want to hold you tight.… I want to kiss your lips…. I love you. I am in love with you.”
Jeff Bezos is worth some $120 billion dollars. He is, without a doubt, one of the most important people in America, his fatted fingers stretching into almost every facet of society. But “I love you, alive girl”? Dude has the game of an Edible Arrangement run through Google Translate.
Sexts are awkward devoid of context, yes, but “I love you, alive girl” is a uniquely alien and uncanny phrase. Never could these words be said with believable charisma or romance toward a human person, but Bezos, at this point, has probably gone years without having an honest conversation with someone who wasn’t thinking, “whoa, that’s Jeff Bezos.” His everyday life is unmediated by the ordinary human minutiae reminding us what the world is really made up of, aside from our projections. He has no idea how to credibly be, on an interpersonal level. In this regards, he’s closer to Olivia Colman’s gout-infected monarch in The Favourite, than an actual person.
every time an old powerful guy's horny messages get leaked it's either "I want to embrace your soul and float through this whirlwind of eternity like plastic bags dancing in the wind of time" or "thinking about poking ur slit." no middle ground— nephew uncle joint facebook account (@ByYourLogic) January 10, 2019
Most people get horny at some point, and most of those people are able to do something about it, whether it’s communing with an equivalently horny person in the flesh, or rubbing one out in the privacy of your home. But absent immediate action — maybe your partner is at work, or maybe you’re at work — the horniness seeps into your brain, like sepsis, and makes you act insane. What seems reasonable in one moment — like looking up porn on your phone, or sending some flowery message of lust to your lover — later appears shameful, a record of your inability to repress your most base desire. Do you consider yourself a reasonable person, a formation of considered ideals and behaviors, someone who could compete on Jeopardy! and charm Alex Trebek? Not in the throes of idle lust, with nowhere to go.
So while nobody sounds like Shakespeare when they’re horny, except maybe for James Joyce, the bad sexts of famous men are endlessly fascinating. In America, we’re told that people succeed because they deserve it. They are simply better than their fellow citizens; they work harder, they think better, they move faster. There is some special sauce in their genetic makeup that allows them to accomplish what you or I never will. Sometimes success really is merit-based, but often it’s a combination of luck and opportunity, combined with a little bit of talent and, if you were born wealthy, a few million in seed money.
Not that the nuances matter to the rich. How is Jeff Bezos able to scuttle the benefits of Washington Post employees, and keep Amazon workers from livable working conditions? Because he has convinced himself he’s operating on a higher plane of reality, and as such his preoccupations are more advanced. He deserves this money! He has to do important things with it. He doesn’t need to save the poor; he needs to save the planet. He’s playing for the whole ballgame, instead of sweating the small stuff; he wants his name inscribed into history books laying out who carved a future for the Earth, instead of struggling just to hold onto the present.
But then, the sexts. All those heavenly pretensions made earthly by the spirit possessing his brain, moving him to express himself with the grace of a Tool super-fan. The power of whatever birthright he believes he possesses is sapped by the horny. And so: “I love you, alive girl.”
The rich and famous may very well outlast us all, enjoying caviar in their towers as we squabble over Soylent and try to escape the rising tides. But when they’re horny, they’re just as fucked up and embarrassing as anyone else. It’s not much, but it’s something, and it’s reassuring to have tangible proof that at the end of the day, Bezos is just another dog with a boner.