With the Oscars looming this Sunday, widespread thirst for Best Actor nominee Adam Driver continues to grow. In the past, I’ve had difficulty understanding male thirst phenomena like Timothée Chalamet and Benedict Cumberbatch because I’m a lesbian. I want so badly to participate in stanning Adam Driver, but I’m immune to his sex appeal. It sucks.
In order to understand all the hubbub about Driver, we must first learn about heterosexual attraction. According to Wikipedia, heterosexuality is defined as “romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or sexual behavior between persons of the opposite sex or gender.” Heterosexuality is, at its core, discordant: How does a woman find common ground with someone who is, by definition, her “opposite?” Is heterosexuality even real? These are the questions I’m hoping to answer.
This year, Driver is up for Best Actor at the Academy Awards, his second nomination following a nod for Best Supporting Actor in BlacKkKlansman last year. In Marriage Story, he plays Charlie, a man weathering a tangled divorce from a woman (Scarlett Johansson). One heterosexual source, a woman who asked to remain anonymous, tells me that Driver is the hottest Best Actor nominee this year. Antonio Banderas, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jonathan Pryce are also nominated.
“I was attracted to Leo in a big way, he was my number one,” the anonymous source tells me. “But now he’s so bloated and the young girl thing sucks.” Anonymous is, of course, referring to the heterosexual phenomenon that DiCaprio often participates in, in which an older, powerful man inappropriately dates a much younger and less successful woman, which is different than when an older, powerful woman dates a much younger woman—it just is.
Karen Fensterstock, a Maryland native, has not seen Marriage Story. Her attraction to Driver formed after his role in Star Wars. She cites his “zaddy voice” and “elevated intensity” as his hottest factors. Fensterstock tells me, “More than anything, I feel like he’s inaccessible,” adding, “I have no idea what’s happening in his brain.”
“I like feeling like he had to ‘overcome his looks’ at some point,” says Lindsey McManus, a writer and producer from L.A. Over a cup of coffee (McManus uses whole milk), she tells me, “’regular hotness’ is overpowering.” She’s not wrong. In the queer community, LGBTQ people often gravitate toward varying power dynamics: tops and bottoms, subs and doms, etc. Through my observances, I’ve deduced that women who are attracted to men, even women who aren’t wholly straight like McManus, sometimes co-opt this behavior in the form of dating men who aren’t as hot as they are.
The internet says Adam Driver emerged as the object of ravenous thirst through his role as Kylo Ren in the Star Wars franchise—films I had never heard of. Apparently, in The Last Jedi, Driver wore a cummerbund. That, to many women, was all he needed. “It was just so shocking,” McManus says. “He looked like he was wearing tuxedo pants and a cummerbund with no shirt. Or old time-y boxers. I like that.”
Studies show that women who are attracted to men are often attracted to tall men. Adam Driver is 6’2”, tall but not overpowering. Both Fensterstock and McManus report that they actually would still be interested if Driver wasn’t tall. I checked in with my Horny Gay Correspondent, Matt W., who is confused by this. “That doesn’t make sense,” Matt says. “Adam Driver is, as we say in the queer community, tall.” Matt postulates that men who are tall actually don’t need to have faces. “As far as I’m concerned, Adam Driver does not have a face. He’s literally just height and a trembling lip.”
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In order to fully grasp people’s attraction to Driver, I need to dig deeper. What else are these women into? What do they want Driver to do to them? McManus says she wants the 36-year old actor to “lay his body on top of me like a weighted blanket.” Fensterstock just wants to have a conversation with him, one that leaves him with the impression that she is “cool and interesting.” The anonymous woman mentions the kissing-in-the0-rain scene from The Notebook, which is a film, and says she’d like to do that with Adam Driver, “but with more choking, biting, hair pulling, light hitting, name calling, and spitting.”
Both McManus and the anonymous woman report being attracted to Charlie Hunnam (a man). McManus is also attracted to Kendall Roy (a man from Succession), while the anonymous woman names Penn Badgley and Robert Pattinson, for which she apologizes. Fensterstock names a range of men: Michael B. Jordan, The Rock, Terry Crews, Jason Mantzoukas, and Dane DeHaan, who is skinny. Both Fensterstock and McManus love Henry Golding. McManus also mentions Michelle Dockery, who is not a man.
After having numerous conversations with women who experience heterosexual attraction, I feel like I have a more thorough understanding of what draws people to Adam Driver. And I learned a lot: I now know what Star Wars is, I’ve learned that The Notebook is a film, and that there are other milks besides oat. I’m glad I met these women, because even though we’re different, I know these are the conversations we must be having. Good luck to Driver this weekend. This has been: Investigating Heterosexuality.