Move over underwear ads in the back pages of your mom’s monthly edition of Shape magazine, there’s a new way to realize your body is changing: Fortnite. Specifically, all the beautiful butts in Fortnite. Ahem. Let me explain.
Fortnite sticks to two body types for the bulk of its skins, fairly typical masculine and feminine forms. Plenty of body shapes and sizes are missing (get on that, Epic), but they’re the most commonly represented in popular media. As such, every character is fit and the feminine skins have large, round bottoms while the masculine skins’ tushies are of the slim, tight, Levis-wearing variety. On the whole, it is reasonable to say Fortnite has a nice ass.
But a lot of people wouldn’t stop there.
A quick YouTube search for “Fortnite butt” returns an endless stream of videos, the bulk of which rank the best fannies in Fortnite. The most popular of these videos feature loud, brash thumbnails and were uploaded by reactive mid-tier YouTubers as a cheeky joke or by full-on content vultures throwing “ass” at the end of a trending topic for easy views. It’s difficult to find any sincerity in all that mess, but buried in the noise are a few channels servicing an earnest fetish.
YouTube channel Fortnite Best Asses is leading the pack (as far as I know) with some cut and dry butt material. Most videos feature a recently released character skin performing the Groove Jam or True Heart dances, both of which require delicate hip movements, cut with a clip of the character in a downed state crawling on the ground. The thumbnails are refreshingly plain, framing an image of the featured character’s butt in frame without any garish fonts or slack-jawed YouTube faces in sight. Fortnite Best Asses doesn’t discriminate either: feminine and masculine skins make the cut, with the Moisty Merman (welp) as a particularly good example of the latter. That suit just supports and lifts all the right places.
None of it’s for me, though. The free-roaming replay camera is too voyeuristic, and seeing ‘sexy’ in a dance pulled from Napoleon Dynamite isn’t easy for me, emotionally. These are characters I'm used to embodying. My relationship with Fortnite characters is largely limited to their backside, but during play they're my avatars, not characters I can decouple from and ogle. Their butts are my butts, is what I am saying, and I’m not interested in my own butt like that. Also, I just can’t crank it to an anthropomorphic llama DJ (but I have a video for you if that’s your jam).
Hornier channels like Harmony XVI go for the throat, using a wider lens to exaggerate proportions. Fortnite Butts (not to be confused with Fortnite Best Asses) is a newer channel with fancy thumbnails and no shortage of slow motion. And while amateur Fortnite porn is a given from pornography sites attempting to capitalize on popular search terms, finding sincere butt stuff elsewhere takes a touch more sleuthing. Subreddit /r/fortnitegonewild is a decent starting point. Plenty of the drawings there feature top-to-bottom nudity, but the focus is definitely still on the bottom overall.
Turns out there are a lot of people horny for Fortnite characters, and I’d wager butts are the gateway. I suppose all that in-game time staring at backsides—even fully clothed, innocuous bottoms—means seeking out or creating Fortnite butt videos is something of a foregone conclusion for anyone with the slightest attraction towards the bodies on their screen.
This isn’t to necessarily color Fortnite ass obsession as a unique cultural movement, or one without problems. Exploitative YouTubers know there are legions of preteens cresting their personal hormonal waves that happen to be watching a lot of Fortnite videos. It's an easy demographic to target, as demonstrated by the popularity of ‘strip Fortnite’ earlier this year. Looking at Fortnite butts isn’t as troubling an angle, both because butts are things we all have and look at every day, and being attracted to fictional characters (so long as they’re adults) is normal, but a good portion of Fortnite’s audience is young. YouTube needs to be better at catching videos that subtly reframe their subjects in ways that aren’t appropriate for the audience, and provide proper age-gating for videos when that’s the case.
I mean, Fortnite butt videos were an inevitability. YouTube should've known this. There’s rarely an exception to Rule 34. I’d be lying if I said a growing James never used “Jetsons” and “nude” in the same Ask Jeeves query. I only wish Jeeves had saved me. (It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.)
But it’s fascinating to follow kinks as they emerge from an ever-changing media landscape, especially in relation to games over the last decade or so. Knowing that an anthropomorphic llama DJ does it for someone is funny and strange, but it’s also endearing. Someone’s, many someones’, kinks are getting served by an excellent battle royale game with a cultural backbone of ridiculous outfits and meme dances. In 2018, I’d be surprised if it were any other way.