This TikToker Is the Bob Ross of Horny Arm Wrestling
Etienne Waite was not aware that his arm wrestling videos, in which he gently whispers instructions to beefy men, were inspiring thirst.
“Pull backwards, that’s too much rotating…good, good,” he coos in a video that went viral on Twitter this week, shared by Twitter user @simonefiii. “You’re really strong.”
Twitter users questioned if the video was meant to be “erotic” or “foreplay,” but to Waite, that’s not the goal. Waite, who is known as the “Arm Wrestling Whisperer,”tells Rolling Stone that he just really loves competitive arm wrestling, and his gentle instruction is simply meant to ensure his competitors are giving their best possible performance and staying safe.
“I guess I’m happy to hear more people are learning about the sport,” he says. “In my comments, I’ve seen people call me the Bob Ross of armwrestling, but of course I don’t read everything.”
On TikTok and YouTube, where Waite has 940,000 followers and 200,000 subscribers, respectively, the 28-year-old Joshua Tree, California resident challenges random, buff-looking people to arm wrestle him. He gives them 10 to 15 minutes of instruction before the match begins, but without his professional guidance in the heat of the moment, they’re at risk of letting their strength take over and snapping their arm bones.
With the proper form — the elbow of the active arm firmly planted to the table and the other arm gripping a wooden peg for balance, per the official rules of the game — Waite says the risk of injury is greatly diminished. Good form can give a weaker person leverage over their stronger opponents, though it isn’t everything.
Waite was introduced to the world of professional arm wrestling after surviving a horrible motorcycle accident when he was about 25. The fitness enthusiast, who had to pause his martial arts training while he was recovering, says he got into arm wrestling as a substitute. He soon slipped into a YouTube rabbit hole and began looking up hacks and techniques to make him better at it. There weren’t any places for him to practice in his tiny desert town, so he went to a supplement store and asked the biggest guy there to arm wrestle him. He lost.
After years of practice — documenting his journey on social media, modeling his career on YouTube star and arm wrestling icon Devon Larratt — Waite improved and eventually defeated that supplement shop employee. Though he’s participated in professional arm wrestling tournaments, including some with the World Armwrestling League, he’s more focused on arm wrestling as many people around the globe as he can, traveling by motorcycle and crashing on couches along the way.
So how did his quest for professional arm wrestling lead him to the wild world of unintentional ASMR? According to Waite, it started when he was in search of a nickname. A monquier is a standard part of arm wrestling showmanship, along with screaming and interpersonal drama, similar to that of the WWE but with a much smaller budget (and, presumably, more realistic competition). He began calling himself “the biker” because he wore a motorcycle helmet to his matches, but when TikTok commenters noted his chilled-out, soothing voice, he became the “Arm Wrestling Whisperer.” His aim was to be zen in a potentially dangerous moment, not hot.
On the phone, Waite was not aware that people were going crazy over his sultry whispers. He didn’t even know he was going viral on Twitter at the time.
“I guess I could embrace this as a whole thing … I don’t know, I just do this so these really strong men don’t go too hard and get hurt,” he tells Rolling Stone, laughing. “But I have seen a few comments from women asking me to say ‘good girl.’”
For anyone hoping to take up competitive arm wrestling, Waite recommends that people watch a few YouTube videos and be careful with their form, but notes that the best way to improve your arm wrestling skills is to practice with other people. He suggests an app called Arm Bet, which is like Tinder for finding local arm wrestling matches. According to the company website, it has more than 30,000 users.
“It’s a very underground sport right now,” Waite said. “The seniors of the sport guide juniors so they can become stronger and smarter.”
In his case, they do so in deeply soothing and questionably erotic ways.
Prince Harry Addresses 'Abuse, Intrusion, and Hate' from Tabloids During Testimony
- Taking the Stand ... Again