Any time there’s public discussion over the attractiveness of Nicholas Braun as Cousin Greg in Succession, someone shares a tweet or writes a comment asking who would want to fuck him. That anxiety-ridden, socially inept, Gumby-shaped guy who throws up inside his mascot costume while working at an amusement park? Who could possibly want that?
Me, for one. I would fuck Cousin Greg.
First of all, he’s 6-foot-7. That part should be self-explanatory. However intellectually I might try to assess what makes a man attractive, I will always succumb to one basic, primal belief: Very tall guys are inherently hot. Admittedly, this doesn’t dictate everyone’s taste, which is why there’s some incredulity over his sex appeal. But I assure you there’s more to this phenomenon than his height.
At the red carpet premiere for Succession’s newest season, Braun was asked for his thoughts on the development of Greg as a sex symbol. As he explains, Greg would likely be pleasantly surprised about it. “Greg has trouble even asking a girl out,” Braun told the Associated Press. By extension, it seems that Greg completely lacks awareness of his own appeal, a fact that only makes him hotter.
On the show, Greg is painfully awkward. For me, there are several occasions in which his actions induced such second-hand embarrassment that I physically recoiled, going so far as to close my eyes until the scene was over. But all of this only serves to make him more attainable, despite the fact that his family’s wealth might as well mean he lives on a different planet. His handsomeness is similar to that of Matthew Lillard — unconventional, uncommercial and resting largely on the fact that he’s cast as a goofy idiot without much sexual context.
“Nicholas Braun caught my eye because he looks like a hotter version of the guys I’ve hooked up with,” says Tatiana Tenreyro, a writer who shares my interest in Cousin Greg. “In Succession, he’s believable as a guy who doesn’t easily get laid and makes you think that you’d have a chance with him.”
That’s somewhat in contrast to the actual Nicholas Braun, a probably rich Hollywood actor, though a fantasy of attainability remains. “All you have to do is read DeuxMoi to get a sense of what days you could catch him at Ray’s [a bar in Manhattan that he has partial ownership of],” Tenreyro explains. “He fucks normies all the time. But that also means that with so many women throwing themselves at him, there’s competition.”
“Even with all the stress in thinking about that, though, he really does it for me,” Tenreyro continues. “I often have a hard time getting off on my own, but one thing that instantly puts me in the mood is thinking about the picture of him from the British GQ shoot, where he’s covering half his face with a sweater, so you can only see his face above the bridge of his nose. It’s the same view you’d get if he were to go down on you, and it drives me crazy.”
Apparently, the folks at CamSoda and Lovense also see the Cousin Greg craze as an opportunity. Ahead of the Season Three premiere, the adult entertainment and sex toy companies joined forces to develop a platform in which connected sex toys can sync to the show, strategically vibrating whenever Cousin Greg is on screen.
“The love and admiration for Cousin Greg has reached a fever pitch,” says CamSoda’s VP Daryn Parker in a press release for the platform, which is called “Greg the Egg-cast.” “He’s everyone’s favorite character on Succession. Since he has become so popular, he has turned into an internet-fueled sex symbol. We here at CamSoda wanted to provide people with an outlet to orgasm to Cousin Greg while he graces them with his presence every Sunday evening this fall.”
Given that I literally feel repulsion when I watch Greg in Succession — despite my attraction — I don’t personally see the Greg the Egg-cast as something I’d enjoy. And even though Tenreyro is turned on by Braun, she feels the same. “As much as I think Cousin Greg is fuckable, I don’t really get horny watching the show,” she tells me.
Still, the logic behind the Greg the Egg-cast is understandable. Plenty of us do think Cousin Greg is hot, but the actual sexual tension of the show has yet to involve him. If anything, the actual masturbatory moments of Succession are better suited for the scenes where Roman Roy behaves like a little slime puppy. The moments where he jacks off while Gerri Killman tells him what a worthless worm he is? Those might be worth busting out the vibrator for.
The problem with Roman, though, is that we know we couldn’t ever fuck him — he doesn’t ever even have sex. That’s why the fantasy of Cousin Greg works: He might not immediately elicit the desire to sleep with him, but we know we probably could land him if we tried.