On r/relationships, posts about someone’s partner calling out the wrong name during sex are a dime a dozen, but rarely do they involve Overwatch. User whotheheckisjesse wrote on the subreddit to inquire, well, who the heck is Jesse, and why did his girlfriend call this mysterious name during sex?
“Basically we were having sex and then [my girlfriend] suddenly moaned the name Jesse,” he writes. “My name’s not Jesse or anything even close to it so of course I was shocked. I asked her who Jesse is and she kind of froze, her eyes got really big. She looked really embarrassed and (I think) guilty and after a moment she said that Jesse’s the name of a character from Overwatch and that must be where it came from.”
Commenters were quick to point out that Jesse is the first name of Overwatch’s McCree. Some of them knew this because they were members of the Overwatch fandom that pairs McCree and Hanzo (otherwise known as McHanzo). Most of them were eager to make light of the girlfriend’s proclivities.
For those uninitiated, the idea of fantasizing about a video game character might be bizarre, but members of the very active McHanzo fandom could definitely relate to the girlfriend in question. When asked to comment on the post, a McHanzo shipper told me, “Most of my fics are about thinly veiled self-insertion so I can respond with a resounding Same.” In general, most of the shippers I spoke with weren’t surprised that someone would be so into the fanworks about these characters that it would bleed into their sex life.
“I pray for the day my girlfriend calls out McCree’s name in bed just so I can yell it back,” Melt, another fandom member, told me. He went on to say that what’s so appealing about McHanzo is the difference between the two characters.
“Hanzo is this stoic, super serious guy that is 100% on task even if his outfit/weapon is also stuck in the past. McCree just comes off as a corny oaf that watched too many westerns as a kid. ...The scenario of a man dressed like that trying to ask someone out is too much for me.”
“You’ve got McCree, a silly lighthearted cowboy who uses pet names like ‘darlin’’ and tends to be very affectionate, vs Hanzo, the opposite in almost every respect,” explained Magu, another shipper. “Watching them play off each other is just delightful.”
Magu also notes, “If I’ve learned anything from fandom it’s their propensity to latch onto the two handsome young (ish) men in a franchise and stick them together. And I say that while being guilty as charged.”
“I find it funny that the commenters instantly brought up McHanzo,” Fanfic writer deathweaver, told me. “I was also charmed that so many of the comments mentioned my friend Sam’s fic, ‘Hang the Fool,’ which I love and which definitely has plenty of scenes in it to fire the imagination, sex wise.”
However, McCree as a character also plays into already extant homoerotic subtext, which could also contribute to his popularity in fandom.
“Cowboys have been a staple of gay art for so long so it’s just kind of ingrained in my brain to associate them with gay culture. You know when something is so masculine it kind of crosses a border into being homoerotic? The cowboy aesthetic kinda does that for me,” Artist Rebecca Nalty told me. “He’s got a sleazy, flirty personality too, so I think that only adds to whole image.”
Some members of r/relationships assured whotheheckisjesse that not only is saying the wrong name during sex a pretty normal occurrence, but that shipping and fanfiction is very, very common as well.
Or, in the words of deathweaver, “Ultimately… this is a cute post and nothing to worry about in general. Fantasizing over fictional people is not that uncommon, and it’s preferable to her, say, fantasizing about Jesse the barista.”
Whotheheckisjesse declined to comment.