Fill A Need With Flirtmoji, the New Sex Emojis

December 9, 2014
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Have you perchance been pondering upon just how lame some of those ‘emote’ Emojis some friends and acquaintances send you are? Icons which convey if you got out of the wrong side of bed are easy, I guess. Winking eyes, lopsided grins, boo-hoo mugs: I suppose they’re all sort of all right in a fundamentalist sort of way, utilizing potatoes, turnips, bananas, starfruit and the ubiquitous winker (what a wanker!) that get the job done in accompaniment to your texts, etc. Specialization-wise, however, if your gray matter is all froth with filth, like mine, you want something handy dandy for the sexting you do.

Necessity being the natural mother of invention. the inevitable has happened and someone else beat me to the punch. First there were lesbian emojis making their own little niche. Then, four designers out of Berkeley, California brought forth and multiplied with Flirtmoji. I can unequivocally state that these are some genuinely sexy-ass ultra-cool stickers which kinda/sorta look like an emoji you can simply paste on to your messaging apps as you will, as you wish.  Launched on Tuesday December 9, 2014, they are already quite a flirtatious sensation.

It turns out that the Berkeley performance artist Katy McCarthy is one is one of the artists involved in the project. Always good for a quote, Katy talked about the secrets of the design process for Flirtmoji recently in an interview with The Verge. “All four of us had experience with jokingly and poorly substituting the existing emojis into text conversations to try to communicate sex, and it never worked. But the game-changer came because one of the guys in the group was having really elaborate texting engagement back and forth with a long distance girlfriend. We realized that we needed to do this, to draw up sex as icons, and make it completely comprehensive, funny, and diverse.”


As the only woman in a group of male designers, drawing and discussing body parts like hair, breasts and other parts off the female anatomy was contentious, funny “and also a major design issue.” With the idea that women aren’t accurately represented and that neither are different races, sexual preferences and kinks, McCarthy and crew went out of their way to sexually represent “everyone.” Having spent months designing hundreds of anatomical prototypes, they invited friends to provide feedback.

With scores of anatomically correct sexual organs represented leading to much heated debate, notions of what is and what is not sexy were argued out. “To pass our test, the drawings had to be sex-positive. Anyone has to be able to look at them and not feel offended.” Tens of thousands of designs were put forth. “A ton that didn’t make the cut,” McCarthy told The Verge.

When all is said and done about sex and sexism, although there are those out there who believe the icons on Flirtmoji will be used and ultimately misused, there’s the parallel truth that they will be used for silly fun between friends as we sext each other positively. The bottom line is down to the user, isn’t it? What could be more positive than inclusive iconography?


Keep in mind also that Flirtmoji aren’t available via your iTunes store. As readers are already aware from my interview with the game designer Ted Manitoba, creator of Weed Firm, corporations like Apple are susceptible to and tend to collapse in the face of reactionary criticism. McCarthy and company deliberately avoided that. To get Flirtmoji, you’ve got to put in a little bit of toil. You have to search your phone’s Internet browser and copy their address into a text message, or else save it through your phone’s photo album. Considering it only costs a buck, I believe it’s worth your effort.


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