Sexting has been around for a while, but since the popularisation of emojis things have gotten a whole lot more interesting. Who knew that the combination of a few fruits and a cartoon image of a tongue could be so exciting? Here are some facts about how the emoji app became an unlikely communicator of lust.
Emoji users are more likely to have sex.
A decade ago, including a colon-bracket smiley face in a message could have been the ultimate mood killer, however a survey by Match.com found that people who use more than one emoji in every text were 60% more likely to have sex on a monthly basis than those who didn’t use them at all. The survey of ‘Singles in America’ also found that 30% of men in the study regularly used the kiss face emoji compared to just 24% of women.
Is that an eggplant, or are you just happy to see me?
For reasons that no one can quite explain the eggplant emoji is often the dominant substitute for ‘penis’ in emoji sexts, far surpassing the banana and corncob. However when the new additions to the emoji update in October included a hot dog, the internet wondered, ‘Has the eggplant be usurped?’ Pop culture website Mashable put it to Twitter in a poll, and found that only 22% of the 1449 votes thought the hot dog was a better representative for a human penis. Long live, eggplant!
… but because of that, people think eggplants are pretty rude now.
The overwhelming popularity of the eggplant emoji as a saucy stand in for a doodle, led Instagram to ban it in the search for images by emoji function, on the grounds that it “violates community guidelines”. You can still use the eggplant in photo captions however (phew) and other classically suggestive emojis such as the peach and water droplets are also okay. The Guardian found that the eggplant was most popularly used by Americans, as was the taco emoji. However writing about the reason for the popularity of the taco, the Guardian contended that “it is not clear whether that is out of love for the food or in homage to the vagina, which is much more difficult to depict using currently available emoji”.
For those who want something a little more natural.
With the emergence of emoji as sexting tools, designers Katy McCarthy and Jeremy Yingling decided the time was ripe to create some realistic looking symbols and thus, Flirtmoji was born. Featuring a ‘diverse’ range of genital emojis that vary in size, shape, skin colour and hairlessness, the idea was to create a more realistic set of sexting images. The set is pretty graphic, but it gets very creative; including fluffy handcuffs, a dildo and the contraceptive pill.
So what’s the most popular sexting emoji?
While the crying with joy emoji was named as the 2015 Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year, this is not the most popular emoji when it comes to sending a saucy message. In Match.com’s Singles in America survey they found that the three most popularly used emojis in flirty texts were the kiss face, smiley face and most popularly, the wink face. Whatever your favourite is, the good news is that researchers from Drexel University found in a survey of over 870 people that not only had 9 out of 10 participants sexted at least once in their life, but that there was a correlation between texting and general satisfaction in relationships overall.
You know how the saying goes: it doesn’t matter if you’re into eggplants or peaches, as long as it leads to a wink face.