A while ago I reported on Facebook’s new Reactions feature, which allows users to use cute emoji on their friends’ posts instead of the sometimes inappropriate ‘Like’ button. Emoji, it seems, are everywhere – even the dictionary – and have become a language all their own, especially in the delicate art of sexting, where the sexicon … sorry, where the lexicon of glyphs of kittens, eggplants, strawberries, and swimmers become symbols of raging, ravenous lust. But even a picture of an eggplant next to a peach isn’t detailed enough, it seems, for today’s flirty texters.
A new company, Flirtmoji, has created sexually-suggestive icons that leave little to the imagination, including 15 ‘va-mojis’ (technicolor vaginas) designed to “empower people of all sexualities to communicate their desires, concerns, and flirtations.” There’s also one of a hamster in a condom, although Flirtmoji is at pains to point out that “no hamsters were harmed, or violated, in the creation of this flirtmoji. We urge everyone to please respect the rights of animals.” This is all very well, but as Lucy Hancock writes in the Guardian, there might be some kinks (no pun) to work out. “As it’s not worked its way on to the official keyboard yet, users are still required to copy and paste Flirtmoji from their website. I decide to try one out and paste what I think is ‘booty call’ to a man in my phonebook. He replies ‘bum telephone?’ and we are instantly engaged in a deeply un-arousing game of late night catchphrase.” This is understandable: is there anyone under the age of 30 who even knows what a traditional telephone looked like?