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How did ๐Ÿ† become the sex symbol in modern texting?

by Joyce Remo

THANKS to technology, communication has become easier and more convenient. People now have various means and methodologies to convey their thoughts, messages, and emotions to other members of society.

These include emojis, which can replace words in messages that people send. 

The rise in popularity of utilizing emojis in sending messages turned these small images from a fad to a primitive language used across all age brackets, but more prominently among millennials and GenZs.

Emojis, or the tiny animated images, are often used in computer-mediated communication to depict emotions, items, or concepts, and also provide context, personality, and emotion to a particular message.

These pictograms first appeared in the late 90s in Japanese mobile phones and were later popularized in the succeeding years.

While emojis can be used everywhere including routine communication and workplace messages, they are also widely used in the romantic and sexual context.

The glossary of sexting emojis

According to a study in 2018, emojis play a crucial role in the sending and receiving of sexually suggestive messages in online platforms. 

The same report showed that 51% of the respondents said emoji usage led to sexually suggestive behaviors, while 54% of them reported that emojis appear in their sexually provocative messages sometimes, often, or always.

Another study suggested that the following are the most used emojis that imply sexual intent:

๐Ÿ†EggplantMale genitalia
๐ŸŒฎTacoFemale genitalia
๐Ÿ‘…TongueOral sex
๐Ÿ’ฆWater splashSexual fluid
๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿ‘ŒPointing and OK fingersPenetrative sex

Millennials and GenZs also developed a combination of emojis that suggest sex-related activities.

๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ‘Eggplant and peachAnal penetration
๐Ÿ‘…๐ŸŒฎ๐Ÿ’ฆTongue, taco, and water splashOral sex involving the female genitalia
๐Ÿ‘…๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ’ฆTongue, eggplant, and water splashOral sex involving the male genitalia
๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ“žPeach and telephoneโ€œBooty callโ€
๐Ÿฟโ„๏ธโ“Popcorn, snowflake, question markโ€œNetflix and chill?โ€

Sex discussions and lexical choices

The general public argues that these emojis are popular in sexting because their shape and form are similar to physical attributes of male and female genitals and implicitly depict sexual activities.

However, a 2022 study found out that emojis, especially the eggplant, taco, peach, and finger emojis, are used in sexual contexts because it is another form of language variations or lexical choices.

Despite modernity, sex is still a taboo subject in society. Because of this, individuals tend to avoid conversations related to sex as they donโ€™t want to appear vulgar. This is also a sign of their conformity with the reigning norms and ethics in a society that paints sex as an inappropriate topic of discourse. 

People find and create lexical choices that allow them to communicate taboo things like sexuality in a socially and culturally accepted form.

This makes the use of emoji in sexting a new vehicle that helps people express their sexual desires without the stereotypical snide remarks from their environment.



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