Emoji have already transformed how we flirt. You don’t have to try and work out how many Fs should be in the noise you make when you approve of an especially filthy suggestion or an image — you can just throw in a splash, a smirk, or (if you’re a real sick puppy) a tongue-out smiley. You don’t have to work out which phallic euphemism hits exactly the right spot between the clinical and the juvenile — eggplants are so synonymous with dicks now that I can’t order babaghanoush at the kebab shop without smirking.
But just as words can only say so much, sometimes you need a little more than a repurposed nightshade to truly express all the shades of human horniness. A new expansion to the language of tiny Unicode-approved cartoons is always something to celebrate — not only are there long-overdue updates to improve representation of different genders, appearances, and disabilities, but new ways to ruin everyday objects by turning them into sex shorthand. And now that the iOS 13.2 beta has dropped, it’s time to grab your snorkels and dive in. Almost literally.
1. Goggles and snorkel
When you need to signal that you don’t plan to come up for air for a while, this is how to do it.
Pair with the oyster, the peach, or your sploosh symbol of choice if you want to be extra explicit, but it’s suggestive enough on its own in the correct context.
This glistening bivalve might seem a bit obvious or graphic at first, but hear me out. We’ve been hanging out for an elegant counterpart to the eggplant for years, and what’s more elegant than oysters? Oysters are something you savour, something you indulge in, but they’re also messy and sensual and feel weirdly intimate, especially the first time you slurp one down. They’re also the most notorious edible aphrodisiac.
What’s more, in several renderings — all except Apple, Facebook and JoyPixels — it has a pearl. Clearly this is not intended to be an edible oyster, at least not the kind you serve by the half-dozen on rock salt.
This not an accident, folks. This is, finally, the vulva emoji we’ve been waiting for.
(However, the campaign to put a pearl on all oyster emoji begins now. People with clits have spent way too many years trying to get people without clits to pay attention to them to see them erased from the discourse this way.)
One for all the Fleabag/Hot Priest fans out there, the figure on their knees (available in man, woman and gender-neutral variations) is worth a thousand words — or just one.
Butter is the sexiest ingredient in any kitchen, and if this emoji was just a yellow oblong it would probably do it for me. But there’s something about the design of the Apple butter stick in particular: the way the light hits the edge, the slightly uncanny hint of translucence, the insouciant “sext me like one of your French girls” angle of the slice resting on the end of the dish. This emoji is ready to get spread-y.
Yes, this immediately became the tiny dick shaming emoji. But just as we ourselves contain multitudes, and an eggplant is sometimes just an eggplant, an emoji can have multiple meanings, too. Careful deployment of the pinch emoji could stand for nipple tweaking, for one.
Also, maybe you enjoy being shamed for the size of your junk and this emoji is very sexy, actually, to you. We’re not here to kinkshame.
This pleased-with-himself critter gripping a sturdy branch might not scream sex appeal at first sight, but its direct gaze is perfect for letting someone know you’re going to climb them like a tree. Very slowly.
“babe come over”
“can’t, i’m on a plane”
“my parents aren’t home”
8. Juice box
You know, for when you’re thirsty. Or juicy. Or Lizzo. Or can pull off a “box” double entendre without getting blocked.
Does your costume box contain Ron and Hermione/Jon and Ygritte/Jamie and Claire role play supplies? Is Ed Sheeran all over your slow jams playlist? Are you banging a redhead who’s just really psyched to finally have some fiery-mopped figures in that keyboard? Build anticipation with a well-placed gingemoji.
10. Blood drop
You’re a damn grownup. You’ve got your red wings. And whoever’s doing the menstruating, this is what to bust out when you want your paramour to know that just because it’s shark week, doesn’t mean the beach is closed. Pair this up with your cheeky water drops to signal that you’re totally up to throw (a towel) down.
For when you would like to have sex in a chair.
Sadly, sexting sometimes takes a turn for the worse, like when someone tries to escalate from winks and smirks to aggressively explicit — or sends you an unwanted dick pic. If you’re not into size shaming, even for cyberflashers, skip the pinch emoji and hit them back with the swift justice of the shiny new Mr Choppy. Your meaning will be clear.