EDIT: After this piece was originally published, Flirtmoji admitted to unintentionally plagiarizing artist Erin Tobey’s illustrations for some of their designs. Read Flirtmoji’s statement here, read Erin’s statement here, and see more of Erin’s art here.
We here, we’re horny, and we’re texting about it. Yet, we’re left sending emojis of eggplants and whales. “Why?” you might ask a millennial. Because the tech world seems to be denying that, like it or not, our sexualities are going to intersect with the soft glow of our smart phones and computer screens. Flirtmoji is here to rescue us from rigid conservatism and bring us into the limitless sexual future with emojis featuring vaginas, penises, boobs, and yes, bunny rabbits fucking.
The vaginas display a true-to-life diversity. Created by designers Jeremy Yingling and Katy McCarthy, these racially diverse vaginas aren’t shy about being hairy or asymmetrical. “Visual language (like emojis) is powerful stuff. With Flirtmoji, we worked hard to create this visual language that sex deserves: playful, sex positive, body-centric, and entirely inclusive art,” Yingling told The Huffington Post.
The colorful emojis incentivize users to express desire instead of closeting it, which I see as totally healthy and super important. A healthy relationship to sex and gender doesn’t appear to be the priority for Android and iOs app stores, however. The stores refuse to sell sexual content, which means that, unfortunately, you can’t download the emjois directly onto your phone.
“That’s to keep it family friendly, right? But what about violent games like Grand Theft Auto of which there are seven different versions on the iOS app store?” Flirtmoji writes on their blog. “Or games that objectify women like Perfect Girlfriend where a digital female character compliments the user and responds when her body is touched — including her crotch and boobs? Or iLust where the goal is to be the best voyeur by staring at women’s boobs without getting caught?…Why are we allowing tech companies to define our sexualities through their misguided and repressive parameters?”
Good questions. A world where sexuality can be expressed openly is one I want to be a part of. Restricted relationships to sexuality don’t produce a society where emotional and physical safety can exist. It’s interesting to note that apps that promote and engage with straight male fantasy are allowed, (i.e. Perfect Girlfriend), but that a picture of a blue vulva is ‘sexually inappropriate.’ It definitely seems like there’s a lurking double standard here, and honestly, I’m not sure that’s living in a world where a strict script of male fantasy is enforced is healthy for anyone. Men included.
I’m stoked to see pictures of hairy labias and brown boobs in bondage…because why not? This is real life and yeah, those things exist. While it looks like the big tech guys are total squares, you can sign up via email and receive 20 free emojis from Flirtmoji, because hey, we might as well text about it instead of pretending it’s not there.
This post was originally published on October 20, 2015
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