We received an email the other day that our Booty Call Flirtmoji came across as culturally and racially offensive and that it objectifies black and brown bodies.
First of all: we would like to apologize for making anyone feel disempowered or objectified. This was not our goal, and something we are prepared to work on.
As with all our art, we put great thought into this Flirtmoji to avoid making anyone feel disenfranchised. In the same email, we received feedback that condemned the icon for objectifying women. These butts are specifically non-gendered (no genitals) so that humans of all genders and sexual inclinations could message this Flirtmoji back and forth.
We recently got a write up over at the Daily Dot which both excited and wigged us out a little. In the piece, author EJ Dickson wrote up definitions for a handful of our Flirtmoji in order to to assemble a “helpful emoji dictionary.”
Obviously, some of the proposed definitions are written to be funny, which we appreciate and understand. BUT some of the definitions don’t mesh with our mission at Flirtmoji to empower people of all sexualities to communicate their desires, concerns, and flirtations.
SO, while all press is good press and we extend big thanks to Ms. Dickson for writing about us, we’re going to take a minute here to respond by interpreting the meaning of our Flirtmojis and clarifying our stance on #sext-positivity.
HEY I’m into watching responsibly made and purchased porn together because it gets me going. YADIG?
Here at Flirtmoji, we think sex is good, natural, important, and fun. We believe that good communication and good sex are inextricable. When we ask, explain, and consent we improve our sexual experiences.
Humans have always been sexual creatures, and now we’re sexual creatures with cell phones and wi-fi connections and we’re taking advantage of it. We are sexting. We are sending pictures of our cocks and pussies and naked bodies to each other. We’re watching, and talking about, porn. We’re making homemade sexy videos and posting them to Tumblr, etc. We are using GPS to find potential lovers within a five-block radius. We are Bluetoothing our phones to vibrating toys. And we are using eggplant and whale emoji in desperate bids to sexualize texts.
Despite all this sexual activity oozing out of our lightning ports and headphone jacks, the app stores for Android and iOS do not permit sexual content.
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? 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? And yet, on the flipside, you have Luciano Foglia’s beautiful app Geometric Porn which celebrates sex (and good design) and was censored from both the iOS and Android app stores. Why are we allowing tech companies to define our sexualities through their misguided and repressive parameters?
We shouldn’t. That’s why we’re creating Flirtmoji, a visual language that’s playful, inclusive, and optimistic. We believe in the immense capacity of symbols to communicate complex (and sometimes intimidating) desires, concerns, and flirtations.
So, go forth and USE YOUR WORDS EMOJI! Use Flirtmoji to your heart’s content. Do it with desire and respect. As we like to say: be sext positive. And if you have any thoughts/commons/concerns, get at us. We’re just getting started.