Safe Emoji and Locker room talk


According to Psychology today, sadomasochism uses the pain or humiliation element for/ as sexual arousal. In sadomasochism, these taboo desires are allowed to expressed freely. As Cameron and Kulick (2003) describes, a consensual sadomasochistic activities, a safe word is often decided to indicate ‘stop’  because of how ‘No’ in this case can indexes something else, like for one to go one with their actions.

While with the technologies available today, one can easily be involved in sexting. As quoted in Cosmopolitan, sexting becomes a portable erotic classroom for two. Instant messaging has also evolved, with the accompanying array of emojis, we can simply converse just by using these tiny icons.  This makes sexting more interesting where a string of emojis can express one’s sexual desires. According to The daily dot, ? ? mean penetration, or ?  ? ? mean “I’d like to put my hands on your breasts”. It is to note by the author, instead of tomatoes, some may use melons. All this leaves to the interpretation of sexter.

This would to say sadomasochistic sexting can happen with emojis and a safe emoji, in this case, is required. It is recommended that a “safe word which will stand out in context as incongruous and therefore unambiguous” (Cameron & Kulick, 2003, pp. 40).  From these emojis given, ? will most likely be their safe word. While ??????? facial expressions should be avoided because it can allow many different interpretations and one may not immediately associated it to ‘stop’. Because of the ambiguity of the emojis, there can be many interpretations and feelings associated to. Looking through the rest of the emoji, most can be correlated to some other sexual elements, which Julie and Mike may be subjected to too. ?⛓??? can all be interpreted to something sexual while ? may be interpreted as ‘stop’ or for ‘more’.

?  will be an appropriate safe emoji as it isolates most from sexual connotation.


Yes I do agree with UrbanDictionary to a certain extent. Because the topics in locker room talk may not be always about sex, but do contain a certain sexual element. Certainly Donald Trump’s excuse- ‘this-was-locker-room-banter’ further associates locker room talk to always include crude and sexual language, further creating a stereotypical locker room talk in the minds of many.  Bill, here, gave us a clearer view of what locker room talk is like and sometimes even be as simply as about traffic.

Generally locker room talks help to enhance homosocial bonding. In the environment of all boys or girls, having common topics to talk about, allows bonding to happen. While certain sexual elements are often talked about for this bonding to happen like comparing penis or boobs sizes, the banter creates an environment for for these topics to be discussed on without being seen as too ‘gay’ or taboo to talk about it.

I do agree the sexual elements found locker room talk are what aid in serving certain social functions. Like first, these banters have an interpersonal function in establish bonds between each other. The topics in these banters help to establish boundaries of in-group and out-group. Usually talking about women, a form of power hierarchy is established. In these stories, women are always objectified, labelled as ‘bitch’ and while describing their sexual experience, “I screwed her”, all portraying female in a subordinate position.  This is similar to hostess clubs in Tokyo, where female hostesses are hired to facilitate ‘breast talks’ where men openly discussed about their female body parts and these hostesses can only agree to (Allison, 1994). This establishes the men belonging in the same group, in this case, also their hetereosexuality identity is enforced and put down to a powerless status to elevate theirs.

Allison, A. (1994). Nightwork: Sexuality, Pleasure and Corporate Masculinity in a Tokyo Hostess Club. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Cameron, D., & Kulick, D. (2003). Language and sexuality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.