Sexting & Locker Room Banter


Q1. Emojis have taken texting and its related forms to a whole new level. Emojis that conveys happiness? Done. Emojis that emits sadness? Done. Emoji to say ‘baby-i’m-horny, let’s sex text?’ DONE TOO. Bless technology! (Or maybe just the iPhone because (some) Android… there, there)

Vanessa Marin even gave us 50 Example Sexting Ideas You Can Use Right Now. If we can imply sexual innuendos through double entendres like ‘that’s what she said,’ we can do it with emojis too! We shall try to put ourselves into Vanessa’s and try to link some emojis to her 6 sexting styles: Previews, Requests, Things You Like To Fantasize About, Teasing, Past Memories, Compliments.Face Emojis
Gasping: It’s so hot to imagine you tying me up. (Things you like to fantasize about)
Smirking: I’m going to ravage you the second you get in the door. (Preview)
Heart Eyes: I love staring at your [fill in the blank] (Compliment)
Crying: I need you inside of me right now. (Requests)
Locked Mouth: It’s so hot to imagine you tying me up. (Things you like to fantasize about)
Tongue Out: It’s too bad you’re not here right now. (Teasing)
Tubular Shaped Emojis (Pickle/ Microphone/ Pill):

A penis, a dildo or maybe ‘even I’m on birth control- so you may..

Metal-restraint-type Emojis (Chains/ Key):
*Cues* (Rihanna, 2011)
‘Cause I may be bad, but I’m perfectly good at it
Sex in the air, I don’t care, I love the smell of it
Sticks and stones may break my bones 

But chains and whips excite me Sadomasochism (SM) is a sexual subculture that involves the active role of dominance and submission. Through these acts are how both parties derive pleasure and gratification. In other words, it is the most accurate definition of ‘pain is pleasure’. Julie and Mike’s SM texting may be a notch lower from physical sadomasochism, but it may actually be a form of foreplay or ‘preview’ for what is to come later that night. ‘In consensual sadomasochistic (SM) scenes, where participants enact fantasies that may involve humiliation and pain, it is common to decide on a ‘safe word’ Cameron, D., & Kulick, D. (2003). In their case, an emoji that orders cease and desist in my opinion would be the plain-white-looking exclamation mark. There are a few reasons to this, (i) it is so plain, it might help to signify that the conversation is getting too mundane for his/her preference or (ii) it is the most ‘sexually-neutral’ (no bright colours) or maybe (iii) imagine this scenario: someone suddenly stands beside you so you need to send an emoji to halt the kinky messages so that the person (with no contextual discourse) would not suspect anything!  What better way than with a white exclamation mark? Additionally, the color white denotes a symbol of safety or possibly even a white flag. Also, who knows we might even have an orgasm-implied emoji in future…. Or maybe there is one, waiting to be discovered. Guess it is getting easier to fake orgasm these days. Damn.

Julie:*inserts white exclamation mark here*
Mike: Goodnight Julie. Xoxo.
Cameron, D., & Kulick, D. (2003). Language and sexuality. Cambridge University Press.
Marin, V. (2018). 50 Sexting Ideas To Use Right Now. Bustle. Retrieved 10 April 2018, from (2018). Rihanna – S&M Lyrics | MetroLyrics. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Apr. 2018].
Project, S., Bourn, J., & Bourn, J. (2018). Meaning of The Color White |. Bourn Creative. Retrieved 10 April 2018, from




Q2. I agree with the three entries, albeit to a certain extent. Post 1 mentioned that it should not be taken seriously, Post 2 charged it as sexual whereas Post 3 straight right condemned locker room banters by describing it as ‘racist, sexist and crude.’ Indeed, these 3 are features of a typical banter. However, there is more than Donald Trump to it. 

The primary use of banter is to allow men to relate to one another and connect in an informal way in which positions and rankings are not of concern (Cameron, D., & Kulick, D., 2003). In fact, Cameroon (1997) throned it as a social function by designating it as a form of male bonding. Honestly in my opinion, possibly a version of gossiping. Most of the time, the person in the topic of the banter are those not present as interlocutors.This then proves to show another element; the formation of ingroups and outgroups. By ‘disparaging gossip’ about other men, they solidify themselves as ‘brothers’ which aids in reinforcing their social bonds with each other simultaneously distancing themselves from the ‘out group’. 

An important aim of this banter would be to elevate their masculinity. It is defined as “a set of practices, designed to maintain group power, that is considered ‘masculine’ (Dowd, N. E., 2008). In its essence, the construction of ideal masculinity is not based on what they are but instead, based on what they are not (Mazzie, L. A., 2014:136). This could possibly be the reason why the topic of gays and girls are favorite themes of locker room banters as both are what they do not want to be identified with.

In summary, the way that banters work is that ‘the more you criticise others, the more you belong here.’ It satisfies the social and interpersonal functions of an individual to gain belonging to a community rather than purely criticism for the sake of hurling insults. To put it nicely, locker room banters might be harmless as they do not (actually) talk about it insensitively with the person in topic present. But then again, if we are explicitly talking about Donald Trump.. we wonder if it is really a locker room banter or is it just his shallow mind speaking. 

Dowd, N. E. (2008). Masculinities and feminist legal theory. Wis. JL Gender, & Soc’y, 23, 201.

Mazzie, L. A. (2014). Michael Sam and the NFL locker room: How masculinities theory explains the way we view gay athletes. Marq. Sports L. Rev., 25, 129.


To be queer, is to be what?

The study of language and sexuality revolves around (the beliefs) of accepted norms. In other words, a person’s language style, behavior and maybe even preferences would be attached to being a ‘him/her’. (Something like girl=pink, boys=blue) However, studies on such patterns have proven otherwise as even those belonging to the same sex group may disagree on specific language styles.

In relation, Koch has attached the idea of ‘language deviant’ by using the men’s hegemonic power as a basis. Instead of generally labeling any group as the ‘deviant speakers,’ Koch initiated that, ‘speakers who are in some way disenfranchised from institutionalized male power’ (Koch, M., 2008:7) or those rejected by masculine domination are all deemed deviant. With this ambiguity, we then wonder what does speaking-gendered connotes, and question where does one type, ends before the other starts? Amidst the attempt to sort this fuzzy idea of gendered languages, the realization of Queer Theory (QT) surfaced which we would now uncover and address.

The notion of ‘queer’ on its own is vague like ‘a signifier without a stable signified’ (Barrett, R., 2002:27). According to Spargo, T. (1999:9), ‘if the queer theory is a school of thought, then it is one with a highly unorthodox view of discipline.’ It discusses the existence of non-normatives while taking into consideration its relations with the study of sex, gender, and desire. While it insinuates that queer theory is a label that identifies with the comparison of social powers of gays and lesbians against the hegemonic heterosexuals, it is not in its entirety as it also embraces those in between the spectrum. QT targets the heteronormativity and questions how and why it has been considered the ‘natural’ form by studying the immediate environment such as their sociocultural contexts. Rather than deducing a solution to QT (Motschenbacher, H., 2011:153), it highlights the endless possibility of interpretations, deconstructing the idea of binaries. 

There are a few perspectives involved in the study of QT, and they are as follows: the essentialist who considers all queer individuals as something fixed throughout history, constructionists who looks at the history with the current social norms and how it has evolved through time and the structuralists who views hetero and homo as binary (Alberhasky, M., 2014). The main theoretical influences of the queer theory mentioned here would be Foucault, Butler, and Derrida all of whom are post-structuralists (Post-structuralism, 2018). In comparison to the above-mentioned structuralists, the trio disagrees with the binaries of gender and sexuality.

Firstly, one of the Foucauldian approaches that pioneered in the study of QT would be the ‘deployment of sexuality’ (Motschenbacher, H., 2011:155). Foucault believed that instead of willingly accepting the idea that an individual’s sexuality is given or based on their biologies, he believes that sexual identity is a form of social construct, created based on their experiences. This, in turn, allows one to have the capacity to make sense of other phenomena in relation to their personal sexual needs and desire. Extending Foucault’s stand to a critical topic of QT; ‘the homosexual versus heterosexuals’ (Spargo, T., 1999:44), it could be said that even the notion of heterosexuals may be socially constructed. Some might have reasoned this to the literary term of ‘getting out of the closet,’ which entails that being a homosexual is ‘out’ also mentally construing that being a heterosexual is an ‘in-thing,’ which most might link to being the norm. Despite this, Foucault asserts that even by distinguishing homo to heteros, it is by itself affirming binaries. Instead, QT may be viewed as a tool in observing how ‘moral and political hierarchies of knowledge and power’ (Spargo, T., 1999:47) has been shaped based on opposing homo-hetero parties such as the stereotypes attached to each group. 

However, it is recognized that binary matters such as a person’s sex, plays a critical role in the way we form ideas of people. This can be demonstrated by Judith Butler’s heterosexual matrix in Table 1 (Tredway, K., 2014:169) below. In which a masculine-male is confirmed to be a heterosexual and a feminine-male is a total homo. Likewise for females! As we form perceptions based on what we notice and the (individual’s) accepted norms of the society, it is no surprise that we find it hard to deconstruct and extract sexuality from the biology. In other words, though sexuality should not be confined within parameters, it is tough to remove a structured concept that has been inbuilt into our minds such as seeing someone as a man/ woman based on their privates.

That mentioned, Butler resonates with Foucault, additionally giving recognition to the aspect of gender which brings us to another factor of QT; gender performativity. Once again, Foucault’s belief of construction is being built on in which Butler asserts that gender is ‘an ongoing discursive practice’ (Spargo, T., 1999: 54). More than ‘acting our gender’ as though in a performance, we are actively constructing it as we observe and act out. This includes the appropriate behavioral norms of a gender group reflected in Table 1, which subsequently latches on to being requirements or expectations of a female/male (Tredway, K., 2014). Gender has since become the cultural meaning denoted by our biological sex.

Butler also believes the idea of sex-gender-sexuality has been transferred into the language domain, specifically in the labeling of pronouns. Terms ‘he’ and ‘she’ has been made synonymous with male and female respectively. This forces people to categorize or be categorized into either grouping. Over time, it has stabilized and has unknowingly become an important part of ‘linguistic gendering’ (Motschenbacher, H., 2011:156). The naturality idea of desire has also been raised by Butler (Tredway, K., 2014:168) in which it is of our social construct that we believe in a masculine (gender) male (sex) to naturally desire for women and likewise. Thus, whoever refuses or find themselves not belonging to either would be out of the ordinary, odd or… queer.  

Finally, the theory of deconstruction by Jacques Derrida also established how the use of language might both empower or complicate. Derrida mentioned how ‘writing is a signifier of a signifier, the graphic sign of mental speech, itself a sign of ideas’ (Derrida, J. 2016: 300). This shows how each meaning can be reinterpreted and there is doubt as to whether there would be an end to the train of meanings. This leads to the binary opposition which is a major theory under structuralism which emphasizes on making distinctions for languages and thoughts. Relating back to the over-generalized notion of gender, the two binaries that have been embedded would be male and female. Despite creating ‘inclusive’ terms such as transsexual, bisexual or pansexual, which was intended to have a meaning of its own, it backfired. The terms are perceived as only further supporting the notion that they are the deviants of the dominant male-female discourses rather than as full functional alternatives.

Queer Linguistics (QL) on the other hand, is an extension of Queer Theory. As a relatively young study, it echoes the beliefs that ambiguity lies between languages. It ventures into the ways and methods in which various notions of sexuality may be implied with certain discursives (Leap, W. L., 2015: 663). This may be done through examining stereotypes which people have formed based on what they have observed, such as the linguistic practices (that they think) the person practices (Motschenbacher, H., 2011:158). Thus, queer linguistics is a realm of its own under the umbrella term of queer theory. Defined as the ‘sociolinguistic study of language use without recourse to identity categories’ (Weber, S., 2011:155) by Wong et al., queer linguistics takes into consideration the performativity of the language and considers the sexual identities and desires together with their related discourses.

The study of QL is vast, and one of such would be of a sexuality marker. There are many hidden associations to sexuality that may be etched in their personal beliefs or unconscious behavior. A way to extract implicit stereotypical opinions would be to observe their casual conversations. According to Leap, W. L. (2015:663), an aim of QL is to identify these stereotypes and connect it back to the ‘normative authority,’ ultimately observing who, how and why the sexuality in the topic is discussed. We shall exemplify this by analyzing a conversation between a group of white college students. As they conversed over a sports show, it appeared to be an innate action for some to describe some of their classmates (who are not direct interlocutors) with derogatory terms. Though it may be untrue, the group of boys needed a form of distinction against their ‘gay’ classmates. They needed to ‘display their heterosexual orientation’ (Cameron, 1997: 61) by trying to mark their sexuality through ‘asserting the authority of their own masculinity’ (Leap, W. L., 2015:663).

In summary, with the knowledge of queer theories and rise of queer linguistics, we should realize that no one has the right to label anyone based on their own social perceptions. Language should help us to convey ourselves as who we are but not confine us to basis such as heteronormativity. We need to accept that notions of gender and sexuality are fluid and being ‘queer’; no matter homo-queer or hetero-queer is EQUALLY ACCEPTED as being a ‘not-queer.’


  1. Alberhasky, M. (2014). Brief Lecture Introducing Concepts of Queer Theory. Retrieved from
  2. Barrett, R. (2002). Is queer theory important for sociolinguistic theory? Language and sexuality: Contesting meaning in theory and practice, 25-43.
  3. Cameron, Deborah. (1997). Performing gender identity: young men’s talk and the construction of heterosexual masculinity. In Sally Johnson and Ulrike Hanna Meinhoff, eds., Language and Masculinity. Oxford: Blackwell, 47–64.
  4. Koch, M. (2008). Language and gender research from a queer linguistic perspective: A critical evaluation. VDM Publishing.
  5. Leap, W. L. (2015). Queer Linguistics as Critical Discourse Analysis. The Handbook of Discourse Analysis, 2, 661-680.
  6. Motschenbacher, H. (2011). Taking Queer Linguistics further: Sociolinguistics and critical heteronormativity research. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 2011(212), 149-179.
  7. Post-structuralism. (2018). Retrieved 30 March 2018, from
  8. Rivkin, J., & Ryan, M. (2004). Literary theory (pp. 300-332). Malden, MA: Blackwell.Spargo, T. (1999). Foucault and queer theory. Cambridge: Icon books.
  9. Tredway, K. (2014). Judith Butler redux–the heterosexual matrix and the out lesbian athlete: Amélie Mauresmo, gender performance, and women’s professional tennis. Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 41(2), 163-176.
  10. Weber, S. (2011). Language and gender research from a queer linguistic perspective: A critical evaluation By Michaela Koch [Book Review]. Gender And Language, 5(1), 153-157.

That’s what she said (TWSS)

Double Entendre: TWSS          

*imagine 2 guys trying something on at a store*

Guy B: That’s what she said
GIPHY, 2016

I am sure all or many us reading have heard of this exchange. According to Kiddon, C., & Brun, Y. (2011), a double entendre is when a person says something in a non-sexual context, but a fellow interlocutor makes it sexually charged by tweaking its literal meaning. But what does it really mean when one says that? And has there been a difference to its semantic through time? Similar to the baseball and pizza analogy mentioned earlier in the course, TWSS is more than just what it means. There must be a right tone and pitch to achieve that sexual construction. Let us hope that by the end of this post, we would have an idea of what was it that the ‘entity-she’ said, that people just CAN’T GET OVER.

With reference to The Weird Origins of “That’s What She Said”  (Nelson D., 2016), and The Origin of That’s what she said and the much older British equivalent of the phrase (Youtube, 2016),  they  summarised the roots of TWSS by;

  1. Inspired by ‘said the actress to the bishop’ in the Edwardian period
  2. Chevy Chase used the joke during “Weekend Update” skit on the show’s first season 1975
  3. Canadian comedian Mike Myers in the 1992 blockbuster comedy Wayne’s World & Saturday Night Live
  4. Steve Carell playing the character Michael Scott in the popular television drama; The Office (American)

Its earliest roots or ‘inspiration’ first surfaced during the Edwardian period (1901-1910). It was often used to describe the conversation between a clergy and a penitent (Wikipedia, 2018). Generally, this interaction occurs when someone seeks for repentance and talks to a bishop (anonymously) in a booth of a place of worship. So what happened in that period was that (some) actresses would offer ‘company and companionship’ after performance hours to men, in return for money. So, to atone for their sins, these actresses would confess their sexual sins to a clergymen/bishop.  Thus, the term ‘said the actress to the bishop’ was in a way to be taken seriously (and literally word for word) but how is it that at present day, it has become a sexually charged notion; (albeit comical)?

In fact, in a study done by Kiddon, C., & Brun, Y. (2011), statements that are prone to being TWSS-ed involves either of these two elements; nouns that are euphemisms for sexually explicit nouns or those that have a common structure with sentences in the erotic domain. For this, we shall take it from the most recent; a compilation of Michael Scott’s ‘that’s what she said(s)’ from various seasons of the American version of The Office (Youtube, 2017) as it gained even more recognition when it was popularized by the drama. In fact, it was so frequently used by Steve Carell that it would be odd for him NOT to mention it at every sexual innuendo possible:

 Upon analysing there were 3 general themes of TTWSs; climax, penises & sexual positions and some to highlight- placed side by side with its literal and its possible double entendre:

My mother’s coming / My mother’s cumming
Michael, I can’t believe you came (to see me) / Michael, I can’t believe you ejaculated-came
I want you to think about it long & hard / I want you to think about the long & hard dick
Can you make that straighter / Can you make that dick straighter
Sexual Positions
And you were directly under her (charge) the entire time / And you were directly under her body
You need to get back on top (of management) / You need to get back on top of her body


A food for thought, why has the phrase not evolved over the years to make men the unmarked gender of the phrase? Why is there a pronoun she when most of the time, there is no female entity present whilst the conversation? It is also interesting to note that both the British and American versions of ‘The Office’ exhibits the reality of inequality in gender in their respective countries, especially so in the context of an office working environment. In which the women characters are habitually posed with sexual humour and remarks. Is it once again pertaining to our eternal quest for gender equality? Maybe one day, an equally popular version of ‘that’s what he said’ would appear…. But for now, even that sounds odd to me.

The popular culture indeed has a way of proving that despite coming from different countries (and continents), sex is something globally understood. Also, I guess it is thanks to the magical realm of semantics that what she said can vary so much. Once again, it substantiates how language and sexuality are tightly intertwined, that one does not have to explicitly say ‘i had sex’ or ‘my one-night stand said that my genitals were big’. Because I mean… that’s what she said.

GIPHY, 2016
Kiddon, C., & Brun, Y. (2011). That’s what she said: double entendre identification. In Proceedings of the 49th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies: short papers-Volume 2 (pp. 89-94). Association for Computational Linguistics.
Nelson, D. (2016, October 23). THE WEIRD ORIGINS OF “THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID”. Retrieved February 28, 2018, from THRILLIST:
Wikipedia. (2018, February 3). Priest–penitent privilege. Retrieved February 28, 2018, from
YouTube. (2016, October 23). The Origin of “That’s What She Said” and the Much Older British Equivalent of the Phrase. Retrieved February 28, 2018, from Today I Found Out:
YouTube. (2017, July 15). Every That’s What She Said Ever – The Office US. Retrieved February 28, 2018, from The Office US: