Q-1. Sadomasochistic sexting.

The dynamics of sadomasochism involves submission that may involve humiliation and pain. Between the participants, one has to take on the role of subjugation and helplessness while the other party gets to enact authoritative, assertive and powerful behaviour. Saying ‘no’ in the discourse does not actually mean ‘stop’, contrary to the expected linguistic semantics. In a sadomasochistic role-play scenario, saying ‘no’ is part of the role of the masochist to display weakness and an indication to the sadist that he (the masochist) is subdued. ‘No’ indicates a form of power at play and that is part of the charm of sadomasochism. In that sense then, a healthy, consensual sadomasochistic relationship should involve a ‘safe word’ that would stand out and be instantly recognisable to signpost to one party’s resistance to a certain act. It should signify a clear, distinct message: ‘stop’ to all the participants involved.

More importantly, in the context of the question, sexting is a form of sexual foreplay. These emojis then would indicate some form of perhaps expectations of both Julie and Mike. With reference to the prose above on what sadomasochism is, I would think that the chain and key emojis indicate essential tools required in performing the sexual act. On the other hand, emjos like the microphone and the pickle are phallic symbols or symbols of insertions or even the microphone as a vibrator. 

Microphone? Or vibrator?


Dissecting the other emojis, the hand gestures as well as the facial expressions both play the role of teasing and indicate certain actions that would happen in the sexual act such as:


The crying emoji would be indicative of helplessness expressed in a sadomasochistic sexual act. Personally, I would interpret the shit emoji as anal sex and the toilet bowl as a potential location for the act to be carried out. The water droplets act as a metaphor for a result of the sexual act and to me is the least likely to be a safe word. The pill could stand for some form of drug that may or may not be used for sexual pleasure, or perhaps birth control. In my opinion then, the exclamation mark is most likely to be their safe word. While exclamation marks are used to signpost danger, this emoji is in white instead of the usual red colour. I would think that it proposes the idea of ‘purity’ or innocence in some form. And since nothing about sadomasochism is particularly innocent, the exclamation point would be their safe word.



Cameron, D., & Kulick, D. (2003). Language and sexuality. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from https://books.google.com.sg/books/about/Language_and_Sexuality.html?id=RmKekTGLbZ0C&redir_esc=y


Q-3. Sex-positive. 

To be sex-positive would be to be accepting of others’ sexuality and sexual choices. It is to be progressive and open to realms within heteronormative sexual relations, such as being tolerant to people’s choice of polyamory, multiple sex partners etc. What it is not is name-calling and moral shaming of people who do not have the same practices as you do. 


Sex-positivity is great. As ‘sex-positive’ feminism, it empowers women to support one another. Instead of name-calling, you are more accepting. But in today’s contemporary identity politics, where people of particular races, identity, gender for example, come together to defend their group’s interests and rights, sex-positivity can become a problem. Most talk about sex-positivity involves a heteronormative sexual relationship, usually a man and a woman. In sex-positivity, the woman or man can have many sexual partners and is acceptable as long as it is safe sex. The problem here is that while identity groups (such as LGBTQ) are fighting for their rights, sex-positivity invalidates them in that heterosexual women have more ‘sexual’ rights than them, and what about asexual women or men? 

Furthermore, identity politics also include the fact that many are trying to come out of the identities assigned to them. While sex-positivity seems to come across as acceptance within their community, it does not in any way help them be recognised as their own identity. All it does is acceptance of their sexual behaviour, not an acceptance of their identity. Identity here is different from sexuality, wherein sex-positive here looks mostly at the act of having sex itself, not identity. 

Sex-positivity, while might be an advantage for hetereosexual relationships, poses problems in contemporary identity politics as mentioned above. More importantly, I feel that the idea of sex-positivity could impede the efforts and movements of the identity groups in a way that people might argue that since homosexual or queer sexual acts are more accepted, there is no need to specifically accept their ‘identities’. There is no need for rights or liberation because we (LGBTQ and heterosexuals) can all enjoy freedom in sexual performance since you know, we are sex-positive. This could possibly halt advances in LGBTQ rights and identity. Is sex-positivity all that positive then?