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Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
Anna Pulley

Ask Anna: Using emojis to sext

Dear Anna,

I like a good sext exchange as much as the next girl, especially when I can’t see my boyfriend for a few days. It’s hot to get texts about what he’s going to do to me the next time we see each other. The problem — and you knew there was a problem, right? — is that he uses too many emojis for these sexy exchanges! I know, I know, first world problems. But it’s jarring to be buzzing along all turned on and then he’s like, I can’t wait to eggplant your peach. It takes me out of the mood, you know? How do I tell him this gently, or am I doomed to a sex life involving tacos and water droplets? — Frowny Face Emoji

Dear FFE,

What a pain in the peach.

I’m a writer, so I’m a big fan of using words to convey ... well, everything. But not everyone shares that shame fondness for written communication, and it seems like your boyfriend is one of them.

Emojis are a fascinating little digital shortcode for expressing emotions, thoughts and ideas. They can convey facial expressions, tone of voice, activities, meaning and moods in a digital arena where such things often get flattened or didn’t exist in the first place.

As a small example of the power of emojis, if I were able to monetize all the hours and hours spent trying to interpret a crush’s use of heart emojis (or, in queer parlance, the dancing bunny girls), I’d be Beyonce rich.

As the adage goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and emojis are digital pictures that can add context to your words and ideas. This isn’t to say they should replace all words, in texts or otherwise*, but as with any tool, emojis can be an added bonus.

*Remember when people on Twitter “translated” the entire 378-page novel "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville into emojis? If you didn’t, it’s called "Emoji Dick" and you can spend a lot of money ($40 to $200, respectively) to read it, if that’s your preferred form of masochism. Like most people, I read about three tweets worth before stopping, similar to its book counterpart. ("Moby Dick" is horrifically boring! There, I said it.)

Anyway dot com, it’s entirely possible that your burrito-loving boyfriend doesn’t realize his use of emojis is massively dehydrating your pita pocket. The most direct route to textual salvation is to tell him to knock it off. He’ll likely listen, as no one wants to be the instigator of a mushy banana, especially when one wants to get laid. (Possibly the greatest human motivator!)

But, if I may venture another suggestion, here’s one that might help you get away from all the hot dog metaphors while also not relying exclusively on words to communicate your turn-ons. GIFs. There are SO MANY hot GIFs in existence and the more explicit ones can communicate sexy things extremely effectively.

I recommend that you give it a whirl yourself. Try to communicate a fantasy to your boyfriend with GIFs alone the next time you’re sexting, going back and forth until you’re both so hot and bothered you don’t even remember the paella emoji exists.

Good luck, FFE. May your fried shrimp be ever sauced.

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