From Open Mind To Unicorn: Code Words In Dating Apps
Uncovering sex-positive words
Setting contacts with new people in dating apps is a part of Fantasy App. authors everyday job - not a routine, but a favorite one. In this communication with apps audience we learn new words and notions that look innocent but have an implied sex-related meaning that can be understood only by people involved in communication context. This is the way we find out more about the language of sex-positive people subculture. And this article shall tell about basic words of sex-positive language.
Open mind in Tinder
The first dozen of Tinder profiles may give us an idea of the app to have nothing to do with sex. Love, romance, friendship, joint coffee breaks, meetings, family values are what most profiles describe as their interests.
The team of Fantasy also uses neutral key to tell Tinder about the things we are interested in. But this is not what things initially were. First we used to write: “Author in Fantasy App, a blog for open minds; write about sex, want to talk over aspects of sexuality development”. Tons of matches with messages resulting in one and the same “so, what shall you tell about sex?” meaning “please light my fire”. Finally, Tinder profiles were changed into more neutral and politically correct bios.
Tinder audience may change, though. The Sense8 series X-mas edition featured the app promo with its reputation “rebranded” into “quick search for sexual partner”. The film shows a protagonist using Tinder in the morning to search for a sexual partner while in the evening he is already having sex with her. The series target audience is sex-positive people, but the app reputation among regular users has so far not changed.
The reasons underlying the established reputation include applestore rules as well as the app international status. Something that is popular in India or in Muslim Turkey (or any other country bypassed by sexual revolution) cannot be about sex. Affected by the app politically correct and polite reputation, new users create their profiles using decent and low-key words.
Thus today Tinder is what it is, with its majority being chaste and its minority being represented by impudent subcultures.
Sex-positive subcultures (like libertines, swingers and kinksters that we tell about in our article Libertines: French Open Minds) in their self-descriptions use words that safeguard prudent users from sex-positive reality: open mind, like mind, kink, chemistry (unicorn).
Meaning of open mind
The direct (dictionary) meaning of the word “open mind” tells us this to be:
- a person who’s open to new [experience];
- a person who is ready to listen to somebody else’s opinion even though having a well-grounded - and totally opposite - one of their own.
Innocent? Quite innocent. Abusive for prudent people? In no way. Ok, we take it.
We have understood the meaning of the word “open mind” in sex-positive persons profiles to denote both disposition and rules:
- sex-positive character;
- love for sexual experiments;
- using sex for pleasure only (in circumvention of “sex for food” strategy).
This is the meaning open minds imply not only in Tinder but also in other sex-positive apps, like Fantasy and Feeld.
Feeld is initially about sex. In this app the concept “open mind” became wide spread and penetrated into most of accounts. From our contacting Feeld open minds we have learnt that for them “open mind” also means avoidance of sexual behavior standards, of the patterns like:
- “never agree to have sex until you find your one and only love”
- “don’t reject sex if proposed to”
Other polysemantic words
In our dealing with dating apps and sites we have come across some other ambiguous words as well. They can be omitted if we haven’t catch on their interlinear meaning:
You see the word and come back to pictures of school lessons or experiments with banned substances. While sex-positive people use “chemistry” to denote invisible sexual attraction. Here are some answers that residents of sex-positive apps gave to our question about “what is chemistry for you?”:
- the sense of sexual drive between partners;
- feeling the difference between desire to different people;
- concentration on mutual attraction during communication, first meeting or first touch, that actually becomes a groundwork for decision on having sex.
Given there is a couple looking for a third person or a single looking for a couple, the chemical formula becomes more sophisticated. But this is even more interesting in case the pleasure of sex lies in not just soonest satisfaction of one’s need but in enjoying the road to new knowledge about the self and other person.
This word is a minefield of meanings. It has two meanings and both of them are often found in dating apps profiles.
Popular meaning of lifestyle is “a set of life style elements”:
- “partner” – surfer, startuper or geek;
- “female friend” – author, designer or yoga instructor;
- “hobby” – travelling, discussing Lynch or Trier;
- nice car;
- gun permission;
- girl with nice tits...
Sexual connotation of lifestyle is life in swing- or BDSM-style.
Both subcultures use the term “lifestyle” for politically correct and polite description of their sexual interests. Swingers do it more often – there’s even a book about it.
In view of both meanings popularity, “lifestyle” in profile description can be a hit-or-miss and thus requires additional decoding.
Lifestyle as an interest can be mentioned by a rare unicorn looking for a couple as well as by common hipster. Finding out what things really are is what you shall do in the process of communication.
This is not even a word but an emoji-symbol.
If you have added a unicorn to your profile just as a beauty effect, don’t be surprised by continuous receipt of alluring proposals. An offer for threesome catches a unicorn both on Instagram and on Facebook.
The matter is “unicorn” in sex-positive jargon means a third person for a couple. Their task is to be a partner in threesome. Usually it stands for a woman.
Sex-positive couples also use the rule of chemistry. Trio is a more complex combination to abide by it. But it makes the subject even more interesting if the pleasure of sex does not imply immediate discharge but involves exact fulfillment of desires each one from the couple has.
Looking for “kink” or “kinks” in web search engine or social network may result in things dealing with the rock group, bikes and skates, twists and curls and so on. But coming across “kink” in dating apps profiles we by intuition understand these curls, music and sport to be about different kinks. Having communicated with “kinky” profiles owners we’ve found kinks to be:
Kinksters look for a partner not in general but by their kinks.
Read between the lines
One may treat ambiguous words and descriptions in dating apps profiles as annoying attempt of disorienting. Or may use them as a game start and an open door inviting for a dialogue.
In fact, they are words that help us replace plastic “hi, how are you, cool photo, where are u from?” with an individual, live question or an offer:
“Hi, would you tell what you mean by the word ‘lifestyle’?
“Hey, could you please share your story about finding your kinks?”
“Hello there, you profile features ‘open mind’. Guess this is being open for new things. But in what field? Does it include sex? Want to understand it better)”
Probably we have not managed to find all low-key words and all hidden meanings of the word “open mind”. But those found shall already suffice to start a dialogue with sex-positive people. Maybe now you understand them better and you’ll find it easier to express feelings, ideas and emotions that stand close to your desires, fantasies and kinks.
More ideas about starting intimate dialogues can be taken from our article Franklin Veaux’s Great Map Of Non-Monogamous Relationships.