Article written by Maya Vukovska

You constantly misunderstand emojis on dating apps? This is how to read profiles lacking descriptive info.

You are on your dating app and you come upon a “Gary” who advertises himself not with words but with emoji icons: flower-of-the-lily, purple devil face, the star-spangled banner. Obviously, these characters mean something to Gary, but what are they telling YOU about him?

Using imagery on one’s app profile is not only about functionality and preferences, but also about sending coded signals. Sex and relationship seekers nowadays should be able to read all types of visual characters if they want to know in advance what to expect from their dates.

How to tell who’s there just for sex

Telling the sex seekers (SS) from the relationship seekers (RS) is the key to a successful hookup on any dating app. To do that you need to start from deciphering the intentions and cravings hidden behind the emojis on one’s profile.

The guys who are on the app looking for NSA sex, i.e. sex with no strings attached, are easy to recognize. Let’s take our guy Gary, for example. The flower-of-the-lilly tells us he is a native of New Orleans as it is the city's symbol. The American flag indicates that he is also a proud American, and probably a soldier. And the devil face emoji hints at his sexual nature - Gary is a flirty, kinky sexual explorer.

If you come upon a profile on which the user states his sexual cravings with a combination of a cow and bull emoji, then your best guess should be that the guy needs a new boy, a much younger playmate. What you can expect from that date is a hard worker from the south, a sturdy cowboy, who can handle not one, but two young “cows” in his barn.

Guys looking for true love

If you are on a dating app for the purpose of finding yourself a steady partner, then you have to watch out for the following pictorial signs: coffee, food, cinema screen, and other novelties that stand for activities you expect on a conventional date. The avid relationship seekers will, as a rule, avoid explicit sexual emojis. They are less eager to advertise the size of their sex organ or their sexual preferences. Instead, they’d advertise personality traits, favorite free-time activities, zodiac signs, and current dispositions (flirty, happy, sad, affectionate, etc.) - things that may be important to a user who’s also on a quest for finding a long-term companion. For an SS, it is important to share that he is a Leo, for example, because that can reveal a lot about his personality - that he is outgoing, and lives his life to the fullest.

You can tell someone is a relationship seeker rather than a sex-crazed loner if they avoid any type of partying emojis. First of all, users who seek emotionless sex are more likely to capitalize the “T” in “partying,” which is indicative for drug-using, as designer drugs are often called “ice” or “Tina.” So, if you are not willing to engage yourself in sexual activity under the influence of methamphetamines or other illegal drugs, you’d better keep away from guys who are PNP (party&play).

The emoji brain-twister

If one is new on the dating scene, they can easily get confused by the pictogram slang used for communication in the gay subculture. Let’s take the arrow emojis for example. These symbols indicate the preferred sexual position. The arrows pointing up and down are pretty self-explanatory. But how about the other alternatives? An arrow pointing right means “not into anal at all.” Pointing top to bottom or left to right = full verse. Top right = top verse. Top left = top bottom.

Some emojis, such as eggplant and peach, have unambiguous sexual meanings attached to them. But what if they are used in combination with other pictograms or abbreviations? If a profile contains the “eyes” and the “eggplant,” it means that the user is looking for a well-hung partner. If the “eyes” are followed by LTR, then you can be sure the guy is looking for a serious relationship.

Once you find your way around in the virtual realm of social networking, it’ll get easier to communicate with your fellow sex-or-relationship seekers. But while this happens, just make sure not to confuse the “poop” emoji with ice cream!