Posted at 5:00 AM Aug 05, 2008
By Bonnie Ruberg
Magazines like Cosmopolitan give us tips all the time on how to successfully flirt with guys: lure them in with your body language, hook them with your come-hither stare. But what's a girl to do when she's chatting with a potential face-locking partner online? Let's say she doesn't even have a webcam at her disposal, just text chat and her creative coquettishness.
How can she replace touching a man's knee, running her hands along his back, or any number of absurdly ditsy real-life cues? With emoticons, of course, those little smiley faces we make by combining colons and parentheses in a way that says, "I have an emotion to express. I'm just too lazy to actually express it in words."
Sprinkling your online chat with these can up the flirtatiousness of even the dullest IM conversation.
10. The smile -- :-) or :)
This one is simple, unless you consider that there's a nose variety and a no-nose variety. Put at the end of sentences, a smiley emoticon implies, "I mean what I'm saying in a friendly way." It gives the person you're chatting with the impression you're sitting across from them looking happy to be there. Use it enough, and it makes you seem downright perky.
9. The wink -- ;)
Definitely more flirty, but also a little more sleazy than the smiley emoticon, the wink says, "Hey, how you doin'?" Think of it as the shorthand for "wink wink, nudge nudge." Placed at the end of seemingly normal statements like, "I'm headed to the grocery store to buy some pudding ;)," the winking emoticon implies sexy, mischievous, and generally dirty-minded things -- in this case that you're headed to the store to buy some pudding you will later lick off somebody's nipples. Or something.
8. The stuck-out tongue -- :P
Though this emoticon technically expresses silliness, it can definitely be adapted for playful flirting. Should a crush tell you he's sporting green tights for a production of Peter Pan, for example, try typing, "Yeah, I bet those look really sexy :P" See, you've implied you're joking, but not in the mean way, and if you're lucky that might just get you pounced.
7. The blush -- :*)
The blush is perfect for the coy among us who like to flirt by seeming so innocent and impressionable men can't help but want to ravish them. A blush says, "Oh my! Thank you for saying I looked hot in those new photos I uploaded to Facebook, the ones from the beach where I'm wearing the bikini I was afraid seemed too slutty. I'm embarrassed but also pleased you said so." It's also good for implying things you're too tactful to admit. When asked, "Do you have any crazy sexual fantasies?", just blush.
6. The heart -- <3
Though it doesn't form a face, this emoticon heart can come in super handy for walking the thin line between friendly and flirty. Try using it as you're signing off IM, or when your crush says something that makes you think, "Yeah, that was great. This is why I want to get into your pants." It usually just hangs out on its own chat line, floating through that series of tubes that is the internet, waiting to be interpreted.
5. The closed-eye smile -- ^_^
More Eastern –- and therefore more cute -- than the other smileys seen here, this is the kind of emoticon Japanese tourists would be when they give the peace sign in front of monuments and smile real big, if Japanese tourists were emoticons. Using it makes the person you're chatting with remember, "Oh right, she's really cute." It also allows you to get away with saying just about anything. "I think you’re stupid and you smell like lobster" goes from cruel to endearing when followed by an adorable smile.
4. The grin -- :D
Unlike the closed-eye smile, the grinning emoticon won't get you out of trouble, but it will tell your crush you think he's hilarious. It's a useful response when you're either infatuated with someone and hanging off their every word with your jaw dropped slack in an endless smile of admiration, or you just can't think of any intelligent way to acknowledge their totally stupid jokes. Try it in response to "That's what she said" or "Your mom" comments. Also useful: long, forced strings of "hahahahaha."
3. The kiss -- :*
Don't worry, we're not talking a long, romantic smooch here. You'll have to save that for after you've won your crush's heart with all your tactful online flirting. No, the kiss emoticon is more like a peck on the cheek –- which can imply a lot more to come. Like the heart, it's recommended for after a particularly witty remark, or right before signing off. It says, "Yeah, I do kinda like you that way."
2. The smirk -- :S
Cosmo wouldn’t like this flirting technique, as it's rather subtle. Still, if you're having a long online conversation and you feel like drowning your crush in winks and kisses may be too obvious, consider just sitting in cyberspace with a sexy, knowing smirk on your face. This emoticon says, "Yeah, I have something interesting on the brain. Yeah, maybe it involves you getting naked while cooking with marinara sauce, which will surely splatter and which I will later get to lick for your pelvis. What are you gonna do about it?"
1. The "Let's share bodily byproducts" symbol -- ))<>((
Anyone who's seen You and Me and Everyone We Know will recognize this one. Let's just say your definition of flirting would have to be very… particular for it be effective. But find the right person, and who knows what kind of hottie you may end up making out with on a park bench.