No single area of the Internet remains free from being subject to the influence of pornography and filth. Even the sweet and innocent smiley, the humble yellow smiley face we know and love has 'grown up' and moved to the Red Light District. No longer a naive and innocent emoticon, this little smiley has learnt to display some naughty behaviour. Adult smileys (also called emoticons) range from mild and humorous animations such as smiley giving the finger to explicit pornographic adult emoticons and sexy avatars. The fact that smileys and emoticons now come in a variety of animated graphic formats has resulted in a huge variety of adult smileys and emoticons (just search for 'adult emoticons' in Google and you'll see what I mean).
What's there to see in the 'Emoticon Red Light District'? More than a peep show we can promise you that. You'll find funny smileys doing rude things, naughty emoticons behaving badly, sexually explicit emoticons, adult themed avatars and display images, and even smiley faces having sex. It's all there. If you're intrigued and want to experiment with some adult emoticons and adult smileys then the Red Light District could be the destination you've always been looking for. There are many websites that will give you access to a variety of ways to express adult emotions - including sex emotions.
We at My Emoticons do have to take some responsibility. It was 2005 and we were busy designing innocent little msn emoticons and msn smileys for MyEmoticons.com. We were having fun designing sweet and innocent emoticons but the fun was taken to a different level altogether when lots of our users started asking for adult icons. We started to experiment with different styles. Very soon we'd built a collection of adult emoticons and adult avatars. Imagine naughty emoticons - cheeky and very funny but not too sexually explicit. To add a twist we played with a few sex animated smilies and sexy avatars. We'll leave the rest to your imagination.
I will say we made a conscious decision not to go too far. We created a limit: we defined 'adult' as meaning free from porn and erotic content. We haven't included pornographic emoticons. We think that's inappropriate. We also made a business decision (that cost us money), not to distribute these adult smileys free of charge. You have to pay to download. This way we hope children won't be able to access them. Only those people that actively choose to pay them can enjoy them. By sharing our adult emoticons in this way we hope very much we don't offend anyone. We were the first to make adult emoticons available to download. Others emoticon creators soon followed suit and The Red Light District was born.
MSN Messenger is the only instant messaging application that will allow you to upload your own 'custom' adult msn emoticons. Adult smileys won't work with yahoo messenger or aim messenger. However, there is some good news. You can use the naughty emoticons in email and blogs (MySpace). You can also use them in QQ Messenger but remember, the Chinese Government openly disapproves of porn so be very careful if you're showing any adult msn emotions in China. You can use adult avatars and display pictures anywhere you like - yahoo, msn and aol instant messenger, blogs and email - as well as Skype.
Think about the context before using sex emoticons and sexy avatars. Remember blogs are public places. Be very careful when using sex avatars that your mother or your teacher don't stumble upon your blog and see something you'd really rather prefer they didn't. It's easier to stay out of the hole than dig yourself out of it. I have experienced exactly this problem on my MySpace page. An adult avatar accidently got left as my profile picture and my friend's mother arrived at my space. She was suitably unimpressed at her daughter's choice of friends. It was a genuine mistake on my part but people form lasting impressions in a matter of seconds. I need say no more.
To keep it fun we recommend expressing adult emotions with adult animated emoticons in msn messenger or email only. This way the communication is one-to-one and considerably more private. Of course you will have to be careful to check who's watching over your shoulder. Some people have nothing better to do than be nosey.
Here's where a problem is encountered; what was supposed to be fun and a way to express adult msn emotions becomes a parental nightmare. Understandably parents don't want their child's online experience tarnished. We know it's easy to stumble upon content on emoticon and smiley websites that's too grown up. Even the most innocent of websites often has an easy access 'adult' area that doesn't come with 'over 18 years only' warnings. We don't have a solution. Freedom is something that the world wide web promotes. Certainly, Internet porn is condemnable but there's a difference between that and some harmless adult fun.
The question is this; how do act responsibly as a community and ensure the content being viewed matches the age of the individual viewing it? On our websites, My Emoticons and My Adult Images we endeavor to act responsibly. You can't download anything that's more than mildly 'grown up' without paying for it - and that requires a credit card or a PayPal account. By doing this we hope that young children don't get their hands on our sex smileys before they've had that talk about the 'birds and the bees'.
The Emoticon and Smiley Red Light District is harmless entertainment when used responsibly. It doesn't have to attract a bad name. Some people will always take the fun too far but it doesn't have to be that way. Enjoy exploring it, sharing it with friends but do it responsibly.
Written By: Charlotte Atherton
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