The technology known as Bluetooth was designed to wirelessly unite different devices such as computers, mobile phones, and cars over short distances.
But some owners of Bluetooth-enabled phones and handheld computers are using it to make connections of a different ï¿½ and decidedly ‘blue’ ï¿½ sort.
It’s called ‘toothing,’ a fad reportedly started by randy, tech-savvy British gadget owners.
‘It’s a new way for people to basically hook up ï¿½ kind of like an online dating group,’ says Tony Romando, editor-in-chief of Synch, a men’s lifestyle magazine published by Ziff-Davis.
How it works is fairly simple.
Bluetooth-enabled device can automatically detect and connect with other Bluetooth device within roughly a 30-foot radius. So, owners use the devices in public places ï¿½ bars, clubs, airports, train stations ï¿½ to find other nearby Bluetooth owners and send them a short, often flirtatious message.
The messages can be random, says Romando. But usually ‘toothers’ will send a message such as, ‘Interested in some toothing?’ That kind of message typically means the sender is not only interested in flirting, but actually hooking up for a quick and anonymous sexual encounter.
‘It is [about] pure sex,’ says Romando. But he notes that the chase alone can also be quite thrilling for some toothers.
‘You could carry on an illicit affair right there over your phone without ever having met the person,’ he says. And unlike flirting online from your home computer, there is the possibility that toothers could actually meet.
‘If a woman were to send you a message ï¿½ ‘Hey, are you up for some toothing?’ ï¿½ you can look up from your phone and look around for someone who’s pecking ”
Several Web sites on the Net dedicated to toothing are sprouting up, offer guidelines on where the hot gathering spots are as well as reminders of safe sex practices.
Many of these toothing Web sites and blogs appear to be focused on hot spots in England. But, like the Bluetooth technology itself, the toothing fad seems to be spreading to other countries. And that, says Romando, may not be such a bad thing.
“Any way that people can incorporate a little bit of sex and some hanky-panky into their gadgets,” says Romando, “It works well.”
Technology, you have gotta love it.