- What is toothing?
Toothing is basically technology-enabled cruising.
The term toothing refers to anonymous or semi-anonymous encounters that are initiated via
text messages on devices such as phones or PDAs that use Bluetooth radio technology.
Bluetooth allows a device user to locate and contact other users within a
limited area. Toothers use this contact to offer a proposition; if they find
another interested party, they meet and take it from there.
- Why is it called toothing?
“Toothing” is simply derived from the name Bluetooth, the wireless technology that allows toothers to locate, contact and communicate with one another. The word is probably a take-off on the term“dogging”.
- How did toothing start?
Toothing is a natural evolution of SMS text messaging, combined with the public’s insatiable desire for contact and the excitement of spontaneous and sometimes anonymous encounters. It should be noted that for several years, Japanese dating services have been using wireless and GPS technology to help alert members when they come in proximity to a potential match in public. However, toothing is much more anonymous and less structured than this – it’s sort of
an anarchistic dating service.
- Is toothing like dogging?
Toothing is similar to dogging in that there are elements of anonymity and spontaneous casual encounters, and the rendezvous often take place in public or semi-public locations. There may be some overlap between people who participate in dogging and those who are involved in toothing.
However, toothers tend to be younger and more oriented toward computers and tech
gadgets than their dogging counterparts. Many regard dogging as low-tech and old
hat. And while dogging is decidedly a spectator sport, toothing is a one-on-one endeavour. Typically, toothers contact one another via text messages in a public spot, and proceed to a more secluded location. While they may be caught in the act, that is not necessarily the intention.
- What’s the best device to use for toothing?
Any Bluetooth-capable wireless device will do. You can use a cell phone, PDA, Blackberry, or even a laptop computer. However, Bluetooth-capable cell phones are the most popular because of their small size and discreetness. Some PDA devices have better interfaces for entering text messages. Your choice may depend on whether you are more interested in titillating flirtation via text, or you want to cut to the chase and get on with the action.
- What kind of people are into toothing?
Many people who engage in toothing are young professionals in the information
technology sector. They are average folk who may appear to just be going about their daily commute or errands. Toothing is used by both heterosexuals and homosexuals looking for hook ups. You never know – the gent or business woman with the PDA standing next to you on the train may be arranging a tryst right under your nose.
- Where are the best locations for toothing?
Public transportation, such as the Tube, commuter trains, and buses, are all prime spots for toothing, as are busy streets bustling with pedestrians and public parks that get a lot of foot traffic. Bars and other nightspots are also likely locations to seek out toothing connections, especially if they attract a media and computer-savvy clientele.
- How widespread is toothing?
Toothing is primarily a trend in urban centers in the U.K. and throughout Europe, but it is beginning to gain popularity in outlying areas as well.
There is also interest growing in many U.S. cities such as L.A., Chicago, New
York and Washington, D.C.
- I want to try toothing. How do I get started?
First you need to get a wireless device that supports Bluetooth technology and get connected through a wireless service provider. Make sure that you have your device enabled to accept new connections or contacts. In your own contact information for your device, enter something that will indicate to others in the vicinity that you are seeking toothing encounters. Simply entering “Toothing?” as a contact name has been suggested to let others know what you are looking for. Once you make contact with someone who is also interested, you’ll want to first establish your respective genders and, after that, whether you are open to an encounter. It’s good to be familiar with the area where you are toothing and have a spot in mind to go to for your meeting.
- Where do toothers hook up for meetings?
Toothers frequently choose to meet in public lavatories and parks, in alleyways, changing rooms, or in vehicles if one happens to have a car parked nearby. Occasionally toothers may go to one’s residence if convenient, but this can be risky. Keeping things public can be safer, and makes for an easier exit once things wrap up.
- Do toothers always have sex?
No, sometimes toothers only flirt, or they get together and snog a bit but go no further. For many, the thrill is simply in the chase. What you do is entirely up to you and the person you are with.
- Is toothing dangerous?
Toothing carries with it the same risks as any type of anonymous encounter. For the most part, people who engage in toothing are just looking for a bit of fun. But be aware of potential risks for sexual assault or robbery. If you feel uncomfortable, stay in an area that is well trafficked or near people. And if engaging in sexual activities, be safe when playing with
strangers. Always use condoms, gloves, dental dams, and appropriate contraception. Also be aware that some Bluetooth device users are subject to security issues, such as “Bluesnarfing” wherein a user’s information or contacts are stolen off of his device.
- Is toothing related to Bluejacking?
“Bluejackers” use the same techniques as toothers, but rather than putting an invitation to toothing in the name field of their device, they enter a message that will unnerve the recipient, such as “Virus downloading now…” Bluejackers are just hooligans and pranksters out to disturb people, rather than looking to meet people for fun.
- I don't have a cell phone. Can I still go toothing?
Sorry, but in order to get in on the fun of toothing, you must have a wireless device that utilizes Bluetooth.
- What should I take along when I go toothing – besides my phone?
Be sure to take some condoms and packets of lubricant, in case you get lucky, and some tissues or wet wipes for clean up afterwards. Take a bit of cash, enough for a couple of pints and bus or car fare home, but not so much that you’ll be out much if you end up getting rolled. You may also want to have some of your business cards on hand to give out, if you would like to see your toothing partner(s) again.
- If I’m toothing, am I cheating on my girlfriend?
That would depend on how you and your girlfriend define your relationship, and what exactly you do when you go toothing. Some people subscribe to a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” philosophy in relationships…in other words, if the sex is completely anonymous and your girlfriend doesn’t find out about it – no harm, no foul. On the other hand, she may be out there toothing as well. And what would you do if you inadvertently messaged your better half? You’d both have some explaining to do.