Toothing was originally a media hoax that claimed that Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones or PDAs were being used to arrange random sexual encounters.


It appears that toothing started around March 2004, in the form of a fake forum designed by Ste Curran, then Editor at Large at games magazine Edge, and ex-journalist Simon Byron. On April 4, 2005, the creators of the forum admitted that the whole thing was a hoax.The Triforce Blog Archives Toothing

In toothing, a Bluetooth device is used to "discover" other enabled devices within about 30 feet (10 meters), then send the expression toothing? as an initial greeting. In addition, or when sending of text messages via Bluetooth is not possible, the Bluetooth name of the phone can be set to toothing? or something else to indicate interest. Since the hoax, there have been real Bluetooth dating devices to hit the market.

Although created as a hoax, bluetoothing merged the very credible concepts of short-range wireless networking and desire for sexual partners. Recent news from more credible sources shows some evidence of real usage of Bluetooth for this purpose in (generally ) public places. Given the limited functionality and poor usability of standard Bluetooth implementations to support messaging, it is not surprising that wider usage of it would only arise in extreme dating situations. Bluetoothing is an example of localized social networking, which is becoming increasingly popular.

Similar hoaxes

A similar hoax was attempted in July of 2005. This hoax proposed a sexual practice called "greenlighting," in which men and women wore green shirts with the collars turned up, and had sexual relations with whoever turned the collars down. In truth, no such sexual practice has taken place on any notable scale. The hoax similarly involved posts to the blogosphere, and various sites that purported to coordinate and discuss among "greenlighters".

It was immediately speculated to be a hoax by many users at Metafilter, where the first external link to the forum was posted. The hoaxers abandoned their attempt on the morning of July 6 after information about the deception was posted to Wikipedia. The organizers of the attempted hoax later posted their "memoirs" on the site.

Concurrently with this, the journalist Cyrus Farivar, who had been among the bloggers casting suspicion on the hoax, found links from the Wookiefetish website in his referrer logs. He registered an account on the forum to access the messages and found proof that the site was a hoax, revealing it on his blog. Farivar later wrote a column about the hoax and his role in exposing it for Slate Magazine.


See also

External links

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This article is based on "Toothing" from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia ( It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licencse. In the Wikipedia you can find a list of the authors by visiting the following address: