WEB SERIES. How Pink Minitel invented naughty texting, 1980’s Tinder

It’s impossible to conjure up the Minitel without thinking of the famous pink Minitel that lights up many users’ nights. Surprisingly, these iconic 3615 messaging services that gave birth to cybersex and online porn were not planned by Minitel’s designers… Don’t miss the second episode of our web series “Back to 3615”.

Online messaging and dating sites are not exclusive to the Internet. Before the advent of the Internet, Minitel allowed many French people to chat on the network and sometimes even find (or almost…) love. Electronic messaging was a big hit with the beige box and even became legendary thanks to the pink Minitel and the famously erotic 3615s. Guide yourself through the crazy history of texting in our “Back to 3615” web series hosted by Fannyfique.

Strange as it may seem, Minitel’s designers had thought of a number of practical services, except for one: messaging. It’s pretty ironic that you know they’ve greatly contributed to the terminal’s success. Minitel is designed as a pure information tool, not a communication tool. That’s why couriers were born out of an unpredictable combination of circumstances.

Below is the second episode of our web series “Minitel: Back to 3615”.
Find the five parts of the playlist.

newspaper originally Latest News from Alsace He launched a service based in Strasbourg, called Gretel, which offers weather information, news, and includes a space dedicated specifically to technicians to discuss problems faced by service users. This field works like a mailbox.

Legend has it that an 11-year-old boy discovered this system, realized that it could be used to chat with other people, and after a clever hack made this chat room public. From there the so-called “friendly” messaging systems were born. The success is so dazzling that the server Latest News from Alsace he was quickly fed and jumped. But coincidentally, Cairn specifies”At that time, the head of the newspaper’s telematics service, who was very open-minded, decided not to block the presenter.“Thanks, sir.

Before being a place for naughty encounters, Minitel is a meeting place… period. It is possible to chat with a stranger for the first time. A small revolution at a time when it is difficult to leave your family, professional circle or circle of friends. In a completely new way, it becomes possible to communicate very easily with individuals from very different backgrounds, often over long distances. All this while maintaining his anonymity, since the only information we have is the pseudonym of the addressee.

Minitel offers the opportunity to talk to multiple users, but always face-to-face. With the newness of technology and paid minutes, new uses of communication are emerging. You have to go fast, be efficient and therefore use more of the spoken language as well as many abbreviations. The first pawns of SMS type discussions are advanced. Plus, messaging is fun, a space where the big game is to invent a fake identity, play a role, like at a masquerade ball.

User-friendly messaging has been a real breakthrough for some communities. It’s a way for gay people to exchange and meet without the risk of being unmasked.”At a time when a lesbian or gay couple holding hands on the street is still not welcome“. Minitel message services are also changing the lives of the deaf and hard of hearing. In the 1980s, the telephone remained the number one communication tool that contributed to the exclusion of this community. User-friendly messaging allows them to re-establish a dialogue in writing. A message service is even dedicated to them via 3617. See also: by Release,Minitel allowed students and nurses to coordinate strike movements in 1986 and 1988.“.

The invention also has real advantages for women. Messaging allows them to find more freedom and liberation in a society that is still very patriarchal. Since male occupation of space is the norm, women don’t have much space to express themselves. There’s no way they could approach a stranger in a bar or on the street. Messaging offers them a new field of possibilities and they can now approach anyone they want under the guise of a pseudonym and take the initiative of the meeting. Minitel is therefore not only a technological advance, but also a tremendous social and societal advance.

It’s all very nice, but we come to the point that interests you the most, I know. Minitel remained mostly in the imagination for its famous mischievous messages. 3615 Ulla, 3615 Monique, 3615 Aline… I bet you’ve heard of them before. In thirty years of existence, the most lucrative service in the brown box, the pink Minitel, after one year of existence “Minitel’s rogue services (usually naughty couriers) monopolize 30% of user connections” zdnet.fr reports. What a disgrace to these minitélists.

Pink Minitel is the birth of cybersex and online porn. For the first time, for the first time (as France Gall or Jeanne Mas call it), it is possible to flirt in a network, and also this new mode of love interaction that inspired the song. goodbye marylou By Michel Polnareff in 1989. Le Minitel rose is sex without pictures, but with a little imagination and time, the pages can let open pixelated drawings that are too obvious to spark fantasies. Pink Minitel is a particularly lucrative business that has made the fortunes of many entrepreneurs, starting with Free’s CEO Xavier Niel, who would also launch the reverse directory in 1996.

To attract the pink messages, advertising posters displaying 4-by-3 nude women are collectively occupying the public space. The image of women is very sexist, overly sexualized, appears absolutely everywhere and fails to scandalize a certain number of French. I was three apples tall at the time, but I remember very well these very clear signs that spread across the walls of my city. The boy I was impressed, sometimes fascinated and often so scared of, the sight of these attractive women seemed to want to hypnotize me and gnaw at my soul.

Pink Minitel is considered a true loss leader, encouraging shoppers to spend the minutes. The funniest thing about all this, the most important user-friendly messaging systems were held by major press groups: 3615 Aline, New Observer While 3615 belonged to Turlu Release.

The way you seduce yourself is also changing. Charged by the minute (and expensive!), there’s no time to waste reaching your goals. Conversations, the usual polite “Hello, how are you?” Doesn’t even bother to start with. or the famous “what’s your name?” but with “ASV” for a very direct approach meaning “age, gender, city”.

Being involved is out of the question at Minitel: we’re there to flirt, and much more if there’s intimacy. The anonymity and secrecy of the discussions allow the minister to very quickly free himself from all restrictions and plunge into all his fantasies.

Erotic texting isn’t all that rosy, and excesses come into play very quickly. not him It is not uncommon for attractive young ladies to hide actually paid persons, called hostesses or facilitators, to keep communication with male users as long as possible (note that minitelist is billed per minute).

There is also sexual identity spoofing, and the host, believed to be female, may turn out to be male. The profits made by mischievous couriers are enormous and always require more, some practices also consist of picking up customers from another courier and bringing them back to their own floor. Also, prostitutes may have infiltrated the couriers.

on the edge customThere is no shortage of discussions. LNaughty messaging is alarming because they are not protected by a password or parental control system, accessible to anyone, including young children. Others complain of premarital and extramarital sex apology by Minitel, then “state operator providing a conduit for prostitution“As pen and roll explains. The state that financially benefits from the profits of the pink couriers even qualifies as a pimp.”Angry at what they thought was a criminal diversion of their invention, the PTT took over the Telematics Monitoring Commission (something very French technocratic) in 1985, protesting “abuse embezzlement and assault on good morals”.