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Gay hankerchief code

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Here, we take a look at the tools gay men have historically used to determine who is into what. The handkerchief code also known as the hanky code, the bandana code and flagging is the wearing of various colored bandanas around the neck was common in the mid- and late-nineteenth century among cowboys, steam railroad engineers and miners in the Western United States. Color-coded, this system has been historically used by gay men to indicate preferred sexual fetishes, what kind of sex they are seeking, and whether they are a top or bottom. It is thought that the wearing of bandanas by men originated in San Francisco after the Gold Rush, when, because of a shortage of women, men dancing with each other in square dances developed a code wherein the man wearing the blue bandana took the male part in the square dance, and the man wearing the red bandana took the female part. Claims to when the more modern hanky code started vary. Some say it started in New York City in late or early when a journalist not Michael Musto for the Village Voice joked that instead of simply wearing keys to indicate whether someone was a "top" or a "bottom", it would be more efficient to subtly announce their particular sexual focus by wearing different colored hankies.
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Handkerchief code

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Handkerchief code | LGBT Info | Fandom

The handkerchief code also known as the hanky code , the bandana code , and flagging [1] is a system of color-coded cloth handkerchief or bandanas for non-verbally communicating one's interests in sexual activities and fetishes. The color of the handkerchief identifies a particular activity, and the pocket it is worn in left or right identifies the wearer's preferred role in that activity. For example, a dark blue handkerchief indicates an interest in anal sex , and wearing it in the left pocket indicates a preference for being the insertive partner. The wearing of colored bandanas around the neck as a practical accessory was common in the mid- and late-nineteenth century among cowboys , steam railroad engineers , and miners in the Western United States. It is thought that the wearing of bandanas by gay men originated in San Francisco after the Gold Rush , when, because of a shortage of women, men dancing with each other in square dances developed a code wherein the man wearing the blue bandana took the male part in the square dance, and the man wearing the red bandana took the female part these bandanas were usually worn around the arm or hanging from the belt or in the back pocket of one's jeans. The modern hanky code is often reported to have started in New York City around , when a journalist for the Village Voice joked that instead of simply wearing a set of keys on one side or the other then a common code to indicate whether someone was a "top" or a "bottom" , it would be more efficient to subtly announce their particular sexual focus by wearing different colored handkerchiefs.
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The Old, Secret Style Language Of The LGTBQ+ Community

The hanky code was a covert sartorial code used predominately by queer men in the s and into the s. The hanky code initially began with the use of red bandanas to discreetly identify practitioners of fisting. In many early hanky codes, red typically appears as the first color. Queer businesses printed the hanky code decoder lists for distribution. Erotica shops, bookstores, and catalogs provided decoder lists with the purchase of bandanas, while gay bars printed the lists with location information as a form of marketing.
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Skip navigation! Story from Fashion. Landon Peoples. Have you ever heard of the hanky code?
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