Unlocking the Hidden Meanings: a peek in to the Fascinating World of Gay Hanky Codes!

Ever already been among several gay guys and noticed an abundance of handkerchiefs in their purse? Maybe you also notice that they seem to be in jeans and shirt pouches. If you are not really acquainted with the homosexual community, you’ll probably conclude that it is some new trend.

After all, trends frequently alter every min today, and it’s really nearly impossible to keep up. So that you’ll only shrug it well and keep on. Knowing towards gays, though, you’ll totally possible think its a gay hanky code of some kind, and also you’d be appropriate.

Gay hanky codes, often referred to as handkerchief requirements or bandana codes, currently an integral part of the LGBTQ+ neighborhood for decades. These codes involve putting on a coloured handkerchief in a particular wallet or a particular location on your own body to speak one’s sexual passions and fetishes to other individuals. Colour or design shows whatever sexual intercourse, while the place reveals your selected role.

The annals of the homosexual hanky code (or bandana signal, since it is sometimes labeled as) is actually a lengthy and interesting one. The beginnings aren’t actually rooted in homosexual tradition. Instead, its starts can be found in the mid-19th century whenever it was applied by tens and thousands of cowboys, miners, and railroad designers within the Western US.

Really thought that the practice of dressed in bandanas by men started in
Bay Area
throughout the gold-rush whenever males have been moving with one another in rectangular dances utilized the shade of their bandanas to symbolize whether they were taking the female or male role inside the dance.

This rule was utilized because there were couple of females present, very each guy had to perform either the male lead or female follower character during a dance. The person putting on a blue bandana would do the male direct part, whilst the guy dressed in a red bandana would use the female follower role.

Over one hundred decades afterwards, when you look at the flourishing homosexual tradition of 1970s
New York City
, homosexual men needed a rule to suggest not just their particular sex but also the role they played. Presuming ended up being dangerous, as drawing near to an inappropriate person may lead to you getting detained, tossed in jail, or killed. Discretion ended up being with the substance. Members of the leather society came up with a means of communication.

Several currently dressed in secrets on the belt loops. Wearing their unique points on the left buckle cycle stumbled on symbolize your guy ended up being a premier, while putting on it regarding the right meant they were a bottom.

Truly said that use of the hanky signal in those occasions came about after a tale from a reporter from The Village Voice, an alternate weekly magazine and another on the very first types of info for queer folks in nyc.

The reporter joked that gay males should consider different-colored handkerchiefs as a very efficient solution to indicate their intimate interests in place of making use of the important factors. Town relatively accepted the concept, additionally the homosexual hanky rule had been used.

, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Per some scholarly resources, the use of hanky requirements by gay community ended up being speared by a mall in bay area for sensual merchandise known as The Trading article. Around 1971, the store began to advertise colored handkerchiefs inside their shop plus published and distributed notes employing meanings.

Considering that the concept of the red-colored and blue handkerchiefs was already identified, all they had a need to do ended up being assign meanings to many other hues and printing all of them on the cards. This type of the story are available in Hal Fischer’s Gay Semiotics.

Additionally there is a claim by Alan Selby, founder of Mr. S Leather in bay area, he, together with his business partners at Leather ‘n’ circumstances, developed the first homosexual hanky rules. Per him, they inadvertently got a double purchase of bandanas and had to rapidly develop an easy method to allow them to sell from the products. Need could be the mother of innovation, as the saying goes, additionally the remedy would be to make an expanded signal to assist them to eliminate the extra supply.

From 1964, Bob Damron, an entrepreneur, punished a listing of every gay taverns he’d seen on their travels over the usa. The publication was labeled as

Bob Damron’s Address Book

, therefore highlighted homosexual pubs, theatres, bathhouses, and cruise places he’d seen. An early on form of the
gay travel courses
, the subsequent versions of the even featured lists of gay hanky rules that existed during that time.

Record, particularly
queer record
– certainly one of satisfaction and strength – is very important, so the source of homosexual hanky rules should not be forced apart. But is as important to aim to the right here and now. Today, there is certainly a robust vocabulary of colors, opportunities, and definitions.

Although newer kinds of interaction occur and privacy has stopped being necessary generally in most spots, the effective use of these colored handkerchiefs to speak remains practiced among homosexual people. Perhaps the understanding that gay rights and gay systems are always under menace have not permitted the practice to diminish into obsoletion.

We intend to try to clarify a number of the hanky requirements and their meanings. This is simply not an exhaustive listing, obviously, so there are many that wont feature with it. Develop that a lot of of these do, however. Before we dive in, it’s vital to know that the placing of the object about left part suggests that the wearer is actually a high, while setting it throughout the right suggests that the wearer is actually a bottom.

For functions like fisting, water-based activities, etc, the bandana is actually worn in the left area when it comes to individual undertaking the act, and on suitable part for the person receiving the therapy.

The edges involved can either end up being a pocket – the back pocket – and/or supply. For the second, the bandana is tied across the left or the proper upper supply. To suggest that the wearer is functional, the bandana is actually tied up across neck or hidden down the front or back in the trousers, as focused as you possibly can. Today, let us get to the colors and whatever they represent.

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image by
shared under a
Innovative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license

In this essay we’ll protect…


If you see some body dressed in a black colored bandana or handkerchief on their remaining part or holding it within left wallet, it indicates these are typically thinking about playing the act of SADO MASO or Dominance. When it is used throughout the right-side, this means these are typically prepared for being controlled, in other words. they’re submissive.

a monochrome checked bandana is a pleasant view, because it reveals a leading – or base – who is huge on secure intercourse. If the bandana had a white stripe, it indicates the bearer is actually a black bottom (in other words. they are a leading) or vice versa. If you see a black velvet handkerchief sticking out from a left wallet, anyone loves to generate video clips. If it’s from inside the right wallet, the individual enjoys doing for any camera.


We had beenn’t sure whether charcoal falls under gray or black colored, but whatever the case, charcoal signifies a latex fetish very top or bottom, according to position hanky, obviously.

Gray can be used to showing individuals seeking bondage, aided by the remaining side waiting for slavery very top plus the right suggesting a base exactly who likes thraldom. Gray and black colored imply that they may be into lightweight SM, and grey bamboo is because of suits: wearing them or liking guys that put them on.


a purple bandana or handkerchief worn regarding left indicates that the wearer is actually into fisting. Worn on the right-side, this means the wearer is actually into becoming fisted. If the handkerchief is crimson, it indicates two-handed fisting. Once again, alike law applies regarding the sides.

Maroon, a reddish brown, represents something a lot more serious – cutting. The most known really does the trimming, without a doubt. And if the red has a white stripe, it indicates the bearer enjoys shaving/being bare, again keeping in mind the side. If white stripe is actually black, it stands for the exact opposite, with all the individual becoming a furry bear or willing to end up being fucked by one.


Mild green and dark colored red relate to
fucking and tit torturing, correspondingly. As usual, the presence of the hanky throughout the remaining means the person is actually perpetuating the act, even though the presence about correct demonstrates that these include ready to accept receiving it. If you are experiencing daring, tuck a light and dark colored ink hanky to your back pocket. We do not guarantee you may not wake-up aching, though.

We are merely going to go on and group mauve, magenta, and fuschia beneath the pink umbrella. Often we cannot assist but question just what approach was used to designate meanings these types of hues, because some hues which can be thus near each other in tone mean significantly various things. For instance, mauve on left suggests that you’re into waist line worshipers, while carrying it throughout the correct declares that you’re a navel worshipper. A shade away from that, you really have fuschia, which is the colour of spankers and gays that like to be spanked. Imagine wanting to spend a quiet night nuzzling your top’s navel, and after that you end up tossed over a knee, a paddle ins from the butt.

If you are maybe not excessively acquainted with the homosexual hanky rules / various shades, prevent the more technical rules and merely use your words rather. You are probably thinking just what mauve means. Well, we’re going to put it this way: if you do not like having your pits sucked or drawing pits, it is not available.


Orange is really a pleasant, bright tone that it’ll be challenging you know what it signifies. If you notice a gay guy blinking a lime bandana from their left pocket, it is indicative that they’re down for virtually anything, everywhere, whenever you want. Wanting to get fisted? They’re your man. Gone thinking of getting a handjob behind some community commodes? Hit them off. Ever wondered how it would feel to screw in
rabbit outfits
? They could acquire a set of fluffy bunny ears already.

The bandana on the right side might let you down you some, because suggests the holder is just looking and does not want to-do anything at that point. Much like pink, there are other colors close to orange that also have different definitions.

An apricot hanky is actually used on the kept by a fat individual and on the proper by a chubby chaser. Someone using red coral loves having their own feet sucked or perhaps is into sucking, and when you notice a rust handkerchief, the individual is actually possibly a cowboy (left part) or loves cowboys (right side).


a bright yellow bandana or handkerchief worn from the left is an indication your person putting on it enjoys giving golden showers. When it is used regarding the right side, this means that the individual likes receiving golden showers. A pale yellow represents spitting, and when the bandana is on the remaining part, that implies the individual does spitting. Obviously, you’ll you know what suitable part signifies. A gold bandana regarding remaining supply or pocket indicates the person falls under one or two selecting a third, although the right-side will be the reverse – a single individual looking a couple to become listed on with.

A mustard-colored bandana or handkerchief should stimulate we that are acquainted the code, because it indicates individuals whoever penis is actually eight inches and overhead. Just be sure it’s on remaining part, or two people in search of a well-hung stallion might end going house collectively. That will be quite an account to share with.

a yellowish banana with a white stripe stands one finding an Asian leading or bottom (you need to abstain from this until you’re Asian, or it may go off as fetishizing). Silver is donned by men and women finding muscle man covers or bottoms.


A kelly environmentally friendly bandana is actually continued the left side by hustlers flipping tricks, and on ideal by johns thinking of buying a night or two of delight.

Hunter green is for daddies in addition to their boys, olive green is actually for armed forces tops and soles, while lime green resembles kelly environmentally friendly, except that the money exchanged in this situation is food, in place of cash. It isn’t quite typical, but essential lime reminds us of meals – and so very should this bandana!


The placement of lighting bluish bandana or handkerchief can show the individual’s preferences in terms of providing head. Used on remaining part, it signifies a desire to receive. Worn regarding the right-side, it indicates a desire provide head.

a transition to a robin’s-egg blue tends to make circumstances quite interesting. While dressed in the bandana regarding the right supply or holding it into the remaining wallet shows that the individual desires to 69, carrying it regarding the correct reveals an aversion to 69. A medium blue bandana is certainly not one you would anticipate to see usually, because of the reputation of stress between authorities and also the gay community, because represents police. Individuals holding it throughout the right side implies that they are seeking slightly excitement as a cop to peak them.

a dark colored or navy blue is short for an ordinary outdated top or bottom, while an airforce bluish handkerchief is likely to be continued the remaining side by a pilot/flight attendant as well as on suitable area by someone who wants possibly. Lighting bluish bandana with white stripes signals the current presence of a sailor or someone who wants to shag a sailor.

Once you see a teal handkerchief, you had most readily useful think, if you don’t’re into penis and golf ball torture, because that’s what you’re going to get. Lighting bluish bandana with white, black colored, brown, or yellowish dots signifies individuals who desire draw or get drawn by white, black colored, Latino, or Asian folks, respectively.


Many people have no idea that piercing is actually a
for most. If you are these types of one, possible thank all of us for beginning the eyes to something totally new. Stick a purple bandana inside left pocket if striking individuals converts you in. You can also recharge for the piercings and also make cash having fun. Place it during the correct one if becoming pricked with razor-sharp needles makes you hard.

Just be careful you don’t substitute it with a lavender one, or you’ll end up being proclaiming that you like pull queens- should you decide wear it on your own remaining – or you are a drag king your self in the correct.


This is certainly bound becoming one of the most challenging colors to distinguish, so we’d want to apologize ahead of time. Simple white stands for a handjob – getting or giving one. Holstein (milk-white) fittingly is due to milking, with the leading carrying out the milking plus the bottom being milked. A cream-colored bandana is actually used on the remaining by somebody who has a thing for cumming in condoms.

People who enjoy sucking the jizz off said condoms put them on from the right. A plain white fabric hanky on the remaining means the bearer loves white bottoms, and the ones in search of white surfaces use them on right. Should you decide catch a glimpse of white velvet from the left area, anyone likes to watch. If it’s about right, they prefer becoming viewed.

Wear a sterling silver lame handkerchief in your remaining wallet if you should be particularly interested in a hollywood, and you simply might entice one with similar product inside their proper pocket.


A brown pure cotton hanky implies what you believe this means. Yes, it is scat, together with the scat top flagging (this is another word for using the hanky codes) about remaining additionally the bottom flagging on correct. Brown lace stands for circumcision – whether you are loading an uncut cock or shopping for one. Brown satin is for slice cocks. Brown corduroy is actually carried by individuals who are into headmaster/student roleplay. The ‘headmaster’ carries the hanky from the remaining, as the pupil stocks it in the correct.

A brown handkerchief with a white stripe indicates a find Latino bottoms or surfaces. a tan one regarding the remaining part determines a smoker, of course they’re your own sort, after that use yours throughout the right. Beige, which we have now made a decision to put in the brown category, is for rimmers and those that like obtaining rimmed.

Other Gay Hanky Codes

Asides from tones, other materials and patterns also have someplace into the gay hanky rule terminology. One with a fur-covered handkerchief is actually both a premier or bottom who is into bestiality. A leopard-print one is the sign of a tattoo-haver and a tattoo liker. Paisley could be the signal for having or liking boxer shorts. We aren’t too sure why anyone would want to banner that, but each their own.

A Union Jack will be the banner for skinheads, while men and women into backyard gender hold internet handkerchiefs – or, much more correctly, square items of internet. Should you especially are into
and would like to obtain it on in a playground, hold a white and reddish gingham hanky, assuming you are checking for an individual to cuddle, go with a teddy-bear patterned one. If you put it on about remaining, you ought to be the big spoon, as well as on the right, you may be the little spoon.

The past you’re maybe not a hanky anyway, but we have heard that should you’re into synthetic play, you ought to carry a synthetic case. This can be challenging confirm, and definitely not the most widespread homosexual hanky code there is .

As the gay hanky rule happens to be a longstanding custom when you look at the LGBTQ+ society, it’s not widely recognized or utilized. Different communities and folks possess unique perceptions of this meanings of different shades and placements.

Many people also look for hanky rules becoming out-of-date or constricting and would rather connect their passions and wishes straight the help of its partners. All things considered, we perform live-in a modern period with
gay hook-up applications
with emojis and all the fetishes noted…

Others believe it is a wizard concept, because it communicates so much without any terms and helps you quickly pick people with similar tastes whilst from a crowd men and women. What you may think about all of them, it is important to maintain record behind hanky rules planned and recognize that they truly are inseparable from gay and LGBTQ history.

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