In the gay world, the color of a handkerchief can indicate an interest in a particular fetish or activity. Worn in the right rear pocket, it indicates an interest in the passive, often "bottoming" position. Worn in the left pocket, it indicates a predilection for an active, usually "dominant" role. You may find layered hankies of different color combinations, meaning that the person is looking for another person into any or all of the advertised scenes. In some cases the dominant person may actually be passive during a given scene, such as in rimming. In addition to hankerchiefs, the position of a set of keys worn on the belt may indicate top or bottom, in the same fashion as the hankies.
The Hanky Code as Queer Male Semiotic, or, The Immanent Contradiction of the Medium
Gay History: Bandana Codes | timalderman
A bandana is not much. Thin as a sheet, wide and long as a forearm. It is an item that doesn't tell you what to do with it. There are no buttons to hold it together, no tunnels the shape of your limbs, no seams to align with your waist.
Queer Flagging 101: How to Use the Hanky Code to Signal the Sex You Want to Have
As well as deciphering the codes of hankies, key chains and earrings, Gay Semiotics guides us through archetypes, street fashions and various BDSM practices. Forty years on, the images can now be seen at Project Native Informant in London, along with other Fischer works from the s. For Fischer, the humour, the labels, the instructive text and the use of greyscale all served to undermine the romanticism that still surrounded photography in the US at the time. Even the images dealing with domination are composed with a lightness of touch and salting of humour that is decidedly unmenacing.
The handkerchief code , also known as the hanky code , bandana code , or flagging , is a way of indicating, usually among gay male casual sex seekers or BDSM practitioners in the leather subculture in the United States , Canada and Europe, whether they are a top or bottom , and what kind of sex they are seeking, by wearing cotton color-coded handkerchiefs bandanas , usually in the back pocket. This code was widely used in the s , but is much less used today. The terms bandana code , hanky code , or flagging are much more widely used among those in the leather subculture than the term handkerchief code. It should be noted that this code has come into more general usage today. 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.