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hankie code

d r u g s

I don't know if this can properly be called a kink, but drug use is so rampant in the gay community that I felt I had to mention it.

Alcohol is certainly the most prevalent, some studies estimate that gay men are five times more likely to be alcoholics than their straight counterparts. I've seen plenty of good people ruin their lives through over-indulgence. Used in moderation, alcohol lowers inhibitions. However, it also impairs judgment and reduces motor response. "Wine increaseth desire, while it decreaseth ability" or something like that.

Bars are one of the major centers of the gay community, serving much the same function as pubs do in Irish or British culture. They aren't just drinking spots, but also social centers. This is becoming less true as the community develops and being gay becomes less stigmatized, but for many years a gay bar might be (and still is, in many places) the only safe space for a person to be gay.

Alcohol isn't the only drug in circulation. Cocaine, speed, XTC, crack, K, acid and heroin are just a few of the things you can get. I have nothing against recreational drug use in moderation, but for so many people moderation isn't possible.

One drug that is sort of borderline legal is amyl nitrate, also known as "poppers". Medically, this aromatic inhalant increases the heart-rate and blood-pressure briefly, inducing a head rush and feelings of euphoria. As a side-effect it also dramatically increases sexual desire and pleasure. It comes as a liquid, usually in a small brown bottle, and you inhale the vapors. Back in the '70's guys would soak bandannas in it to take out while dancing.

t h e   h a n k i e   c o d e
Back in the 70's and early 80's, when sex was even easier than it is today, many men wore colored handkerchiefs in the back pockets of their Levi's to advertise what sort of sex they were into. This was so you could suss out the preferences of your potential tricks before approaching them and not waste time propositioning someone whose tastes didn't coincide with your own. They aren't seen as often these days, though some guys in the leather community still wear them. The only real problem with the code was that it wasn't set in stone as it evolved. What meant "scat bottom" in one community might mean "let's have tea" in another. The possible misunderstandings inherent should be obvious... This was made worse by the fact that on the West Coast left side meant dominant, while on the East Coast it denoted submissive. The code shown here is pretty much the final version, at least in San Francisco.

Color On Left Means On Right Means
Light Blue Wants Head Cocksucker
Robin's Egg Blue 69 Top 69 Bottom
Navy Blue Fucker Fuckee
Teal Blue C&B Torture Top C&B Torture Bottom
(and yes, a gay man can spot the difference between these shades of blue in a dark bar, at forty paces, after three cocktails)
Red Fister Fistee
Light Pink Dildo Fucker Dildo Fuckee
Dark Pink Tit Torturer Tit Torturee
Dark Red 2-Handed Fister 2-Handed Fistee
Purple Piercer Piercee
Lavender Likes Drag Drag Queen
Yellow Pisser Toilet
Pale Yellow Spits Drool Freak
Mustard Has 8" or more Size Matters
Orange Anything Anywhere Anytime: Top Anything Anywhere Anytime: Bottom
Apricot Bear Top Bear Bottom
Fuschia Spanker Spankee
Kelly Green Hustler John
Olive Drab (or Camouflage) Military Top Military Bottom
Hunter Green Daddy Son
Beige Rimmer Rimmee
Brown Scat Top Scat Bottom
Brown Lace Is Uncut Wants Uncut
Black Heavy SM Top Heavy SM Bottom
Gray Bondage Top Bondage Bottom
Charcoal Latex Top Latex Bottom
White "Beat my meat" "I'll do us both"
Red/White Stripe Shaver Shavee
Fur Bestiality Top Bestiality Bottom
Silver Lame Starfucker Star
Which doesn't really make much sense. I mean, if you have to wear a silver lame hankie to be recognized, you're not really much of a star, are you?
Gold Lame Likes Muscle Bottoms Likes Muscle Tops
Tan Cigar Smoker Likes Cigar Smoke
Like a hankie is really necessary to tell that a guy is smoking a cigar.
Teddy Bear Cuddler Cuddler
Dirty Jock Wears a Dirty Jock Licks it Clean
Checkered Safe Top Safe Bottom

More to come. Really. I promise.

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Last updated January 4, 1999