Hanky Code

“I’d rather break stones on the king’s highway than hem a handkerchief.”

-Anne Sullivan


Hanky Code is a special code devised by freaky people and used to tell other kinksters what they are into without even talking to them. Clearly this code was developed before the Internet was around as the primary way people could interact without talking. People would put different colored hankies in their pockets depending on what their tastes are. Each color means a different thing, and whether you would put it on the left or right side of your pants would mean you are a top or bottom for that topic. It is popular in both the BDSM community and the gay sex community.

Practical Examples

Left usually denotes that the person is a top and right usually means that the person is a bottom. Some sources have varying colors but according to most, the basic codes are all the same. When you get into complex shades things can get a little bit dicey, but here are some basic ones that anyone can use. If you are wearing a black hanky it means you are into heavy S&M and if you wear it on the left or right tells people whether you are the Dom or sub. Other popular colors include red, which means fisting and light blue, which means blowjobs.


If you wear your hanky tied to your middle belt loop then you can let everyone know that you are basically a switch or a versatile player. If you don’t have pants that have pockets you can also wear a hanky tied around your wrist or your ankle. You can even wear it attached to a keychain or something like that if you don’t want to commit to wearing it at all times. People can even wear it as a fashionable neckerchief with the tie going towards the left or right depending on what signal they want to give off. The key thing to remember is that you are sending signals whether you intend to or not, and learning the right ways to declare your sexually silently can help you avoid a lot of awkward situations.

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