The Gay Hankie Code: VIDEO


The boys from the YouTube video series Steam Room Stories discuss the intricacies of the gay hankie code, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Kind of stupid but funny. I'll always recall explaining the hankie code (not that I've ever used it) to a friend, and she couldn't grasp it. I still recall the look of shock and confusion on her face, and she's very gay friendly.

    Posted by: Paul R | May 4, 2012 11:13:49 AM

  2. "...this better?"
    most funny....
    despite the minuscule fact that they got the code wrong-ish...
    Red = penetration
    blue = s&m / leather
    back in the day, anyway....
    just sayin'....

    Posted by: Kile Ozier | May 4, 2012 11:30:50 AM

  3. WHY?

    Posted by: Reginald | May 4, 2012 11:39:23 AM

  4. Here's a link to a hanky code that is similar to one that was available at the Eagle in SF.

    Red was fisting
    Blue was anal sex
    Yellow was water sports
    Light Blue was oral
    Brown was ...guess...

    Posted by: benjamin | May 4, 2012 11:39:27 AM

  5. mildly funny.

    Posted by: Terry | May 4, 2012 11:50:40 AM

  6. I think that double fisting was intended as a joke. At least I hope so.

    Posted by: Paul R | May 4, 2012 11:55:00 AM

  7. Actually Orange is anything/anywhere. Look around for the Gay Monopoly game, the Community Chest cards are the Hanky Code.

    Posted by: Keith in SF | May 4, 2012 12:05:36 PM

  8. The hanky code has been somewhat defunct for years, and the unofficial list is so long there's no hope anyone can remember the whole thing. It also never had anything to do with steam rooms.

    Posted by: anon | May 4, 2012 12:17:09 PM

  9. mr rainbow is me gusta

    Posted by: luke | May 4, 2012 12:32:02 PM

  10. Society has come a long way since the 'good old days' of hankie codes.

    Posted by: ratbastard | May 4, 2012 12:41:32 PM

  11. Has anyone even used the hanky code since the guys in this video were born? It seems as antique a signifier of gayness as marcelled hair and a green carnation in your lapel.

    Posted by: Matt | May 4, 2012 12:44:20 PM

  12. @Matt - that was my thought. But if anyone wants another link -

    Posted by: Alan | May 4, 2012 1:24:03 PM

  13. @ ALEX : I like wearing a green carnation....

    Posted by: JackFkTwist | May 4, 2012 1:33:43 PM

  14. I meant that for @MATT !!!

    Posted by: JackFkTwist | May 4, 2012 1:34:16 PM

  15. A disgusting practice of an urban, gay male subculture that devalued love and intimacy and exalted anonymous, commercialized sex. The result of this and other practices of that urban was to lay down the conditions that made the AIDS epidemic possible. The sooner that Chelsea/Castro/WeHo subculture goes away, the better.

    Posted by: Vin | May 4, 2012 1:38:26 PM

  16. Get off Vin's lawn, everybody.

    Posted by: agcons | May 4, 2012 1:54:49 PM

  17. who needs this anymore...Grindr anyone?

    Posted by: DRG | May 4, 2012 3:29:24 PM

  18. Vin...Rick...f!ckface....troll. He goes by many names.

    Posted by: D.R.H. | May 4, 2012 3:41:27 PM

  19. Oh Vin. Get off your knees in the rest stop already, miss wide-stance. Kidding! not really.

    Posted by: wtf | May 4, 2012 4:12:33 PM

  20. ''back in the day''
    there was no internet ,cell phone apps,
    even many safe places to meet another gay person.

    there wasn't an open society;
    there wasn't a way to communicate sexual preference- the hanky's were a way to find a partner quickly-about being upfront of who you are sexually ...

    Posted by: ric | May 4, 2012 4:45:59 PM

  21. Wow. Labels, tags, marks, always useful. Especially for those who don’t know better.

    Posted by: SayTheTruth | May 4, 2012 5:24:12 PM

  22. First of all.. in my world moustaches NEVER went out of style.

    Posted by: Poof | May 4, 2012 5:52:53 PM

  23. The hankie code is still used, actually, but mostly in the leather/BDSM community. Benjamin's are right, plus Black = heavy SM and gray = bondage, as far as the basics go.

    Posted by: dex | May 4, 2012 7:06:04 PM


    Posted by: lightblueleft | May 4, 2012 7:40:49 PM

  25. Man, so wrong on so many levels... LOL

    But to the guy who posted: "blue = s&m / leather" — nope, sorry, no consolation prize for you, bucko. Grey was light SM / black was heavy SM.

    I used to know the whole damn thing... and its variants. For example, wrap anything in mosquito netting and you were saying you liked it outside.

    And dont even ask about the lesbian version.

    Posted by: Sean Martin | May 4, 2012 9:37:00 PM

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