The Unabridged Hanky Code

how to use them,
what they mean...

On this page we present the complete unabridged hanky code (as we know it). For those of you who don't know about it, the hanky code works as follows. What you do is have a certain colour handkerchief partially hanging out of your back pocket, tied around your head or to your jacket. The Left/right code we mentioned on the earlier page is combimed with this so that if it is worn on the left the person is a dom (or top), worn on the right means sub (or bottom). Having a hanky hanging out of both of your back pockets means: "looking for someone, don't matter what role I have to play." The different colours (and materials) have different specific meanings to indicate the wearers additional preferences.

The hanky code is mainly used by the gay community, however, some heterosexuals do use a few of them, for instance the black or gray colours to indicate whether they're seeking heavy play or soft play.

The Hanky Code
Colour/Material Means
blackheavy s&m
leatherleather fetish
navy/dark blueintimate sex included
medium blueinto "police" games
robin egg blue69 or "french" (oral sex both)
light blueoral sex by bottom only
teal bluegenital torture
kelly greeninto "hooker" game
khaki/oliveinto "military" games
hunter greendaddy
lime greensex with food
pale yellowspitting
doily/yellowwatersports (urine games)
beigerimming (licking anus)
goldinto threesomes
mustardbig penis (has or wants one)
apricotwants overweight partner
coralfoot worship
orangeanything, anytime
rustinto "cowboy" games or pony girl
redanal fisting
light pinkdildo
dark pinkbreast/nipple torture
red polka dotsmenstruating
mauvenavel fetish
magentaarmpit fetish
purple piercing
lavender drag
brown scat (feces games)
brown lace not circumcised
brown satin circumcised
grey flannel "square" (suits, dresses, black tie)
white whipping, flogging
red/white stripes shaving
black/white stripes likes partner of black race
brown/white stripes likes partner of latino race
yellow/white stripes likes partner of oriental race
white lace likes partner of white race
paisley into boxer shorts
fur animals included
silver lame romantic
gold lame like body builder types
leopard tattoos
tan smoking (cigars) a must
kleenex into smelly games
handy wipe into oil and grease
chamois motorcycles
cocktail napkin bar type


Other Indications
Colour/Material Means
teddy bear on leather jacket
kewpie doll
mosquito net
electric plug
sweat band
plastic fork
metal (cock)ring on leather jacket
likes cuddling
afraid, uncertain, novice
outdoor sex
your place or mine
into japanese bondage
into electrical play
can't play at my place
wrestling, no rules
dinner included
brunch included
seeking exciting sex


So there you have the Unabridged Hanky Code. Remeber, it's unabridged because we haven't taken anything out...but that doesn't mean it's complete! If you know of some other ways that handkerchiefs (or other specific materials or items) are used as signals please do be sure to write to us about it.

See the menu for more information on BDSM symbols, lingo, codes...     

Based on materials from the POWERotics Foundation
© 1996-2000; republished here with their permission;
see the Contributors page for contact links.