Toronto Diary
9 min

Justin Sayre premieres The New Hanky Code

For those of you who’ve never heard of the Hanky Code, allow me to give you the SparkNotes version: back before you could just list your fetishes on your dating profile, gay men — especially those in the leather world — would signal their sexual preferences by putting different-coloured hankies in their pockets. Left for top, right for bottom.

While it’s expanded since its original conception, there a few central colours: red for fisting, dark blue for anal and yellow for piss. YELLOW. Not light yellow, not mustard, just regular fucking YELLOW. (Sorry, inside joke.)

Now that the world is more open to sexual fetishes, Justin Sayre, chairman of The Order of Sodomites, has proposed an update for the hanky code: using it to let potential partners know about your baggage.

For example, Sayre pitches to move grey from meaning “bondage” to “boring,” yellow to mean “commitment-phobic” and blue now means “withholding.”

Personally, I have a few other suggestions: fuchsia should mean “irritatingly self-promotional,” red should mean “needlessly combative” and cerulean should mean “annoyingly condescending over punctuation and grammar.”