Category Archives: Sex

The Hanky Code: Sexual signaling

gay boston

This post is a republishing of Hanky Panky: An Abridged History of the Hanky Code, initially published in April 2019 by J. Raúl Cornier on Boston’s History Project website. I thought some might find this nostalgic while others born after the heyday of public cruising might find it interesting. In some ways, the hanky code could be considered a very early precursor to online “dating” apps like Grindr and Scruff which essentially moved people’s sexual predilictions online.

***** ***** *****

The hanky code was a covert sartorial code used predominately by queer men in the 1970s and into the 1980s. Simply put, a bandana is worn in one’s back pocket for the purposes of sexual signaling. The color of the bandana was associated with a specific sexual practice or fetish, and the wearer’s sexual role was indicated by which back pocket the bandana resided in (tops wore bandanas in their left pocket; bottoms wore bandanas in their right pocket). The hanky code initially began with the use of red bandanas to discreetly identify practitioners of fisting. A decoder list was created as other color/fetish associations were added. (In many early hanky codes, red typically appears as the first color.) Queer businesses printed the hanky code decoder lists for distribution. Erotica shops, bookstores, and catalogs provided decoder lists with the purchase of bandanas, while gay bars printed the lists with location information as a form of marketing. The origin of the hanky code exists like myth or urban legend, with two or three main stories surrounded by a variety of altered details, depending on the source.

You can read the full article here.

About The History Project
The History Project is the only organization focused exclusively on documenting and preserving the history of New England’s LGBTQ communities and sharing that history with LGBTQ individuals, organizations, allies, and the public. Visit their website to learn more about The History Project.

BuzzFeed’s latest survey asks are you a Top or Bottom

gay sexual position preferencesI know that BuzzFeed has rebranded the company as a news organization, but I still think of them as the king of endless top ten lists and mindless, unscientific surveys like this one which they posted last Monday.

For the record, I was pegged as 66% Top and 34% Bottom – no comment on the accuracy of the survey. Curious to see how you stack up? You can take the online quiz – it takes just a few minutes time.

Are you a Top or a Bottom – Take the BuzzFeed survey

Gay and bisexual men make up the majority of new syphilis cases

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but a new report from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis have increased for a second year in a row to all-time highs, and unfortunately,  gay and bisexual men make up the majority of syphilis cases.Safe SexWhile STDs are preventable with safer sex measures and generally curable with antibiotics, the most alarming piece of news may be that the CDC says that antibiotic resistant STDs are becoming more prevalent.

You can read all about that from the World Health Organization which published their findings earlier this summer, Growing antibiotic resistance forces updates to recommended treatment for sexually transmitted infections.

PrEP studies highlight the importance of adherence

gilead, co-pay cardPrEP is a topic of conversation sexually active gay men should have with their doctor. While it may not make sense for everyone, understanding the impact the drug may have on you and our community is important.  Recently researchers from Gilead Sciences, Truvada’s manufacturer, presented findings from their analysis of several studies at the ASM Microbe 2016 conference in Boston. This was what they learned:

An analysis of 32 studies of Truvada a.k.a. PrEP found that almost all of those who contracted HIV had undetectable or very low levels of the drug in their bodies at the time. 

The takeaway message is if you choose to use PrEP and are engaging in sexually risky behavior you MUST make sure you take your medication as prescribed. You can read the full findings online here.

Recent blog posts about PrEP:
Gilead C0Pay Coupon Card will save you $: Read this post if you are taking PrEP
Join this local study: The Vacation PrEP Study at Fenway Health

Most viewed gay porn categories by state

pornhub, gay sexFile this under news you can’t use. PornHub regularly sends me infographics about studies they conduct, and last month they shared this map about the most viewed gay porn categorizes by state. Interestingly in my home state of Massachusetts there appears to be a fixation on “Daddies” where as race-based searches for Latinos and Blacks dominate the Southwest and Southeast.

Check out what seems to be preoccupying the minds and browsers in your home state and visit their website to see more interesting infographics, here.

Read this post if you are taking PrEP

Gilead, HRCI know a lot of gay men who are on Truvada (PrEP) and while the decision to take this daily medication is a personal choice, for those who are on this prescription drug I wanted to bring your attention to the Gilead Co-Pay Coupon Card, which could save you quite a bit of money.

Truvada, PrEPGilead Co-Pay Coupon Card

Gilead asks just a few questions to determine your eligibility like are you a current resident of the US or Puerto Rico and provides some interesting benefits like covering up to $3,600 in co-pays per year with no monthly limit for TRUVADA® (emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate).

Not your father’s TV jingle

In a nod to 1950’s style radio and TV jingles, Boy Butter shares their newest TV advertisement, which premieres on Rupaul’s Drag Race Monday’s at 9 pm starting March 7th, 2016 on LOGO and OutTV.

Looking for Love on Tinder

chadwick moore love in the time of tinderChadwick Moore’s article Love in the time of Tinder: What I Learned From a Month of Dates in Out Magazine’s “Love Issue” caught my eye.  With Valentine’s Day two weeks away I thought the article might be a downer for those hopeless romantics looking for love in the age of phone apps, but it made me laugh reading through his 21 Tinder dates in New York City.

Maybe the German word schniedrefreude applies here but for those who may be looking for love Moore’s article is certain to make you feel better, knowing all those awkward / painful dates are more the norm and less to do with you. 

kGoal strengthens a man’s penis

minna life

The Secret Santa gift certain to be the talk of the office holiday party

This isn’t an article in the Onion or a SNL skit, although I seriously thought it was when I was emailed information about the kGoal Boost, a device designed to strengthen a man’s pelvic floor muscles. I have never heard of such a thing but apparently using the device can help increase a man’s strength and blood flow by the penis. Since many men obsess over such things Minna Life, the company behind the kGoal Boost, has launched a kickstarter campaign.

While this sounds a bit far fetched apparently there is some science behind it. The Mayo Clinic has activities men can do that don’t require buying the kGoal Boost, which you can read more about here.

Gay men and their racial preferences

 Matthew J. Dempsey, Wilson CruzLast month Actor / activist Wilson Cruz and Matthew Dempsey talked about the role race plays regarding attraction. Some say it’s a “preference” while others contend this is a racist smoke screen.

The quick discussion in their video below is something I broached back in 2014 in my blog post, Sexual racism: When does your preference become racist after reading an article written by Scott Roberts on the UK blog, GMFA. Watch the video and if you like read my past blog post then share with me your thoughts on this subject.

Thanks to Accidental Bear for making me aware of this Youtube post.

Sex Week at Harvard is coming Nov. 8-14, 2015

Harvard Sex WeekSexual Health Education & Advocacy throughout Harvard College otherwise known as SHEATH will be hosting the 2015 Fall Sex Week November 8 -14, 2015.

What is Sex Week you ask?  Sex Week at Harvard promotes a week of programming that is interdisciplinary, thought-provoking, scholastic, innovative and applicable to student experiences in order to promote a holistic understanding of sex and sexuality.

Discussions are free and open to the public.

Harvard Sex WeekFor more information, visit their website,

Nearly half of 18-24 year olds in Britain surveyed say they are not 100% heterosexual

sexual orientationEarlier this month approximately 1,600 people in Britain were asked by YouGov to plot themselves on a ‘sexuality scale’. Invented by Alfred Kinsey in the 1940s, the Kinsey scale plots individuals on a range of sexual dispositions from exclusively heterosexual at 0 through to exclusively homosexual at 6. Where the original study had a large number of methods for placing people, YouGov simply asked people to place themselves on the sexuality scale.  Below I’ve included some of the data points that I found most interesting.

  • 72% of the British public place themselves at the completely heterosexual end of the scale
  • 4% put themselves at the completely homosexual end of the scale
  • 19% say they are somewhere in between – classed as bisexual in varying degrees by Kinsey
  • 43% of 18-24 year-olds place themselves in the non-binary area
  • 7% of respondents over age 60 identified any degree of bisexuality

Thanks for the heads up from Joe My God’s blog about this interesting survey. I found this a quick and interesting read. You can read more about the survey and findings from the YouGov websiteYouGov

Quote of the day: Sex without love

cuddling in bedI had to laugh last month when I was reading a UK blog I enjoy perusing from time to time when I stumbled upon this quote, “Sex without love is an empty experience, but as empty experiences go, it’s one of the best…”  

It is unclear to me if the blogger nabbed that from another of if that was their own words.  Regardless it made me laugh. I’m sure there are plenty who read this blog who would probably agree with his sentiments.

Saturday night video: Sex Ed

I first post this video about a year ago but had forgotten about it until someone had reminded me about it earlier this week so I thought I’d share it again.

This YouTube video of Julia Sweeney sharing her discussion about the birds and the bees with her eight-year-old daughter is absolutely hilarious.  This clip is completely safe for work; I actually teared up at one point from laughing so hard.

Arrest me – please!

leather, uniform, rubber, fetishI think I need to book a flight to Norway and engage in civil disobedience.  Much thanks to blogger, Stan, for sharing this on his blog. I couldn’t help but swipe it.

Stan writes a very NSFW blog called Metro Dystopia.