Friday, May 29, 2009

I love popular-science author Mary Roach's writing so much. If you have not read Stiff and Bonk, you're missing out. (Her other book, Spook, is okay, but not as good.)

Now here she is to tell us some very odd things about sex - both human, and animal...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Occasionally I am reminded that some newer kinky people don't know stuff about BDSM culture that I take for granted. Like the Hanky Code.

I read a lot of online forums about BDSM, and I regularly see someone - usually a heterosexual person - talking about how they wish there was some subtle but clear way that BDSM people could signal to each other in public: "Hey, I'm kinky." Hmmm, what about a lapel pin? Or maybe - a necklace? Lots of options are suggested, and then rejected for various reasons.

And I have to smile, because this is a perfect example of reinventing the wheel. As with many sexual things, the gay men got there way ahead of the rest of us and figured all this out. Thus - the hanky code: a color-coded bandanna tucked in the back pocket of a pair of jeans that indicates sexual preferences.

To indicate that someone is wearing a hanky, we speak of them "flagging" and also of "flagging left" or "flagging right." A hanky (or flag) worn in the left back pocket - or in any way on the left half of someone's body - means they are a top. A hanky on the right means they are a bottom.

Sometimes people tie the hankies around their arm, or thread them through the epaulets of a motorcycle jacket. Same principle applies.

You can flag more than one color at a time. However, if you have, say, eleven different hankies hanging off your body, people may think that you're a bit... indiscriminate.

Now, over time, the range of colors listed in various hanky codes has grown to a truly absurd degree. And there are some differences between the gay men's lists and the lists used (although not very much) by lesbians. One sometimes sees some variations regionally, too, although I think the internet has erased a lot of the old East Coast/West Coast differences.

In my opinion, the important ones are: black and gray, which always mean heavy SM and bondage, respectively.

Red is also easy to identify, although for men it means fist-fucking and for women it sometimes means bloodsports, so you're going to want to be clear about that before you go home with someone.

Yellow is a good one. Three guesses what that color is for.

And then there's about a hundred other colors. But if you can tell the difference between "Air Force blue" and robin's egg blue" - especially in a dark bar - well, you've got better color sense than I do. You should definitely ask.

I don't know if there ever was really a time and place where simply wearing a hanky meant someone could just walk up to you and start doing whatever. But that's definitely not what you should do, or expect, now.

It is, however, a perfectly reasonable way to start a conversation with someone at a party - or after exchanging a few significant glances with them in the produce department of the grocery store, for that matter. "Nice hanky. Is that apricot, or orange?"

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Some days I really want to spank Rob Brezsney.
Scorpio Horoscope for week of May 21, 2009
"It's your choice, Scorpio. You could be a creative dynamo who changes the course of local history -- or you could be a plain old boring sex maniac. What'll it be? We here at the Free Will Astrology Libido Management Center encourage you to at least partially sublimate your unruly mojo into beautiful works of art, innovative business solutions, and brilliant strokes of collaboration. You don't have to stop boinking altogether; just make it the second most important thing you rather than your raison d'etre. "
But, but, but...! Oh all right, fine. Fine!