Straight Flagging?

10 05 2010

Do straight people flag?

Hanky coding originally was a way of queer people identifying each other, but it’s better not to assume the sex-gender of who’s flagging or who that flagger is seeking; there’s no reason why straight people can’t be flagging hankies these days. Flagging is about inviting questions, and the more straight people who aren’t offended by being hit on by queer people (but rather are open to conversations about sex and sexuality), the better.

But there is a history to straight [anti-]flagging that has potential to be played with [contrary to popular belief, there is not one but TWO straight flags]:

  • A ring on the left fourth finger means married
  • A ring on the right fourth finger means committed (not married)

As you can see, ring symbolism has been used not so much as flag but an anti-flag. Ring flagging doesn’t have to flag ‘straight’ – on the contrary, ring flagging could be a way to break down straight/queer (flagging) divides.

[posted by max 10/05/10]

– – –

Similar concept and an antiflag is the MsTaken ring and it’s accompanying video.  The idea behind is that if someone undesirable is hitting on you, then you can get out your MsTaken ring and tell them that you are married.  It even comes with a key chain to hide your ring/flag in.

[lc 20/05/10]

Jay Wiseman in SM 101 proposes hets flag general kink interest with a “black leather ring, held together with a single rivet” on left or right as appropriate.

[gauche 10/08/10]



12 responses

10 05 2010

I think ring flagging more to the point is about [anti-]flagging monogamy, as clearly gay people are getting into that kind of thing (ring exchange type ‘commitment’) these days too.

But perhaps the combination of ‘commitment’ (ring, fourth finger) with other flags – especially NAVY (up for it) – could be a kind of nonmonogamy flag? I think that could be useful.

12 05 2010

Ha! This is so excellent.

Might be that the ring is actually the ultimate flag, if we’re looking for value in specificity: the ringed bottom is flagging for – and only for – the ringed top, right?

16 05 2010

totally felix, though in the ring/straight/marriage concept I don’t think that there is exactly a bottom and top flag… Isn’t the man always the top and the woman always the bottom in that culture? And cause the left ring finger ALWAYS means married. So the rings symbolise only each other and the gender of the wearers denotes their top/bottom status?

17 05 2010

Yeah, that’s the assumption. But as the woman’s supposed to wear the prettier/more ornate ring, I think they can be read out of context (off the finger) as a top or a bottom flag. Another variant of this is the ultra-butch wearing of the ring around the neck (neck = hardcore, right?).

16 06 2010

“And cause the left ring finger ALWAYS means married. ”

This is not true, and it’s terribly US-centric of you to assume that 😦

18 06 2010

haven’t there been wedding rings since before the US existed?

16 05 2010

there are also promise rings which can be given for various kinds of promises and purity rings with a vow of no sex before marriage.

17 05 2010

also non-commitment rings with an empty setting…


19 05 2010

on further reflection, I do think I’m against any kind of ring flagging that isn’t the traditional [ie anti-flagging] kind – I just think it won’t [practically] work. That is, the gold/silver shininess of a commitment (of some kind) ring is easily readable (especially in dimly lit spaces). I think we’re asking too much if we expect other types of rings to be able to indicate other things.

20 05 2010

I agree max, also it’s enough work trying to decode the hanky system, let alone entering in rings to the equation. I think if straight people feel the need to flag and dislike our system, then they can come up with their own?

22 05 2010

I think straight people can definately flag with the hanky code (as [I hope] I said), and queer people can (do) wear commitment rings. I’m into all that.

22 05 2015

There is also othe non anti-flagging ring flagging.
A black ring on the Middle or pointer finger means Asexual.
Though it doesn’t actually mean not looking for sex. It’s still a form of flagging as mostly only those in the asexual community are aware of this fact and recognise the meaning when seen.

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