This blog documents the flagging adventures of three queer-thinkers and their friends trying to pick up, hook up and make it in the dimly lit but colourful world of hanky code.

In the era of adultmatchmaker, grindr and okcupid our ways of communicating seem to be growing exponentially. But having immediate access to someone’s pictures, dimensions and sexual interests doesn’t necessarily make for the best interactions. Not so long ago queers got around with winks and looks and – of course – hankies.

Flagging hints. And inviting conversations about sex acts, bodies, affect and relation provides a radical resistance to the kind of “hands on” harassment and abuse many of us endure. Flagging conveys an acknowledgement of the need for explicit (and specific) consent.

We find it extremely inadequate that queer sex (especially flagging) is predominantly thought about in terms of everyone having a dick (& not having a vagina); there are so many flags we need that don’t exist in the gay (boy) flagging code. So, this is our brief:

  • [gauche]: It’s important that female flagging complements and extends traditional gay male flagging, without becoming incompatible, so you can accurately decode any hanky on any body. I’d like hanky code to be a complete language for how you want to fuck that overrides what might be assumed from how your body is gendered — ie, no defaults, only generics — which in turn is superseded by conversation, in which the specifics of consent are negotiated.

We like having sex. Lots of different kinds of sex. We’re pretty much always looking for sex, or at least the possibility of talking about sex. We take on board the feminist call that the personal is political and we’re into politically astute fucking.

We are –

gauche blogs at State of Emergency, flags princess, and slams poetry, chocolate biscuits and eir friends’ enemies.

sparklefish is told ey has an innocent face, and then dirty things come out of it.

max is going to be a doctor, in large part because it will provide him with a gender-neutral title. he blogs at What’s Queer Here?, just finished co-editing dude: trans male zine and is the king of black/white check.

Basic Rules of Flagging

  1. Flagging is not consent.
  2. Flagging means being cool with being propositioned, being rejected, and having the capacity to reject.
  3. Flagging is pan gender (you can’t assume someone’s junk from a flag).
  4. There are no anti-flags.
  5. Flagging is slut pride.

5 responses

5 07 2010
What's Queer Here?


Whereas in traditional gay male flagging culture things were fairly clear cut: navy on the left (top) seeks navy on the right (bottom) to fuck (where everyone has a perspicuous idea of what that means) – the development of a flagging language that draw…

12 07 2010
The Scavenger

so hot right now:

“The conventions of a gay male medium are being remade by young queers to offer a way of thinking and talking about sex and power that is easily accessible.”

25 07 2010
Peter Escott

Hi! Just saw that (one of) you left a comment a while ago on a video of my hanky code stand-up comedy set. Glad (one of) you liked it; it was intended as a celebration of an endlessly fascinating movement, one which I’m very happy to see here being expanded further. I did the same set in front of 1500 people at the Raw Comedy national final a few months ago and it was just broadcast on TV last night. Here’s hoping some curiosities get piqued.

6 02 2011
Rose Atkins

Hi Gauche,
Sorry to post on your sight like this. Have move and lost cards.
Was hoping to Interview you Re the the site and your upcoming workshops on 3CR. Please drop me a line [email address blanked].

P.S Do they do floral houndstooth? I do not think it would work.

2 11 2017
+CLOTHING – Queer Codes

[…] Basic Rules of Flagging […]

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