|Part of the series on|
|A baker's dozen on sex|
In PBS's Out of the Past several men who were interviewed discussed that in the 20s and 30s when all gay activity was fully underground, the habit of wearing various colored breast pocket handkerchiefs of one of several colors to let other gay and lesbians know you were out there, and interested in meeting each other. The colors were mostly limited to "Gay - looking", "top" and "bottom".
Wikipedia mentions that cowboys in the old west would wear their bandannas on their wrist when dancing with other men, in purely platonic situations, to identify who was dancing the male role, and who was dancing the female role. Similar conventions may apply at modern-day contra dances; when there is a surplus of men or women, dancers often take the "opposite" role to fill out a set or square. Such cross-dancers may wear a marker to avoid surprises in the contra line.
 The Codes
Of course, as with all things in life, there are no actual rules. "Local rules" or "Bar rules" apply, and usually, right butt cheek, left butt cheek, or around your neck can all mean different levels of the main theme, so, buyer beware.
But some standards are:
- Black is S&M
- Grey is bondage
- Red with black stripes - likes bears
- White or checker "safe sex" and "vanilla sex" (left "top", right "bottom")
- Yellow and brown are left to the reader's imagination