Bold Queer Lovin': the history of the Hanky Code

Manifestation magic is all about speaking our desires out into the world. However, all to often, our desire, need, and pleasure is deemed unacceptable, unsavory, or even illegal by the cis-hetro-patriarchy. The shame and stigma this brings dims the light of desire until it’s barely a flicker.


How can we fan the flames of our desire and passion, bringing that sacred fire roaring back to life?


One way to cultivate desire is to distance ourself from the idea that any desire between consenting adults is shameful, and looking to our queer ancestors who - despite all odds - found creative and colorful (literally!) ways to speak their truth and manifest their desires.  

Gold hanky

Take an open look at your relationship with desire.


When was the last time you asked for something you wanted? Can you name your favorite pleasures, and your boundaries? 


The Hanky Codeoriginated in the 1960s in a series of gay leather bars around Los Angeles, California. The hankies functioned as a color coded system for communicating illegal or stigmatized sexual desires within the Queer community, largely by gay men in bars. While the hankies lubricated one’s navigation through sexual relations, the vary existence of such strategically codified garments illuminates the grave reality of extreme sexual oppression and persecution during that time period. 


The re-emergence of the Hanky Code and other creative "coding systems" now becomes a conversation about consent and desire.


Being direct and shameless about desire and speaking your truth in a safe way is powerful magic!


Using the Hanky Code also helps to destigmatize kink - no kink is weird or unsavory as long as it’s between two (or more!) consenting adults. By flagging your color, top or bottom, etc you create space for desire and are easily able to begin a conversation about safety. The Hanky Code has taken on new life as well - adapted and morphing for Lesbianand Femmeidentities specifically. 

Purple hanky

This version of the Hanky Code was Maria's (Seagrape's head witch!) thesis project in college, focusing on Desire and speaking our pleasurable truths! The intention in illustrating, printing, and distributing a new version of the Hanky Codeis to remove the historical connotations of shame and fear entirely. The drawings assert sex and body positive visibility not only within Queer enclaves, but to the masses as well. 


Check out more magic from our favorite queer makers HERE- and enhance your desire with some of our favorite herbal aphrodisiacs, and sex magic productsAfter all, your pleasure is YOURS to cultivate and lean into!



Embodied Desire Practice:


Take some time to mix yourself up a cup of this desire boosting herbal tea blend, take out your journal, and spend some time cultivating your own sexual desire using this journal practice: 


Embodied Desire Tea Blend: 

4 tablespoons damiana 

2 tablespoons sarsaparilla 

2 tablespoons rose 

2 tablespoons hibiscus 

1 part kava kava or skullcap 

1 part ginger 


Combine all herbs in a glass jar with a lid. To use, steep 1 heaping tablespoons in 8oz of hot water. Sweeten with honey if desired, or add a few drops of flower or gem essence to help draw your intention into focus. 


Desire Journal Practice: 


  1. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Begin free writing about everything you can think of that brings your pleasure (nothing is too big or too small here! Don’t be afraid to name sexual desires along with everyday pleasures) 

  2. When your timer goes off, spend some time rereading your list 

  3. Circle things you get to do very often, and underline things you feel like you rarely get to do. 

  4. In the next moon cycle, make sure you make time for at least 1-2 of the underlined items! 


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Welcome to the Seagrape Community! This Community is here to help you step into your power, take up space, and be the POWERHOUSE babe that you are! If you’re new to tending your flame, or if you’re simply here to re-ignite it, you are in the right place- I can’t wait to watch you grow. Thank you for the opportunity to let me witness your journey and expand in pleasure and community with you!
- Maria, Founder & CEO

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