Any sort of scrambling around in the next bathroom stall would have been construed by me to mean, Can you pass some toilet paper? It wasn’t until the Larry Craig interrogation went public that I discovered I’ve been naively misinterpreting signals.
Someone waving a middle finger in their car was taken as a harsh comment on the way I’d changed lanes. I never suspected it was an invitation for a tryst, not even when it was accompanied by the “F” word. As it turns out, I may have been far more desirable than I had reason to believe. Unfortunately, self esteem is not retroactive.
To find out what else I never knew, I turned to Google, where I learned from the website, CruisingforSex.com, that, “Tapping of the foot is pretty standard for men who cruise in toilets”. Another site decodes pocket handkerchiefs, explaining that a grey hanky worn on the left side of the butt signals, “bondage top” while on the right it's, “fit to be tied”. A gold hanky on the left indicates, “looking for one” while on the right, it’s, “looking for two”. Maroon L says, “cuts” while R means, “bleeds”. Pale yellow L says, “spits” but R indicates “drools”. The system is efficient though it could present serious problems for colorblind or dyslexic gay. I now understand the derivation of the phrase, "hanky panky".
Straights would do well to study these codes and consider replacing the time-consuming, getting to know you process of posting on Match.com and Friendster, introductory drink dates and endless rounds of text messaging with something more immediate. The hanky thing won’t do since few of us know the difference between royal blue and periwinkle. Purses, on one hand or the other, might work. Those retailing at $750 or more carried on the left could be the calling card for those who, "Will do it only on the good side of a Dux bed after dinner at Per Se" while a cheap, Asian-manufactured knock-off flung on the right announces, "Cost conscious and will do most anything on an empty stomach even if you're affiliated with the Taliban."