Pink Flamingos Are Sexy

While this post isn’t really about the south, it is about a little bit of culture shock and an overall shock to my brain when confronted with morals.

For those of you who do not know, I married an active duty enlisted man who is enlisted in the Air Force.  What that means is that he’s not an officer, he’s a grunt man.  From what I can tell, he doesn’t hate his job too terribly, and from what I’ve been told, he’s damn good at it.

When we were first married, I had to learn about an entirely new culture: The Military Life.

The military life surrounds the military wife.  Through the military, I have met women who have said to me “You can’t say that to me!  I’m an officer’s wife!” or “How dare you!  I’m a staff sergeants wife!”

My husband once told me a joke.  “A woman walks up to a pilot and says ‘You have to respect me, I’m a fighter pilot’s wife.’  To which the pilot responds, ‘I am a fighter pilot.’  The woman responds with ‘Pfft, who cares about a pilot?”  That joke, while to me is hilarious, gives a very adept example of how some wives are.  While I have met my fair share of military wives who are an absolute ball to hang out with, there is a percentage that are conceited like that.  Hence why I avoid going on base, it’s easier to just avoid the high school drama.

Anyways, when I was first married, one thing I noticed quite a bit at our last base.  There were pink flamingos in people’s yard.  Almost half of the yards had pink flamingos. Some of you may think that a lot of people like flamingos, but considering I was living in Alaska where it snowed 9 months of the year, almost nobody had pink flamingos in their yard, at least in this area, unless they were military.

Curious, I asked my coworker who had been married to the military for 28 years.  She was a plethora of knowledge for a naïve girl like me and was able to explain every strange phenomenon I encountered.

“Oh, the pink flamingos means that they’re swingers.”

Confused, considering I thought that “swinger” meant someone who went swing dancing, I responded with “I love swinging!”

She looked at me with a very concerned look and said, “What do you think swinging is?”

“Swing dancing?” I ask, suddenly realizing that I answered incorrectly.  She laughed.

“No sweetie, swinging means changing sex partners.”

This blew my mind.  Mostly because swinging is illegal for military  members, especially cheating.  Technically, a military member can’t live with a boyfriend or girlfriend before getting married.  Military is very traditional like that.

“Also, if you notice an upside down broom on a porch or a garage door that’s open about six inches from the bottom, that’s also a sign of a swinger.  The pink flamingo usually throws people off more though.  Go ahead, drive around base.  See how many houses match that description.”

So that night I tell my husband about the pink flamingo theory, to which he decides to leave it alone.  And by leave it alone, I mean drive around base with me to see how many people are swingers.

Found out that there were a lot more swingers than I first realized.

Being in the south, I have not seen any houses that match those descriptions, so I think each base is different.  When I ask different people about swinging, they say “Ew!  Nobody does that here!  That’s just weird and gross!”

I think mum’s the word.



UPDATE:  So I have been informed that pink flamingos are universal for swingers.  Thanks to a couple friends of mine who know about the subject (though I don’t know how).  Apparently also having a red brick in your yard?  Something about a red brick.  And according to this, a pineapple door knocker in some areas means that your neighbors share their spouses.

I might have to do some more research.


12 thoughts on “Pink Flamingos Are Sexy

  1. Pink flamingos in a yard are a common tradition for military wives to get together for a Happy Hour Party. If you get on stuck in your lawn it means you’ve been invited to attend Pink Flamingo Friday Happy Hour.
    It has nothing to do with swinging.

  2. I have never, ever heard of this flamingo meaning swingers thing at any Air Force base my husband and I have been stationed at (We have 19 years in). None of my fellow AF wives or active duty AF friends have either (nor have any of my hubby’s colleagues). None of my Army family and associates are familiar with this swinger signal either. I have never seen crops of pink flamingos sprouted up in the yards of any of the military (Air Force or otherwise) housing areas I have lived in or have driven through. I call BS on the whole flamingo conspiracy, lol.

    And there is no “grunt men” in the Air Force. Grunt refers to a military member whose MOS (job) is infantry, which would be Army or Marines. Oh, and I have also met very few military wives that try wear their husband’s rank. I think that stereotype tends to get blown out of proportion quite a bit in all branches.

  3. A swinginh friend told me about the flamingo as a swinger signal, and I found this article searching for verification. I’m still not sold completely. But living in New Orleans, I could absolutely believe this is a thing. When I mentioned it to a friend (whom I was trying to find out if they were swingers) he told me about the pineapple thing. So, maybe they are, and maybe they aren’t. More or less if you’re in the know, then perhaps it’s an invitation to start the conversation. Because one can always fall back on “ha ha, I was just asking ’cause isn’t that crazy?”

  4. I live in the state they were invented in. It was a tradition to put them on someone’s lawn for a big birthday example: good friend woke up to 50 on her lawn for her 50th birthday. The charity idea is nice but should not overdo it in anyone persons lawn. I actually was looking because I read somewhere you can put one flamingos on your lawn when you pay your mtg off. Guess not. Thanks.

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