Though at first blush the “sex bracelets” rumor appears to be a 2003 phenomenon, it actually dates to the when it featured a variety of plastic items, including the liner circles from the inside of soda bottle caps (these would be made into bracelets by ripping out their middles and stretching the resultant rings to fit around wrists), the corrugated little rings that held caps in place on soda bottles (these would be linked together to form the requisite jewelry items) and, yes, even the jelly bracelets of today’s uproar.
Once again, the rumor was if a boy broke a girl’s bracelet she had to have sex with him.
Recent years have seen several occurrences of administrators in elementary and middle schools banning or warning against the wearing of jelly bracelets by students: Officials at each of these schools have taken this stance not because the acts signified by various colors are being carried out, but to protect children from premature sexualization.
Nothing in the various “sex bracelet” news stories we’ve pawed through indicates girls are actually using these fashion items to declare willingness to engage in various acts, or that boys are breaking girls’ bracelets in the belief that so doing grants them a right to claim what they think has been advertised.
The belief was simple in some circles I remember that you would get more action if you got more of the top [of the can] off.
According to the whispers, the colorful jelly bracelets so beloved of grade- and middle-schoolers convey sexual intent and are used to arrange liaisons of an adult nature.
If you could tear it off such that the lid that folds down when you open the can comes with it, you got a blow job or a lay, or something.
If you managed to tear the entire top off (very difficult, but not impossible.
Such codes and rumors also serve to desensitize kids to the physical side of love, to lose awareness of its importance and specialness as sex becomes (at least in their minds, thanks to this undercutting) a mundane, meaningless activity one would properly engage in with anyone, even those of short acquaintance.
The current media hoopla makes it appear this theme of young people imbuing innocuous objects with secret sex codes is a new thing, yet it’s actually been around for decades.