There are a number of things that you can either wear or decorate your cruise ship door that may be a symbol of something else. And you may do it intentionally, or you might be completely oblivious.
At the same time, you might be aware that cruise ship vacations are often popular in the swinging community. Now that doesn’t mean that every cruise is going to have swingers on board – that’s highly unlikely – but a cruise is a great place for swingers to enjoy a bit of fun with someone new.
And when they do, they might advertise that in subtle ways – one of which could be using pink flamingos.
Whether you are a swinger or not, I’m not judging – but it’s a good idea to explore what pink flamingos mean on a cruise ship because it can either help you to find others interested in your same lifestyle or if, like me, you’re not into swinging, it can help you to avoid accidentally labelling yourself in the wrong way!
What Do Pink Flamingos Mean?
Pink flamingos have numerous meanings. Some see them as a plain ornament with no meaning, while others view them as a kitsch throwback. They can be a part of a popular prank called ‘flocking’, and they can also be a less common sign of swinging or wife swapping.
Because pink flamingos have been used outside homes for many years just as a fun decoration, there is a lot of uncertainty over whether they have one specific meaning, and it would be easy to confuse an innocent decoration for something else.
What Do Flamingos Mean Sexually?
In sexual terms, pink flamingos can be a sign of someone that is into a swinging lifestyle. They’re not as common as some other signs though, including a black ring worn on the right hand or upside-down pineapples, and so they can also be innocent.
So my advice is, if you’re someone who was thinking of decorating your home (or your cruise door) with flamingos because you just think they’re fun and attractive, maybe consider something else. You don’t want to give people the wrong idea!
But at the same time, if you’re someone interested in the swinging lifestyle, you can’t assume that someone with pink flamingos on their door or outside their home is definitely into the same thing. It’s widely debated online as to how well know the pink flamingo symbol really is.
Do Flamingos Mean You Swing?
Some people believe that flamingos are a sign of someone that is into swinging, but it’s not one of the most common signifiers. Many people like flamingos (and even pineapples) just because they are a fun decoration, and won’t be aware of the connotations.
The problem is that it’s more of a sign that’s used outside people’s homes or, more commonly, in an RV park. It’s not something used in online conversations, or on cruises. So there’s a little bit of confusion in the community.
I think that you should be fine wearing any flamingo-themed clothing. Based on my research, it seems like a lot of people have no idea that this is a sign of swinging. Even if you share a cruise with a secret swinger, they probably won’t acknowledge you – they will be more likely looking out for an upside-down pineapple.
But then the counter-argument is that these are supposed to be subtle signs. Otherwise, you would just wear a wristband that says: “into swinging”.
So, if you do decide to wear something with flamingos on it, or have plastic flamingos on your lawn, you might get a couple of vague questions from someone trying to find out more.
What Does The Flamingo Emoji Mean?
The flamingo emoji doesn’t have a specific meaning but is normally tied to summer fun or holidays. It is an innocent emoji that doesn’t tend to have a hidden double entendre meaning, despite the use of a flamingo as a swinging sign in some communities.
So if you’ve sent someone a text message excited about your summer plans and you’ve included a flamingo, you haven’t outed yourself in any way! It can be hard to keep up with all the different meanings of emojis but, for now, at least, the flamingo remains quite innocent.
Flamingos On A Cruise Ship
Flamingos on a cruise ship could have the same meaning as on land and can mean swinging. However, flamingos have so many different meanings that it isn’t guaranteed. Flamingos and upside-down pineapples together are a stronger hint.
Upside-down pineapples are more widely associated with swinging, but flamingos could definitely be a sign on a cruise ship of a person or a couple looking to meet up with others for some swinging fun.
Read more: Upside-down pineapples on a cruise
The thing is, flamingos are just associated with fun, summer and often with cocktails too – they’re quirky, light-hearted and kind of cheap and cheesy. And many people view a cruise as the perfect representation of that sort of fun, cocktail-in-hand stereotype, laying by the pool, without it being anything to do with swinging.
Here’s a photo of me with my pink flamingo towel clips to prove the point…
There’s also a really popular brand of sunglasses called Goodr that has a pink flamingo as their ‘CEO’ (mascot, really) and they have a range called “flamingos on a booze cruise”. They’re not associated with the swinging lifestyle at all – just pina coladas and loads of fun.
Overall, I would suggest that you don’t start knocking on doors of people with a pink flamingo on them if you’re hopeful of meeting someone else interested in swinging. The better thing to do, if you do want to enjoy some swinging fun, is to try to find people on lifestyle websites that may be on the same cruise as you.
In fact, look out for anyone posting a cruise roll call with a pineapple emoji on there – that’s a potential sign of someone wanting to pre-arrange a swinging get-together on a ship.
And of course, if you really want to enjoy swinging on a cruise ship, then book a cruise through a specialist planner that offers dedicated swinging cruises – like Desire Resorts and Cruises. Then there’s no uncertainty at all.
Flamingos In Your Yard
A lot of people use pink flamingos just to add a fun decoration to their yard. They’re fun, kitsch and sort of ‘trashy-but-in-a-good-way’. Sometimes flamingos are placed in a yard by someone else, for a birthday surprise or for charity. It can be a less well-known sign of swinging.
Yard flamingos don’t always have to look cheap and tacky. You can get some very classy ornamental flamingo statues. I particularly like this one that lights up at night…
Some in the swinging community have tried to claim flamingos in the yard as being a sign of the swinging lifestyle, but it seems to still be quite niche. Still, if you don’t want to give your neighbours the wrong impression, you might want to remove the pink flamingos.
In some places in America, it’s seen as a fun tradition to decorate someone’s yard or lawn on a milestone birthday with the same number of flamingos. It’s normally reserved for special birthdays like a 40th or 50th, or sometimes a Sweet-16. But it’s more for the older generation than younger people.
What does it mean to be flocked by pink flamingos?
Being ‘flocked’ by pink flamingos is a fun charitable campaign where a ‘victim’ has a load of pink flamingos placed on their home or business property, with a note explaining they need to make a charitable donation to have them removed. They can then select the next ‘victim’.
Think of it as a sort of fundraising chain letter – remember those? So, the idea is that the flamingos are all placed on the property at night. It’s best for it to be a large flock because that looks more impressive and garners more attention.
A sign or note is left demanding ‘ransom’ to remove the birds, which could be a fixed fee or a fee per flamingo.
Once the owner pays the donation, they get to choose who is flocked next. Obviously, they might not be happy, but as it’s fun and for a good cause, that’s usually accepted. If they don’t pay, the flamingos are removed anyway, and the prior victim selects somebody different to take part.
It’s a slightly older tradition but does seem to still happen in some places. I imagine that since more and more people have security cameras or smart doorbells in their homes it’s getting harder to flock someone without them being notified on their phone!
Flamingos In RV Parks
Flamingos in the RV community have a number of potential meanings. It can be a sign of swinging, but more commonly it tends to just be a sign of someone celebrating a birthday. It also has traditions dating back to when air-con was first introduced to RVs.
A lot of the time, pink flamingos in the RV community don’t actually mean anything. They’re just a fun, quirky decoration. Other times, people might carry over the tradition of having flamingos in their yard for their birthday, by showcasing some flamingos in celebration.
It can be a sign of swinging too, but again this isn’t super-well known, and many people who camp probably aren’t aware of the connotation.
One theory on why flamingos are popular on RVs dates back to the earlier days of air conditioning. A lot of people who owned RVs couldn’t take them to Florida because of the heat, but once they got air conditioning then the state became a viable vacation destination.
While flamingos haven’t been native to Florida for some time, they are still associated with the state, and so people who had air conditioning installed and been to Florida would show off by displaying pink flamingos – a sort of boast that they were able to afford the AC.
Whether this is completely true is hard to verify – it’s based on a handful of anecdotes online. But I thought it was worth mentioning because it could explain why so many RVs do still have that flamingo decoration tradition.
Flamingos At Campsites
There’s no agreed meaning for flamingos at campsites. They could refer to the swinging lifestyle, for people who go camping and hope to meet other couples, but it’s not common knowledge and usually just means someone likes flamingos.
If you go camping often and you like to display pink flamingos outside your tent, motorhome or camper van, I’d say that you shouldn’t worry about attracting the wrong kind of attention. It’s such a debated topic that even swingers who recognise the symbol wouldn’t assume anything about you.
Pineapple and Flamingo Meaning
Pineapples and flamingos can be a sign of swinging. Pineapples tend to be more common as jewellery, on clothes or on cruise ships (on cabin doors) while flamingos are a sign used outside homes or in RV parks.
Pineapples definitely have the stronger connotation, especially when hung upside down. But if someone is wearing both pineapples and flamingos then either they are definitely interested in swinging, or they are very unlucky and could get some unwelcome questions and advances.
And if you see someone wearing upside-down pineapples, with flamingos on their door, and wearing a black ring on their right hand – they may as well hang up a neon sign advertising their interests.
This flamingo and pineapple t-shirt should also make you stand out from the crowd…
Flamingo Meaning FAQS
There’s no hidden meaning to wearing a flamingo shirt. While flamingos can sometimes represent swingers, that’s usually when they’re advertised outside someone’s home or RV. A shirt is just a shirt, and while someone could mistake it for a sign of swinging, it isn’t a common sign.
Some people believe that flamingos are a sign of beauty and brightness, which they associate with joy and happiness. They are seen as a reminder to enjoy the beauty and fun of life, and they are considered to be a very positive symbol.
There’s no meaning to an upside-down flamingo. Flamingos advertised outside a room or home can indicate that someone is into swinging, and an upside-down pineapple can mean the same, but the idea of an upside-down flamingo is just the two symbols being muddled together.
Plastic pink flamingos have a lot of different meanings. Since the 1950s they have been used in decoration, and thanks to the 1972 movie Pink Flamingos they became a kitsch icon. Now they can also be part of a charitable ‘invasion’ or a symbol of swinging.
There is no real meaning to a flamingo flag, and a flag is not usually used to advertise being a swinger. As part of a flocking prank, a flag or other symbol may be left behind to make it clear what has happened, but otherwise, flamingo flags carry no meaning.
Some people believe that two flamingos together is a symbol of romance, especially with their classic bent neck poses forming a heart shape when facing each other. But there is no widely-known symbolism for two flamingos.
The Bottom Line
Honestly, it seems like nobody can agree on what the pink flamingo really means as a symbol. Some people think it is completely innocent, and just a symbol of fun and a celebration of the quirky, cheesy, summery vibe.
But others are pretty clear that they believe pink flamingos to be a subtle sign of someone interested in the swinging lifestyle.
I don’t think it’s quite the same as an upside-down pineapple on a cruise ship which, while still not super well known, is a little more definitive. And so I think, if you have holiday clothes that are decorated with flamingos, you’ll be safe to wear them on your cruise without people making the wrong assumption.
Maybe the pink flamingo needs to be upside down as well, to make the sign clearer to people interested in swinging?