Hair raising hair
More than just crowning your head, hair have much deeper implications and help communicate subtle signals of courtship.
She stood before him, her long, shining hair swirling around bare shoulders. She knew he liked her beautiful tresses and deliberately tossed her head to emphasise the power of arousal the abundant locks possessed. He embraced her sliding his hands through the silky mass, and twirling the scented strands around his fingers.
He kissed her mouth passionately, and buried his face in the sensuous softness. They moved to the bed, where she stripped off her clothing yet remained adorned with her crowning glory-long-beautiful hair.
When she pulled him to her, and they began making love, the tresses spread on the pillow in a seductive tangle. She moved over his body, brushing the curling ends of her feathery locks over his nakedness, exciting him to an explosive pitch. She mounted him, swinging the thick mane away from her face, and letting it fall forward around his mouth, nostrils, and eyes in a shimmering cloud. He clutched her silken hair, as they culminated the attraction that had been sparked by the seductive quality of her lovely tresses.
Fetishism? Not at all. There are many ways hair helps bringing lovers together, and enhances intimacy. Hair play a distinctive part in foreplay for both men and women. It is an important factor in sexual attraction.
Throughout human evolution, hair have been recognised as one of the most complex of all erotic signals. According to Desmond Morris, author of The Naked Ape, pubescent development of body hair indicates sexual maturity in human beings.
“Menstruation begins for some females at the age of 10 and by the age of 14, 80 per cent of young females are actively menstruating. The development of pubic hair, the broadening of the hips, and the swelling of the breasts accompanies this change…“
“By the age of 12, 25 per cent of boys have experienced their first ejaculation and by 14, 80 per cent have done so. As with the girls, there are characteristic accompanying changes. Body hair begins to grow, especially in the pubic region and on the face.
The typical sequence of appearance of this hairness is: Pubic, armpit, upper lip, cheeks, chin, and then much more gradually, the chest and other parts of the body...”
“These changes not only differentiate the sexually mature individual from the immature, but most of them also distinguish the mature male from the mature female. They not only act as signals revealing that the sexual system is now functional, but also indicate in each case whether it is masculine or feminine.”
At a distance, hair have a strong visual impact, close it communicates in a much more intimate way, transmitting certain body scents. Hair on the body and on the head collect natural odors, including sexual scents generated by our hormones.
Animals are far more sensitive to those olfactory signals, but there’s mounting evidence that humans, too, pick up on them, though sometimes in a subliminal or unconscious fash-
We’re all aware of a certain magic or instant chemistry that turns us on without our having much conscious understanding of what is really happening. Hair provide one medium for those subtle signals.
Morris continues his elaboration of the important role hair play in sexual signalling between mature adults.
Although we ourselves do not possess any large scent glands, we do have a large number of small ones the apocrine glands. These are similar to ordinary sweat glands, but their secretions contain a higher proportion of solids. They occur on a number of parts of the body, but there are especially high concentration of them in the regions of the armpits and the genitals. The localised hair-tufts that grow in these areas undoubtedly function as important scent-traps.
Males in many cultures remove certain of their secondary sexual characters by shaving off their beards and or mus¬taches. Females depilate their armpit. As an important scent-trap, the armpit hairtuft has to be eliminated if normal dressing habits leave that region exposed.
Pubic hair are always so carefully concealed by clothing that it does not usually warrant this treatment, but it is interesting that this area is also frequently shaved by artists, models, whose nudity is non-sexual.
Sensitive to scent
Sexual turn-ons and sexual compatibility are a matter of enjoying the natural scent of another person. But our antiseptic, deodorised society promotes a certain fastidiousness that can still impinge on the appreciion. ation of erotic pungencies.
For example, inhibitions about oral sex— either the giving or the receiving of it — are apt to stem from discomfort over natural odors, particularly those of the genital hair. Cleanliness is fundamental in good sexual relations, but deliberate deodorising of the area is rarely necessary.
Far more than clothing or cosmetics, hair suggest sexual availability, provokes fantasies, and invites intimate touching. Many cultures have struck rules that insist on women cutting their hair once married.
In some orthodox Jewish sects, women shave their heads and wear wigs after marriage. Hair cover is required of women in most Eastern European and Asian countries, both in public and in places of worship. Ritual
shaving is part of tribal mating rites in some African and South American cultures, as well.
The ancient Roman poet Ovid advised: “Do not neglect your hair.” And the women of Rome took to wearing long hair in elaborate coiffeurs or compensating with wigs. Meanwhile among the barbarians, the ancient Guals bleached their hair while the Anglo-Saxons dyed theirs blue, green and orange.
By the 13th century, both men and women were having their hair cut off, and women went so far as to shave even their eyebrows. The medieval age found culture preoccupied with religious fervour and emphasis on ethereal other worldliness. Angels, it was decided, had no hair on their faces or bodies. Women of the middle ages were required to emulate these spiritual emissaries in their appearance and manners.
Beards for men and eye catching coiffeurs for women highlight historical periods of extravagance and decadence. Renaissance ladies of Italy lightened their hair, while Queen Elizabeth I wore a red wig. A mistress of Louis XIV once lost her hat while on a hunt, so she tied up her own long tresses with a lace- trimmed garter.
That fashion caught on, only to be exaggerated in the artificial hair pieces of
mistress, who piled her many wigs still higher and gave this style its name. Marie Antoinette arranged her wigs so steep that she had difficulty passing through doorways or entering her carriage.
Shaving the hair from women’s heads has been a recurring form of punishment, evident as recently in history as during World War II. Centuries earlier, a woman accused of witchcraft was typically forced to submit to the shaving of her body hair, or worse, to the plucking of each hair, one by one. That cruel and painful practice was ‘justified’ as necessary in the search for traces of carnal relations with the Devil.
Long unkempt hair became the standard cultural trademark of the social upheaval of the ‘60s. Literally and sym¬bolically, young people “Let their hair down”. Contesting sharply with the crew-cut male of the ‘50s, the fuzzy, shaggy, bird-nest hair styles of the “hippies” came to represent all that was new, free, rebellious, far-out and sexually liberated.
There is less flaunting of hairstyles and lifestyles in present American culture, although considerable variety and individuality in hair expression is predominant. Hair no longer make a strong social statement, although the sexual message is clear. Hair have become the sex symbol of the ‘70s.
The tawny, gleaming tresses of popular actress Farrah Fawcett Majors, rocketed her to a position as sex goddess. The style is graceful, chic and explicitly sexy. That style can make a woman seem wantonly provocative, and sexually available.
Posters of Farrah Fawcett Majors have by now outsold all other pinups, and women by the thousands try to emulate her wild, leonine looks, (the secret is in having enough hair for the style to be cut in different layers, afterwards keeping it impecroyal cably clean and fresh).
But other hairstyles for women are erotic, too. The ones that provide the biggest turn-on though, invariably are natural and uncontrived looking whether they consist of lush, loose waves, the stick, geometric locks of Sassoon, or the Bette Midler campy frizzed, fuzzy permanent style.
Men’s, hair fashion is currently shorter than during the ‘60s but longer than it had been for many decades before then. And instead of being controlled with grease or wax, it’s held in place by means of preparations which leave no trace of their presence. Men as well as women are now making their heads look “touchable.”
Body hair is now allowed to grow — and to show — as never before men are often seen with the top bottons of sport shirts undone to expose a hirsute chest. Although some women still shave, or have their legs waxed, many now choose not to remove the hair from their legs or their underarms.
Care of the hair on the head or the body is often thought to be a private concern, but many lovers share grooming rituals. A woman’s brushing her hair as her lover looks on is often very arousing. He may particiSome pate by stroking her hair, or they may groom each other.
The scalp is a sensitive erogenous zone, and is highly responsive to massage. For some individuals, the gentlest handling of the hair can be a turnon and vigorous rubbing may be pleasant, with many couples who delight in playful tugging and pulling of hair prior to, or during, lovemaking.
Sharing a shower is a pre-coital sport many couples enjoy. Shower caps are forbidden and not nearly as exciting as lathering, massaging and rinsing each other in turn. Making love while the hair is clean and wet after a shower or swim is a quietly sensual experience.
lovers cut or style each other’s hair, not only to save the expense of a professional job, but because they derive pleasures from the whole process. However, the one whose hair is being worked on must have absolute trust in the partner holding the scissors.
Trust is vital in another grooming activity which many lovers find erotic such as shaving or shaping the woman’s pubic hair. Some men prefer the childlike appearance of shaved pudenda, while others are curious to see how their partners look with the pubic area bare.
In private parts
The preliminary cutting can be done with scissors, afterwards, allowing the lover to lather and do the actual shaving. One advantage to hairless pubes is that the clitoris, labia and vagina are more easily accessible. A disadvantage is possible rash and itch while the hair grows back.
Trimming can also make these delicate areas accessible, and a cream rinse will render pubic hair soft and fluff. A few expensive hair salons offer “bikini trims” for pubic hair and also colouring and touch-ups to match head hair.
Hair’s age-old erotic significance is becoming increasingly apparent every day. Prime time television bombards viewers with promises of sexual fulfilment through preparations that unleash the primitive and magical powers of our hair. Behind those commercials is the suggestion that sex is really a “head trip,” based on face-to-face attraction, as well as physical intimacy.
Hair as the sex symbol of the ‘70s indicate a new emphasis on the whole person, which provokes progress toward increased genuine closeness and sharing.