What It's Really Like To Date A Man Who Gets Turned On By Haircuts

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When I hear the word "fetish" I think of tight leather pants ... or maybe someone who really likes feet. The word "kinky" comes to mind, along with mental pictures of people indulging in naughty things that are just a little (or even a lot) taboo. 

I don't think of haircuts. I mean, really, who does?

It might come as a surprise to you, but there are people out there who are turned on by haircuts  getting haircuts or just talking about haircuts — and I dated one of these people.

My single days seem like a long time ago, mostly because they were. There are times when I miss my singleton days: sole control of the remote, having my bed all to myself, and not having to ask, "Hey, do we have plans?" before I make, well, plans.

But I don't miss dating.

I was on for about two years. This was back when online dating sites were whispered about or scoffed at. I didn't keep a body count but I'd estimate I met roughly 25 different men through Match.

A few guys achieved "boyfriend status," and there were a lot of awkward "never again" coffee dates and then, of course, one semi-traumatizing experience with a guy with a haircut fetish.

We found each other in the typical "I like your profile, do you like mine?" kind of way. decided we had stuff in common and after a few messages and phone conversations, we decided there was enough mutual interest to meet for a drink.

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We talked on the phone several times before meeting in person. We played the twenty questions game people play when they're getting to know each other: No, I don't like sushi. Yes, I like hiking. No, I've never been to Canada. Stuff like that.

He complimented my appearance in my profile picture (that's how these conversations work, you know), and said he liked that I didn't have long hair.

My hair was shoulder-length. It might sound like I'm stereotyping but in my experience, most men like long hair on women. I've had to firmly explain to a couple of long-hair-lovin' ex-boyfriends and my husband that I'll wear my hair how I like it. Period.

"I like the fact that you don't have really long hair."

I said thank you because that's what you do when someone compliments your appearance, right? The conversation moved on.

During one of our pre-meeting chats, this guy  let's call him Mark  asked if I'd ever consider cutting his hair. My response was laughter. I told him about the time I cut my bangs that ended with tears and vodka and assured him that probably wasn't a good idea.

He was insistent, asking, "If I really wanted you to cut my hair, would you do it?" Uh ... sure, dude. If you want people to think your barber uses a dull steak knife for haircuts, I'm game.

The conversation moved on to other things. Looking back, I see it.

He worked the subject of hair into every conversation. How short would I cut my hair? Did I like guys with really short hair? I interpreted this as shallow, superficial.

Mark was into appearances. He dropped a lot of cash on his clothes. He was a total gym rat. Looks were important to him. This was OK by me; I was a little shallow back then, too.

We met in person. We liked each other well enough to go out on a second date, and a third. I knew Mark wasn't the man I'd spend forever with but at the time, I wasn't looking for forever. True love, it wasn't, but he was easy on the eyes and we didn't argue about where to go for dinner.

I wasn't looking for much more than someone to hang out with on Saturday night. (And yes, hanging out included sex.) Why not?

Our in-person conversations were light. Looking back, I see that they always touched on hair, and haircuts, at least briefly. He said I'd look great with a pixie cut because I had the bone structure to pull it off.

What woman wouldn't be flattered by that? No, I didn't get a pixie cut. He kept yammering on about me cutting his hair, and I always laughed at him.

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His hair was pretty short and he kept asking if I thought he should go shorter. Mark had six visible abs and a handsome face. I didn't care about his hair.

On our fourth date, we had sex. It was nice. Normal.

Then: "Would you cut my hair?"

Yes, he said it during sex. I said yes; I didn't know what else to say. But because I'd "bit," the next question was: "Would you use a number four?"

This refers to the length of a guard on barbering clippers, a little tidbit of haircut knowledge I'd picked up during various conversations. Whether to use a number four or a maybe even a number three seemed to be something Mark wanted to discuss extensively  out of the bedroom, of course.

Frankly, I didn't care. I'd smile and nod when the conversation turned to blade guards and think about his abs. I didn't answer this second question. At that moment, the dots all connected. The proverbial lightbulb came on.

This was ten years ago. I don't remember how things ended in the bedroom. I mean, I think they ended in the usual way but I don't remember if he kept talking about haircutting or if he took my silence as a hint that this kind of pillow talk wasn't doing it for me.

The next morning I asked him, "So, the whole haircut thing is a turn-on, huh?"

"Well, yeah." He might as well have said DUH!

Looking at things from this side, I guess it was obvious. I'm no expert on these things but I don't think getting turned on by talking about haircuts is very common.

I've found very little written on it. I haven't dug too deep because honestly, a hair fetish chat room isn't the place I want to be.

I walked right into fetish-land without a clue and it didn't seem obvious until I looked back. Then it all made sense. If he'd have continuously worked feet or spanking into our conversations, well, I'd have probably picked up on it. But hair? Nah.

As far as fetishes go, this one is probably pretty harmless. If I'd have really been into him, maybe I could've gone for the pixie cut or at least let him go to the salon with me.

Maybe I'd have gotten handy with the clippers and maybe I could've gotten used to the talk about barbering during sex. But probably not that last thing. To each their own, but that's the last thing I find sexy.

I tried to mentally process this whole "haircut thing" and I couldn't. I didn't want to. I waited a couple of days and called him.

"I don't think this will work out."

His answer: "Yeah, me either."

We both knew why.

I moved on. I forgot about it until recently, when I had a conversation with a friend that brought the memory to the front of my mind. I'm essentially un-traumatized, in fact, and I can laugh about it now.

I'm married to a guy who'd probably laugh his ass off if I started talking about haircuts during sex. He'd also laugh if I suggested I cut his hair.

This has been an interesting trip down memory lane. I wonder what happened to Mark or if he found a woman to indulge him. I wonder if he had to learn to keep quiet about his preferences in order to keep a woman he really cared about.

I know that woman wasn't me but I find it a little sad. And yes, I still find the hair thing a little weird. 

I guess the heart wants what the heart wants.

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Jill Robbins is a freelance writer, blogger, and speaker from Texas. She's a regular contributor to Babble and Ravishly as well as on her blog, Ripped Jeans and Bifocals. Follow her on Twitter.