Why Cutting Your Hair Short Equals Better Sex

I faced that fear with a hair cut. It showed me my unique beauty, unbound by societal expectations.

One night at a bar, a guy told me, “Great haircut...”

I touched the back of my neck, fuzzy from my recent barbershop fade.

He laughed loudly, “...for a twelve-year-old-boy!”

Good one, dude. And thanks.

Because I’m glad you’re not attracted to me. My haircut weeds out dickwads like you. You’re an otherwise handsome 20-something. Had you said something witty, or had good taste in podcasts, we’d be making out in a bathroom stall right now. But instead you revealed how small-minded you are.

If a man isn’t attracted to me because of my hair, it tells me two things: Number one, he has a one-dimensional perception of femininity. Number two, he’s an asshat. Sure, science says long hair is hot because it’s a fertility signifier. But if he can’t get his dick hard for anything other than a DNA transcript for female fertility, then his reptilian brain isn’t evolved enough for me.

I gave up on that Lady Godiva bullshit back in 2010. And I’m here to testify that I’ve had better partners, hotter sex, and higher self-esteem ever since. Here’s why:

Short hair takes away a crutch. I’d been leaning on the long-hair trope to feel more secure. Something about flowing curls, I admit, is comforting. Long hair is the ultimate accessory. It’s your wingman. It wraps you up, makes you feel taller, thinner, bolder. It gives you something to twist flirtatiously around your index finger. And in moments of self-consciousness, it allows you retreat, to hide, to take your place.

I might not get the same attention as the leggy blond with the swishy ponytail, and thank God. Short hair communicates power and confidence, and men who can’t handle me just don’t apply.

And that’s exactly what made me panic. When I cut my hair off, my square jawbone stared back at me in the mirror with nothing to soften it. I was all angles. I put on more eyeliner. I bought lots of dangly earrings. I dressed in too much pink. But it got easier; I discovered femininity in other, more intrinsic qualities — the timbre of my voice and laughter, my empathy and warmth, my determination and thoughtfulness. Not having the long hair crutch made me reevaluate what made me feel beautiful beyond the physical, what made me feel powerful beyond sex appeal.

But this isn’t just about my cheeky haircut.

It’s about how a woman’s worth is derived from beauty, not ability. It’s about how hair is sexualized and fetishized. It’s about how we’re taught to make ourselves desirable above all else. Sorry not sorry for the lofty departure folks, but this is not about pixie cuts, it’s about the mutha fuckin’ patriarchy.

Cutting your hair off is political, writes New Statesman columnist Laurie Penny. Anything that threatens to redefine femininity thereby threatens masculinity. “Wearing your hair short, or making any other personal life choice that works against the imperative to be as conventionally attractive and appealing to the patriarchy as possible, is a political statement,” Penny writes.

Because if you don’t strive to be sexy, then what are you doing with your life? You’ll never get a husband/life partner with that — insert alternative lifestyle choice — (e.g. purple mohawk, armpit hair, entrepreneurial dreams, etc.). 

“Hair is so bound up with ideas of femininity that, to some degree, the measure of a woman is found in the length of her hair,” writes Arwa Mahdawi in an op-ed for The Guardian. “In the semiotics of female sexuality, long hair is (hetero)sexual, short hair is non-sexual or homosexual, and no hair means you're either a victim or a freak.” 

Need proof? One quick skim of this nauseating Reddit feed or this troller’s anti-short hair manifesto will give you a nip of how much anger, suspicion, and fear a short-haired woman stirs up. Not to mention (but you know I must) our President, who feels so threatened by women, he insults their beauty, weight gain, or wardrobe choices as if that cuts the deepest. 

When a man in power refers to a woman as a “disgusting animal” or “Miss Housekeeping” and says he “can do whatever he wants to them,” it reinforces the existing power dynamic. It normalizes systemic misogyny. It’s okay that Trump says, “if she’d lose a few pounds she’d be a 10” because “all men talk like that.” And if we protest? Trump calls us ungrateful, bitter, unlovable.

“The threat that if we don’t behave, if we don’t play the game, we will end up alone and unloved is still a strategy of control,” Penny writes.

So throw off the yoke.

Wanna wear a bikini with a C-section scar? Shit yeah. Bench press 250 lbs? Hell yes. Join a rugby league? Fuckin’ do it. Short hair is certainly not the only path to Shakti self-discovery. We can challenge conceptions of femininity in so many ways (Grow out your leg hair! Lift heavy weights! Play contact sports!). 

Fear of being less attractive or too masculine is a socialized fear. For me, I faced that fear with a hair cut. It showed me my unique beauty, unbound by societal expectations. I now know my sense of worth isn’t derived from conformity or submission.

Plus, I waste way less time on Tinder. Let’s face it; fewer men are attracted to me. And that seems like it could be a negative thing. But being less attractive to the asshats of the world is an advantage. 

To that guy at the bar — to all the left swipers — and to every person who’s said, “But you’d be so much prettier with long hair!”: You’re not attracted to me? Fuckin’ great! It means that I’ll appeal to more open-minded partners whose barometer for attraction relies less on fertility signifiers and more on chemistry and personality.

Better compatibility means deeper connections, more trust and respect — and, duh, hotter sex. 

I might not get the same attention as the leggy blond with the swishy ponytail, and thank God. Short hair communicates power and confidence, and men who can’t handle me just don’t apply.

So let this be a rallying cry. Challenge the binary gender definitions that fuel discrimination and prejudice in everything from athletic scholarships to genderless bathrooms. This is a call-to-action to face the misogynist renaissance of the Trump era with self-acceptance, gender fluidity, and fearlessness. No matter how you wear your hair, let the asshats be damned, social disruption looks great on you.

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