A blog about my hair…

Today’s blog is a rant/question more than anything that came from a few random conversations I’ve had with folks the past few days, and a blog I read through one of my Facebook friends’, DeWayne Alston’s page (the link to the blog I read is at the end of this entry). It’s nothing deep, meaningful, life-altering or soul-saving. In fact a lot of the time I make a point of avoiding that crap because as a writer (especially a Black one) every little bit of your creative energy is supposed to be about uplifting folks, and honestly, sometimes I don’t feel like it. (Most of the time to be totally honest…but that is in a blog that is coming soon.)

In the meantime…here is my question.

I have “natural” hair. For those of you who don’t know what I mean by that (and yes I do have some readers that wouldn’t know…), Black women often take their hair through a process called “relaxing”. The end result after this process is hair whose original natural texture has been altered to more closely resemble the hair of Caucasians. Most Black people’s hair, without this (or some similar) process, would have a texture that would be kinky, curly, wavy, or  a combination or these; the hair would have a “S” or even a “Z” pattern to it. It certainly wouldn’t be straight, which is what the “relaxing” process does. Sometimes it is called a “perm”; I refuse to call it that because the process is not permanent, it is temporary. I do not process my hair in this manner, so my hair is called “natural” hair. Nor to I have a weave in my hair.

Now I have learned over the years that all women of all races and nationalities do things to their hair cosmetically to alter its color, texture, length, style, or whatever. Unfortunately, oftentimes Black women alter their hair’s texture for reasons that go beyond the cosmetic. I don’t want to get into a long diatribe here about the self-hate that goes into some Black women’s desire to relax their hair, or wear weaves, etc. Because why women do it is not my question.

My question is – how can you possibly have a decent sex life with a relaxer or weave in your hair? Or one of those lace front wigs that is “supposed” to stay in a few weeks?

No….seriously…that’s my question. That’s it. That’s what I want to know.

Now Black men joke about how when their Black women have just returned from the salon with a freshly styled head of hair, sex is pretty much off the table for the next few days (or longer). Trips to the salon can get to be rather expensive if they are frequent. And even if you get a girlfriend or relative or someone like that to fix your hair, chances are he or she not going to always be at your beck and call to do it whenever you need it done. So in the interest of practicality, most women get as much mileage as they can out of their hair once they leave the salon. And for their men, that means either no sex (in most cases), or in some “alternative” sexual pleasuring that will not dishevel the hair too much — whatever the alternative sexual pleasuring is, the man must always mindful of the hair style must leave it intact. Most importantly, the hair must never be touched or get wet, either with water or sweat.

(SIDEBAR: Now I do know the high-end strand-by-strand weaves do allow you more freedom in these areas, but chances are if you can afford a weave that starts in the low-to-mid four figure range, you can afford to keep it up…)

So my question is ladies, does it not bother you at all to have your sex lives dictated to you by your hair style? What you do, when you do it, how you do it are all controlled by your hair – I mean, well, let me continue before I get to sounding judgmental, which is not what I want to do here. I really do want to understand. I’ll be the first to say I don’t know a lot about what goes on with relaxed hair maintenance these days, so someone school me.

Many of the things I enjoy about sex are gone the minute I put a weave or a relaxer in my hair. He can’t pull my hair. He can’t run his hands through it all the way to the scalp. He can’t wash my hair. If he touches my face, he has to make sure he doesn’t touch my hair. He can’t hold my head during oral sex. He can’t play in my hair. He can’t twirl his fingers around and through it in a random kind of way when we’re just chilling afterwards. In fact, a lot of the touching that promotes intimacy and closeness goes out the window. We can’t have sex in the shower, or the Jacuzzi, or the bath, or the swimming pool, or the ocean, or in the rain. I can’t sweat, nor can he. For me, that’s too much stuff to worry about. It kills spontaneity. It kills a lot of things for me. At that point I don’t see the need in doing it if all these “rules” are in place.

When I first cut out my relaxer, this was one of my primary reasons why I did. I remember certain people praising me for letting go of the chemicals, for not “lye-ing” anymore, for being proud of my true born hair, and yes, a tiny bit of that went into the decision. But at my core I am a practical person, and “going natural” was just as much a practical decision as anything. My hair was falling out first of all, and secondly, I could never keep my relaxed hair looking decent, because I like to screw and relaxers aren’t conducive to that. So after hours in a salon and a ton of money spent, I might look good two or three days if I kept my man away from me, and most of the time I didn’t want to do that — and just as importantly, he didn’t want me to keep him away. And while in most cases the guy would offer to significantly contribute to my hair maintenance, there then became the time issue. Even if I had the money, who has the time to spend 2-18 hours in a hair salon (depending on where you go), two or three times a week so my hair can look good for a day before my man tears it all up again? When I decided to cut my relaxer out, one of thoughts at the forefront of my mind was “now I can have sex anytime I want and not worry about whether or not I have the money to get my hair fixed!”

And that is how it’s been since 2002. I’ve had natural hair, and I have f***ed whenever I damn well pleased, wherever I’ve damn well pleased, including in blinding rainstorms, in steaming hot showers, and in blazingly hot non-air conditioned bedrooms that would make a woman with a relaxer turn away in disgust, no matter how horny she might be.

Now I’m not saying my way is the best way. It certainly isn’t the only way. It is what works for me. I’ve always been a person who didn’t like to be told what to do, especially in my personal life. So the idea that my hair was playing a significant role in my intimacy became absurd to me, and I took steps to ensure that it no longer did.

Peace!

The original blog that inspired this is called “Why Men Hate Weaves”:

http://armondwakeup.blogspot.com/2010/07/mans-perspective-why-men-hate-weaves.html#links

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