I’ve always liked having my hair played with, I also like running my fingers through a lover’s hair. Yet while I find both of those activities, appealing, sensuous, and often arousing as part of intimacy I don’t think I could call it a fetish.
I’m not alone, playing with someone’s hair and they playing with yours can be relaxing and arousing, fun and exciting. But for it to be a true fetish there has to be a different element, a focus on the hair itself as a direct object of sexual arousal, a disproportionate excitement at the sight, touch or smell of hair. In extreme cases the taking of hair from another, with or more disturbingly without their consent. It’s rare that any fetish reaches that stage but I know of one case in the UK where women’s hair was being cut from their heads without their knowledge while travelling on busses. The person responsible, Danilo Restivo, was a very troubled person and his obsessions went beyond trichophilia, ending in homicide. So not your typical hair fetishist.
Sadly his actions are probably enough for the right wing press to insist on “fetish screening” for hairdressers in an effort to protect us in the same way that we need heavy-handed censorship to protect us from porn … and free speech. Sorry, I drifted off there.
A Wikipedia article on the subject of trichophilia says this “Hair does not in itself have any intrinsic sexual value other than the attributes given to it by individuals in a cultural context.”
Excuse me? I beg to differ!
Well OK, I suppose it depends how you define “sexual value” for sex to occur between two individuals you don’t have to have hair as such and hair does not form part of the sexual act directly. However think about the aspects of foreplay and sexuality that hair is involved in. For men or women, but particularly women in most societies hair is one of the ways they attract the opposite sex.
The Wikipedia article itself concedes that a healthy coat, or in the case of humans, hair can indicate vitality and fertility by showing you are in good breeding condition. Yes, there are cultural elements to this that feed into the value we place on the hair of a prospective sexual partner. Additionally there is the capability of hair to retain its owner’s scent, particularly in the pubic region but hair anywhere on the body does trap and intensify a human’s natural odour. I’ve met people who positively hate the hairless pubic regions of modern porn and many non-porn stars because it denies them this olfactory indulgence.
So I suppose I’ve answered my question, LOL. While it makes sense to seek out and be sexually aroused by a member of the opposite sex with good hair because of its indication of breeding condition (to put it at its most basic) but actually focusing your sexuality and arousal directly on hair is most definitely a fetish. And there’s nothing wrong with a fetish, indeed I can think of few fetishes that would manifest themselves with a loving partner in a more sensuous and mutually pleasurable way.