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Some people don’t give their haircut much thought. They go into a barber, tell them what style they want, and relax while getting a cut and style. In essence, they take the simple service for granted.
For others though, hair is an identity-affirming characteristic. For some members of the LGBTQ community, getting the cut and style they want isn’t always an option. Not all barbershops are open and willing to serve members of the community. For example, you might run into a barber that won’t give a “men’s cut” to a transgender man.
Hopefully, that won’t always be the norm.
For now, however, there are nearly 15,000 barbers in the U.S. and likely plenty near you who are willing to give you the style you deserve. So, how can you find those barbers? More importantly, why should you?
If you find yourself shrugging and not seeing the big deal behind stylists that won’t cut everyone’s hair, consider how you would feel if it was a different service or industry. In 2014, a bakery in Indiana came under fire for refusing to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. The story made national news. Even though the shop eventually closed, it was an example of the disconnect and prejudice some businesses and their owners still have against the LGBTQ community.
Whether you’re straight or gay, if you’ve ever been turned away from any type of service because of your identity, you know how deeply that can hurt. When it comes to barbershops, this refusal of service can be heart-wrenching.
Cutting hair is an intimate practice, and many barbershops realize this. As a result, many barbershops can help to strengthen the community and the people in it.
If someone can’t have the haircut to affirm their identity or self-expression, they may struggle with their self-image and perception. We live in a “selfie culture” where social media rules the world. If a person doesn’t feel like themselves in their skin (or hair), they can feel disconnected from that culture. For a member of the LGBTQ community, that’s often already an issue.
A self-actualizing haircut can help someone to feel stronger in their identity, potentially reducing the effects of anxiety, trauma, and social comparison.
A haircut may seem simple, but it’s much bigger than that. It can keep people whole.
One of the biggest problems you can face in finding an LGBTQ-friendly barber is tradition. In the south, you know how important tradition can be, even when it’s outdated and wrong.
For years, stereotypes have been built around the hair-cutting industry. Men go to barbershops. Women go to beauty shops.
For someone who identifies as queer, something as simple as finding someone to cut their hair can be overwhelming because of these traditions. You might fear rejection, judgment, or hostility because you “don’t belong” in a certain place.
No matter how you identify, one of the best things you can do is not to give in to the titles and expectations that go along with barbershops and beauty shops. Instead, look for businesses that call themselves salons or personal stylists. You should look for a barber with:
- Natural talent
- A clean space
- People skills
When you want a great hairstyle, it’s less about the building and more about the person. Don’t be afraid to “shop around” until you find someone you’re comfortable with and someone who understands your style.
For someone in the LGBTQ community, when you have a hard time finding someone to cut your hair, it’s easy to feel down and dejected. But, have hope. Nashville’s LGBTQ business community has been growing for years.
Because of that, it’s easier than you might think to find a hairstylist willing to give you the look you deserve.
One of the best things you can do is simply to ask around. Where do your friends get their hair cut? Word-of-mouth advertising is a goldmine for businesses, but it also helps customers and clients know what to expect before going somewhere.
You can also do your research online to find LGBTQ-friendly stylists near you. Look for businesses that:
- Provide a safe space
- Celebrate diversity
- Have gender-neutral bathrooms
- Know how to be inclusive
- Advertise themselves as allies
Sites like Yelp have made it easier than ever to find these businesses. The app features a business attribute and rainbow map pins that make LGBTQ-friendly businesses stand out so you can save them and support them.
A haircut might not seem like much on the surface. But, it’s part of who you are, and can tell a lot about you. Finding a barber that supports inclusivity and is happy to style your hair isn’t only important for you, personally – it’s important for the entire LGBTQ community.
Now here's a kink we bet you didn't think about.
When it comes to kinks and foreplay, what turns you on is unique to you. Now isn’t the time to get embarrassed - with 1 in 7 people having a foot fetish and 75% of the population having a dirty talk kink, fetishes come in all shapes and sizes. Foreplay triggers physiological and physical reactions, so finding what you like is super important. For a number of people shaving a sexual partner has become a popular fantasy but why? Body hair is already a hot topic, and with more and more people increasingly growing attracted to hair and hair removal – it's time to explore the kink.
Dirty Minds Media, an adult kink website who specialize in fetishes, knows that there is a stigma surrounding kinks and fetishes alike. They often receive questions and requests about the fact that people or perspective partners don’t understand the shaving fetish. The experts have shared their expertise, to help those facing challenges around wanting to embrace and partake in their fantasies.
What is a shaving kink?
Hair fetishes are widely spoken about, however a haircut fetishism or shaving fetish is what people are now particularly more interested in. Although shaving might seem like a tedious task, for me and you, for others it’s a right turn on. A kink is described as a consensual, non-traditional behaviour that creates sexual excitement – like with all kinks a shaving fetish comes in many forms. The act of a shaving fetish is to gain sexual arousal at the sight of; someone cutting your hair, watching a third party’s hair being shaved or shaving someone yourself – this can be on any part of the body that hair grows, including pubic hair.
Why does your partner want to shave you?
The question why relates back to social aspects. Pubic hair conversations are ongoing, society deemed (up until quite recently) that having pubic hair was undesirable – created by prejudice of cleanliness. But for your partner that wants to shave you, it’s probably associated with dominance, rather than personal hygiene, almost taking care of their partner. Much like pubic shaving, a shaven head has also become a kink too, being as they are affiliated with humiliation - linking back to a punishment of women who were caught fraternising with the enemy in World War II. Keeping in mind the idea of power, the humiliation element is now more obvious – so as a dominant it’s not hard to see why it’s sexually arousing.
Advice to approach the subject with your partner
Shaving your partner is a great way to explore your partner, the build-up can cause excitement and intensifies any future sexual experience to follow. But it can be uncomfortable to approach the subject especially if you aren't in a dominant and submissive relationship. The experts at Dirty Minds Media have provided you a short advice section to help you approach the subject of your kinks. It can be tricky to approach the topic of shaving your partner but if you have a fetish that you desire to explore, then communicate with your partner. If you fear feeling judged, try explaining that you’re sharing from a place of trust, it will help stop that embarrassment. Going in with the facts, details and context will also help you demystify your kink too. Starting small and easing the conversation slowly will help this. Finally, everyone should be understanding – each party will have something to say.
Not you entering your thirties! By now, you should probably have a fairly good sense of personal style, but the question is ... where do you want to take your fashion next?
Are you finally giving up on viral trends and opting to wear only what you know fits your body, style and budget? Smart man! Your thirties are the perfect time to walk away from fast fashion and fill your closet with a few great items and attractive accessories. Need some help perfecting the fashion of gay guys in their thirties? Here are some basic tips to serve as a base for all your looks.
Invest in quality suits
You’re a grown man now, no doubt, so you probably realized that a great suit really is a pillar of a quality wardrobe. You might have a few formal pieces by now, but you can get a little bit more serious about your personal style and add some classics to your collection—think classic gray and navy blue and some plaids and tweeds for mixing and matching. A quality suit can be matched with denim, chinos and even a simple t-shirt for informal evenings. Just make sure to visit a tailor before you go sporting your new formal pieces.
Keep it classy in the summer
Summer is many gay men’s favorite time of the year. Being in your thirties doesn’t mean you have to dress like a grandpa, but it’s time to ditch flip-flops, cut-off shorts and tank tops. Instead, look classy and hot in some classic summer pieces like linen trousers, cotton shirts and leather sandals. Add a few accessories to your outfit, and you will dazzle everyone at the beach or at the bar with your expensive and upscale look.
Splurge on good footwear
You’re not getting any younger, so make sure to keep your legs in great condition with quality shoes if you want to stay on your feet for many more years. Instead of feeding your obsession with quantity, opt for one or two quality pieces of footwear that will keep your foot stable and protected, yet stylish. When choosing sneakers, make sure to check out sneaker release dates and find a model that fits your lifestyle, aesthetics and budget. A classic pair of white kicks can be worn with almost anything so they are always a good choice. When buying dress shoes, opt for natural materials that will adapt to your foot and allow it to breathe and move naturally. Plus, quality models always look more elegant, which is what you want in your thirties.
Be smart with accessories
As you get older, you get to understand the impact of jewelry and accessories on your style. The most useful and stylish accessory for men at any age is a watch, so unless you already have a quality timepiece, this is the right time to treat yourself. And don’t worry about money—there are great watches for an affordable price out there. And don’t forget to pay attention to details. Small accessories like a classy leather wallet are always important.
Fire up your iron
Do you take good care of your skin? Probably yes. Do you take good care of your fabrics? Hopefully, the answer here is yes as well. Wrinkles on your clothes will make you look cheap and sloppy no matter if you’re dressed in Armani head to toe. Make sure to fire up your iron and always iron your clothes before wearing, especially during the day, when the sun can highlight even the smallest of wrinkles. Wearing a button-down shirt or suit pants that are full of creases will definitely be a reason for younger gays to judge your look.
When shopping for clothes in your thirties, remember this simple formula: buy less and buy quality. Elegance and sophistication are what you should be aiming for at this stage of life, especially if you’re trying to attract like-minded guys. If you dress well, being in your thirties will fill you with confidence and make you feel comfortable in your skin.