What’s the Buzz about Barbershop Scenes and Head Shaving?

“Hi. My name is Keith, and I cruise barbershops. This is one form of legal nudity. Shaving is sexy. The vibration of the razor’s teeth [on my head] is sexy, plus Dad likes it. It makes me look so fucking good.”

There are many reasons for getting, giving, or having a buzz cut. There is the military fetish aspect made popular by Marines and law enforcement types. There is the humiliation aspect derived from some Master/slave, Daddy/boy relationships. There is the spiritual aspect enjoyed by the act, and there is the practical.

While shaved heads are in fashion at the moment, there was a time when man and his mane were the epitome of masculinity. This has changed over the years. Now, there are many reasons for shaving or sporting buzz cuts. In the military (and to some extent prisons), shaving the head was a means of deconstructing the ego and identity. This made the individual more pliable to authority. In prisons, it also helped prevent lice and aided in creating the “prison psychosis” of the incarcerated. The practice is no longer required.

In spiritual circles, monks shaved their heads as a means of the renunciation of worldly possessions (vanity, ego) and of their service to their God. The “tantra” was a distinction of some religious orders.

During the Inquisition, shaving the body was a means of final and total humiliation of the condemned before they were burned at the stake. In sports, there is the belief that a shaved head adds an intimidating element to the player’s edge.

From a practical viewpoint, a shaved or buzzed head saves time and money. It can also create a dramatic effect of association with an outcast circle. This serves to set the individual or group apart from other groups as with skinheads or Marines.

For Tops who have a shaved or buzzed head, there is an amalgam of historical images they portray. These images convey authority, superiority, and strength. For the bottom, it is a symbol of submission and servitude worn proudly as a statement of position. The process of shaving is the act of one man’s control over another. This psychological aspect also involves a spiritual aspect for many men. It represents the transformative process wherein they go from being an individual to become part of something greater than themselves.

The razor slides across my head, removing any vestige of hair that dare to show itself upon my scalp. It is a wondrous feeling, the slight breath of his nostrils raising goosebumps on the skin.

Regardless of the reason, a shaved head or a high and tight commands attention and is pleasurable to behold.


Forced Haircuts—the idea of an unwilling guy being tied or held down, pleading and then begging not to have his precious hair taken from him. Then, the sudden click-thud as the clippers are switched on, and their hum morphing to a low buzz as they move to his head…

Buzzcuts, brush cuts, crewcuts, butch cuts, flat tops, high and tights, discipline haircuts, motivation haircuts– just mentioning the words can be a turn-on to some guys who are truly into the scene.

I was a pretty kinky minded little boy, with lots of fetishes that I still enjoy today, but for me, forced buzzcuts is one of the earliest and strongest fetishes I remember having as I matured–right up there with handcuffs. I never got buzzed myself; long hair was “in” when I was young and trying to “fit in,” so I sported my hair pretty long until I moved to New York City. And even then it was several years before I had the balls to start exploring the thing that had always fascinated me. But, as a kid, I was transfixed whenever a crewcut, especially if forced, was in a scene on TV or in the movies.

The first time I remember being snagged by the fetish was while watching a made-for-TV movie with Jay Michael Vincent called “Tribes.” It was about the hippie who was inducted into the Marines. (A tough and hot Darrin McGavin played the DI, by the way.)

There was a scene where we witnessed our hero get his Paris Island induction haircut. I was transfixed–watching Jan’s long, blond hair fall (in slow motion) onto his capped shoulders, victim to the blades from the terrifying chunk of buzzing metal held in the barber’s firm mitt. He wasn’t restrained, of course, but it was very hot.

During the opening credits of Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket” we see recruit after recruit getting it all buzzed off. There’s an episode of “Bonanza” that would give anyone with a haircut fetish a hard-on–a smarmy narcissist pisses off the Cartwright boys to the point they finally tie him into a chair and have the barber shave him bald. “This Boy’s Life” treats us to DeNiro taking his stepson Leonardo DiCaprio for a disciplinary flattop. The list goes on and on…

Forced haircuts and head shave scenes often pop up in lots of literature, films, plays, opera, and let’s not forget about good old Samson. Humiliation haircuts pepper many fraternity hazing stories; they often are the fate that befalls losers of weird bets or dares.

I have to presume, then, that a lot of people recognize the power of this thing: cutting off a man’s hair. They may not be sexually aroused by it, but it is universally recognized as a major “Thing to Do.” But, I would get hard when watching or thinking about it, and of course, I never would have dared imagine that there were other guys out there that felt the same way–that were turned on by watching or giving or getting military haircuts.

But it turns out there are lots of us. A whole lot of stuff can be brought up when a forced haircut is used in a BDSM scene. It can be especially intense when used as a true induction: the bottom being shorn of his former physical self–suddenly and drastically transformed with a few passes of the buzzing clippers.

I think it works on various levels of BDSM and fetish play. First, the mere physicality, the possibilities for creative and extremely hot bondage. Some guys make the restraint into the chair the best part of the scene. I know of a kinky barber chair fitted with extra heavy leather straps for buckling around the wrists and ankles, and a collar that he clips to the headrest bar.

Obviously, the humiliation aspect of such a scene can be a part of the allure too. Once this same Buzz Top has a guy helpless in barbershop bondage, he taunts and teases him about how he’s gonna look as a baldie, until he finally lets the clippers do their work. “Yeah boy, gonna take all your pretty hair and make you bald.”

A scene can be the beginning of an intense military trip: Marine Corp DI dealing with a sissy who didn’t want his hair cut. “Gonna turn you into the grunt maggot you really are…”

But, if it isn’t Marine bootcamp or brig related, sometimes it can launch a completely different realm for role play and fun [and it’s one of my favourites]: Dad taking his boy to the barbershop for a “real” haircut. Make his boy look the way he wants him to look. Like a man. Yeah.

i am stripped of my manhood, robbed of what defines me as an adult. A thick layer of masculine hair is slowly, deliberately being removed by Another. i am now merely a boy serving his Master: smooth to the touch & eager to please.

Barbershop and haircut scenes can be a truly “heady” experience. And, while it certainly is a commitment (you can’t just forget you’ve done it the next day), the fact that you wear a long lasting reminder of the scene is part of the thrill.

The most extreme side of this is the total head shave. Once I personally got over the trauma (and pure ecstasy) of actually, finally getting buzzed, my fascination turned to the total baldie—the Kojak, the Yul Brenner, the Mr. Clean. I had always been attracted to guys who look like that, but the idea of one of them doing it to me to make me look like them, it used to make me crazy. Until I finally had the chance several years ago to fulfill that fantasy too.

But, while buzzcuts have an extremely hot and sexy feel to them, total headshaves often take on a spiritual and mystical type of power. I find the shaving of a “willing” head to be truly a magical act. The flip side of that, of course, is that when forced upon someone, the humiliation and degradation is increased tremendously too—so much that the poor recipient would have been delighted at the compromise of only getting a buzzcut. (There’s a scene in the film”Performance” that is particularly striking.)

But, it’s not always about humiliation, punishment, or discipline. Some guys, both bottoms and Tops, shave their heads on a regular basis, outside of any sort of BDSM scene. I asked some of the Cue-balls I know to write down their thoughts about the subject.

First of all, it’s a proactive approach to becoming bald. Rogaine, hairpieces, and comb-overs convey the message that you don’t like being bald; you’re ashamed of it. Head shaving proclaims my naked, uncovered dome with gusto. It’s legal public nudity. It flouts conventionality with attitude. I’M OUT AND I’M PROUD!


Second, shaving is sexy. I shave in the shower, and I often slick up my dick with shaving gel and proceed to shave my head while sporting a big boner. Admittedly, it’s a fetish, but the erotic aspects of hair removal are undeniable.


Last, but not least, it feels great. When a playmate strokes my bald head, I shudder with pleasure.


There’s an old Tibetan proverb: Grass doesn’t grow a top of a mountain.


SMPIssue3This piece first appeared in S/M Perspectives (Vol 2, Issue 3), independently published in Vancouver by Rainfall Press in 2004. It came from a talk given at GMSMA by Ray Matienzo, Peter B. and Keith.


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