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Saturday, August 20, 2016


I gather I'm in a minority, but I really like man-buns. I've heard so many friends put them down. Suffering from GOMS (Grumpy Old Man Syndrome) I think.

I always think criticising the hair of a younger generation is a dangerous sign that the speaker is getting conformist, slipping into the same sort of middle-aged attitudes we hated as kids and about to launch into "Back in MY day we never ..." sort of platitudes.

I regret that I have never had long hair.

When it was in in the 60s and 70s I was too young, and Kings Prep had a strict "no hair touching the collar" rule. Kings College was a little more relaxed, and longer hair had become normal by then. But by the time I left school and could make my own decisions punk was in and my hair was short, and dyed in as many colours as I could find. My hairdresser once stole a lime green from a colleague for me.

My older brothers, especially the oldest two, really went for long hair in a big way. I remember when my oldest brother Greg came back from his first year at RMIT in 1974, his black hair curling down over his shoulders like a King Charles cavalier, with the obligatory beard and moustache, a 12 string guitar over his shoulder. He was so cool. My parents' despair was palpable.

Hair mattered, and matters. How it's presented, how it's cut, styled, coloured.

I can remember the jokes, the comments the sneers that long hair got back then.

It's hard to think now of how revolutionary the move to long hair for men in the 60s and 70s was.

And it was really about men's hair not women's - the change in male grooming and appearance, away from the short back and sides symbolised social change. And caused such deep suspicion. They didn't use a woman's head on the Hair poster - what would be the point of that?

Long hair was what women wore, not men. Not civilised men.

And the older generation made it very clear how much they hated young men with long hair. Luckily the young men didn't listen.

Then long hair went mainstream and look what happened. I actually still quite like this look. Bee Gees Saturday Night Fever style.

But what I really loved and miss is that old style 1960s hippy style. Like George Harrison in this photo.

I remember being about 18 and meeting this guy who had this kind of hair. He must have been about 28, so quite old by my standards then. We met in a sauna, the old Victoria St Spa, and we fucked a few times after that at his flat in Parnell, back when parts of Parnell were still very rundown and full of those old style flats.

He had amazing long hair and often it would be in a ponytale  - at first.

What I remember delighting in is when we'd be naked in bed, stoned too probably, and he'd bend over me and let all his hair down, like a tent encircling us, and we would kiss, long and deep kisses, with this beautiful forest of hair shutting the world out and fencing us in.

Maybe it was his schtick, his little party trick that he did with everyone, but fuck it worked for me and I remember it with such pleasure. He was sweet and tender with a long lean firm body, nice cock with the right sort of heft to it, and took the time to figure out what turned me on, and in some ways, taught me how to fuck; he was good to me, confused teenager that I was.

I can't remember his name, even his face is a bit of a blur, but I remember the emotions that went with him, and I remember his hair, his long beautiful hair.

But all fashions change and move, and hair length and style is one of the easiest ones to alter.

Now I am nearly bald. I keep what hair is left clipped short. No more greens, pinks, oranges, blonds, and stripes of all of those together. No more mohawks. No more bright pink fringe hanging down to my nose.

I've never had long hair, but I remember the men who did and how it was so beautiful and hot.

So I don't criticise man-buns. And when I find myself criticising what young people wear, say or do, I remember what those old men used to say about my brothers and their friends, their generation, with their long hair. Middle aged men, also with GOMS, afraid of change, scared of not being the standard of all that is right.

I don't want to be like that. So man-buns are fine, more than fine. They can look so fucking hot.

And I can imagine some handsome young man with a man-bun in bed, casually undoing it, and dropping down a tent of hair around his lover's face.

1 comment:

Geoffrey Marshall & John Hayward said...

I'm working hard on being a GOM but have to agree.
Having had, and abandoned, beards in my youth, I watched the more recent growth of facial hair with dismay but with so many beautiful and handsome men becoming furry I now like it.
The point is that it's not the fashion that's good or bad but the way it's presented.