Sometime in September, I took the plunge and shaved my head, the better to conceal my balding pate. But I noticed that, though the back of the head is bald (more or less), the forelock is still growing, so I cultivated that and it turned into a sort of oddball Mohawk. The “faux-hawk” is currently fashionable among the young, so when the weather got colder, I let the sides grow back but did not chop the “hawk” down. This gave me a frankly eccentric look for the sort of places I frequent, opera houses and such. No one has actually spoken of their shock, but I feel I am an oddity, a Picasso in the Rembrandt gallery.
This look has produced the most astonishing reaction, though, in gay bars, where suddenly I am something to look at, flirt with, proposition. It’s rather a pity that this has happened just as my fires are failing – I often feel I’m leading them on, flirting because I’m lonely and want a conversation (which is the fact of the matter, when I go to bars), and have no intention of responding to their evident point of interest. (Although there have been exceptions to that rule.)
The question is: what is turning them on? I don’t think the look has made me handsomer (it wouldn’t appeal to me, for example). Perhaps the hairlessness draws attention to my thick muscular neck, another red herring: the once-hunky rest of me is no longer so muscular, and I work out seldom. Or is it that my eccentricity implies sexual wildness (as my wearing full leathers used to, back when I could fit into my leathers) that, in fact, is also misleading? Or does it imply “don’t-give-a-fuck,” which again is not true, but might arouse the latent sexual outlaw every gay man is expected to nurture in his bosom? (Maybe every man.) Or is the coxcomb effect somehow a trigger to lustful reflex, much as (for gay men) a well-proportioned, bulging, neatly outlined basket certainly is?
It’s maybe a pity that I’ve discovered this phenomenon at so advanced an age. When I was young and constantly horny, I had enough hair to cover my skull, and that stolid look is what I went for, complete with “clone” mustache.
I’m afraid to remove my goatee because I fear I have more chins beneath it than I had growing in. No: I'll be honest. It's a handsome goatee. I keep it because I like it, as well as because others seem to.
On Not Knowing (Peter reads the Neoplatonists, part II) - I’ve been reading Greek philosophers. I formed a neoplatonist book club recently with a couple of Pagan friends, and we’re reading Iamblichus’s On the My...
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