For years, I have worn braids, twists and faux locs — hairstyles that are meant to stay on my head through sleep or strenuous exercise. This means when I’m having sex with a partner, I’m free to whip my hair around and I can stay completely in the moment.
But recently — partly due to pandemic boredom — I’ve entered the wonderful world of wigs. I have some Chaka Khan-inspired looks, and a long bob that makes me feel like I could conquer the office I’ll never be returning to. Every so often, too, I’ll put on a wig that makes me feel like an Instagram baddie: 26 inches of the finest hair money can buy.
While I look hotter than ever, I fear for my next romp. I’ve been cooped up in my house for a year now, and apart from a few ill-advised hookups with an ex, my sex life has been radio silent. So things are bound to get wild when it’s time to break my dry spell, which leads me to a new pressing anxiety: What would my partner do if my wig fell off?
Googling for answers didn’t yield the results I’d hoped. Most of the search results included advice as to how to secure your wig to your head. Helpful, sure, but that doesn’t mean much if my $40 synthetic unit is yanked off because my Tinder match didn’t realize they weren’t supposed to pull on it.
Next, I took to Twitter to look for people complaining about wigs being displaced during sex with the keywords “wig,” “fall off” and “sex.” The majority of tweets were from women, jokingly begging their partners to keep their hands off their hair during sex — definitely a valid concern.
So again, no dice. After days of asking my wig-wearing friends to no avail, I decided to turn to the one place where I’d have access to hundreds of men: Tinder. I changed each picture on my Tinder profile so it featured me with a different hairstyle or wig. I also added a quick line to my bio, saying that I wanted to speak to men about wigs and sex, and then proceeded to swipe on the next 100 men that came up on my deck, all of whom were either based in or around Washington, D.C.
One of the first responses I got was from Cameron, 26. He admitted that he’s never had sex with anyone who wore wigs, but if the situation presented itself where one of his sexual partners had their wig fall off, he’d “probably try and grab it and wear it.” I’d seen that same joke repeated a few times on Twitter, but when I pressed him for a more serious answer, he responded by saying that he’d console his partner if they felt embarrassed by it, but that he considers sex to be fun and doesn’t mind laughing during it.
Another Tinder match, 27-year-old Jack, a pseudonym, told me that he views wigs just like any other hairstyle. The only experience he had with a wig-wearing partner was when he realized midway through sex that the hairstyle in question was a wig and had to remind himself not to touch it. Although I was convinced that my wig coming off during sex would surely end the whole affair, both Cameron and Jack reassured me that this wasn’t the case at all and that they didn’t have any (conscious) judgments about wig wearers.
I should note that most of the Tinder matches that responded to my query weren’t Black. On first guess, I’d assume non-Black men would be weird about wigs, but at the same time, maybe there was a hesitance talking to me, a Black woman, and being completely candid about all their wig woes. So I connected with Marcus, a Black man with eight sisters who I found on Twitter. He was adamant about his love for wigs. To him, wigs give a great degree of freedom to women, especially Black women, and he respects and appreciates their versatility. As such, Marcus didn’t really seem to care about wigs or wigs falling off during sex. The only request he had was that the wig looked good.
Fair enough. But honestly, I was thinking about this all wrong: I’m the expert here, not random men on the internet. So here it is: the non-exhaustive list of what you should (and shouldn’t) do if you’re fucking someone and their wig falls off…
Do give her some time to decide how she wants to proceed. Under my wigs, my natural hair has me feeling like Pusha T. I don’t want to have sex while I feel like Pusha T. Give me a few seconds to put my wig back on.
Don’t throw my wig across the room in an attempt to be passionate. I paid money for that hair. It shouldn’t touch the ground under any circumstance.
Do tell me how sexy I look. My wig falling off is a major hit to my confidence, and I need to get some of that back before I put that thang back on you.
Don’t tell me I look better without the wig on. First, it’s not true. Second, you’re going to make me feel like I look bad in wigs or that I’ve been rocking bad wigs for all this time: “Did the cashier at CVS think my wig was bad? Why has no one else told me?”
Do apologize. Even if it’s not your fault. People really underestimate the impact of a simple “I’m sorry your wig came off while we were doing it.”
Don’t over apologize. I don’t want to spend more than 10 seconds acknowledging the fact that my hair fell off my head. One apology is enough. Let’s just get back to it.
The relationship between women and their hair is often a fraught one. Whether it’s women of all races dealing with hair loss, Black women having to conform to standards of beauty forced upon us or wanting to switch up our hairstyles to match our lifestyles, there’s a sensitivity to our hair that our partners have to be privy to — especially in the bedroom.
Speaking of which, if you can’t handle a wig coming off while doing the dirty, you have no business being in the bedroom.