As a black woman, I certainly plan everything around my hair. If I have a vacation coming up, I make an appointment for crochet braids. If I go to a concert, I put on my lace wig. If I have sex… well, it’s complicated.
Sure, I could put my hair in two long braids to keep it from tangling, style my afro in twists or a tight bun, or just put my scarf or beanie on so the moisture in my hair is out. not absorbed by the pillows. But the truth is, while I appreciate my natural hair, it hasn’t always made me feel the sexiest, that is, until recently.
In the formative years before I started having sex, my sense of what was, well, sexy, was based largely on what I’ve seen in pop culture. And what I saw was full of sex scenes of straight-haired, fine-textured white women who could be flipped and shot without a second thought. (My kinky, frizzy textured hair never could.)
In the few sex scenes that do show black actors having sex, the characters never really showed their natural hair (ahem, Gabrielle Union in To be Mary Jane or Kerry Washington in Scandal). The message was clear to me.
But over the past few years, I’ve started to see more diverse and realistic portrayals of black women having sex while rocking their natural hair. And yes: it made me so much more comfortable kissing mine.
So because it’s Black History Month, I’d like to honor the black TV shows and actors who paved the way and made me feel more confident in my natural beauty, especially in this about my hair. As we know, representation is vital to amplify experiences from diverse backgrounds.
Let’s start with Dear Whites.
For anyone who’s seen the show, I’m sure you haven’t forgotten the scene where Troy accidentally pulls off Coco’s wig. (I can personally say from experience that this is one of the most embarrassing things that can happen during sex, especially if the person you’re having sex with isn’t already aware that you’re wearing a wig. )
And while at first Coco hides in embarrassment, Troy consoles her and expresses his awe for her natural beauty. It helped me realize that regardless of any hair-related issues that might arise with my partner, what’s sexier than anything is my ability to embrace my most authentic self.
Equally striking, the scene of game of thrones where Missandei stripped naked in front of Gray Worm before bumping into her shook me.
It was the first time I had seen a serious sex scene where a woman of color was wearing her natural hair, so I was ecstatic. It’s a powerful moment where you can feel personally connected to the depictions you see on screen.
I saw the same Nola Darling confidence in She must have it.
She continuously showed off her natural look and her confidence was so sexy.
Next we have Sasha’s sex scenes in sex/lifewhich helped me see that sometimes “sexy” means leaving my locks and curls loose.
Because seeing her so absorbed in pleasure that she only focused on the sensations and didn’t secretly worry about whether being stuck against something other than a satin pillowcase wouldn’t damage her hair. has been sexy. If she could do it, I could.
But I also learned that “sexy” could mean protecting my hair by putting it in a sleek bun and wearing it like Josie in Riverdale. Equally valid and equally erotic experiences.
Now, of course, my journey is still a work in progress. There will undoubtedly be times when I feel the pressure to guess how I wear my hair during sex.
But at the very least, I’m grateful that more common portrayals of natural hairstyles in the bedroom guided my newfound sense of eroticism, confidence, and self-love. And I can’t wait to see more examples of black women rocking their natural hair in the future too.
Because the more positive depictions of black women’s hair I see, the more I can see my uniqueness as a sexy strength rather than a stumbling block.
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