Friday, June 22, 2012

The Curse of the Mommy Bob

Following Athol Kay's effusive blog love yesterday, I was skulking around the Manosphere and hit on Average Married Guy's page (one of my Red Pill Rangers on the left nav) and saw something that inspired this post.  He was discussing the changes his wife had made since he began running the MAP and Married Game ala MMSL on her.  It was a minor point, but one worth discussing:

Letting her hair grow long again (my fault, I never told her she looked better with it long, so had it "mom-short", but she's not doing it for herself so much as to be more attractive to me)

That's key.  Most men don't give much thought about their wife's hairstyle . . . until it's too late.
"Oh, shit, Honey!  What have you done?!"

Once a woman gets her long hair hacked off, no matter how "cute" and "sassy" she thinks it is, there's almost always a diminished attraction from her husband/boyfriend/passing stranger. And since their SO didn't mention any preference, then "I just felt like a change!" is plenty of rationalization to get it done.  And of course you, as a dude, don't want to say just how much less you like it because, hey, you know THAT'S not going to get you laid.  So you lie about it, and then go whack off in secret to long, luxurious locks that cover perky boobs during the intense and acrobatic contortions of wildly passionate . . . where was I?

Oh.  The Mommy Bob.  The Boner Killer.

Only Your Girlfriends Think It's "Cute" and "Sassy"

When Mrs. Ironwood and I first began serious negotiations about a future marriage (and by serious, think Israel and the Palestinians at the negotiating table) we each had a long list of "must haves", "would be nice", "acceptable parameters", "negotiated peculiarities", and "dealbreakers" (with variations on each) that we discussed ad naseum until we were both satisfied we were on the same page.  

If you're wondering how we found the time for this, consider how many relationship discussions you can have in the two-hour car ride between your house in the rural hinterlands of the South and your mutual parent's houses in the gleaming metropolitan center of culture and civilization, and then consider just how inspiring mile after mile of cotton, tobacco, corn and soybean fields can be on your imagination.

Road Trips and long commutes provide amble
opportunity for productive marital discussions.

Among my many little picky things was a simple rule I had about Mrs. Ironwood's hair.  No blondes, no bobs.

That may seem a little strange, but I'll cop to a personal idiosyncrasy or two.  No, I don't get off controlling my wife's hairstyle, and while I'm not above criticizing it in certain states due to the length of preparation involved, for the most part she can do what she likes with her hair.  With those two exceptions.

The "no blondes" rule stems from my first ball-crushing entitlement princess college girlfriend, who was largely responsible for shoving blue pills down my throat and getting me set up for that first major heartbreak (Hi, Kelly!).  She was blonde.  Hence, I have trust issues with blondes.

I don't hate blonde people.  I have plenty of blonde friends.   I have no trouble speaking casually or even working closely with blonde people.  I have the greatest respect for the tremendous strides and great accomplishments blondes have made throughout history.  I wouldn't mind if one of my children married one -- we've come a long way.

But as far as intimacy goes, "this dog don't bark that way."  Yeah, I know.  Petty of me.

I have trust issues with blondes, for some reason.
Mrs. Ironwood violated this rule only once.  We were still living in the hinterlands, newlyweds, and thanks to an experimental period in her life and the influence of a gloriously flamboyant country boy hair stylist queen named Dwayne, who SWORE he was an expert at the arcane science of hair color, she came home one night with a long shock of platinum blonde hair and tears in her eyes.  It only lasted a week, and eventually went to a bright coppery red that almost made up for it, but for that week things were pretty tense.  While she's skated dangerously close to blondeness with highlights, she's never quite crossed that line again.  We just can't afford the therapy bills.

But as for my second requirement for her hair, 'no bobs', that's a far less personal and far more reasonable requirement for a wife.

Look, I understand the allure of a bob, particularly the dreaded "Mommy Bob".  For the childless reading this, the "Mommy Bob" is the hairstyle a woman often gets when her baby is six months old, for the perfectly practical reason that a six-month old baby, particularly a nursing baby, has grabby hands.  In between rounds at the C-Cup Milk Bar, Junior has no problem at all reaching up with a big goofy smile, entwine his chubby little fingers in Mommy's long tresses, and yanking the living shit out of it for the express purpose of his own amusement.

Repeated instances can lead to the mother of your children beginning to fantasize about being an English nanny.  Since getting the hair lopped off (and retiring any dangling earrings or necklaces) is arguably simpler than infanticide, the Mommy Bob becomes the utilitarian hairstyle of maternal pragmatism.  It's also easier to style, easier to take care of, and -- let's face it ladies -- a shorter hairstyle requires more frequent trips to a salon.  Not all women see going to a salon or stylist as an indulgence and personal affirmation of their femininity (or a chance to indulge in some good ol' fashioned FSM gossip), but enough do that the generalization isn't out of bounds.

But while the Mommy Bob is eminently practical, it's also as arousing as an IRS audit.  Sure, your female friends will rave about how "cute" and "sassy" it is, but the sad fact of the matter is that your pragmatic hair just dropped your Objective Sex Rank a full point.  And if your husband/baby-daddy prefers long hair (and most men do -- trust me on this, ladies.  We had a meeting) then your Subjective Sex Rank ("how hot my husband thinks I am") may drop by up to two points.

A lot of women don't want to face that big ugly Red Pill fact.  But men like long hair.  Human beings have a mane, just like a lion, and it's one of our most important secondary sexual characteristics.  It demonstrates your health, your attention to your grooming (always an important thing in a primate) and it can be employed as an "action device" in mating: hair tossing, hair twirling, brushing a lock out of someone's eyes . . . you know the drill.  Hair is sexy.

It's also a pain in the ass to keep up -- I know this from personal experience.  I rocked a ponytail in my bartending youth, and at some future point when the gray takes over, I've already warned my wife that I plan on pulling a full Gandalf (which she says will be fine, right after I'm diagnosed with impotence and don't want to get laid again -- see "negotiated peculiarities", above).  But long hair requires a lot more attention than short hair.  It can add up to half an hour to prep time in the morning (more if it's a formal occasion), and then requires almost constant maintenance to ensure it continues to do what it's supposed to.

But it's also the quickest, easiest way to elicit a man's interest.  And getting it hacked off in a misguided attempt to be "sassy" is the quickest way to kill a man's interest.  Remember, "sassy" is your girlfriend's secret way of telling you that you look "celibate" . . . because most dudes would rather hit on a 6 with long hair than a 7 with a Mommy Bob nine times out of ten.

When my single female friends ask my dating advice (yes, it happens) one of the very first things I look at is their hair.  If it doesn't brush their shoulders, that's a problem, and I tell them.  And you would not believe how ardently they defend their "cute" hair, because they've gotten loads of affirmation from the Matrix about how adorable it is.  I mean, they actually get offended that a dude would be put off by a short hairstyle, as if it's a character judgement on the dude.  And a few get highly offended at the very term "Mommy Bob".

But that's what it is.  Like it or not, a short hairstyle, particularly a 
Don't be afraid to reward your wife
for maintaining her longer hair.
Mommy Bob, is a subtle, subtextual signal to the men around you that you are UNAVAILABLE, that you have OTHER THINGS occupying your time, that you are UNWILLING to devote the time and energy necessary to deal with even short-ish long hair -- and your rationalizations about how it's easier for work, it doesn't get in the way, it doesn't take as long to dry, and it doesn't get grabbed by greedy babies just don't do a damn thing for us.  

Want to find a man?  Grow your damn hair out.  Short hair on a single woman screams "I have a kid I'm not talking about!" or "I value my girlfriends' opinions over those of the men in my life!" or "My 'cute' hairstyle is a distraction from the fact that I'm batshit nuts!" or similar messages.  In Single Girl Game, short hair is a distinct DLV.  And if it's a de facto Mommy Bob . . . well, girl, better pick up more batteries on the way home from the bar.  

Of course a new mother (especially with that first child) may not care in the slightest about her husband/baby-daddy's attraction to her, thanks to the massively overwhelming task of not just having your body completely re-arrange itself from Gestation Mode to Milch Cow Mode, but being utterly responsible for the life of another human being in every conceivable way.  I don't think I have to tell most men out there that the first six months of your first kid's life is the period you will masturbate most in in your life.  Including your sophomore year of High School.  Another ugly Red Pill truth.

But the Mommy Bob will kill his ardor even once she decides to clean out the cobwebs again.  It's particularly daunting if there's been a long dry spell, say back into the final months of her pregnancy.  Once a woman has decided she needs sex again after giving birth, suddenly all of her previous insecurities are compounded with new ones about her new body, potentially damaged vagina, her changing and sensitive boobs that are no longer Happy Fun Places but the aforementioned Milk Bar, open 24 hours.  During that crucial "get back on the horse" phase, she's going to be hypersensitive to any hint of criticism or rejection, and she's suddenly (hopefully) going to be more conscious about how much she can arouse her mate.

Yes, we men just like longer hair better on
those women with whom we're considering having sex .

There's already plenty of other crap going on to mess up your intimate relationship at that point.  Most of it a dude is willing to overlook or ignore -- face it, that first post-baby sex is always going to SUCK anyway.  But compounding the existing issues by presenting your darling face with hair that is totally foreign to his intimate memory is going to be daunting.  Mommy Bobs are not "sex positive".

("Mommy Boobs" on the other hand . . . sorry, that's another post.)


  1. Thankfully I let my wife know before we were married that I preferred long and blonde, and for the most part she's maintained that (highlighting is hella expensive for a natural redhead)

    I find that women with curly hair tend to fare better with mommy bobs - as long as you have some decent ringlets happening, it still looks feminine (though still not as nice as long curly hair). If it's short and stick-straight, fuggedaboudit.

  2. WolfAlpha swears he doesn't have a preference (but my hair was long when we met.) I have natural curls, and I tend to look "tired" with my hair pulled back from my face or drooping down, so I look really good with shorter hair. And it's easier. But I LIKE it longer, so I've learned to wear it layered around my face. I have no idea if I'm doing it for him or for me.

  3. Heck, my hair is longer than a bob and I spend almost zero time maintaining it (chin length). My wife cut her hair off that dramatically when she was 18 and my jaw hit the floor. I hated it.

  4. One of the best posts you've done yet. My favorites were "The Mommy Bob. The boner killer" and all the milk-cow references! Seriously though, if your husband says he doesn't care how your hair looks, he probably doesn't want to rock the boat or really doesn't care... that is until you cut off your hair, then he'll care. Don't know what you miss 'til it's gone.

  5. Well played Sir, well played. I also can't stand a girl with beautiful hair, pulled back into a pony tail.

  6. I had shoulder-length hair once. I hated it! Longer hair is much easier to take care of. Plus, you can do so many different hairstyles with long hair. With shorter hair, you're a lot more limited, and it gets boring.

  7. I hear you about the long hair on women. But I also see a contradiction. It seems to me men think of Marilyn Monroe as the sexiest thing on 2 legs - yet her hair was short. Same for Princess Diana. Can short hair ever be as sexy as long hair?

    1. I think Andrew at The Rules Revisited covered this pretty well over at The Rules Revisited:

  8. Lol. Tab-hopping ruins sentences.

    I made the mistake of cutting my hair in a pixie at the behest of my hipster then-boyfriend. We broke up shortly after that at his behest as well. Hmmm...

    The net benefit of the experience, however, was substantial. For the first time in my life, I was complimented as being "fashionable." I started behaving with the confidence my "daring" hairstyle implied, and the frequent salon visits trained me to spend more resources (time and money) on my appearances.

    Pre-pixie my hair went into a ponytail dripping wet every morning. I've only recovered to a long bob so far, but now I style it daily.

    As female reader of the Manosphere, you have to remember to take all ceteris paribus statements with a grain of salt. I got more attention with a pixie in dresses and heels than I did with long hair in tees and chucks. Of course, my impending luscious locks will only sweeten the deal...

  9. Before our daughter was born my wife told me she wasn't going to do the mommy bob without my approval, and then at 6 months she proceeded to unrelentingly beg for my approval... a devastating and manipulative tactic on her part that worked like a charm. I finally conceded, under the explicit agreement that Mommy Bob would be gone by our daughter's second birthday, which it was.

    She never did it to be "cute and sassy" (some women do look cute with short hair but my wife is not one of them... and her ample sassiness eminates from her disposition, not her hair). She was eager to grow her hair back out and the whole thing was just a small extension of the typical hiccup that parenting put in our sex life, which recovered in spades.

    Sometimes it just helps to take the long view.

    Ironically, a few years later she got a little extreme with the long hair, until I eventually started making jokes about butter churning and sister wives. Now she wears it a little below shoulder length, which for me is perfect.

    A more subtle variant of the Mommy Bob that seems to be making inroads with a lot of formerly attractive women I know: bangs.

  10. Everything about my wife is cute. 5 ft. nothing and small. The shoulder length hair just fits her dynamic. It's not dyke short. But not long either. SHe's had longer hair, and sorry Ian, it didn't make her look better.

  11. I gotta be the exception to this rule, I've always had a thing for short hair. Not that some women don't look their best with long hair, but some are hottest with short, and they're the ones I find the most attractive. Now, the "mommy bob" I can't comment on, I don't and won't date a woman with kids, but my current ltr has had the same semi-pixie cut since I met her, and it's one of the things that I first noticed as distinguishing about her. Love that shit.

  12. I'm one of the rare guys that loves a girl with short hair. I do love long hair as well but I get really turned on when a girl gets a really cute short hairstyle.

  13. I subconsciously knew that was the mommy bob, just never heard it called such. Good info.
    And yes, men like their women with long hair. Only very attractive women can get away with that short haircut and look decent (like Audrey Hepburn).

  14. "Arousing as an IRS audit"! LOL You *rock* with that line. Very often, that is so true. Of course, their GIRLFRIENDS will praise the change. I love LONG hair on a woman, any color. Long sexy hair transforms even a plain woman into a sizzler.

  15. It's all nice but I don't believe that all men like long hair. I love my husband and trust him so why the heck would he be sad when I told him I will let my hair grow out?Currently I have the "attrocity" called pixie. From now on he repeats to me that short looks better on me...sexier he said. And he's in military and as alpha as you can get....Or maybe he's so scared I would run away if I would become that beautiful and desirable princess everybody seems to want :-D

  16. While most men do seem to prefer long hair, there is also a significant portion of the male population that crave short hairstyles on women. My guy is one of them. We've known each other as very close friends for 11 years, the last 9 of which has been friends "with benefits" as they say. I formerly had waist length blonde hair...until about 3 months ago, when he began talking frequently and openly about how he wished more women would keep their hair short. I asked if he thought such a look would work for me, and damn did his eyes light up.

    So, after weighing the pros and cons, I got a pixie cut. And oh boy, did that rev his motor! We had absolutely amazing sex that night and he still compliments it, which he never did when my hair was long, regardless of how I styled it. He says very short hair reflects my tomboy/grounded personality a lot more than feminine locks ever did...and I have to agree.

    Though I've gotten some negative and neutral feedback from my highly traditional family and a few customers at work, most people have said it is a much better look for me. What's really important is that both my FwB and I love it though.

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