I felt the warm liquid dripping down my legs as I contemplated my impending
baldness. Years and years of cultivating gorgeous, stunning locks, and he
had chopped them away and was now about to shave them off. As if I weren’t
fully petrified enough, he opened a drawer and showed me a straight razor.
If I’d had any more in my bladder, it would have escaped then. Tears poured
down my face, and my body began to shake with silent sobs.
The sight and sound of the clippers – enhanced by the sight of the straight
razor – had an even greater effect than I had anticipated. She’d lost
control of her bladder, and now her shoulders were heaving with sobs of
grief. This was the moment that the true nature of the submission I required
was setting in. I stood and waited for a moment, and then placed the humming
clippers against her neck, just below her hairline. I used them, and my free
hand on the topknot on her crown, to force her head forward and down,
placing her chin firmly on her chest. Her long neck stretched before me,
almost begging the clippers to climb.
I felt him watch me, reveling a bit in the spectacle I was making. And then
the clippers were on my neck, his hand was on what remained of my hair, and
my head was pushed forward roughly so I was staring at the cape. This was
new – he had always wanted me to keep my head straight before, and I had
managed to do that this time, even while my body was wracked with sorrow.
Now he was truly humiliating me. The worst part was that I had asked him to,
offered him this opportunity, willingly. Not that I had known what it would
be – and being shaved was absolutely far worse than I had ever imagined –
but I had opened the door to this, and now I had to endure it.
I felt the clippers move slightly, and then they were traveling up my nape.
Oh god, I could hear the hum change as the blades chewed into what remained
of my hair. Tears streamed down my face, landing in my lap; my nose ran
freely now, snot slid off my upper lip and hung in limp strands that would
eventually drip onto the cape; my mouth hung open, gasping for air as I
sobbed, dribbling saliva from the corners. I could only imagine what my face
looked like – and had terrors every time I thought of my shaven nape. How
much more would I lose? How much more could I stand?
“I’m enjoying shaving you down,” I murmured in her ear as she sat for me,
head bowed, grief pouring off her face. Her body went rigid as I said that,
confirming for me that her fears were exactly what I thought they were. I
plowed the clippers higher up her nape, all the way to the parting where the
remains of her long hair were clipped up. I flicked my wrist and the mound
of clipped hair slid over her shoulder and mixed with the tears and snot and
drool on the cape. That began a new round of intensified sobbing for her,
and deeper enjoyment for me, as I felt her submission settle more deeply
into her soul. If she was going to fight me at all, it would be now.
I threw up. Right in my lap. Right on my hair – he’d dropped a huge clump of
hair off the clippers and onto the cape. My body was in full revolt. I had
to get out of the chair. I had to stand up, run, fight, yell, scream, save
what I could of myself, my amazing mane – I still had the hair in the
topknot, I could still wear my hair down and hide this horrific damage. If I
could only get free, if I could only speak up. My body was tied, but not my
But somewhere far far inside, I found a point of stillness. A point that
told me that I not only could endure this ultimate tragedy, this disastrous
development that had me questioning my very decision to seek release from
the arrangement. A point that told me that this soul-shattering suffering
was the price I would have to pay for the beautiful possibilities the world
had to offer. A point that told me that I absolutely must not resist in any
way, that my submission – my surrender – must be total. A point that told me
that perhaps if I did bend to his will – even past my own breaking point –
he would be merciful and not bare my head entirely.
And so with a mighty effort, I quieted my stomach, my body, my heart, my
mind. I stayed still, and felt the surrender sink in. All the way in.
I hadn’t expected the puke. And I had definitely not expected the full
immobility – tense at first, then more relaxed – that followed. My
instincts, I thought – for the billionth time this decade – were right that
day on the street.
The harsh acid smell rose up and overwhelmed the fragrance of her hair. I
put the clippers down and unsnapped the cape.
Wait – what? He was done? No – it couldn’t be. But he was, he was taking the
cape off. Next he would unbuckle the straps that bound me, and, as he always
did, hold me close and stroke my hair – whatever was left anyway – and
praise me for my effort.
But no – it wasn’t that. He balled up the filthy cape and put it in a
plastic trash bag and threw it into the hall. He didn’t make a single move
to release me from my bonds, but instead snapped open a heavy vinyl cape I’d
seen but had never before worn, and tied it extra-tightly at my throat. My
ordeal was not over yet.
I felt a frisson of relief from her, and then resignation, as I removed her
cape and then replaced it with another, sturdier one.
I repositioned her head – she had lifted her chin for me as I spread the
cape over her naked, bound body – and turned the clippers back on. I
expected a new round of sobbing, perhaps even more vomiting. But she was
still, silent, almost calm.
This was my price. This was the dreadful consequence of that conversation
all those years ago, and all the joy and pride and rapture since. I was to
be stripped, shaved, reduced to nothing, forced to start all over. Would he
require me to remain bald? Could he? My mind raced to think of the terms of
the arrangement – did he have any control over my hair after he finished his
final shearing? I thought not. But I would still be smooth as a cue ball for
some time, until the fuzz began to grow. I felt sick again, but swallowed
the urge, and reminded myself that this was my choice, and while it might
have been my fate, it was also within my control.
She sat stock still as I raced the clippers up her nape again and again –
and a few extra times too, to make sure I missed nothing. I folded her right
ear down and ran the clippers up behind it, and over the top, each pass
dumping more and more hair into the growing pile in her lap. I stepped
beside her and ran the clippers up in front of her ear, as high as her
temple, and then back along the side of her head. Then I did the same on the
left side, pouring clippings onto her cape.
I spun her slowly in a half-circle, her still-bowed and newly shorn neck
exposed and ready for my cameras. I decided she needed some more work, so I
snapped off the guard of the clippers, and snapped on a shorter one. I
repeated my passes, going over and over her nape, sides, and around her
The vibrations, once I quelled my fear of them, began to warm me deep
inside. Pass after pass across my impossibly sensitive nape, and around my
scarlet ears, and I began to be accustomed to the feeling – even to like it.
I realized with a bit of a start that he was somehow clippering off more
hair even still, on these repeat passes – so he hadn’t been shaving me bald.
At least not the first time. My heart sank and my stomach clenched as I
realized he might have been willing to let me off easy, but my disgusting
reaction might have changed his mind.
I had her the way I wanted her now – shaved down to a #1 all across her
sides and nape. I finally put down the clippers and picked up the straight
With my free hand, I reached for the hot-foam dispenser, and spread some
around her hairline, from her sideburns over her ears, and along her nape,
and back over the other ear and down that sideburn.
I felt the warm prickly feeling as he spread what I knew was shaving foam
along my neck. Amid my panic at being shaved smooth, it still somewhere,
somehow, registered that he was not spreading the foam up my nape as high as
he ran the clippers.
Relief poured through my body – I was not to be shaved completely. And
suddenly even a partial shaving felt like the most generous mercy he could
grant me. Earlier today, I would have panicked simply at the idea of a short
clippering of my nape – even if I could have hid it under my lengthy mane –
but now I was grasping at the idea of having even a short, fuzzy, exposed
pelt as a life raft in my sea of desolation.
I took the razor and in short, swift strokes straightened her hairline and
cleared a pale area around her ears. I made a slight angle down in front of
her ears for a short sideburn, but nothing like the pointy super-soccer-mom
sideburns that are sometimes popular.
She was cleaning up just fine, but I had not forgotten about the massive
length of hair that remained coiled and clipped atop her crown.
I began to feel the gentleness in his touch, where before I had felt
brutalized, forced into subservience. Now I was sensing the care and
affection in his movements, and I felt myself moving through the feeling of
hopelessness and violation into a new, wide-open world of freedom and
opportunity like none I had experienced in 10 years.
Warmth flooded over me and through me – and it wasn’t my bladder this time,
but my heart. I vowed to sit still and do exactly as Jon asked until the
very moment when he pronounced my cut finished and released me to full
The back and sides were finished. Short on top was next up. I lifted her
chin gently up, so her head was straight again. Then I unclipped her hair
and held it high above her head, marveling at its thickness and softness.
And then, three inches above her crown, I sliced through the massive rope of
hair with scissors, watching the shortened strands fall back down, almost
Oh god, there it went. He yanked my hair high over my head and just started
cutting. No chance to say goodbye. I guess I did that in the shower and
while combing it dry this morning. Now that I knew he wasn’t going to shave
me, I was actually sort of eager to see what he did. But I was still afraid
– the change was going to be massive.
How would I explain it to my friends? My family? My coworkers? And the man
whose company was the reason I was enduring this? They’d think I’d gone mad.
Only the closest few knew about my arrangement – the others had no clue, and
I let them believe that I slaved over my hair for hours each night and each
morning, that it was my prized possession and my true sense of self. They
were right about that part, but explaining why I had parted with my mane
would take some doing.
I imagined getting peppered with questions the moment I arrived at work, and
feeling my face and ears and neck flush red with embarrassment, and I
flushed right there in the chair, understanding anew that I would not have
anything to hide behind. I would have to hold my head high and say
something, or bow my head and retreat in silence.
But this experience, submissive though it was – I was naked, tied, being
shorn within an inch of my scalp – was about claiming myself, about standing
up for what I wanted, about taking the best way, even if it wasn’t easy. I
was going to have to stand up and answer the questions, withstand the
scrutiny. A few girlfriends would want to touch my hair, my ears, my nape –
would I let them? Would I stand there and be a mannequin for them to
inspect? Perhaps I would. That could be my last final act of submission
before truly emerging and bursting forth as my new, true self.
I made quick work of the length, and gently draped that long tail on the
table behind her. Then I picked up my comb and scissors and began working
through her crown, combing hair up an inch, maybe a tad more – but not two
inches, not even close – and snipping off the excess. I started at her bangs
and worked backward, combing in a sharp left-side part that I planned to
enforce with product when I was done.
The clippings rained fast and furious over her face and down her cape. I
blended the edges of her crown in with the clippered area beneath, and then
worked across her head the opposite direction, cross-combing and checking
for strays. I would accept nothing less than perfection in this crucial
When I was satisfied with how it looked, I sprayed her hair damp and began
combing it into the final style.
It felt like it was raining hair. The comb raked mercilessly across my
scalp, and the scissors worked incessantly. Comb, lift, snip, flutter. Over
and over, until I did again begin to doubt whether he was leaving me with
any hair at all.
And then, as that slowed, he lifted a spray bottle, and it felt like it was
raining water. The combing was harder now, in similar directions, as he
shaped the final style. I knew there would be a strong left-side part – it
was his favorite – but other than that I was having trouble picturing what
I’d look like. I didn’t know how much hair he had left me on top, but I was
hoping it would be more than a buzzcut.
Then I saw him reach for a bottle of product, and squirt some into his hand.
He worked it into my hair, and finished by combing through it with his
fingers. I could feel a bit of how short it was, but was getting even more
curious and nervous now.
I finished the style, pushing her bangs slightly to the side, and making
sure everything was exactly just-so. Then I spun her slowly in a half-circle
again for the cameras, one last time. I turned her next to look at the
massive pile of hair on the table.
I was not prepared to see the huge mound of hair – my hair – that was lying
in front of me when he spun me around. My jaw dropped, and my hands tried to
instinctively reach up to feel my hair. Of course, I was still secured to
the chair, but I had a real, visceral sense of the magnitude of the change
he had wrought.
When he turned me away from the table, I wanted to look back, to see my
lovely gorgeous mane. But I also knew that it was now no longer mine,
lifeless and limp on the table.
It took me a moment to realize he was spinning me now to look into a mirror,
where I would get the first-ever look at my new self, and the first-ever
look at myself at all while in this chair.
I’d prepared a mirror on the side wall, and draped it with a cloth, which I
now removed, as I turned her to face it. I had set up new cameras for the
best angles on this exact moment.
Oh my god. I was bald. Well, not bald, exactly, but there was a little
auburn cap where my flowing mane had once been. I looked so vulnerable, so
small, the cape covering my body and just my pale neck emerging, leading a
long long way up my head to a tightly clippered hairline. My bangs – if you
could call them that – were barely an inch long, and were among the longest
hairs left on my head.
My stomach dropped as I saw what I had allowed to happen to me. I fought the
urge to cry, to struggle, to reach up and touch my hair. I knew he would
release me when it was time.
I suddenly realized that he had not yet released me – did that mean he was
teasing me, showing me what I look like with short hair and then going to
shave me? I almost fainted at the thought. This ordeal had been almost too
much for me. Could I withstand deeper humiliation, deeper submission?
I stepped behind her and fired up the clippers one more time. Even over
their roar, I heard her catch her breath, and watched her body tense as I
placed them at her hairline.
She paused, but then bowed her head once more, knowing what I was asking of
I was right. It was a game. He was letting me think he was making me a
gorgeous, gamine beauty – which I was, I had to admit, when I stopped
thinking of the person in the mirror as me and imagined it a photo in a
magazine – but now he was to exact his true price. I bent my neck in
submission to his will, to my promise.
Then I felt his fingers at my neck, and the cape fell free, sliding down off
my bound body to the floor. He lifted the clippers from my neck and shut
them off. I felt him working on my bonds, and by the time I was free, I
realized I had left my head bowed the whole time.
He extended his hand and helped me up. I was stiff after sitting so still
for so long, and shell shocked by the experience. He took one hand and
lifted it to my nape, where I felt a tiny thin fuzz where once my elegant
chignons had begun to climb. I felt a rush of adrenaline, and something
I watched her explore her head – her scalp, really – with her fingers, first
tentatively, then with more energy. Stark naked, she stood straight up and
ran her fingers across her shorn head, looking at herself in the mirror and
feeling it all at the same time.
I saw a smile begin to creep onto her lips. And then I pronounced the words
she had been waiting for: “The arrangement is concluded. You are free to do
whatever you wish with your hair. Thank you very much for the privilege.”
I was free. He had said the words. No longer would I be doomed to date in
curlers or beg off of an overnight to avoid revealing the servitude I had
signed up for.
I had to celebrate, and there was one person more than anyone else I wanted
to rejoice with.
My family would have to wait. My friends too. The man I had done all this
for – it was him I wanted to embrace.
So I did. I stepped forward to him, wrapped my arms around him, and kissed
him deeply. I felt his hands race up my back to my nape, and he, too, began
exploring my new style with his fingers.
Soon thereafter, we would begin exploring our newfound freedom as partners.
I wondered: Could I convince him to be my personal stylist?