A reader wrote in asking me why most men are “fascinated” with redheads. In this instance, I think “fascinated” is a nice way of saying “obsessed.” She admitted to being a redhead, and, therefore, the object of such ardor. She’s asked these men why they are so drawn to the crimson-haired, and the best she ever got out of them was “Redheads iz just hawt, yo!” This is true, but it is not the whole truth.I wouldn’t say most men love redheads. A sizable majority, sure. And those men who love redheads likely focus on them because of their genetic rarity. The universe makes only so many redheads, and so it makes an impression when a man is beauty-napalmed by one. I have had a lifelong attraction to redheads: their alabaster skin, constellations of freckles, and combustible temperaments. This is an aberrant preoccupation.
Hair color is neither a dealmaker nor dealbreaker. I’ve probably dated 50 percent brunettes, 50 percent blonds. I love both, and I’ve never encountered the usual stereotypes affixed to their hair tones. The blonds I’ve dated have never been stupid or vapid. In fact, many have been bookish and wickedly funny. Likewise, my brunette girlfriends have defied the standard definitions. In my experience, blonds don’t have any more fun than brunettes. The women who have the most fun are those women who give themselves permission to have fun.
So, how do I explain a personal craving for flame brains? I could blame biology, how it makes a certain evolutionary logic that Man would pursue those women who, by virtue of a few mutated chromosomes, stand out from the crowd. I could be projecting my own prejudices and desires onto these women, as they are no feistier than any other person. I could be unforgivably superficial in this instance, drooling over a certain type of woman because she looks like a human red hot. But the real answer has more to do with my experience. I’ve never been able to date one. And I am John DeVore, Thunder Love God of Suspiciously Disingenuous Emo Dude Prose.
Every single she-ruby I’ve ever attempted to date has failed to acknowledge my existence, taken a flamethrower to my heart, or disappeared in the morning like a cinnamon mist. Maybe this is poetic justice, the price one pays for chasing someone based on a single physical attribute. There was the redhead in high school who used to make out with me after school in the woods. She tasted like bubblegum, glowed in the sun, and dated every boy except for me. I was utterly in love with a little redhead in college who seemed to shoot sparks out of her mouth every time she talked about her passions, from art to politics to music. I finally got a chance to kiss the sprite after years of mooning over her, sending her poems, talking late into the night about her favorite topics, which included the occult, Northern Irish politics, and “Why All The Boys Who Aren’t You Be Crazy?” We were at an Irish pub where laddies from “back home” were pounding pints. She and I were a little drunk, and I kissed her at the bar, and the seven-foot-tall leprechaun with a hook instead of a left hand took offense to my putting my mitts on such a bonny lass. I deceive you not: bro had a hook. A hook! I’m happy that I managed to get her into a cab, and get me far away, before the local IRA chapter took a shillelagh to my Texas noggin.
I spent an entire weekend with a redhead whose milky back was a riot of freckles. We did things that still make me sweat. Of course, there was no third day of hot jungle love, nor any subsequent day thereafter, because she informed me with the emotional detachment of a Vulcan that she was “just exploring” her options. I won’t judge a whole group of people by three examples. Clearly, my minor fetish somehow sabotaged any success I might have had with them. I accept responsibility.
I’m pretty sure a taste for the gingers is solely a guy thing. I’ve not known many women who are mad, mad, mad for dudes with licorice red locks. One female friend of mine calls them “living corpses.” So, maybe women will never understand why men like me are infatuated with scarlet bangs. I mean, redheads aren’t magical creatures, like unicorns. They are human beings, like you and me. Still, Christina Hendricks, if you’re reading this, send me a message through this website.