I was not expecting everyone to be staring at my crotch while I was getting a haircut, but that's exactly what happened at a local barber shop this week.

For most of my 45 years of life I've been getting my hair cut at a barber shop. What I like about the barber is that not much ever changes there. It's been pretty much the same experience since I was 11 years old, riding my bike around the corner to Angelo's Barber Shop in Union, New Jersey.

Ever since moving to the Hudson Valley in the early 1990s I've been a regular at a handful of small local barber shops. And they've all been very similar to Angelo's; no-nonsense haircutting, some talk about sports or music and nothing much else.

So you could imagine my amazement when I visited the barber and was outfitted with a barber cape that featured a peep hole right where my genitals were. At first I thought it was a joke, but no one was laughing. As the barber began to cut my hair I sat there feeling uncomfortably exposed and confused. I desperately tried to make sense of what was happening.

The three other people getting haircuts were wearing the usual, solid black barber cape. But there I was, sporting a clear vinyl window that looked eerily like the medical sheet put over me during my vasectomy, with a hole strategically cut out where all the "action" was taking place.

Amazon.com/Doubtless Bay

My only thought was that this was some sort of invention for barbers to keep an eye on what was happening underneath the cape. Is it possible that there had been a series of incidents with perverts at barber shops that I wasn't aware of? Were creepers doing unthinkable things under their barber capes for all of these years without me knowing?

Grasping to make some sense of this, I finally came to the conclusion that it was actually some new security measure. Perhaps barber shops in bad neighborhoods wanted to make sure no one was concealing weapons they could use against a barber if their haircut didn't turn out just right. Makes sense, right?

Well, It's safe to say that I was way off base with both of those guesses.

Only after I had left the barber shop, when I pulled out my phone to start frantically Googling "peek-a-boo barber capes for perverts" did it dawn on me what that window is actually for.

According to a listing on Amazon.com for a "Haircutting Cape with Viewing Window," the opening is there so you can use your smartphone in your lap while getting your haircut.

Well, that certainly makes much more sense than what I came up with.

And it would have definitely come in handy a half hour earlier while I was sitting there dreaming up my own perverse theories without the help of Google.

Have you experienced the crotchless barber cape? When you first saw it, did you immediately know what it was for? I'm hoping I'm not the only one who was terribly confused by this. Feel free to share your experience in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.