40+ women will recognise mirror angst "syndrome" where they become acutely aware and overly...
Dear Dr Pam,
I've never told anyone about this except for my sister as I feel so embarrassed about it. I've got a birthmark on my bottom. It's like a large mole. I hate it! I always have sex with the lights out.
My sister says I shouldn't care. She says it won't turn a man off. But she's got bags of confidence that I don't have. I've been with my present boyfriend for a couple months and I'm trying to build up the confidence to show it to him. Any advice? Please call me Katie and thank you very much if you answer my question! xxx
I'm so glad you got in touch and I'm sure you don't need to tell me that your sister is absolutely right. You are far, far, far more than just a birthmark on your bottom.
But everyone feels differently about these things. One person will happily walk around naked and flaunt their birthmark believing quite rightly it's just one tiny part of their overall body.
Another person - like you - will worry that everyone else will focus entirely on the birthmark - or whatever bit of themselves they're worried about [for many women it's tummy, lopsided breasts, and cellulite - for many men it's their lack of a ‘six pack’, and being what they think is too small in ‘that’ department].
Be gentle with yourself since you lack confidence about this. Instead of beating yourself up that a man will run horrified from the bedroom if they see your birthmark - start telling yourself how they care about you as a whole person. Start valuing all you have to offer and your personality traits.
On the physical side why not focus an attribute you have that you think is pretty darn good? It's quite natural to think about our bodies - but we can just as easily focus on what we see as a good point!
While you're building confidence within, instead of having the room completely dark why not begin with subtle lighting when you go to bed with him. Light a few candles or get a dimmer switch. This will start to build your confidence to let go of your worry.
The next step is to think in terms of not hiding your birthmark the way you have been - but a kind of halfway house where you don't exactly flaunt it but it's not covered up. If he catches a glimpse of it that's great - it's a natural way for him to see it.
By doing this subtle approach you avoid making a big deal out of something that shouldn't matter to you anyway. Because the more of a big deal you make of it, the more embarrassed he’ll feel when you finally confide what you see as your ‘big secret’ and he won't see as anything at all.
From now on treat your birthmark as part of the whole, lovely you. And remember men simply don't focus on the little things the way we do. Message to the guys - we don't focus on these things on you either.
Good luck and treasure all of yourself, Pam X
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