I'd like to sleep with my new man but don't want him to see my stretch marks
Dear Dr. Pam,
I'm a divorced mother of two. I've got an outgoing personality me and have done a fair bit of dating since my divorce came through two years ago. The problem is I have terrible stretch marks from my two pregnancies and haven't gone to bed with anyone.
I've been out with someone I really fancy. He's a lovely bloke and handsome too. I'm worried he's going to be put off by my stretch marks. But I don't know how to bring this up to him. Apart from taking him to bed in complete darkness I don’t know how I can handle this. Any advice is appreciated!
Dear 'In the dark',
You and a zillion other women will have felt this way about stretch marks or other things to do with their skin or lumps and bumps on their bodies. We forget men feel embarrassed about these things on their own bodies – we haven't cornered the market on so-called 'imperfections'.
First off the complete darkness thing is not going to work – it’d be an impossibility to count on, e.g., a power outage every time you want to have sex with him! This is one of those hurdles that terrifies us but usually once we face such hurdles we find we had little to worry about.
You've got lots going for you in this situation – starting with your outgoing personality. Let's face it, on a cold night a warm personality is what's going to be noticed – not some stretch marks. So you need to start focusing on how attractive he finds that – and obviously that he’s attracted to you physically too.
The other thing you've got going for you is you say he's a lovely man – any lovely man out there won't judge you for a few stretch marks.
Now all you've got to do is bring it up in a positive way – here are a few tips:
- Bring this up outside of the bedroom and definitely not in the middle of foreplay. Any discussion about things you’re sensitive over should always be held outside the bedroom. That means you avoid the bedroom being associated with 'big talks'. Not that this is going to be a big talk.
- When you're enjoying a quiet dinner or cuddling on the sofa in front of the telly let him know that you really like him. Then you can be honest about your concern without over-dramatising. If you sound confident and down-play it then he's going to think far less about it than if you do what so many women are guilty of – over-dramatising a problem!
- All you have to do is tell him you're worried about a 'few' stretch marks you have and that's why you’ve not taking things further with sex. You'll probably find he has his own little insecurities – we all do.
- After what I'm sure will be a positive conversation you can still go for subtle lighting in the bedroom – candles or lights on dimmer switches – because that sets the mood anyway. But you certainly shouldn't feel you must hide under the sheets in the pitch black.
- Ultimately if you're still concerned about your stretch marks there are various laser treatments available that help – though they’re costly. Certainly keeping your skin moisturised can help and there are creams and oils specifically aimed at skin with stretch marks.
Final tip: Sex research shows it's what you do in bed that has far more impact than how you look. Yes, wearing sexy gear is fun and a turn-on but what really counts is you enjoying sex with him, keeping it fun and experimenting a little.
Good luck, Dr Pam x
Need some sex or relationship advice? Email your question to Dr Pam at email@example.com
- Follow Dr Pam on twitter @drpamspurr
- For loads more advice, Dr Pam's NEW sex-and-love guide is available to buy
- Also visit www.drpam.co.uk