Revealing Your Scars

I’m a young woman who had infected sweat glands in my groin and armpit area as a teenager, which left faint scars. I have always been incredibly self-conscious about the marks (they resemble chicken pox scars) but I know it isn’t normal and could look weird from a guy’s perspective.

My boyfriend of a year and a half wants to be more adventurous with our sex life (public, broad daylight, etc.) but I am scared of him seeing my scars. Should I explain to him what happened? I want to be wild!
—Scarred to Be Seen

Don’t let your scars stop you! I’m actually somewhat impressed if you’ve been together this long and your boyfriend hasn’t noticed these scars. Or maybe he has, but just doesn’t care.
While I hate the word normal, what makes you think marks aren’t normal? I have an inch-long scar on my forehead from running headfirst into a table corner when I was younger—and while that may sound cute, I was probably older than you’re imagining when I did it.

We all have scars and marks from different experiences in our lives and, while some are visible and others aren’t, they’re all part of who we are.

Sure, not every scar has a cool or cute story to go along with it, and I know that armpits and groins are areas that many people tend to already have insecurities about, but there’s really no point in being ashamed of things you can’t change. I know that’s easier said than done, but it’s a process for us all of us to overcome our insecurities.

Unfortunately, you’re only cheating yourself when you let them get in the way of the sex you want to be having. The best sex you’ll have is when you leave your insecurities behind and realize that your boyfriend wants you.

He wants you in public, in broad daylight and I’m guessing in a ton of other ways and places that require him to see your body—a body he’s clearly pretty into. Do you really think that’s going to change once he notices some scars that he’s managed to miss for this long?

If so, I don’t think the scars are your problem; you probably don’t want to waste any time on a jerk like that anyway. You don’t need to explain away any part of your body, but if it will make you more comfortable and help you fully enjoy and express your sexuality, then I say do whatever you need to.

If you do want to talk about it with him, but you’re having trouble figuring out how to start that conversation, you could try a different approach than, “Hey honey, I’m really insecure about these scars.”

Maybe ask if he has any scars first, and get him talking. If you start a conversation that’s related and could lead into talking about your scars, it might be easier for you to talk about them just enough for him to be aware that they’re there, without sounding obsessive.

While it may not seem incredibly sexy to disclose your insecurities, if it’s what you want, it’ll be incredibly liberating and damn sexy when you can finally do whatever you like with your boyfriend without this weighing on your mind.

Bottom line: You can really go either way here. Either you tell your boyfriend what happened, or you don’t.

Whatever you do, I highly recommend finding a way to embrace your body, scars and all. You can’t let insecurity hold you back any longer, and if you let your partner always be the reassuring voice, this insecurity won’t ever truly go away.

—Melissa Fuller

Submit your questions anonymously at sex-pancakes.tumblr.com and check out “Sex & Pancakes” on Facebook. Need some extra help? You can always contact Concordia Counselling & Development at 514-848-2424 ext. 3545 for SGW and ext. 3555 for Loyola. Got a quick health question? Call info-santé at 8-1-1 from any Montreal number.

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