A very mons-y pubis
December 24, 2014 12:14 PM   Subscribe

How do I come to peace with the appearance of my mons?

My mons pubis is very prominent (protruding, fatty, and U-shaped rather than a V-shape, if that makes sense). I am in my 30s and at a healthy weight, so there isn't much extra surrounding fat for "blending in." I am not a hairy person, so there's not much I can do in terms of concealing. A sexual partner in my early 20s (who was not so nice in other ways) made a teasing comment about it, and since then I've been hyper-aware of this part of my anatomy, every single damn day.

I go to some lengths to minimize its appearance when with a sexual partner. In everyday life, I put in a lot of effort to find and wear clothing that won't accentuate the area, and know how to stand so that it is less noticeable. Sounds kind of exhausting, and it kind of is, but I'm just used to it by now.

I've seen photos of celebrities on the Internet who are caught in a photo so that their mons appears slightly more prominent, and anonymous internet asshats make comments of how so-and-so is "packing LOL." This does not help.

I want to clarify that this issue is not crippling to my life. I am mostly happy and successful. No other sexual partner has ever commented (negatively or positively) about it. I know that this isn't some crazy deformity. I know that this is nothing to be ashamed of. I know that I'm not alone. In situations where I have to wear items that don't hide this area, such as when swimming, I can fake some confidence and pretend like it's no thang. But it seems to me that the vast majority of women out there can wear leggings and yoga pants and swimsuits without having others casually glance down there. According to the media, every woman in the world has a flat, tiny barely-there mons (damn you PhotoShop).

I've tried searching the rest of the Internet about this, but related forum posts I've stumbled upon haven't been able to help me out, as it mostly consists of complaining and "Me, too! I hate it!" I'm not looking to change my mons pubis (unless you know of a magical, safe, non-invasive solution). It's really easy for me to give advice to another about body image, but I'm having a hard time believing it myself, about this particular part of the body. I'd like to be able to enter sexual relationships without this being at the forefront of my mind. I'd like to live my life without using mental and emotional energy on this every day. I'd like to be able to change how I think about this part of my body in a more positive way...how do I do this? Advice, anecdotes, encouragement welcome.

Throwaway email to anyone who'd rather not post here: pmonsieur68@gmail.com
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I am emailing you with some more personal anecdotes that I'd rather not have public. However I always recommend people with body issues to look at real people, such as the Nu Project (NSFW nudity ahead.)

It made me realize that everyone is different, but yet we all have similar traits. It made me realize that people shared the same traits. We often see either photoshopped models or clothed people and it's nice to see what people are actually working with. I bet there are people of similar build to you and their happy, healthy, loved, and beautiful, just like you!

Also, whoever said that to you was a dickbag. Ignore them.
posted by Crystalinne at 12:28 PM on December 24, 2014 [10 favorites]

1-fuck that guy who said something mean. Seriously he's an ass and you should pay him no more mind. 2-if youre in bed with someone they are not likely looking at your crotch for a lot of time. 3-if you are in bed with the right someone they dont care if your body parts are "abnormal". They like you and want to be in bed with you.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 12:35 PM on December 24, 2014 [7 favorites]

I came by to say much what misantrhopicsarah just said. Human bodies are different, and outside the phony world of the media we accept those differences. Indeed, we come to love those differences because they're part of what makes the people we love unique.
posted by Gelatin at 12:57 PM on December 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Just want to tell you that my ex said mean things about my butt, breasts, pubic region, and stomach, and I still hear him talk when I look in the mirror sometimes. Those insults cut very deep. For me, two things have helped: being nice to myself when I say those things to myself ("oh, sockermom, please don't say such mean things, you are so beautiful and you deserve kindness") and dating a guy who has never said an unkind word about my appearance and instead says really nice things to me. Focusing on the awesome things my body can do also helps.

Good luck. I'm sorry you are experiencing this. It's the pits to have that unkind voice coming from inside the house, as it were.
posted by sockermom at 1:10 PM on December 24, 2014 [11 favorites]

It wasn't until I was past 50, I left my husband, and was dating that I discovered that it was possible to find people in the world who loved both your body and your mind. There is someone out there who will not just tolerate your body but love it as it is. I hope you have that experience, because when I had that experience it made it possible for me to finally love my body.
posted by Bella Donna at 1:18 PM on December 24, 2014 [7 favorites]

Fwiw, I know men who find a prominent mons their #1 turn on.
posted by 724A at 1:21 PM on December 24, 2014 [6 favorites]

I could have written this question, seriously. I am extremely self conscious about it too and definitely avoid clothing that accentuates it. I can't even wear tight skirts because my mons protrudes so much it makes it look like I have a package down there. Anyway, the thing that helps is that I have had two sexual partners in the past comment on how much they liked it, without any prompting from me. I try to remember that when I get down on myself about it.
posted by LOLcat at 2:20 PM on December 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

The first time my first partner saw me naked he gave me a once over and said, "You're really hot but remind me to talk to you about grooming and cellulite and your lady parts." The first time! My boobs were in his face! I looked amazing! He was going to get laid! And he decided that giving me that footnote about my body was more important than just telling me I was hot. Then the next morning, he came up behind me as I was getting dressed and lifted my boobs up before I'd put a bra on because he thought it was funny. What it told me is that he didn't like the way my boobs sag when they're not supported. In less than 12 hours he'd told me both implicitly and explicitly that 4+ parts of my body weren't up to par.

It took me forever to realize that all the shame I was carrying around about my body came exclusively from him. One day I was checking myself out in the mirror and his voice piped up in the back of my mind. "Your stomach is still so pouchy." Rather than agreeing, I somehow managed to say aloud to the mental ghost of my ex, "No. Fuck you, you incredibly entitled arrogant asshole. Fuck you." Suddenly the shame I'd internalized was outside my body, getting chucked back at the idiot who started it. It felt great. From then on, any time I caught myself worrying about my appearance, I mentally balled up the fear and shame and imagined myself sending it all back to my ex by post. I let myself be angry, because in getting angry I reclaimed my sense of self and self worth.

I wonder if the same process would help you. Get really angry about what that loser told you about your normal and wonderful and beautiful mons and send it all back to him so it's not yours to carry around anymore. I'd smack him for you if I could.
posted by Hermione Granger at 3:00 PM on December 24, 2014 [53 favorites]

Men who disparage their sexual partners generally do it out of a deep sense of insecurity. They think that making you feel like you're not good enough will ensure you're forever grateful for whatever attention they give you and therefore won't look and find someone better. These comments tend to work best on young women (as a lot of us can attest to) because once you have some life experience later on you see these jerks for the miserable manipulative nasty assholes they are and get rid of them.

I would reframe this experience in your head (as I did when something similar happened) and tell yourself at this guy must have felt really threatened by you and have known you were out of his league if he felt like he had to try and take you down a peg to get you to stick around.

And for what it's worth, I have seen my own body shamer in the twenty years since he made comments about me. (I was actually at my peak physically, and he still tried to kill my self esteem) and two kids and twenty years later, aside from a few more wrinkles and a couple of kilos, I actually don't look too much different. He on the other hand used to be extremely good looking and is now much older, greyer and middle aged spread has hit hard. He's also never managed to hold down a relationship and is still single. Whilst his good looks used to get him attention, he doesn't have that now and he can't rely on a charming personality to keep women around because he's pretty horrible once you get to know him. So if it makes you feel better, karma does exist.

And believe it or not - he actually tried to remind me TWENTY YEARS LATER of my apparent bad fashion sense and lack of grooming back then, in a desperate attempt to regain some sense of the upper hand. I told him I didn't have time to reminisce about old times, I had a husband and new baby to get home to and to enjoy sleeping alone by himself that night and every other night. We never spoke again...
posted by Jubey at 5:41 PM on December 24, 2014 [33 favorites]

I know that everyone has different preferences and different insecurities, but I have never thought of this as a flaw before--I kind of assumed that the mainstream preference (so much as such a thing exists) was for well-padded montes pubis. I don't mean to invalidate your feeling--I just mean to amplify the message that *lots* of people, in my experience, find that feature beautiful and preferable.
posted by Edna Million at 6:17 PM on December 24, 2014 [5 favorites]

When I was young, a sexual partner once told me my labia looked like stretched-out chewed bubble gum and that it was -- and I quote -- "kind of gross." I obsessed over it for years. YEARS. I was self-conscious of anyone going down on me for, like, a decade, to the point where I couldn't even enjoy it and redirected anyone who tried.

Now that I'm a bit older and a much more experienced woman who has had many complimentary male partners and more than a few female partners, I would like to say to that original guy "Dude, have you ever seen a naked woman outside of porn? Jesus, man, seriously?!?" I've been happy to learn that I'm WELL within the range of completely normal lady parts. That guy just didn't know it, and didn't care enough about me (or any woman, it turned out) to wonder if it was my body or his preconceived notions that were "wrong."

Anyone who comments on how your bits and pieces look in a negative way never deserves to see them again. There is a gigantic range of of normal, and you're part of it.
posted by erst at 6:45 PM on December 24, 2014 [14 favorites]

People have super specific preferences when it comes to body parts. Whatever you've got, it will turn on some people and turn off others. It's unavoidable.

I'm an extreme case. Hairy shoulders. Yeesh, right? Well, in the 1970's, that was considered manly (this stuff keeps shifting. It's so loose and arbitrary). But here's the thing. Do you want someone to be with you because you represent an optimal aggregation of preferred body part configurations, or do you want someone to be with you because they love you? I know true romance is nearly dead, but that makes it even more incumbent to weed out those who Don't Get It.

I thank god for my hairy shoulders, and will never wax them. They filter out people who don't know how to love. Moveover: there are women who really dig hairy shoulders (not kidding). I loathe that. Making love is not porno. It is not about body parts. My shoulders have nothing to do with what I'm expressing to you, sharing with you, giving you when I make love to you. If that's what you're zeroing in on, I shouldn't be wasting my time with you.

I need to hasten to assure you that your situation is NOT like hairy shoulders. Not widely reviled. Really, it could go either way. So just don't develop a whole thing about it. If a guy can't get past it, then he's with you for the wrong reasons, which means you're with HIM for the wrong reasons. Be grateful for the filter/bellwether!
posted by Quisp Lover at 8:24 PM on December 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Here's a fact: If you, and a hyper-thin girl with triple-F fake boobs, and a plus-plus-plus-sized women were all performing at a strip bar, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU would have men drooling, and confiding in you that you were the sexiest performer of the evening to them - and mean it quite sincerely.

Men have preferences. Those preferences range - literally - all over the spectrum of human body types. Some men are complete assholes, and will hurt your feelings. They don't speak for all other men.

Don't let the assholes rule your world. They don't deserve to win.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:11 PM on December 24, 2014 [6 favorites]

According to the media, every woman in the world has a flat, tiny barely-there mons (damn you PhotoShop).

Lots of good advice in this thread. But I just wanted to note that if this particular try-on room issue is getting you down, I understand, I feel this way allll the time. I can't wear tight fitness pants or certain skirts either. But neither can I wear 80% of what I try on for one reason or another. You can't let yourself fall into the trap of thinking "If they're selling it then that means it must work for most people! Most people are normal! Then I must be abnormal! And I don't want to feel that way!" But this is a trap because fashion isn't as systematic as they make us think it is. I get into this with myself all the time when I'm out looking for clothes and feeling tired from shopping and emotionally vulnerable. But then I go look at the weird ugly stuff on the clearance rack and I think "The geniuses who decided to sell this brown shapeless sack for $89 are who I'm letting stress me out like this? These guys don't know what they're doing! They just sell whatever half-baked idea comes to mind first!" My point is that just because leggings and yoga pants are in right now doesn't mean they work for anyone over the age of 20.
posted by bleep at 11:47 PM on December 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

I'd smack him for you if I could

What he said calls for this kind of response, just quietly.
posted by flabdablet at 4:15 AM on December 25, 2014

On top of the more sensible advice above I would like to point you to the wonderful (if enormously vulgar) Margaret Cho who has gone from having quite serious body image issues (her earlier stand-up included asking what sort of crunches you needed to do to fatten your mons) to in more recent years being kinder to herself including writing a little anthem to her "Fat Pussy". The song actually only turns up at about 2:35 in that link, but it was the nicest production values.
posted by Iteki at 9:25 AM on December 25, 2014

Isn't fat there a sign of fertility and ample estrogen? I'm a straight lady, but I would venture a guess that a little extra fat on your mons might be *more* attractive to most sexual partners, just like other signs of extra estrogen (small waist, bigger boobs, etc etc).
posted by three_red_balloons at 9:30 AM on December 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

« Older Please help me enjoy concerts in SF.   |   Trying to track down some specific Caribbean music Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.