I recently met a guy I really like, and it appears he really likes me, too. Our dates have been getting a little hot and heavy over the last month, and it's pretty clear where this is heading. Thing is, though, I've got a bad case of eczema kind of all over, and I'm scared that seeing me naked will gross him out. I'm also worried that, if we do have sex, all that friction will irritate my skin even more. What should I do?
Itching for Love (female, 32)
Dear Itching for Love,
The hot-and-heavy part at the beginning of a relationship is always so much fun. You shouldn't let your skin get in the way.
I imagine you've been dealing with this condition for a while, so I'm sure you know what kind of treatment works best for you. If it's been a minute since you've seen your dermatologist, now is a good time to check in and make sure you're up on all the latest. Look at it as getting your skin into training for the main event. The website nationaleczema.org is also a great resource. It even has an app you can use to track your triggers and symptoms.
Before your next date, take a soak in a warm oatmeal bath and layer on extra moisturizer in case you hit the sheets. Set up some candles for dim mood lighting. If being a little covered up would make you feel more comfortable, consider keeping on a sexy little item — something as simple as a silky camisole would give you a little coverage and help cut down on friction.
Honesty is really the best aphrodisiac in the world, and if you're gonna have sex with somebody, you should be able to talk to them. Just tell him what's up. Let him know you're happy with the way things are going, but you feel a little self-conscious about your noncontagious eczema. I can guarantee that he'll appreciate you telling him, and there's a 99.9 percent chance he's not going to care. Like most of the human population, he's likely got something he feels self-conscious about, too.
So get all that baloney out of the way, and you'll probably have the best sex ever. Bonus: Great sex equals less stress ... and less stress is good for your skin!
Good luck and God bless,