Few things in life are as truly satisfying as squeezing a particularly bulbous pimple between your fingertips.
Pinching and twisting until the stubborn surface breaks and oozes fluid can brings a feeling a relief, and weirdly, an achievement. However unhygienic it might be.
And this doesn’t necessarily have to be your own pimple. The success of Dr Pimple Popper’s excruciatingly excellent spot busting videos show there really is a market for vicarious popping.
Check out Dr Sandra Lee, aka Dr Pimple Popper, in action below:
This obsession can also bleed over into your romantic life. Picking away at your other half’s pimples, the bigger and gnarlier the better, can also give you a guilty sense of euphoria.
Look, there aren’t many pop songs about picking your darling’s acne until they bat you away to the other side of the bed with an irritated hand.
But lets face it, this sort of gross intimacy is as much a part of long term relationships as the candle lit anniversary dinners and walks across the beach.
Speaking with Insider, child and family psychotherapist Matt Traube explains how this act can show a degree of closeness:
As disgusting as it might sound to some, that you would pick your partner’s pimples, that does show a certain closeness, a bond, an attachment between you and your partner.
If someone is on a first or second date, I don’t think you’re going in for a pimple pop.
Noted… Although a shared love of pimple popping would surely be a great ice breaker, no?
However, Traube also argues there could be underlying reason why a person just can’t stay away from their partner’s bacne. For example, they could be trying to ‘fix’ their partner on a deeper level, using the skin’s surface as a suitably manageable canvas.
For many, the skin itself can be a metaphor for the person or the relationship, things that you somehow think that need to be cleaned up, or organized or otherwise taken care of.
It’s kind of analogous to finding a solution. You look at it and go, ‘Ew, it doesn’t feel right, it’s on my partner, I need to fix it.’ In some regards, it’s a way to improve your husband.
Yikes. So maybe if you are obsessing over ‘perfecting’ your partner’s skin, there could be much bigger, non-zit-related, issues in your relationship which need addressing.
I hate to break it to you, but if your partner is fiddling away with your spots, you could well be being used as a human stress ball.
Taube explains how this could well be a way for a person to regain a sense of control when dealing with feelings of stress and pressure:
When we feel like we have ostensive control, we can find temporary relief from whatever we’re experiencing.
Look, if your beloved is cool with being scratched at and fussed with then wonderful.
But if they hate it and you are still persisting, then respect their personal space and maybe work out your urges through watching some videos of pimples being popped instead.
There’s a really cool video with a unicorn pimple if you’re interested…
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.