My partner has a teeny constellation of beauty spots just above and to the left of his belly button. They are one of my favourite things about his body. Well, I mean… apart from his dick and his eyes and his hands and his wrists and… look I just really love quite a lot of bits of his body, OK? I am shocked – SHOCKED – that I have not yet waxed lyrical about how gorgeously beautiful moles and beauty spots are, and why I love them so much.
Beauty spots are like fingerprints, that’s the first and most obvious point. No other human being on the planet will have the same constellation of them as you do: they are unique. Those teeny dots on your body are yours in the same way the shape of your smile is, and the map of your stretchmarks and laughter lines. They are uniquely and brilliantly you.
Sometimes even you don’t know what your moles and beauty spots look like! That’s also part of the joyous magic. If they’re on your back/bum/thighs or other inaccessible places, it’s possible that the first time you will ever have become aware of them is when I kiss them and tell you how pretty they are. There’s a genuine thrill in realising that I get to bring this sexy news to you, and then take a photo on your phone so I can show you just how perfectly this splatter of brown dots falls on one of your shoulderblades. How neatly this one nestles above your buttocks. How cute is this one that peeps out of the folds of flesh when you twist your body to one side.
A guy I used to date had a lot of moles all over his body – strangely most were in places that wouldn’t normally be exposed. So you wouldn’t imagine him to have many and then – BAM – when he took his clothes off there was this glorious dot-to-dot laid out in front of me. It was all I could do not to trace my tongue in a line through each of them.
Naturally, if you have a lot of moles and you’re regularly out in the sun, you need to keep an eye on them (here’s the NHS guidance on moles), and I only mention it here because it gives me the chance to reminisce about how the greater-spotted guy in the previous paragraph used to let me rub high-factor suncream into his back, and let him know if there were any moles that looked to be getting ideas above their station. It was one of the nicest jobs in the world: running creamy hands over his prettily-speckled skin, in the warmth of the sun, on holiday. Lazily smothering him and caring for him and taking the time to explore every single square inch of his body.
Then there are those who have maybe just a few moles or beauty spots – sometimes the sexiness isn’t in the constellations or patterns but in the stunning beauty of a single dot placed right in the perfect location. Like the incredible nipple-adjacent beauty spot on this gorgeous picture of ZebraRoseSub, on her post about overthinking porn (which is a great post in its own right, not just for the image, go read it!). She has a beauty spot just next to one of her nipples and honestly it is the most beautiful fucking thing. Like a tiny dot made with pen when you wanted to write a love letter on her body, but got so caught up in her beauty that you lost the capacity to do words. Like a tiny checkmark in a box marked ‘YES’, next to the question ‘do you want to kiss me all over?’
Like the fullstop at the end of this sentence: ‘You are astonishing.’
I’ve written before about the glorious joy in watching as someone’s body changes over the years – knowing that they will never be entirely and precisely the same person they were yesterday. Those extra atoms of fat in particular places, or those neat lines round their eyes which cut deeper after an evening of laughter. The silvery marks on their hips or upper arms which expand and contract with their flesh. And the marks and scars that are records of tiny or seismic events in their life, which get stamped as a record on their body. It’s glorious.
Moles and beauty spots and freckles of all types add their own extra texture to the picture that makes up your body, creating an entirely unique pattern that marks your skin as yours, and yours alone.
Inevitably, when I look at myself, it’s much harder to see the appeal of these marks. I have a beauty spot on my face which I love, but one on my collarbone that I find unpleasant and misplaced. The few moles on my arms that are cute are still never quite cute enough to detract from the one I find ugly. Will it always be like this, I wonder? Will it always be easier to see the beauty in other people’s bodies than in our own? I hope not. I’m practicing.
Meanwhile, while I’m practising love for my own map, it’s fun to explore other people’s. To follow the markings that take you on a journey all over someone’s body. Playing connect-the-dots with all the parts of them that make up who they are.