Why Do Some People Always Want to Pop Their Spouse’s Pimples?

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Are you one of those people who really enjoys popping pimples? Maybe you subscribe to a few channels on YouTube that feature popping action. Or maybe you’re a fan of Dr. Pimple Popper and follow her extraction shenanigans on social media. Listen, we get it. We really do! There is something so satisfying about popping a pimple, as gross as it sounds. But sometimes, that satisfaction extends to other’s people’s skin, too. Are you a wife who goes to town on her husband’s face and back? Why do some people always want to pop their spouse’s pimples?!

It’s not exactly romantic. So why do some people always want to pop their spouse’s pimples?

Turns out, popping pimples can be an emotional release for some people. Matt Traube is a child and family psychotherapist based in San Luis Obispo, California. He specializes in “body-focused repetitive behaviors”. These behaviors can include things like hair pulling or skin picking. Traube says, “For many people, there is a wonderful satisfaction that comes from popping a pimple — it’s almost euphoric”.

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Think about it: you get the relief from the pressure with the physical popping of the pimple. Then, when you get a good one (ew!), there’s a sense of satisfaction or victory. In addition, your brain releases that good stuff called dopamine, the happy chemical.

But why focus your picking and popping on your spouse?

That satisfaction doesn’t just apply to popping your own pimples. Spouses may enjoy doing the same for each other, and you can think of it as a way to show affection! A weird way, sure, but it’s a sign of love to want to take care of those blemishes for your partner.

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Traube says, “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”. We do stuff like that all the time for our kids, right? Those same instincts may also apply when it comes to “grooming” our spouses.

So why do some people always want to pop their spouse’s pimples? It’s partly because they find it satisfying, and partly because they’re showing their love and affection in a very weird but primal way.

(Image: iStock / LarsZahnerPhotography)