My boyfriend likes to go to strip clubs with his mates after soccer. He says it's because the beers are cheap and calls it a "sports bar". Should I be worried? - Stripper Skeptic, Hamilton.
You should only be worried for one reason: if your lad's jaunts to The White House are affecting your sex life at home. If he seems disinterested in you, it's time to start a conversation about how his frequent leering of ladies on poles causes him to withdraw at home, which makes you feel unwanted. Then, deal with that situation head on.
However, if you have masts up and clear sailing in the bedroom, you should actually welcome your boyfriend's boys' nights, for two reasons.
Firstly, male bonding time is important for his interpersonal development and mental health, and it will have positive effects on your relationship. Having a few cheap beers with mates, and talking openly and freely in a relaxed environment without partners, allows for catharsis that your boyfriend cannot get elsewhere. He'll let off steam about work, family, and even your relationship, rather than keeping things bottled up.
Furthermore, your man's trips to see his bosom buddies (excuse the awful pun) may actually improve your sex life. If you've ever been to a strip club yourself you'll know that the whole point is to put on a (literally) untouchable fantasy. Remember, there's no cheating going on. It's not a brothel. Men get no "relief" with a stripper; just pent-up arousal. Your boyfriend will likely come home bursting at the seams because he's had the female form on his mind for hours and he's so keen to see you.
The only thing you really need to address, thus, is the fact he calls these clubs "sports bars". Tell him you're not worried, and you don't want him to feel like he has to hide where he goes with his friends. He'll appreciate your trust and will reciprocate any time you want to have a ladies' night with Channing Tatum-esque gyrating gents.
What's more inappropriate: Having a hickey at work or pointing out someone else's? - Hating Hickeys, Auckland.
Honestly, who gives a hickey? Love bites are not something that happen by accident; they are purposeful annoyances given by those who want to mark their territory.
Coming to work with a hickey means you probably went home with someone last night that you regret today. In which case, Cover Girl that thing. You already feel ashamed enough. You don't need to feel worse about yourself every time you see yourself in the mirrors in the loo. It's not "inappropriate" to have a hickey at work because these marks are like any other blemishes: not your fault, and you just have to wait until they go away.
It could be inappropriate, or rather, bad social etiquette, to point out a colleague's love bite if you don't have a jovial and friendly relationship with them. If you're pointing out hickies because you want to make people feel bad about themselves, you're "slut-shaming" and being unnecessarily cruel - probably because you're not getting any sexy time yourself. How would you feel if someone taunted you for that?
Before my partner got a job I offered to pay his monthly phone bill, which is $120 a month. He recently has got a job and can pay for it himself. Can I tell him to start paying for it now even though I offered in the beginning? - Bearing the Bills, Wellington.
Rather than "telling" your partner what to do, you might be better to ask him. Don't take the offensive on this one. Technically he may not need you to pay his phone bill anymore, but he probably still feels like he's struggling to build up some savings, and could still use the help.
But, you could help him in another way. Paying $120 for a mobile phone plan is ridiculous, so help him choose a new plan - at half (or less) that monthly cost - that he can afford. 2Degrees offers a $49 unlimited talk and text plan, while Vodafone and Spark offer similar unlimited plans for $59.
Approach the situation by telling your partner you've seen lots of good new deals out there, and you want to change your own phone plan. Offer a suggestion that your partner do the same, because nobody will turn down the opportunity to save money for the same service. When you both go to switch plans, ask him if he minds taking on his reduced monthly fee himself. If he refuses without an acceptable excuse, your problems together extend far greater than a phone bill.