Dear Dr Nekia,
After reading your column last week on the couple trying to deal with snoring, I thought that I would write in with a similar problem. It may seem trivial but my wife and I fight all the time about the temperature in the house. She likes it warm and I like it nice and cool. When we go to bed is when we have the most disagreements. I just canít get a good nightís rest if it is too warm, but if itís too cold she is complaining, wearing sweats to bed, or all up underneath me. So I end up not getting good sleep then either. Is there a way that we can put this longstanding problem behind us?
Dear Temperature Fights,
Yes this is a common problem. One that even I have faced in my relationships. It is great when your spouse or lover has similar sleep requirements as you, but the reality is that most of the time, two individuals will vary in what they need in order to be comfortable. This begins a tug-of-war that can last for years and years until one finally gives in to the other. However, fortunately for those having a battle of the wills regarding temperature control, there are ways to get around it. First, you may want to look into bedding that regulates body temperature. There are a variety of pillows, sheets, and mattress pads that work to either cool the body when it is hot or warm the body when it is cold. Temperature regulating bedding is an easy fix to your age-old problem. Secondly, you can negotiate a median temperature for indoors. I know that cost may be a factor so if this is a concern, limit the use of heating and cooling units to the bedroom only. At this median temperature neither of you will have your ideal environment but it cuts down on the disagreements since no one will feel as though the other is getting his or her way while making it easier to regulate your personal temperature by adjusting such things as clothing. In all relationships it takes a little give and take to be happy together, but in this case it is feasible to meet one another in the middle which is sure to keep your union lukewarm.
Dear Dr Nekia,
Iím a feet man. I just love womenís feet. I cannot be with someone who does not have pretty feet and I enjoy massaging, sucking, and licking them. Because of this, I would much rather buy a woman a pair of shoes than anything else. But the issue I am having is that I was seeing someone who knew all of this about me. She always kept her feet lotioned and her toes painted so I was very turned on by her. But I found out she had toe fungus and kept it hidden. I was so vexed when I found out because Iíve had her toes in my mouth! Thatís just disgusting. I broke things off with her but she keeps apologising saying everything else was great between us so why not forgive her. Am I being too hard on her? I just donít think I can trust her.
Dear Foot Fetish,
Although some may read this and think that your attraction to feet is gross or rather odd, a sexual affinity for feet or podophilia is undoubtedly one of the most commonly reported human sexual fetishes. Nevertheless, I do not think that the nature of your fetish is as much of an issue as the betrayal that you obviously feel. Toenail fungus may be unsightly and embarrassing for many people and it usually is not something to be greatly concerned about; however, people can still feel a sense of shame and filth surrounding its occurrence. Your lover may have simply been too afraid to admit it to you. If she felt the need to always have her toenails painted, and never let you see her without polish, this could indicate that she was well aware of her condition and chose to wilfully hide it from you. To anyone else this may not be a big deal, but to a lover of feet this will be a major issue. Perhaps she was self-conscious, did not want to scare you or turn you off, or maybe it made her feel good about herself knowing that you adored her feet, but you are correct that there was no reason good enough for her to hide the fungus from you. This is especially true because you enjoyed putting her toes in your mouth. Allowing you to do so knowing that she had such an infection was just unacceptable. You have every right to question her integrity. People need to realise that even though they may not consciously perceive them to be, sexual acts are vulnerable acts. Sex requires confidence in yourself and trust in the other person, so while any form of dishonesty is unfavourable, betrayal of a sexual nature usually cuts deeper than any other. That being said, if the other parts of your relationship were going great, I would not be so quick to end things. I would, however, make sure that it is established that any further dishonesty or misleading of any kind will not be tolerated. Let her know that there is no point to continuing a relationship where either of you do not feel comfortable enough to be honest, especially with issues surrounding intimacy and health.
Dear Dr Nekia,
My wife wants to do carnival this year and I am dead set against it. To me it is just a bunch of almost naked people drinking and dancing recklessly in the streets. I have seen the costumes and have witnessed the dancing and I donít think that it is attractive or appropriate, especially not for my wife. I know other men that feel the same way, but my wife acts as though she cannot understand my disapproval. She herself admits that when she goes to some of the soca events she sometimes feels out of her element with the skimpy attire and vulgar dancing, but says that she still has an enjoyable time with friends. With reservation, I would be willing to allow her to partake in the festivities, but how can I reassure myself that my wife is not out there as an excuse to let loose?
Hesitant About Carnival
I can surely understand your reservations and points of view surrounding carnival. It is easy to look from the outside and see things that you may not like about it. But here are a few facts that may help you out. The term carnival means farewell to the flesh. It was created to be a time of celebration at the seasonís end right before Lent where slaves celebrated their hard work through the year. That is one of the origins of the celebration. Costumes were traditionally not about vulgarity but about a celebration of the natural human form and our rights as living beings to be free and unconfined. As time evolved so did the costumes to reflect beauty and a transcending of who we are in our ordinary daily lives. Yes, consumption of alcohol and explicit dancing plays a role in this celebration but it is not a necessity. What we view as being sexually explicit gyrations are rooted in traditional mating and fertility dancing, and the consumption of alcohol is traditionally used to quiet the conscious mind in favour of heightening experiences of the spirit. Without getting too technical, everyone who partakes in carnival is free to choose to remain within their comfort levels. No one is forced to behave, dance, or drink beyond their thresholds. I myself am rather conservative during carnival celebrations but I have chosen the costume and band that I feel most comfortable with. All of the bands here in Bermuda have something great to offer participants, but I particularly chose Party People because I was made to feel comfortable with them, even though I am on the reserved end of the spectrum. With them everyone seemed to have a good time whether sober or not, dancing wildly or not, in full costume or not. The experience with Party People is awesome. So one of the things that you and your wife can discuss is choice of band. Next decide which costumes you are most comfortable with. Keep in mind that alterations can be made if you both wish to cover up more. Next, you will want to agree upon boundaries regarding drinking, dancing, etc. and if you can, why not choose to experience the events with her? I know that it may seem like everyone is drunk and has lost their minds, but the reality is that this is not the case. People find an escape, and a joy in the carnival and soca experience. You would be surprised how many are having the time of their lives without drinking. It is all about perception and in order for you to become more comfortable with the situation, you will have to become more familiar with it. Become a part of the experience with your wife. Even if you do not want to go to any of the events, by becoming involved in her excitement you can offer yourself the opportunity to understand why she is drawn to it. Other than that, you really should question your trust in her. Trust her to go out and enjoy herself while keeping within the boundaries that you both agree on.