Should i have a bikini wax?

Dear Suzie, I’m going on holiday with my boyfriend next month and he has told me that it is etiquette for women to get a bikini wax before wearing their bikinis. I have always kept a natural bush and wondered if it would be ok to just tuck it in as much as possible. Isn’t this what women did before bikini waxes became fashionable? Or do you think my boyfriend is correct? If so, can you tell me what is involved and whether it is painful. In your experience are there any benefits or disadvantages with doing this? Thanks in advance

Maybe you should tell him it’s etiquette for men to have them a “back, sack and crack” wax before having the impertinence to suggest such a thing.

Yes, of course it’s painful. And there are plenty of disadvantage to doing so, apart from the toe-curling agony. Even having legs waxed can lead to sore, tender skin that makes you look like a newly plucked chicken. You can end up with spots along the line, and as the hair grows it can feel itchy.

Seriously – my objection to bikini waxes may be a bit extreme. But I always have doubts about men who try to clean up and prettify their girlfriends in this sort of way. If he doesn’t love you for the person you are, does he love you at all? And what next, after the bikini wax? A full Brazilian? Much more painful – and positively paedo. Or would he move into nose jobs and breast enhancements or what? If it’s what you want to do, fine. Otherwise, smile sweetly and tell him you’re fine as you are, thank you. If he makes any more of it, take your gorgeous bod elsewhere. Plenty of men who love the real thing out there.

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What’s a bj?

Dear Suzie, I am a 14 year old girl and have been dating my bf for 8 months now. He is 16. We have only kissed and cuddled and up till a few weeks ago i thought i was falling for him. We have a great relationship but a few weeks ago he asked me if i would give him a bj. i don’t know what he’s talking about but he asks me every time we meet and i don’t know what to say. at first i said i felt sick and had to go home, but i’m running out of excuses. sometimes we\’re outside school and i can’t just suddenly run away, or on the phone and i don’t want to just hand up. i love him and i think if i was ready at this point in time i would have sex with him. but i’m not. i’ve told him this but he just won’t stop asking. i’m too embarresed to ask my friends or family. please help me. i don’t want to lose him but i think this is ruining our relationship. Thanks.

A bj is a blow job. That means oral sex, when you suck or lick his penis. And if you ask my opinion, he deserves a slap round the chops for pressurising you in this way. What’s ruining your relationship is his obsession with his own sexual needs rather than a recognition that your feelings matter as much as his.

You’ve told him you’re not ready. I suspect this is a sneaky, weasely way round any objections you have to full sex – that you’re not ready, that it would put you at risk of pregnancy and that it breaks the law. He probably feels asking you to let him get his sexual satisfaction by having you pleasure him with your mouth somehow sidesteps all this. Never mind that it might be fun for him but no pleasure for you.

So perhaps he needs to know that just as sexual intercourse with a minor (ie an under 16 year old) is against the law, so too is sex by any other means – anal and oral sex too.

But that’s not the reason I think you should tell him to take a hike. He’s showing pretty conclusively that even though you think you get on well, he fails in the first and most important test of a boy or girlfriend; do they put your feelings on the same level as their own? In real relationships, each party cares as much for the other person as they do for themselves and would never ever suggest or push anything that causes the other distress. He doesn’t and he is. Ditch him.

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My son was rude

Dear Suzie,

My 11 yr old son was very rude towards a neighbour’s heavily pregnant wife. her husband wants an apology from my son to his wife. Although I completely agree with them, I know it is going to be hard to get him to do that, as he will be too embarrassed to do it. How do I go about getting my son to do apologize? Please help! From anxious Mum

Of course he should apologise. And of course he’ll be embarrassed but so what? If you haven’t already taught him that sometimes we have to do things that make us uncomfortable, its about time you did. It’s a valuable learning experience – if you’re nasty to someone it feels nasty when you have to face up to the music. Maybe next time you shouldn’t be nasty.

I completely sympathise with you but I also feel it’s about time everyone in his family had a reality check. Your avoidance of facing up to discomfort may be part of why your son is acting like this. In effect, you’re teaching him that when the going gets tough it’s time to run away. That’s what he’s doing but why shouldn’t he – you’re doing it too. So it’s time for another lesson. For you, that you’re the adult. What you say, goes. If you tell an 11 year old boy to apologise for being rude, that boy does what he is told, no argument. And for him, that rude words hurt and are not to be tolerated. He has to confront the pain he caused by going round and saying sorry. Maybe his discomfort will give him some insight into how she felt, and help him recognise that it’s not nice to offend and if he doesn’t like it, he shouldn’t visit those feelings on someone else. You love him and respect him. But you neither love, respect nor accept his behaviour and it has to change.

But I also think you and your husband need to sit down and think about exactly what was going on here. Why was he rude? Has there been a history of bad feeling between your families? Was it about her pregnancy? What feelings did that give rise to in him? Are there tensions in your family he was taking out on her? Whatever the reason, you need to come down hard on the behaviour while perhaps being helpful and supportive about the cause. Tell him he has to say sorry, but then sit down with him and listen to what he has to say about why he did it. It might help to get in touch with the parenting charity Parentline Plus, to get some support in exploring what this is all about in more depth.

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My stepdad swears and shouts at me

Dear Suzie, Help me please. My step dad came about a 2 years ago and it was alright at first but then he started swearing and shouting at us and telling us to f off constantly for the tiniest of things. And it wasnt like a joke he woulg get right up to your face and call you a bitch or whatever. And he does it loads to my younger bro (11) and i step in to protect him and then he shouts at me and i ruin everyones day… I phoned my dad about what was going on and my dad phoned my step dad and told him to stop it but my step dad told him to f off and had a go at me for phoning my dad… then one day my mum got really stressed and said she needed to go to hospital and i was alone in the house with her and she was really emotional and having a panic attack then my step dad came in and told me to shut the f up because i was crying and he made me stand out side with my baby brother in the dark until he and mum had worked out what was upsetting mum. and apparently its all my fault. apparently mums upset because we all argue and apparently its me who starts all the arguments because i step in to protect my brother. Last year a stranger in spain tried to kiss me and my mum wants to go there again but i really dont want to because it will bring beck memories… but my step dad would get so angry… and i have tole my step dad i dont like him telling us were arses and stuff and he just said \’write me a rule book then\’ and \’if im that much of a bastard i may as well leave\’ i was wondering if maybe im coupletely wrong because he says hes treating us like adults… i dunno maybe i should jst leave because i make stuff more confusing for everyone thanks 🙂

Treating you like adults? If he acted to any adult outside the family like this he would find himself in court for threatening behaviour. If your mother had the sense to call in the police because of his behaviour to herself and you, he’d find himself in court for domestic violence. This is not acceptable behaviour. There is no excuse for it and there is no way it’s your fault. IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. His behaviour is his responsibility and it must stop.

I feel really sad for your Mum. Has he has beaten her – with fists or words – into a state of such fear where she cannot see what damage he is doing her children, and herself? That she got into such a state that she needed hospital admission for a panic attack is not down to you at all. But I am horrified that no doctor thought to ask her what drove her to such lengths, or offer her help. Or maybe they did, and she refused it. Maybe he has made her believe that she needs him and cannot do without him. Whatever her reason for standing by and allowing her children to be on the receiving end of such verbal brutality I don’t know. But it must stop.

Stepfamilies are difficult places to be in and I do know that adults sometimes find them hard to manage, and painful to be in. But that cannot under any circumstances excuse what this man seems to be doing.

It’s possible that he could be helped to see how truly intolerable is his behaviour. Perhaps his reason for it goes back to his own childhood and he just can’t see how monstrous it is. Perhaps if someone was able to come in and call a halt he would be prepared to go through counselling and change. Or maybe your mother simply needs to see what is going on through someone else’s eyes and tell him to straighten up or move out. If not, you and your brother should no longer have to suffer it. I have to say, from the level of anger and vicious language this man is prepared to direct at you I fear for you – I really do. You’ve just sent me another mail saying that he sometimes shoves you. ‘Shoves’ is a soft word, isnt it? You mean he’s using physical force against you. Thats’ violence. And that goes well over a line.

You need, and deserve, support and help. Talk to your Dad. Ask him to contact someone both of you can trust – a teacher perhaps, or your doctor. Your doctor or your teachers could call in a social worker or indeed the local domestic violence unit of the Police, and I do think this may be necessary. Perhaps you could go stay with your Dad for a time or another relative until your Mum is able to insist on your stepfather managing his outbursts and coming to terms with whatever is leading him to behave this way.

But please; stop thinking this is your fault. Ask for help and go on asking until you get it. And let me know what happens.

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I am running out of options

Dear Suzie, i feel stuck in my marriage of 7 years my husband works away but when he comes home he just takes over disrupes everything he picks on all the things that i havent done i work ful time looks after the house kids dogs he picks on everything that i do or the way i look wants sex three times a day so its becoming a core everything is his so when we argue he throws me out i thought it was though drink but he is like this all the time i am running out of options if i leave him i lose everything

If you leave him you lose verbal abuse, sexual abuse, humiliation, uncertainty and an awful lot of extra work. Hey – you’re right – that’s an awful lot to lose.

You could on the other hand gain self respect, confidence, a happy house, happy kids and a very relieved dog. Do the maths. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

Everything is his? No. You’re married and have kids. You also work. And you keep the house when he is away. That means that when you file for divorce your shared assets will be divided and as the person who will have the children to live with her, you will have first choice on the house.

The abusive nature of your marriage has meant he has beaten you down to a state where you believe his lies, and believe you can’t do without him. You can. And very well, I would suggest.

I know separation isn’t easy and I’m sure your kids will have mixed feelings about having their father thrown out, however vile he is to them and however horrible it may be to see him bully you. But there is nothing quite as damaging as growing up in a family where one parent abuses then other and in the long run they will benefit far more from your taking a stand and bringing this to a halt then staying in this family.

Contact Resolution – first for family law for a solicitor in your area who is experienced in family issues. You can start off with a short first interview for a nominal sum or for free to assess your situation. He or she would help you manage this with minimum conflict. But manage it you must, and soon, before it goes very sour. You’re playing it down but you’re describing marital rape and abuse, and trust me – it will eventually escalate to become positively dangerous. Please get help.

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My mum and dad are over protective

Dear Suzie, I am 11 years of age and I’m not allowed to walk around the corner to the sweet shop with a friend my age, because my mum and dad are TOO over protective. How can I show them I am mature enough to walk round the corner?

By acting maturely. Make a good case. Explain you’d like join your friend but can understand their worry and ask how can the three of you work out something that satisfies them and pleases you.

They may say as far as they’re concerned keeping you indoors is the only way. Point out staying in bounds isn’t exactly good for your health. It’s scary for parents to have to let their kids grow up and pull away, but it’s necessary. How are you going to learn how to stand on your own two feet unless you begin now?

So break down exactly what worries them. The distance? Dangerous crossings? Fear of strangers snatching you? Offer to go through each objection calmly thinking up the ways you’d deal with each one.

You could ask your Mum to go with you a few times so you can practice and point out what you’d do and how you’d act.

Suggest to your parents that they go to Parentline Plus and join the message boards there to talk to other parents about how they deal with this. Make this a discussion, not an argument, and you may end up with a win-win situation – where everyone is satisfied.

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Soul mates?

Dear Suzie, I am a gay male, aged 24. Im single and have been for 4 years now. I am in a friendship with a man who I feel something for more than friendship and I am not sure what to do about it?! We get on so well and he’s everything in a man I could ever wish for, but he’s not gay. We only met 3 weeks ago and since then we have spent alot of time togther, shared a bed twice, but nothing happened, drank togehter, been for meals out and we text each other everyday, at least 10 times. I have told him I like him, and he was very supportive and understanding, and said that it wouldnt change our friendship, but he never said he wasnt gay, and never talks about women. He is single, 30 years old, and has only had sex with 3 “people”, his choice of words!!! He says its scary how well we get on, finishing each others sentences etc, and we always laugh and joke. Im so scared that if I push the subject, I\’ll get hurt and lose him as a friend, yet im so desperate to spend time with him. He makes me feel special and good about myself, and he is so attentive and caring towards me. Do you think there is something more there or am I just setting myself up to get hurt? The longest reationship he has had in 6months, and is so low in self confidence. I feel like we could be, dare I say, “soul mates” as we really do get on that well.

Id appricate your thoughts.

Genuinely “just good friends” friends don’t text each other 10 times a day. People don’t share the amount of time and emotional intimacy you seem to have done unless there is attraction, not just friendship.

But, you know, all of us at some time or other find a person, and a relationship, that just might be ‘the one’, and have anxieties about how to manage it and what to say or do. Your letter could have come from someone who was 14, 24 or 84; male or female; straight, gay, bisexual or transgendered. In short, anyone who was human! And if I had the secret of how to know what someone was thinking and feeling and the totally reliable advice on how to crack the “Does he, doesn’t he? Will he, won’t he?” question, I’d have written a best seller and be answering you from my villa in the Maldives!

You’ve said he’s not gay, but he’s never said he wasn’t gay. Actions speak much louder than words, especially in a culture that still has an immature attitude to homosexuality and that uses “gay” as an insult. He seems to be showing you pretty definitely that he has similar feelings for you as you have for him. Maybe he can’t yet come out and define himself as either gay, bisexual or bi-curious because he’s grown up shying away from his sexuality. 30 years old and only 3 sexual relationships does speak to me of someone struggling with something. But the experiences you are having together also speaks of someone who feels he has found a soul mate as much as you do. You both clearly make each other feel good. What’s the problem with that?

My advice would be to be patient. I know you’re bursting to declare your feelings and ask his, to advance to a kiss and maybe more. Some relationships do progress to physical intimacy and spoken feelings fairly early. Some do not, and are often all the better for it. Sometimes you have to take the risk and make yourself vulnerable to move on. Sometimes you need to wait. I can’t tell you when the moment might come – that’s something you’ll have to work out for yourself. I can tell you that on the basis of what you’ve told me, you both have a lovely thing going here and should just enjoy it. Keep texting, keep spending time together. Enjoy!

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What are the advantages of being flat chested?

Dear Suzie, I am 14 (nearly 15), slim, small and i am flat chested. I know people must write saying this stuff to you all the time but i hate it. Most boys in my year like girls who have a big cleavage 🙁 I know there is noway to get them to grow, but what are the advantages of being flat chested? PLEASE write back.

The advantages? Good lord, woman; multiple! You can wear designer clothes, all of which are created to lie beautifully on a body with no or small breasts. You can run without having to buy expensive support bras. You can wear skimpy clothes in summer without worrying about straps and bras showing.

I have a large bust and sometimes I’d just kill to be flat! And the last thing I’d ever want is to have a cleavage simply to please boys. Frankly, those that notice are usually slobs you wouldn’t want to be with – all they’re thinking about is getting inside your bra.

Anyway, at 14 you have no idea what body size you’re going to end up with. You could end up as anything from 32A to 36DD – who knows?

My advice is to learn to love yourself whatever your shape. I can see all the disadvantages of being well endowed but my stance in the end is to simply go with the flow and celebrate what I have and who I am. Try it. Any guy who doesn’t have the same attitude isn’t worth even noticing.

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I’m fat and I’m 10

Dear Suzie, im aged 10 and i already weigh 10 and a half stone. i know you probably think im some stupid fat girl but i realy need help. my younger brother has plader willi syndrone that is where he eats loads and my big sister who is 15 only 5 stone. my big sis always teases me because i need age 14 clothes to fit my fat belly and when my belly hangs out from the bottom of my shirt. i also get teased at school because my button always pop off of my shirt. please you must help me i can\’t help it when i get in from school or anywere i just get loads of food out of the fridge and cupboard and eat it.

i also have never had a boyfriend and i can walk properly i just waddle like a fat git. please reply A. S. A. P with tips on how i can be thiner please, please, please, please, please, please

Of course you need help, not so much because of your weight but because of the awful level of self hatred you show in your mail to me. You’re angry and it seems as if you’re turning all that rage and disappointment on yourself.

I can guess at a couple of reasons why you feel so awful and I do sympathise. People often use food as a way of expressing misery. Some people starve themselves – losing weight can be a way of getting some control of their lives. That seems to be the way your sister has gone; 5 stone at 15 is not just thin, it’s worryingly skinny. Others eat too much, which seems to be the route you’re taking.

Sometimes we tell ourselves we eat all those foods because they give us comfort. People who are sad and feel alone or unnoticed often do it. But I would suggest you have two other reasons for eating too much.The first is that putting on weight is like erecting a suit of armour around you. Sad people often gain weight because it feels as if being overweight protects them. But another reason you may have is that you watch your brother, who has an illness that makes it impossible for him to regulate his eating, and you take two lessons from that. One is that people can be out of control about food. That must feel quite tempting, especially when you have the other, equally scary example of your sister who is all too controlled about it. The other is that much of the attention in your family probably goes to your brother. I suspect you feel when you are fat and out of control about food you too get noticed.

You probably have good reason to feel angry, left out and ignored in your family. It sounds as if there is a lot going on and I imagine your parents feel they have their hands full. If you want to get thinner the best way may not be to obsess about diets, but to ask firmly for some attention. You say you can’t help eating when you get in from school, but that’s not true. Your brother may not be able to help his behaviour but you can control your eating. It may be easier to do so, however, when your entirely justified, normal and natural need for love, attention and acceptance is met by your parents.

Do you have anyone else you can talk to? A trusted teacher, a friend’s mother, another relative? Would your sister stop teasing you long enough to acknowledge that both of you have the same problem – a problem with eating – and support you and herself to get some help with it? BEAT could help you both – get in touch with them. Good luck!

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My husband abuses me

my husband\’s unpredictable behaviour is driving me mad. I can never predict where I stand with him. he shouts and yells and even abuses suddenly at very commonplace conversations. He is very good and polite with others and extremely broad minded. I have always admired him for all his good qualities but he is totally unpredictable at home. It is having a bad effect on my kids. Many times I have asked him where I have failed him, so that I can try and change. He insults me and threatens to kick me and says I am not normal. But the strangest thing is he starts talking normally after a while as if nothing has happened. It affects me very badly though.

Your husband has a problem. Not you. You are not the one who should change to stop this violence – he must. You are not the one who is failing him. He is failing you, your children and himself.

Let’s get a few things straight. We’re talking domestic abuse here. Whether his actions amount to putting you in fear with emotional abuse – shouting at you, insulting, humiliating and putting you down; or with threats of physical attack – threatening to kick you; or by actually striking you, it’s all the same. He is abusing you and there is never, ever any excuse for it.

People who shout or hit out do so because of their issues. I can’t really even speculate on why he does it – loss and abuse in his own childhood, perhaps. Whatever, it’s not your fault and it’s his responsibility not to lay that on you and his children.

Trying to appease and placate a violent person never stops the violence. He may tell you – so many do – that if only you wouldn’t provoke him everything would be hunky dory. But because he does it for his own reasons, for reasons that well up from his own mind, nothing you do can stop him erupting in anger. You should’t have to change since it’s not your fault. You shouldn’t try to change because it won’t make a difference anyway.

Tell him you can no longer countenance his behaviour, which is damaging to you and to your children. Ask him to contact the Male Advice & Enquiry Line on 0845 064 6800, which supports and helps men with anger issues sort themselves out. You can get help and advice from the National Domestic Violence helpline on 0808 2000 247 (I’ve given you the English number – if you live in Scotland, Wales or Ireland go to The Home Office Website to find your national line. You’ll also find some reassuring and helpful advice and information there on domestic violence.

If he can come to see what he is doing and wants to change, there is help around from Relate or through counselling via your own GP. If he won’t accept there is a problem and that it is his to do something about, I would strongly, strongly suggest you seek help to protect yourself. All the evidence shows that men who are violent only get worse, not better. It won’t go away. Do you really want to live like this, when the situation is NOT of your choosing nor your responsibility? And what about your children – is this what you want them to grow up experiencing as the reality of family life? Get help. Today.

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