I live with my boyfriend and one of his friends from high school who I don't know very well. We've lived together for about two months now, and even though we keep different schedules, we occasionally all sit around and watch TV together. This is great roommate bonding and a good way for me to get to know my boyfriend's best friend except for one thing — my housemate keeps his hand in his pants the whole time. It's not as though he puts his hand in his pants just to have a place to put his hands, he actually has it down there touching stuff.
Needless to say this bothers me to no end because not only do I feel really, really uncomfortable, but it's also gross and unsanitary because then he'll touch the remote! I feel like the feminist in me should be able to say, "Stop touching yourself in front of me, pervert" but I also don't want to make him feel uncomfortable in his own home. Help! — Grossed out Gretta
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Dear Grossed out Gretta,
OK, I would be grossed out too, but you have to understand that a lot of guys like to chill out with their hands in their pants. It's not to say they are getting off on it, but it's their way of kicking back. Women won't understand it, but we need to accept that it's just a guy thing. With that said, your roommate does need to realize that he isn't living alone here and he is in the presence of a woman who deserves some respect.
The only way you're going to put a stop to this problem is by talking to him. I understand that you don't want to put him on the spot or make him feel like he can't live the way he pleases in his own home, but it's your home too. Try to keep the conversation light hearted, but make sure you get your point across. Tell him that while he's in your common rooms, you would appreciate it if his hands remained out of his pants, but what he does in his own room in his prerogative. Since you live together, you should all be able to talk freely about house rules, so instate it now before he gets too comfy on that couch you share! Good luck!