I met a guy on holiday at the start of the summer and although nothing really happened, we got on brilliantly. I thought nothing more would come of it, but he’s suggested meeting up and I don’t know what to do. I’m sure he wants to have sex, but I’m not up for it. I like us being friends and don’t want to ruin this. How do I approach the situation? Beth, via email
You’re right. This guy wants to bonk you. So here’s how you play it. You say you’d love to meet, but are only interested in being friends. At this point he’ll either sever contact or insist he still wants to visit. And if he still wants to visit it means he’s happy being mates, right? You’d think. But sex-seeking men are persistent, so it could mean he reckons he can persuade you into bed after a few drinks. For this reason, I’d stick to being Facebook friends. But if you really want to meet up, go out in a group. Your mates can protect you if he tries it on and they’ll get to know him if he doesn’t.
I’ve been with my boyfriend for three years and slept with someone else a few months ago. We were going through a rough patch and it was a drunken one-night stand, but the guy I slept with has recently been in touch to say he has chlamydia, and my doctor confirmed that I have it. How do I tell my boyfriend? I feel so much regret and guilt. Name withheld
Ouch. I’d love to come up with an ingenious “I caught it off a towel at the gym” masterplan, but in situations like this, lies don’t solve anything. Instead, you have to be honest and hope your partner can forgive you. Start by telling your man that you love him and want to be with him, but you’ve made a massive drunken mistake. What happens next? The obvious: he goes crazy. And then what? You keep apologising and telling him you love him until he accepts that you’re sorry and takes you back, or says he can’t trust you and turns his back. Good luck.
I have an idea for a children’s book and have approached a few publishers but keep being told they don’t accept unsolicited work. Should I try to find an agent or do you recommend self-publishing? Jenny, via email
Trying to get a book published is no easy task, and neither is finding a good agent. I’d advise joining a local literary club where you will be able to network with other writers who may be able to advise you on agents. It depends what you want to do, but self-publishing has rocketed in recent years. Sites such as Lulu.com offer a step-by-step guide on how to self-publish an ebook.
My colleague has reported me for bullying, and I think it’s unfounded. I have received a verbal warning and the atmosphere between us is unpleasant. I thought I got on well with everyone but now feel like I’m under scrutiny. How can I clear my name? Jane, via email
You don’t say under what circumstances you have been accused of bullying. Was it another colleague’s word against yours? Is there any way your behaviour could have been misinterpreted as bullying? If so, you need to watch your behaviour and make a suitable apology to try to clear the air. If, however, you genuinely feel your warning has been unfair, book a meeting with your HR department to discuss it as you don’t want something like this holding you back in your career.
Dear Dr Hilary
My son is eight years old and still wets the bed. He doesn’t wet himself during the day and will sometimes go a few nights being “dry”. We’ve tried reward charts, but they make him more upset when he has a wet bed. What else can I try? Rebecca, via email
Your son isn’t so unusual. One in 20 children wet the bed at night occasionally up to the age of 10, and boys gain control of their bladders later than girls anyway. Reassure him he’s having lots of dry nights and that these accidents will gradually stop. Identify any worries he may have and deal with them. Avoid caffeinated drinks and chocolate (these can cause the kidneys to produce more urine) and make sure he isn’t constipated. You should also involve him in sheet changing to make him aware and give him an incentive to stay dry, and you could consider a bed-wetting alarm. Also, the drug desmopressin reduces urine production in seven out of 10 cases.
Dear Dr Hilary
I’ve been to six music festivals this summer and I now I have a high-pitched whistling in my ears. My mum said it could be tinnitus. Will it eventually go? Laura, via email
More and more people are experiencing tinnitus – a constant ringing, whistling or hissing in their ears – as a result of regular exposure to loud noise. Festivals are notorious for loud music, but mp3 players with earphones can also be to blame. Your tinnitus could well be the result of accumulated acoustic trauma – the more exposure you have to loud noise, the greater the risk of permanent symptoms and even loss of hearing. Hidden Hearing’s Hearing Awareness Month runs throughout September, offering 20,000 free tests nationwide – visit Hearingawarenessmonth.co.uk for details.
My new boyfriend says it would really turn him on if I went out “commando”. What are the rules for getting this right? Millie, via email
First things first – no trousers, shorts and definitely no jeans (the chafing). Anything too tight is begging for camel-toe. No getting out of cars, unless you want to do a Lohan/Hilton/Spears and treat the paparazzi like your gynaecologist. But the thing is Millie, I remember an era when going without pants carried a frisson of sexual subversion. Nowadays, a “knickers-off day” just reeks of desperation (hopefully that’s what it is). The next thing you know, this man will be asking you to make a sex tape or indulge in pubic hair topiary. Just because you saw something happen on Sex And The City, doesn’t make it sexy. So why not go out with a commando instead? Much more fun, and a lot less breezy.