| 16.8°C Dublin

My guy pesters me for more sex

Q: Am I unusual in only wanting sex twice a week?

My boyfriend is giving me a hard time, and says all his friends are having much more sex than he is and some are doing it every night. Yet my friends say there is nothing wrong with my libido and that it all comes down to what feels right for you. I enjoy sex and am a very sensual person and maybe I should be flattered that my boyfriend wants to do it more often. Instead, I find him following me from room to room tiresome and it is turning me off him completely.

A: The issue of how much sex you should have is specific to each individual relationship. There is no set number of times a week that you should be doing it. People tend to exaggerate about it, so I would be sceptical about what your boyfriend's friends are telling him. Wanting sex twice a week is perfectly normal and a reflection of your libido.

The issue here is compromise. If he continues acting like a sex pest, he will certainly end up pushing you away. You should not let him bully you into sleeping with him when you don't want to. I suggest you have an adult conversation about this. Make it clear that you don't appreciate the pressure he is putting on you and that it is starting to interfere with other aspects of your relationship. He needs to stop viewing you as a sex object. Try to come to a compromise: you agree to sex three times a week if he stops pestering you.

Q: My boyfriend has announced he will be celebrating the New Year with friends in Paris. He said that if I got my hands on any funds I was welcome to join him and his college friends.

Last weekend he bought a jet ski. This is money he could have used to bring me to Paris. He has also said I'm not to expect much for Christmas as he needs money for spending Christmas weekend with his family in a hotel in Wicklow.

We've been together eight months and are both 25. He bought me a small candle for my birthday which didn't make me feel too special either. Do you think I'm being too sensitive?

A: I don't believe that you're being too sensitive as it sounds like he's spending money that could be invested in time spent together as a couple, but I also don't think that it's advisable to rely on your boyfriend for funding.

He's entitled to spend his money as he chooses and as you haven't been together for that long, he perhaps feels that it's not his responsibility yet to offer to help. I don't think that gifts should be needed to show someone how you feel about them -- time spent together is much more important

To avoid tension, I'd advise you to speak to him about how you feel. Explain that you would love to spend New Year with him and you feel that he is not prioritising the relationship enough. You would love for him to consider the relationship and to try not to throw away money that could be invested in experiences you could share together.

Q: I was with my ex for four years before I decided to make the break. There was nothing specific, and although I still love him, I think, deep down, he accepts that it is over.

However, he keeps coming back, looking for a reunion, even if it's only temporary. I always weaken and we spend the night together and then it's all over again and I feel as if I am starting from scratch getting my new life in order. Is it possible to be pals or do we need a complete and permanent break?

A: You have found yourself locked in a dangerous cycle, which can only really end in two ways; you getting back together, which you don't want or you both getting hurt and losing out on a potentially good friendship.

You are both going to have to be mature about this and agree that it must stop happening. Avoid situations where you feel tempted to jump into bed together.

I would also advise spending some time apart and either greatly reducing contact or cutting it out altogether until you feel you can trust yourselves enough to just be friends without the added 'benefits'. Good luck.

Q: I work with someone who seems to be a bit unhygienic, to the point where the rest of us have to hold our breath when they walk by. This person is nice, kind and good at their job but all sorts of things are being said behind their back. Should I address the issue directly and if so how?

A: This is a sensitive issue and while it must be addressed with a certain urgency, it must be done carefully to avoid hurt feelings and tension in the workplace.

If I were you, I would start by dropping some subtle hints to encourage them to take personal hygiene into consideration. When the opportunity is right, I advise you start a group discussion about the merits of certain deodorants and shower gels or speak enthusiastically about how a morning shower really sets you up for the day and how you love the scent of clean clothes.

Bring in samples of perfumes and body sprays for colleagues to try and make sure the person in question is always included. Make hygiene a central topic of conversation when you have the chance.

If none of this works, then it may be time to have a quiet and gentle chat with your colleague to just suggest that they pay more attention to personal hygiene as you spend so much time in each other's close company. Always keep in mind the sensitivity of the situation. Best of luck.