Dear Di,

I’ve been on a few dates with this guy, and he seems to really like my feet. I mean, sure I have cute feet, but now he’s revealed that he’s actually turned on by feet. Is this normal?

—Foot Fetish

Dear FF,

Fetishes aren’t anything to be afraid of, since they basically boil down to a person having erotic desire for a body part or inanimate object. In other words, if there’s an object out there that turns you on, you may have a fetish.

There are a few common ones that come to mind, namely lingerie, high-heeled shoes, leather, tattoos, feet, or someone’s butt. For example, if someone is erotically charged by the sight of feet, they may want to lick, suck, or touch them.

There is debate about whether a fetish stems from early life experiences, or as a learned behaviour adopted from one’s environment. But in terms of what is “normal” when it comes to sex, that’s an entirely subjective term. So long as there is no harm being done to anyone and there is mutual consent, then is there really such a thing as “normal” sex?

Exploring your sexuality is a big part of life. While helping somebody explore their fetish can be an exciting way to discover new things about yourself, remember that both of you need to be comfortable with this idea. Who knows, maybe your new guy will be open to trying out a sexual fetish of your own.

Love,

Di


Dear Di,

My boyfriend is really critical of my behaviour. This started out innocently enough with simple observations about my time management skills, but lately it’s morphed into something a lot more mean spirited. Instead of just asking me why I’m late, for example, he will just get really angry with me. It doesn’t feel like he cares anymore.

Combating Criticism

Dear CC,

Constructive criticism should always be welcome in any healthy relationship, but something tells me that this isn’t the case with your boyfriend.

Someone that criticizes your every move in such a harsh fashion is not interested in helping you improve yourself. Instead, they are only interested in themselves. Their needs are the only thing that’s important to them, and when they are not met this kind of person tends to lash out at those around them, which is quite toxic for any relationship.

You may not be familiar with the term emotional intelligence (EQ), but it refers to one’s ability to understand your emotions as they are happening.

This metric is broken up into five categories, including self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.

If your boyfriend comes up short in any of these categories then he might be unable to understand his emotions and have a lower EQ, which would explain why he is so quick to tear you down whenever he gets the opportunity.

One of the best ways to combat this kind of negativity is to confront the issue head-on. It goes without saying that you need to talk to your boyfriend, preferably in an environment he is comfortable in and at a time when he is not stressed out. It is important to use “I feel” statements during this dicussion rather than accusatory, judgemental “you” statements.

But beyond that, commit yourself to learning about how each of you are feeling. It’s the only real way to move forward as a couple.

If your partner is not willing to listen and work through these obstacles, be confident that you deserve someone that shows they respect and care for you. As the old saying goes: “there’s plenty more fish in the sea.”

Love,

Di