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Dublin: 16 °C Sunday 25 August, 2019
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How do I ask my housemate to stop going to town on himself in the shared shower every day? It's Dear Fifi

And a follow-up on housemate toilet etiquette.

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I’m still in Laos! I write this from Vientiane, the capital city. I’ve stopped here for a decent chunk of time as I plot my next move and wait for my Vietnamese visa to come through. I’m not sure where I’ll be this time next week… northern Laos or northern Vietnam? It’s all to play for at this point.

No matter where I land, I’m always here to hear what’s going on with you.  Get at me right here.

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Dear Fifi,

There’s no gentle way to couch this that I can think of so here goes: How can I politely ask a housemate to stop masturbating in the (shared!) shower? This would be someone I know fairly well.

I swear to God this is not a joke submission. Walking into a steamy room with the musk of fresh jizz hanging in the air is a near-daily experience I’d love to be rid of. How do I even bring this up?

Oh, what a sticky wicket! (Sorry.) Okay, here’s my take – you have two options with this conundrum, and both involve a degree of suffering. Firstly, you could just grin and bear the shower situation. Secondly, you could steel yourself and have the conversation with your friend about it.

Which of these options, for you, involves the most amount of suffering? Which is bearable to consider? Only you can answer that. Decide for yourself whether the smell of you-know-what in the bathroom is worse or better than a potentially awkward conversation with the housemate and act accordingly. 

Alternatively, you could take the coward’s way out and simply rise before them and beat them to the shower. A creative solution? Make lots of food with pineapple and share it around generously -  this is meant to, uh, improve the scent situation downstairs for men.

On a practical note, Tesco do a very good own-brand after-shower spray that you could (slightly pointedly) leave in the shower. It’s handy to have anyway to wash down the place after any normal shower, but there’s also a small chance its sudden presence in the shower might gently alert them to the issue.

Technically you are meant to quickly rinse down showers when you’re done anyway, so you could always level up on the spray and go uber-sly by saying your mother recommended you start doing it, that it’s a good way to combat limescale and mildew build-up, etc, etc. Try not to waggle your eyebrows, wink or laugh when you mention this! God speed. 

Similarly, we have a shitting toilet downstairs and a nice one upstairs, how do I stop my housemate shitting there near my toothbrush?

WhatsApp them an article about germs from flushing toilets going on toothbrushes nearby, with the message “Wow. This freaked me out. Should we keep the more complicated stuff in the downstairs jacks from now on?” 

(Penneys do little handy toothbrush caps that protect your toothbrush, by the way.)

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