HELP! Fetish or habit

HELP! Fetish or habit

Dear Ellie

I met my boyfriend last February and by the lockdown in mid-March we knew we wanted to be together.

Everything was so new and exciting about his moving in that even some unusual behaviours didn’t worry me. He was gentle, respectful, loving and honest. He shared all the costs of our living together, helped with cleaning up, turned out to be an excellent cook, and shopped for us.

We both worked from home (my place, he sublet his) and we got along from morning to night, went for walks outdoors together, and even agreed on what series to stream, and what webinar topics to join.

Everything seemed idyllic, except when we went to bed together. He’d put on a fresh long-sleeved t-shirt and zippered sweat pants and kept them on all night . . . even while we had sex.

At first, I thought it was a COVID precaution, that maybe we shouldn’t completely expose ourselves to whatever potential infection the other one was carrying.

But I talked very privately to a friend who’s a hospital nurse and she said that it didn’t make sense. Instead, she said that each of us showering before bed was a better precaution.

I told my boyfriend this, but he brushed it off. He said he’d always slept that way; it’s how his mother had taught him from childhood.

His behaviour as a partner remains totally caring and helpful, but because he avoids touching skin-to-skin I feel somewhat bewildered about our relationship.

I do love him and he has said very loving things to me, but I believe he has some kind of hang up.

Is this habit of having clothes on even for sex a fetish?

Bewildered in Bed

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