Censoring Your Nudie Neighbors, Sharing a Toothbrush with Your Boo, and Other Questionable Advice

Welcome to Thatz Not Okay, a regular column in which I school inquiring readers on what is and is not okay. Please send your questions to caity.weaver@gawker.com with the subject "Thatz Not Okay."

My wife and I live in a high-rise condo, and we can see into the windows of the unit across the street from us. We see the woman who lives there all the time, typically without any clothes on. I'm not talking about incidental nudity, like rushing from the shower to the bedroom. She does everything naked, or sometimes wearing just a thong. We have also seen her having sex and dancing/stripping in front of a webcam.

I have no problem with what people choose to do in the privacy of their own home, but I don't want to have to see her pasty butt cheeks when I'm making breakfast. She never closes her blinds, even though her windows have them installed. I also know she can see us, so I'm guessing she simply does not care about being exposed.

The other day we looked out the window and saw that she had taken a break from her webcam activities to hold up a sign with numbers on it, presumably giving her phone number to someone in our building. Based on this, I'm guessing I could get in touch with her. Also, our buildings are close enough that on a quiet day I could yell out my window at her. I'm considering contacting her and asking her to close the blinds when she's naked. Is that okay?

Thatz okay.

This is a tricky scenario because it's pretty obvious that your neighbor gets off on people peeping at her. Your response to a stranger informing you that everyone in his apartment complex can see you naked would be "Oh, crap! People can see me naked!" Her response will be "Aw, yeah! People can see me naked!"

Any attention you give her will feed into exhibitionism. But it's not fair that you and your wife (and anyone you invite to your home) is forced to ogle her goodies any time you look out the window.

I would advise against calling the number a random naked camgirl held up in her living room. If you've got a taste for detective work and can somehow figure out her exact apartment number, you might consider dropping her an anonymous letter requesting that she lower her blinds from time to time. Maybe mention that you have young children in your home. You are a liar, but she is purposely fucking people in her living room in front of strangers. No one in this scenario is a prize.

Depending on where you live, her daily display might fall under the heading of "indecent exposure."

A Virginia man was charged with indecent exposure (later acquitted) after two women testified that he purposely paraded around his home in the buff one day, with the intent to draw the attention of passers-by. The man argued that he had simply decided to cook himself breakfast nude (dangerous), and didn't realize he could be seen by children on the street. He wasn't holding up signs with a phone number on them, though.

If the constant nudie show gets bad enough, you might consider putting in a call to local law enforcement and informing them of the situation. Maybe they'll swing by to discreetly tell your neighbor she might consider drawing the blinds. Maybe they'll tell you to go fuck yourself. Again, depends where you live.

Perhaps, after mulling over your options, you'll decide you'd prefer a more hands-off solution to your problem. After all, if she's naked in front of a webcam 24/7, chances are that's her livelihood; she doesn't come up to where you work and tell you how to do your [hand] job[s].

In this case, I suggest investing in those gauzy white curtains that obstruct your view of the outdoors but still let light in. I have them in my bedroom and every morning when I wake up, I think it's snowing. Love it.

I have a serious question of bathroom/relationship etiquette.

Several weeks ago, when getting ready for bed at my apartment, my boyfriend stuck his head out of the bathroom door and said, "Hey, can I use your toothbrush?"

I laughed and asked if he was kidding. He wasn't. I refused his request primarily because gross and secondarily because I had bought him a toothbrush that was there right by mine, but that he had forgotten about.

Since then, we have engaged in a sporadic, but lively, debate on the matter and an unscientific poll of my friends has yielded mixed results, so: couples (or anyone!) sharing a toothbrush-is that okay?

(I'll remind you of the delightful How I Met Your Mother episode on this very topic.)

Thatz not okay according to the American Dental Association.

But, meh, I'd probably do it.

Obviously, sharing a toothbrush is not ideal. It's also usually not necessary, because your basic toothbrush (bristles on a stick) can be purchased virtually anywhere for a pittance. You can even grift your way into a free one, either by appealing to a kindhearted dentist ("I don't have enough money for dental insurance now but, if you give me one of your free toothbrushes, I promise, as soon as I get some, you'll be my guy"), or sneaking into a hotel, taking the emergency stairwell up to the second floor, riding back down to the lobby in an elevator, walking to the front desk and telling the concierge "Hiiiiii, I'm staying on the third floor (MAKE SURE THE HOTEL HAS A THIRD FLOOR), and I forgot my toothbrush. Do you happen to have one of those little disposable ones?"

The ADA's official stance on toothbrush sharing is "Do not." Here's a scary warning from their website:

Do not share toothbrushes. Sharing a toothbrush could result in an exchange of body fluids and/or microorganisms between the users of the toothbrush, placing the individuals involved at an increased risk for infections. This practice could be a particular concern for persons with compromised immune systems or existing infectious diseases.

We get it. It's bad to do. But you know what else is bad to do? Have cookies and chocolate for breakfast, but I do that every day because those are the only things I keep at my desk.

I would rather run the risk that my boyfriend is a cannibal who just used his toothbrush to scrape blood off his tongue, and that I have an open sore in my mouth, and that some of the blood remnants from the toothbrush find their way into my open sore so now I am blood brothers with a dead girl, than have bad breath all day.

But some people get squicked out by the idea of swapping germs. Some people would rather you just fashion a new toothbrush out of a fork and some coarse dog hair or, even worse, put toothpaste on your finger and pretend that your FINGER has magically become a toothbrush, than share those precious bristles.

And I have to respect that. As does your boyfriend. Luckily, he has a thoughtful, well-prepared girlfriend like you to provide a spare toothbrush for him in times of distress. (When I asked my own boyfriend if he would ever let me borrow his toothbrush in an emergency, he refused to entertain a scenario in which he did not have, or could not readily procure, a new brush for me: "You're crafting some sort of Cormac McCarthy nightmare in which a toothbrush is an unheard of luxury.")

Make no mistake about it, the people who want to share toothbrushes are in the wrong here. Science clearly comes down against us.

That being said, if two people are willing to share a toothbrush—and again, I advocate this only in emergencies; not as a frugal lifestyle decision—I would advise them to sterilize it before and after.

Every few weeks, I put my brush in a cup of water and microwave it for a minute to help clean it. The ADA confirms that soaking brushes in antibacterial mouthwash after use might decrease the level of bacteria that grow on the bristles, but cautions that there's no clinical evidence that doing this "has any positive or negative effect on oral or systemic health." So it's mostly for your peace of mind.

Ultimately, the decision to share or not to share lies in the hands of he who did not forget his toothbrush. And if he is unwilling to share, maybe you can find some gum in an old coat pocket.

(Also, just as there are no delightful epileptic episodes, there are no delightful episodes of How I Met Your Mother. They are all bad.)

Submit your "Thatz Not Okay" questions here. Image by Jim Cooke