Updated 08 April 2015

10 strange questions users have asked on our forums

Strange pets, peculiar people and odd situations - we've rounded up 10 of the strangest questions users ask our experts


We all have strange questions about life that are sometimes just too embarrassing to ask. But not if you can do so anonymously on our Expert forums. Here are some of the stranger questions users have asked our experts, and the sometimes logical, sometimes comical, advice they give. 

If you have a burning issue that you'd rather discuss with an expert, visit out Experts Forum and fire away

Q:  Foods to conceive a baby girl?

What food must I eat so that I can conceive a baby girl?

A:  Some people claim food can determine the sex of a child, but unfortunately it is not that easy. One of the more successful hypothesis is that you must have sex 24 -72 hours before you ovulate (and not again for another 80 hours). The 'male' sperms are fast swimmers and will die before they reach the destination whilst the 'female' sperms will last longer and VOILA!! Still waiting for the foolproof method!

Q: Toys: do men feel inferior?

Do men tend to feel inferior if they have to share their bed with a toy and the girlfriend or wife?

A: If you are referring to a sex toy which may be used to increase a couple's sexual pleasure, no, I do not feel that this should make any man feel inferior.

Q:  Embarrassing breast obsession

I often find myself in an embarrassing situation, not only at work but also at other social events. I have this constant desire to look at women's breasts. This might sound funny, but in my line of work, being a professional, it is a problem. Many women have caught me staring at them, and would, when they see me again cover-up or turn their backs.

It's not that I'm starring all the time, but I find it difficult to not look. Even a bit of cleavage shown by a woman in a meeting makes it extremely hard to concentrate on my work.  Please give me some suggestions to help with this. I'm a happily married guy, so there are no other problems or issues.

A:  CBT, Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy is the best bet for changing such bad and inconvenient habits. We used to use Behaviour Therapy, which focused mainly on changing behaviours, but CBT goes usefully further in usefully dealing with the habits of thought that often accompany unwelcome behaviour.   

In the meantime you could try using distraction, either by forcing yourself to look at something else (examine your shoes or the windows) when this thought arises, or pinch and twist the flesh of your hand to the point of mild pain, to break the pattern of looking and thinking pleasantly about the sight.

Q:  Aggressive Parrot

I have a ringneck parrot (female) I think she is about 4 years old. She has suddenly become very aggressive towards me (she hates everyone else). In the beginning, she was very lovable and I could always touch her and pick her up, now she just attacks.

She will throw her head back, close her eyes and do the sweet sounds she did before (while I rub her behind her ears and under her jawline - she loves that), but then she'll suddenly attack and I'll quickly have to close her cage. She will then try to bite me through the bars. She isn't sick, gets regular probiotic powder and is really quite beautiful. My mom thinks she is mental and says she has a "bug in her brain".  I miss my sweet birdie.

A:  Yep, it's probably seasonal behaviour. I'm not clued up on ringnecks, but I assume she has reached sexual maturity this year, which means she is now emotionally the same as a teenager of 16 to19 years of age. Luckily the same tricks work for both teenagers and parrots:  lot's of love and understanding. Parrots don't respond well to aggression.

What you need to do is give her space. When she is aggressive, ignore the behaviour totally. Don't scream (I know ringnecks bite like they have adamantium beaks), smack or throw the bird. It is in your best interest to bite your lip and not show you are in pain. It is also not a good idea to put her back in the cage, because it reinforces the idea that she needs to bite you if she wishes to go back to her cage.

This technique worked wonderfully on my male Eclectus Parot. If you MUST show your disapproval, simply jerk the hand she's sitting on down, creating what is commonly referred to as an "earthquake". They don't like being off-balance and they respond positively to it. But smacking and yelling is a BIG no-no because parrots mirror your behaviour, rather than responding to it.

Q:  My dog sticks his butt in the air

Please can someone tell me why my dog sticks his butt in the air with his nose on the floor? Is it because he is in pain?  He often does this in the car, although he is crazy about the car. If he was in pain, I am sure he would not want to be in the car.

A:  From what you are describing, this sounds like one of the behaviours that dogs exhibit called Calming Signals. It is used to either calm another dog or person down, and also to calm the dog itself when stressed or even when excited.

Dogs communicate with us by way of their bodies as they don't talk. If you want to find out more about these signals, have a look at Turid Ruguus site. She is an expert on this subject. 

And sometimes, it's just about the reply:

Q:  Rude Boss

My boss is an old dog literally and figuratively.

Every time he has something to correct (inevitably his error) he goes YOU, YOUR error, YOU did, YOU didn't, YOU lost it. He makes it personal and he moans about nothing at all. HR calls him a nagger.
How do you deal with and make a person like this stop making it personal?  He also has the habit of moaning at me in front of anyone, staff or auditors or whatever. HR says it is not right, but they do nothing about it.

I have thought of just saying:  "Excuse me," and walking off. When I come back he will ask what is about. I will say you made the "issue" personal and I am not comfortable with it. Or you were beginning to complain in-front of others and I am not comfortable with that. Please help. I am now so ratty and irritated I could cheerfully tell him to put his job where it fits best.

A:  If you literally mean "literally" then this is a most interesting business, and say "Woof" to him from me. I hope he smells better than most old dogs. 

Anyhow, he apparently refuses to take personal responsibility except for anything that is definitely correct and successful. What an insecure old puppy he is.

But the power is in your hands. He barks and moans, but you are entirely free not to take it personally, any more than you feel awfully insulted if a neighbour's dog barks at you. Just think to yourself, "Ag shame, there he goes again".

It sounds as though everyone recognizes what he's like, and nobody else takes it seriously. His remarks are like the old dog's body odour. We put up with it, without liking it, and without taking it personally. He's not actually making things personal to you, but making them not personal to him; apparently his ego is so fragile that he couldn't bear to think he ever made an error. 

However, I don't think a scratch behind his ears would help. But if he starts humping people's legs, surely HR will just have to do something about it?

Q:  Protruding left rib

My 15-year-old son developed a protruding rib overnight. He's grown a lot the last three months. It does not bother him and he says it is not even uncomfortable. It just looks weird to me because he's so much taller and skinnier. He has no medical problems, is very active and very healthy. Has this to do with puberty?

A:  This is not linked to puberty. You can however, consult your doctor for x-rays to determine if this is an abnormal anatomic feature.

Q:  Shoe polish as makeup?

I would like to find out if shoe polish can be used as makeup, applied on the face as foundation or base. I met a lady yesterday who uses the light brown polish and said she has used it for years. I must admit her facial skin looks great but wondering how long it would stay looking that Good. Please advice.

A:  Shoe polish was not developed to use as foundation and if you use it on your face, you will do so at own risk. Keep in mind that certain shoe polishes contain toxic chemicals, and not all of the brands list the ingredients, and these can be absorbed through the skin and or inhaled and can be extremely hazardous to your health.  

Q:  How to increase human tissue size temporarily

This is going to seem like a very strange question but it is related to your field of expertise so please bear with me. I am a young actor and I am playing a role in a. The play requires that I get completely naked in one scene.

As you can imagine, it can be quite embarrassing to be naked in front of a crowd of people. I don't have a small penis, in fact it usually looks quite long, but if I take down my pants, I usually have to tug on it a few times for it to look presentable because sometimes it looks small when I'm cold or anxious.

I would like to know whether there is something, a drug or something herbal, that can increase blood flow to the penis, so that if I take my pants down on stage, at least my penis will look presentable. Or is there anything that can make my penis look bigger temporarily? Like I said, ordinarily I'm not shy about it, its just that I have to expose myself in front of so many people. Thanks for your patience in reading this bizarre message!

A:  Unfortunately, there are no drugs available that will increase the size of your penis. You can take Viagra, as this increases the blood flow to the penis, due to smooth muscle relaxation. Unfortunately, you can experience a full erection after taking Viagra.

Q:  Addictionologist

I would just like to know where I could find a addictionologist or someone that specialises in addictions as well in the Gauteng area. I have been searching on the web but cannot seem to find any info.

A:  It will be best to consult a psychiatrist, who will be able to assist you in fighting your addiction or can refer you to an addiction clinic.

Send your question to the Experts for answers.




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