Everyone has their own preferences about how to be comfortable in their own home. Those preferences are totally personal and okay in that space.
But when a friend is staying over, their comfort has to be taken into consideration, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Agitated_Minimum9238 didn’t think she was wrong to continue wearing her usual clothes while a friend was visiting.
But when the friend expressed discomfort, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was actually wrong.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for asking my friend to move out when she told me to put a shirt on?”
The OP was comfortable with the human body and with nudity.
“I (24 Female) grew up in a household where nudity was never really seen as that big of a deal.”
“I saw both the men and the women in my family walking around shirtless sometimes, and if you happened to walk in while someone was changing their clothes or showering, you’d just say sorry and move on with your life.”
“Nudity was never seen as something embarrassing or taboo in my family, nor was it ever sexualized.”
“And I guess I grew to view it the same way, as I don’t think there’s anything weird or shameful about looking at a human body.”
A friend recently came to stay with the OP.
“Now, I live in a small apartment in the city, and about a week ago, I agreed to let a good friend of mine (23 Female) stay with me for a while.”
“She’s in her last year of university but recently got kicked out of her university’s dorms. And since the rent prices in our city are pretty ridiculous, living with me was her best option.”
The OP typically wore as little as possible at home.
“The thing is, I sleep without a shirt on at night, and when I get up in the morning and go to the kitchen to make breakfast, I don’t usually bother to put a shirt on.”
“I pretty much walk around the house naked from the waist up for about 30 minutes while I go through my morning routine (brush my teeth, feed the dog, eat breakfast, etc.).”
“I do eventually put a shirt on when I start getting ready to go out, but there’s still 30 minutes or so of boobs every morning.”
Her friend was uncomfortable with this routine.
“This bothers my friend a lot. She’s always nagging me to put a shirt or a bra on and says it weirds her out how I can just walk around naked where she can see me.”
“I explained the whole situation to her and assured her that there’s really nothing sexual or strange about it – it’s just what I’m used to and how I feel most comfortable.”
The OP made a joke her friend didn’t appreciate.
“She kept insisting though, and today I jokingly told her that if she doesn’t like it, she can just move out.”
“I made it clear that I don’t actually intend to kick her out, but I guess she still got really upset by that comment since she hasn’t said a word to me since this morning.”
“I know it’s a bit petty, but it’s also my apartment. How are you gonna live in someone’s apartment rent-free and complain about something as stupid as them not putting a shirt on when you want them to?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some were concerned about the OP giving her friend proper consent.
“Soft YTA – I say this as a massive feminist and someone comfortable with nudity BUT you are forcing nudity on her without her consent.”
“Yes, you are doing her a massive favor, but did you pre-warn her that a condition of that generosity was daily nudity?”
“I have a best friend who is very uncomfortable with bare breasts and several who aren’t. I don’t force her to see my naked breasts because I love and respect her and want her to be comfortable.”
“Me covering up doesn’t make me uncomfortable or inconvenience me – I just make sure I’ve got my bra or top on by the time she comes over or make sure I change in a different room when we travel together. It’s a very small change that doesn’t hurt me but means a lot to my friend.”
“It’s your house and your hill to die on, however – is it really worth making a friend homeless because you don’t want to chuck a t-shirt on, for a friend? I’m an old lady and I just don’t see the point in ruining a friendship for a small compromise.”
“Do you have to? No. Could you, to be kind and accepting to someone who is meant to mean something to you? Yes.” – sally_marie_b
“If she practiced nudity, she should have made that clear before she agreed to stay with her.”
“I get saying sorry if you walk into the bathroom and see somebody nude when they didn’t lock the door, but not streaking around the place in full view. That is not something that is typical, and people don’t want to see that.”
“It makes them uncomfortable. Women should not be told to sit down and shut up when they are uncomfortable when a boundary is being crossed. You expect to see things in a locker room, not the living room or where you eat.” – Own-Tie-802
“YTA, this actually makes it even worse because the girl is a guest in her home and now has to unwillingly consent to something that makes her uncomfortable.”
“If you’re raised to be comfortable with the human form in all its glory, that’s wonderful, but there are still a ton of puritanical ideals that govern today’s society and not everyone is raised to be so open.”
“If OP were a man with his junk swinging in the breeze, we would be labeling it sexual aggression, even though the penis has more than one biological function. Maybe breasts shouldn’t be sexualized, but they are, and until we can treat the underlying misogyny involved, it’s going to continue to be a problem.”
“OP, you said you get that not how this works, but you’re wrong, in this instance, you’ve invited her as a guest in your home, and as such you have an obligation to not go out of your way to make her uncomfortable, right now what you’re doing is invalidating her feelings.”
“You have every right to walk around however you please when it’s just you, but you have no right to demand that anyone else be subjected to something they’re not comfortable with.”
“Right now, you need to seriously consider what’s more important, helping your friend or being naked. Literally, the easiest thing in the world to throw in a robe or t-shirt, is this the hill you’re willing to kill this friendship on?” – randomusername71175
“You do not force a friend to experience sexual/sex tangential discomfort because their options are be exposed to breasts or find a new housing arrangement.”
“I can think of no faster way to close minds and hearts than refusing to acknowledge the feelings, whether or not they are built on a valid foundation, of sexual discomfort of a friend. This isn’t a campaign for some lofty high-minded ideal world.”
“OP can even have talks with her friend about that discomfort and why she might be feeling it and where those thoughts come from if the goal is to change her perception of toplessness, but until that changes this is just taking advantage of an unbalanced power structure to force your friend to experience discomfort every day.” – Skelechicken
Others agreed and said a simple compromise was in order.
“Just because you’re indebted to someone doesn’t give them permission to violate your consent/boundaries.” – wanderlustlost
“That even more of a reason that YTA. She’s can’t wear a shirt for a short while to make her guest more comfortable?” – Repulsive_Cranberry4
“I think what they communicated BEFORE the friend moved in is really what’s key here. Roommate nudity is not an expected norm in most places: it can be fine, but ya gotta talk about it.”
“If OP spelled out this routine and friend said ok but is now trying to change the terms, OP is in the clear and friend is the a**hole.”
“But if OP never discussed this (which is what it sounds like from the post), the friend has been confronted with surprise boobs every day and had to fear becoming homeless if she pushed the issue. Not cool.” – scatalogicalhumor
While the subReddit could agree that the OP had every right to wear the clothes she wanted to wear in her own home, they questioned her continuing the practice while a friend was staying with her.
Giving her friend a place to stay wouldn’t really count as helping her out if it also included daily discomfort, invalidated feelings, and a lack of consent.