Bad pervert, no donut!

Or, for fucks sake your coworkers obviously do not need to know that you’re kinky.

Sometimes I binge-read Ask A Manager, an advice blog by, you guessed it, a manager. Alison (author of Ask A Manager and multiple books) gets some weird questions, but I think this is one of the weirdest: my coworker wants us to call her boyfriend her “master” (there’s also a followup post where, shockingly enough, the coworker leaves that job).

To quickly summarize, some asshole with either no boundaries or a thoroughly juvenile interest “freaking the mundanes” decided that it was totally fine and definitely not extremely weird to call her boyfriend “master” at work related social events. Even as a kinky person myself I have no desire to know whether my coworkers are kinky at all and I certainly don’t want to know what side of the slash they’re on. Then because her coworkers clearly weren’t uncomfortable enough, she started demanding that they not call her partner her boyfriend, partner, SO, or any other work-appropriate term for a person’s partner, but only call him her master because doing otherwise was apparently erasing her relationship on the same level as making up a new other gender name for a same gender partner.

First of all, oh my fuck that is not even slightly the same thing you creepy fuck. Not being able to tell people your partner’s actual gender because you’re afraid of getting fired is in no way, shape, or form the same thing as not being able to give people FAR FAR FAR more information than they ever wanted to know about your relationship because it’s fucking creepy. One of the commentors made a very good point about relationship labels like friend, roomate, or partner actually being useful in social settings. You might politely ask how your coworker’s roomate is doing, but you would probably reserve invitations to the company picnic for their romantic partner. Telling coworkers that someone is your slaveboy or sub or master or daddy, on the other hand, is totally irrelevant to them and also TMI dear god far too much information.

I’m honestly really pissed about that because it’s so gross and appropriative. Straight kinky people are not oppressed and it’s profoundly insulting to queer people to pretend that we are. When was the last time you heard of someone getting beaten because they were kinky? Gay bashing still happens, people can still legally be fired for being gay in lots of states, and people are scared right now today that their marriages may not be safe or they may not be able to marry their partner in the future. So no, don’t fucking tell me that experiencing consequences for trying to drag your coworkers into your scene is the same thing as being afraid that you could be barred from your partner’s bedside if they have to go to the hospital.

Not only is giving your coworkers way too much information about your relationship thoroughly inappropriate, but it seriously calls that coworker’s judgement into question. If they think it’s okay to tell coworkers how they like to have sex (whether or not kink is about sex for you, it’s that inappropriate to tell coworkers about), then what else do they think might be reasonable to tell people? You definitely can’t trust them around the public without constant supervision, and if you have to supervise someone that closely you might as well just do their job yourself. Even if they don’t communicate with people outside the company as part of their work, you still get to worry that they’re running around making other employees so uncomfortable that it’s affecting their work. If I worked with that woman I would definitely not talk to her directly if I could possibly avoid it (as it happens, one of the things Ms No Boundaries was unhappy about is that people didn’t talk to her anymore unless they absolutely had to), which really is not ideal when you have to communicate with people in a timely fashion to get your job done. And what if she outright sexually harasses people by, for example, telling her boss to spank her if she makes a mistake?

While I’m at it, I’m also side-eyeing the hell out of Ms No Boundaries’ dom. Does he have no idea how to behave like a grownup in public either? Because if he doesn’t, he certainly shouldn’t be giving anyone orders. Seriously, if buddy doesn’t realize that it’s both inappropriate and terrible for Ms No Boundaries’ career to refer to her boyfriend as her master at a work function and ask her coworkers to call him her master too, I’ve got to wonder if he also has no idea what nerve damage or safewords are. If someone is that lacking in common sense, for fucks sake don’t let them tie you up. And if he doesn’t realize you need people’s consent to involve them in your scene, don’t play with him at all.

I’m sure somebody out there is whining and crying about how if only society weren’t so sexually repressed people could talk about what great sex they had last night and introduce their boyfriend as their master but I just don’t care. Being open about sex is great and all but that doesn’t mean anybody wants to know what their coworkers’ favourite positions are. Topics don’t have to be taboo to be inappropriate for work – just like I don’t want to hear about your sex life, I don’t want to hear the details of the fight you had with your partner last night or how your quest to find just the right anti-depressant is going. You are not the only one who gets to decide how intimate your relationships with your coworkers are, they get a say too. Personally, I don’t want to hear that much about my coworker’s lives – I’m at work to work, not to hold my coworker’s hand through their messy divorce.

tl;dr don’t be a creeper, most people don’t want to know about the intimate details of your relationship.



3 thoughts on “Bad pervert, no donut!

  1. Ha! I ran I to this one a while back and had pretty much the same reaction.

    I mean, if we lived in a society where it *was* de rigeur to discuss sex positions over the water cooler, that would be one thing. I suppose I can imagine a world where everywhere was as open about this stuff as Fetlife–quite possibly I’d write fiction set in such a society. There’s probably nothing wrong with a society organized that way. But we don’t! And in the world we live in it IS going to be waaay too personal for random coworkers. (Coworkers who’ve made the transition to close friends is another matter, not something that happens with most people you work with, and thus irrelevant to this discussion even though I’m pretty sure I met you because of such a person in my own life. :D)

    My point being, Ms Special Snowflake up there needs to realize that it’s not all about her. Other people get to set their own boundaries. And Not Telling Professional Acquaintances How You Fuck is a boundary that works well in our society.

    I would say the same about someone in an F/m relationship, for the record. But there’s an extra layer there when it’s M/f I think, because of so many women being subjected to non-consensual male dominance in everyday life. There are reasons some folk may not want to know! (Plus I mean if this woman had a domme coworker of her own I betcha *she* wouldn’t want to hear about their hot cbt scenes over the meeting donuts.)

    So, yeah. What you said. Cultural mores may be relative but that doesn’t mean they don’t matter to people or than it’s not important to care about people’s comfort zones. And consent is a thing. (Nobody needs to consent to me having a wife; they sure do need to consent to hearing which of us wields the flogger during sexy times, or whether it’s my girlfriend who does. Yanno?)

  2. as you wrote
    i am not interested or do i care about another person’s intimate personal or sexual relationships
    privacy should always be respected

  3. The comments on the article are great, though. NSFW, in the sense that I keep laughing and now people are looking at me funny.

    But geez, drag work into your kink? I’d be really tempted to say “Hey, this is work, if you want me to follow your instructions someone needs to pay me for that”.

    And, I mean, I’d love to be able to tell my coworkers about my family situation sometimes, because at least they’d stop assuming things that annoy me. But I just don’t. It’s not their concern, and it’s as likely to make things harder as easier.

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