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Is he an overprotective Dad or one willing to overlook a few late nights with his subordinate?
4. Anyone at all familiar enough with Miss Austen to know that she did not write romance novels would be aware of the fact that the it is remarkably easy to find a substitute for a gorgeous 18-year-old; a mentor, not so much. Mr Savage is fairly clearly telling her to do it while saying he can't tell her to do it (cowardly or overly coy?) Doing the kid would also be an EXTREMELY UNFEMINIST ACT. Feminists are constantly berating male employers and executives for NOT MENTORING YOUNG WOMEN, and telling them in no uncertain terms that they just have to get over their not wanting to look as if they're behaving inappropriately. They have NO sympathy for successful men who don't want to appear to the casual view indistinguishable from the colleague who just settled a sexual harassment suit. And now here we have a LW whose male boss MENTORS YOUNG WOMEN APPROPRIATELY, and she wants to ruin that forever for all the other young women he will refuse to mentor in the future?
1. I have to pass on this one - the concept of LDIBs on any human of any gender just eludes me. FTWL...
3. This letter appears to be the love child of Savage Family Values and The Opposite of Sex. While I fear that Mr Savage's No is the heteronormative kind as in simply not doing a spouse's blood relations because Family Reunion Uber Alles, I thank him for not specifying that. Without perhaps being exactly anti-gay, this question is downright insulting even without calculating in the likelihood that Husband wants his brother to be converted. Even if this were a friend instead of a brother, the question only becomes acceptable with a LOT more knowledge than the LW indicates possessing in this case. Oh, the presumptions. LW might get a pass for wrongly presuming that anal is on EHGLB's menu, but presuming he receives is another step along; some exclusive tops get a bit huffy about being mistaken. But to presume that someone is either bi-curious or so into being on the receiving end of a certain act that he'll override his sexual orientation for it is in a different league.
As a bisexual woman, I've heard lots of "snappy" one-liners when people find that out about me. "Greedy", "slutty", "make up your mind", etc. I'll spare you my standard whining about it, 'cause I've done that here already. But.
I don't know if anything I've read in this column recently rankles me like WIFE's letter. All the assumptions about her husband's brother; the denial of/disrespect to his orientation..and it's his BROTHER. Why not try to find some random kinky straight dude to peg, who isn't one's brother-in-law?
WIFE: You'd be asking your husband permission to fuck his brother. Gay, dildo, joking aside, that's what you're asking. Let that sink in and then answer your own hypothetical question.
HNU: No, it's not normal. It is, however, working- at least according to you. So, better question, does it need to be normal for you?
NIPPLES: Just tell him. It's a minor infraction at best, and if finds out through someone else it'll be a bigger deal than it ever should have been. Tell him.
If you make some professional move where your relationship w/ your mentor changes, then maybe look up the cutie for some fun. But jeez, don't do it now.
Crikey. That didn't sound creepy at all.
SON, enjoy the flirtation, but as the saying goes, don't shit where you eat. It's not a great time to be job-hunting.
WIFE is dilluded and absurdly entitled. Oh my hubby's ass isn't capable, gay little bro, step right up! Wtf?
I guess banging an 18 year old would be fun but I'm guessing she can find another one to fuck more easily than she could escape the scorched earth of her reputation should her mentor find out.
Official declaration of love or no, is it a great plan to move across the country with a significant other of less than a year with whom you've never fought? I don't think so but I also don't think it would be smart to move in under such circumstances and they've done that-with apparent success so wtf do I know? Since things seem to be working, realize that what he does is and always will be far more important than what he says. If he treats you with love and tenderness I would guess the words will follow. Best of luck.
Taking a younger employee under your wing as a mentee is a wonderful thing. Inviting her over to your house on occasion also seems appropriate. But this boss & wife pair have invited their young protege into their home often enough and put her together with their son often enough that SON is thinking about the son in sexual terms. How exactly did that happen? What sort of sexual kinks are there that most 18 year old girls aren't interested in but that one random 23 year old is? Again, this indicates that a line has already been crossed.
A normal mentor/mentee relationship, even a close one, doesn't normally come to this. Normally a boss will invite his mentee over to the house on the occasional holiday or perhaps for the office Christmas party. Normally, introductions are made to the boss's family, hands are shook, and there's a little small talk. The rest of the mentoring takes place in a business context.
When I first read the letter, I jumped to the conclusion that SON was crazy to consider such a thing for all the reasons mentioned above. Now I believe SON is crazy to consider such a thing, AND she should draw away from the kind of creepy closeness her boss seems to be fostering.
We have never said the love word. Frankly, it's not something either of us are terribly comfortable with. Instead, we say "I like you." A lot. All the time. And this works for me because I think you can love someone without liking them. I think love can easily be taken for granted. But reminding your significant other that you genuinely like them and enjoy being around them...that is much more satisfying to me.
So yes, I find this normal that you haven't said the love word yet. I don't even find it necessary. Find your own way of expressing it :)
Nipple - don't confess. Chances of him finding out are slim unless you have very bad taste in friends. Even if he does find out, you will be forgiven. 20-something bisexual girls who bring in other women for threesomes with their boyfriend are in high demand and short supply. I can't imagine this nipple slip would threaten the relationship if discovered. You will be forgiven.
Normally, I wouldn't sleep with anyone younger than 20. But ...
Well that's different. So long as there's some reason the situation involves Very Special Snowflakes and this will totally be unlike all those other times people want to fuck the barely legal, but did NOT find the barely legal to be hot.
He has some serious unexplored kinks that most girls his age have no interest in.
How the hell does this come up in casual conversation with... well, just about anyone? Anyone for whom, for reasons of being in high school or being closely associated with your work, you should have some sort of filters installed?
Unlike 17 I am inclined to place the blame squarely on LW and the kid: I envision a couple of family dinners where the two were briefly alone while mom and dad got food on the table, one of them crossed a line, the other went all flirty rather than shutting it down, and it has since devolved into a creepy 'whenever mom and dad leave the room we start talking about piss play.' LW, your job as a grown-up AND as someone who wants to work with kid's father was to shut that down, not go all giggly flirty and check his ID for whether it would technically be illegal to bang him.
Ms Crinoline - Well, you have illustrated my not-all-that-less-than-serious point about why some opposite-sexer men don't mentor female employees - the police state that surrounds such relationships. My father's business partner mentored a male employee who ended up marrying his daughter, and I know of other relationships that began in this vein. In my experience (yours may be different), mentoring takes on wider scope, and is highly likely to include out-of-office activities such as golf, tennis or even bridge, and occasional invitations to dinner or home-based social events, especially when the employee is unattached, are not uncommon.
For a parallel, I'll refer to Episode 5.7 of QAF, in which Lindsay, separated from Mel(anie) and short on cash, accepts with some misgivings her mother's invitation to move back home. On her first evening, she's persuaded not to have a light meal in her room because Mom planned a little welcome home dinner with one couple of old family friends and a mentee of Daddy's. If you want nefarious, look no farther. The younger generation are left to themselves after dinner and talk a little about co-parenting pre-schoolers. He asks her to what seems a lunch date rather than just lunch, prompting the Lesbian Clarification. This leads to the revelation that Mentee, when he was invited, had been told by Mom that Lindsay had just broken up - with a man. Naughty Mrs Peterson!
If the letter were not less than a week removed, I should think a Thanksgiving party might be just the occasion on which a slight acquaintance from a few meetings might well ripen into the LW's flagrant lust. They might have been the only two people under 40 in attendance at such, and Thanksgiving events tend to be of fairly long duration - plenty of time for long, flirtatious and deeply personal conversations. Obviously, nobody can say that Boss *isn't* fostering a creepy closeness. But this is hardly Pride and Prejudice, in which dining in company four times and spending four evenings together are presumed not to have give Jane Bennet and Bingley the opportunity to establish much more than whether each prefers Vingt-un to Commerce. Even then, after four evenings, dancing together twice at a ball, and one morning call as part of a large party, Jane was in a way to be very much in love. Perhaps it's shortsighted of Boss not to consider this possible development - but in And Then There Were None, General Macarthur was pleased when his 29-year-old wife took what appeared to be a motherly interest in his 28-year-old officer.
I'm not particularly pro-Boss. But, if you want opposite-sexer men to mentor female employees at the same level as that at which they mentor male employees, the increased scrutiny reasonably attached to the relations of opposite-sexer men with unpartnered women will prevent or at least hamper that. Reduce the level of scrutiny to that of M-M mentoring and the wiggle room for fostering creepy closeness increases. That leaves limiting what is acceptable M-M mentoring to what would would pass scrutiny in M-F mentoring, which seems hardly enforceable and has a taste of the not-long-past sad (for those who found themselves on the wrong team at the wrong time) occurrences of universities unable to field enough extra women's teams being forced to cut men's teams to comply with Title IX - producing an acceptable outcome, but really not the way one wanted to get there.
But that aside: JESUS WOMAN HE'S YOUR BOSS'S KID. Do not fuck your boss, your boss's spouse, or your boss's high-school-age kids if you want to have any professional credibility.
And Dan, I am disappointed in you just because of the whole "but would anyone find out?" thing: office romances are notorious for announcing themselves to the entire office, who are seething about not getting to use the copier and the favoritism and whatever else while the participants innocently imagine that they are subtle and no one imagines what's going on when the door to the copy room starts shaking. What, she's going to start ducking out of the office to fuck him after school, as high school students do? And when a parent figures out what's going on... There's LW, someone with no self-control, judgment, filters, ability to evaluate long-term risks, etc etc, clutching her bra and giggling "Well gosh I hope this isn't going to affect our professional relationship in any way, Mr. Smith."
This seems to come up a lot: "My partner is okay with me fucking other people as long as they wear a condom. Therefore, it's okay to fuck this guy without a condom, since it would be okay if he was wearing a condom."
Um, no? Conditional approval is conditional, folks.
That said, tell him anyway. Both for damage control reasons, and because he deserves to know who he's dating. He will almost certainly be fine with it.
SON is a creeper. SON: Stop being a creeper. Being a creeper is not good for anyone, and being a creeper has never helped anyone achieve their goals.
- NIPPLES - yes, tell him, WTF? You've already played together and gone "further" than just some nipple licking. Plus, he's a dude...if he's already cool with some g/g action, hearing about your hot little escapade will far more likely excite him than than make him insecure and jealous. You can couch it in, "hey I'm really sorry, I got hammered and screwed up". This is not like confessing you had a monogamous relationship with no others and then fucked someone while you were on a business trip.
- WIFE - While I can very much appreciate the need for discretion regarding siblings of SOs - having experienced lust for sisters of SOs (and a mother or two as well) - if your HUSBAND suggested it AND it's a role-reversal, he's likely to be cool with it. His little brother might be too. Plus, you share no genes.
I totally get "don't shit where you eat" - and that certainly applies to all of these letters, but sometimes you have to consider what the real risk of your actions coming off as shit are. Which brings us to:
- SON - I say go for it. He's of legal age. You need to make it a condition of not telling his parents and behave with extreme discretion. His father (see a theme here folks? What does Dan say - correctly - about men? Oh, right, we're pigs) is not likely to feel you've violated his son so much as "whoa, my kid is such a stud". I just don't think this is all that crazy risky - but serious discretion is in order.
I've got nothing for HNU except, jeebus, you'll move across the country with him but are afraid to broach this? Get over that tentativeness now before you wind up with more serious problems than being stuck in the wrong place.
Allow me to draw an analogy. If someone crosses a line and turns shopping into shoplifting, the problem is with the shoplifting, not with shopping, and not with the security guards. It's certainly not with the general idea that stealing in nearly all circumstances is wrong. The problem is with the crime, not the police who enforce it. If someone crosses a line and turns mentoring into inappropriate sexual liaisons, the problem is not with mentoring or with the social "police state" do the enforcing. If men are avoiding mentoring young women for this reason, it would make more sense for them to avoid inappropriateness than to avoid mentoring.
The question for me is who's at fault for it getting this far. I'll amend my earlier statement (17) which seems puts most of the blame on the mentor for creepily putting LW too much in his private life and come a little closer to IPJ's point (20) that LW and 18 year old son have a fair share of the culpability. I do not see the LW as a damsel in distress completely at the whim of her evil older mentor, nor do I give the 18 year old son that role. I don't see this as an either/or sort of thing.
We really need the answers to the not-so-rhetorical questions I asked earlier to make any judgments. How did the subject turn to kinks? How is that SON has been around 18yo long enough to know him that well? Who started it, and once started, why wasn't it ended?
At which point father can either say, "No, I can't risk a sexual harassment lawsuit," or he can go to his employee and say, "My son tells me he's into you - this is awkward, but if you and he pursued something I'd be okay with it as long as you treat him respectfully and don't get preggers."
Re SON, "You need to ... behave with extreme discretion."
Umm, what part of "whenever his mom goes to get more mashed potatoes, I start talking about kinky fantasies with the kid" suggests either one of them has a lick of discretion?
And this is why I put on my Nomex: if the genders were reversed people'd be screaming about child abuse. And yes, it would be insanely dangerous for SON to dabble in...which, come to think of it, if SON is male and gay, it is quite dangerous.
Instead, the father has probably at least thought about banging his 23 year old protege and would be perfectly happy for his son to get what is verbotten for dad.
This is all on the letter writer. She's an adult, and not crossing lines with someone still in high school, or with whom you have a workplace power dynamic--even if he's cute--is baseline grown-up behavior. Even if he did start the kink-talk, she could say no, and should have.
My husband and his brother both had mentors, from undergrad and grad school respectively, with whom they had ongoing friendships including spouses and kids on get-togethers. We stayed with them a few times when we went back to visit. LW seems determined to blow this for everyone by embodying "But you can't have this type of relationship with a young female mentee because she won't keep her panties on."
What's she going to say at her next interview, "Yes, I have excellent judgment and long-term planning skills, and I am careful and conscientious. Unless you have any hot high schoolers living at home, then I'm jumpin' em! Ha ha. As you've no doubt heard from everyone at my old office. But outside of that, I am a very mature person who will not create drama in the office."
The fallout isn't like if she (or a gay he) bonked an 18-year-old high schooler from the ice cream stand, where as messy as it got with lovelorn stalking or cruel taunting or all the other things that can go wrong, it wasn't likely to splurt over her professional reputation.
Also, actual ages aside, it is a terrible idea to convey at work, "In terms of maturity level I'm a lot closer to high school students than I am to my co-workers."
(Whom I bonk and how I treat them seems to be the one area in which people want an immaturity pass ("I am but a wee young thing of 31, and so cannot be expected...") while insisting that they should be taken as totally mature and responsible in all other aspects of their life, especially work.)
[If men are avoiding mentoring young women for this reason, it would make more sense for them to avoid inappropriateness than to avoid mentoring.] That sentence reminds me so much of *Rumpole and the Age for Retirement* in which Chief Inspector Broom (or Brush, given the authorial vagaries that did such things as make Tristan and Isolde Erskine Brown twins when Tristan was clearly born two or three books before Isolde and change the names of Guthrie Featherstone's children from Arabella and Luke to Simon and Sarah) saying that he has no intention of letting Percy Timson talk to his solicitor because, if he's an innocent man, he doesn't need a lawyer.
Some men avoid mentoring women because they are going to be policed and the risk of accusation rises to where it's a greater influence than the reward. Keeping with our shopping theme, you try on a bracelet and you're looking at it from different angles when you're accused of trying or intending to steal it. Now I quite agree that heightened scrutiny both internal and external is reasonable or indeed appropriate when dealing with subordinates who fit the category of those to whom one is sexually attracted (whether this makes things harder or easier for executives of the bisexual persuasion would make my head spin).
While I give you credit for amending, just the appearance of accusation is what some men fear, even when it's just a first reaction later adjusted.
I'll agree that some lengthy cross-examination seems well in order. Culpability seems a shade strong, though. An adult (more or less) has had conversations with a legal (quasi-)adult on topics outside of the range generally considered socially acceptable for people of their relative stations. Thank you for what I'll take to be agreement that Boss is probably not Mrs Peterson. I'm not sure what blame it ought to be possible to cast on Junior.
If I were going to make this into a fiction, I think I'd make it like the Midsomer Murder *Written in Blood* (pretentiously "street" drama teacher is on the receiving end of seductive gestures from his prettiest student, makes a compromising confession to his wife and then finds out it was cooked up by the whole class as the "coup de theatre" he told them to work up) - LW would send her boss a confessional email and only afterwards be told by Junior that he's sorry, but he just made all that stuff up for a hoot because she was eating it up and besides, she's too old for him.
I'm curious - how likely do you think it is that, should the pair actually enact Mr Savage's fantasy, be so good as to send him pictures, and then either tell Boss or be found out, Boss would ever mentor another young woman? Whatever his private attitude might be, I'd say - at least not to the same extent as this one so long as he's married.
"We've hooked up ... but always as a couple because it makes us both feel safe"
Assuming that means they had an explicit agreement to stick to threesomes, maybe it's time to discuss revising that agreement.
By not telling, you commit to never doing it again. But maybe, if she found it fun, she should at least raise the possibility. That is, if she can tolerate the idea of her boyfriend doing the same when she's not there.
Fuck an 18-year-old? Fine. One who is still in HS? Creepy for a 23-year-old college graduate who is aware of the HS status but fine. One who is in HS and the son of your (choose): family friend, boss, teacher, etc. No. There are plenty of people to sleep with and just because you CAN does not mean you SHOULD. I liken it to sleeping with a person in a committed relationship. If you don't know about the relationship (you met in a bar, a cafe, etc.), no problem. If you know about it but you know it is open/monogamish, no problem. If you know about it and know that the couple (or at least the non-interested person) considers the relationship to be exclusive, big problem. And if you go through with it, you are an asshole no matter how hot, horny and available the other person is to you.
While the fucking pool is not infinite, it is pretty damn big for 23-year-olds. SON can regret having crossed a boundary (knowing your boss's son's kinks? uh, someone has problems and it is the older of the two unless he simply blurted it out suddenly) and then go find a place where 18-year-olds gather. Dollars to donuts she'll meet an attractive, funny, kind and sweet young man with unexplored kinks with whom she can build a mighty campfire.
IF it was ever going to happen, and IF the boss's kid is actually mature beyond his years, this is the only way it could have happened:
1) Kid has to not only come on to her, but ask her out on a normal date, like dinner and/or a movie.
2) LW has to say, "I'm flattered, but you need to get your father's permission to even ask me out, because I work for him, and I'm not saying if I even would agree to go out with you."
3) Kid has to jump through flaming hoops, somehow convince dad, and then make a semi-decent show at wooing LW to the point where she'd agree to go out with him.
3a) Meanwhile, the LW has to play it cool, especially when the boss asks her if she's interested in the kid. "He's a nice kid, but he's a little young for me. I've enjoyed our conversations, but I'm not sure he's mature enough."
4) THEN, depending how things develop, maybe something might be possible. But, only if the dad is okay with his kid wooing his employee.
In other words, kid has to take the senior role and be clearly seen by his father as the pursuer. Any other way, no.
Besides, not even all gay men like the anal poke.
NIPPLES: Tell him because it's a hot situation and, if it were me, I'd find it impossible not to instantly rip your clothes off. There's a bit of cuckolding in there, but not so much as to be a problem. It's just hot!
The naivete about how hard a good mentor, job, and boss are to come by, much less all three together shortly out of college, is forehead-smacking.
Would you honestly respect such a woman's judgment to advance in your company? I employ dozens of college age women and I can't think of a quicker way for them to be taken less seriously and completely derailed from their career than to sleep with my business partners' high school aged kids.
What about paying attention to the son a little in front of Dad and if he seems cool about it....suggest going to the mall or maybe a movie? Just some innocent things to test the water?
I'd also be consulting with a lawyer to find out just how much exposure my company would have if I fired the 23-year-old. There is a real risk of a sexual harassment claim since she could claim that she felt like she had no choice but to give in to the 18-year-old. Now, perhaps that's protection for SON if she decides to go ahead (and I am guessing she has gone forward with this, especially since her rationalizations are clear in her letter) and that's all kind of fucked up (that her lack of judgment ends up protecting her). (Disclosure: I am a lawyer and I don't think it would be a stretch for SON to turn this into some valuable protection for her job status and that makes me shudder)
If I learned that my son was considering this, I'd tell him to stay the fuck away (not that it would do any good) and go spend some time at the local college if he wants to hook up with an older woman.
@35 - If he's the one 'taking advantage' of her then so much for the naive young innocent being corrupted by the big bad vamp. The rest of your comment is more "aaaaieee...don't shit where you eat". Being discreet means don't brag around the office.
@38 - I have no idea what story your lit ref. refers to, but the excerpt seems...irrelevant. No, mom probalby wouldn't high-five but I'm betting, again, that with a little discretion, mom wouldn't find out...from junior or dad.
I have vivid memories of sleeping with 20-somethings as a 17-18 something and I sure as hell didn't talk to my parents about it.
@45 - I have mentored younger people - both younger women and men - and younger women I'd be delighted to bonk if it weren't creepy and inappropriate - due to the imbalance of power. I also work very hard to separate the private life from the professional and to judge people by the quality of their work and their conduct - in the office...'cause, you know, private life and shit. If someone created office drama by dating someone inside the office and causing bad feelings - unlike, um, say junior (who is in HS) - that would be an issue.
This is not a risk free proposition, but life is not risk free and this doesn't strike me as terribly dangerous. Have junior over to your private place and have your kinks there..don't do it at his house or the office and don't talk about it.
The whole nutty idea of doing it as a straight up out in the open date is just...nuts.
On older men mentoring young women: yes, this is absolutely the conclusion suspicious minds jump to, and it's always a good idea to never be alone in private.
Finally, on WIFE: no, younger brother isn't a whore to be pimped out, but older bro might've talked (inquired) to his younger bro about being on the receiving end...younger brother might be just fine with it and not even slightly put off.
The point being: men are pigs, by and large, and as such, are much less likely to be offended at someone succumbing to a moment's lust, so long as the moment's lust doesn't involve a loss of face or status for the man involved.
Unless she is in education or is really a he, then this really isn't the same.
I had to go back and reread to see where you got the idea this was a short-term job, and I'm guessing it's about how she wants to spend "the next few months" bonking the kid? (From which you also deduced the letter was from early in the summer, not recent.) The way most of us are interpreting the few months is "obviously no long-term potential, but a few months of secret kinky sex until we both get bored at the same time would be fun." The job is assumed to be a real job at which she does not want to look pathetic.
It's not like that sort of hook-up has never worked out okay for people--that's not why people think this is a terrible idea. But mild worst-cases do come true and having them splat unpleasantly at the office with people you can't avoid and whose opinion of you matters makes it much worse. Say things end messily, with hurt feelings and seething resentment that make everyone in the same room with you two uncomfortable: how awkward is that going to be? How about if your dumped paramour watches a bunch of romantic comedies and marches up to your desk (or into reception) to deliver a grand speech about how he knows you told him to stay away but the two of you are meant to be, Binkie Boo, and he is here to fight for your future?
"How about if your dumped paramour watches a bunch of romantic comedies and marches up to your desk (or into reception) to deliver a grand speech about how he knows you told him to stay away but the two of you are meant to be, Binkie Boo, and he is here to fight for your future?"
Because that happens so often with teenage boys?
C'mon, if the genders were reversed, then I'd be 100% in agreement: put all thoughts of it out of your mind and stay far, far away.
Also: stop conflating fucking his son with fucking the boss himself. Sure, co-workers of any sort having office romances, particularly where a power dynamic exists, is a recipe for disaster because, yeah, you still have to see the person. Yes, if she bonks the son, and the father finds out and disapproves, she'll be looking for a new job either out of discomfort or due to being asked to resign.
On Dan's response - I am reminded once again what a genius Clemons/Twain was.
It's not conflating son and boss. It's that she would be taking two questionable power dynamics--messing with a high school student, and messing with someone where any negativity would blow up on her job--and putting them in a blender figuring "Best case scenario it's all fun secret sex games, right?" She could screw any other high school student and if it came out at work it would be mildly embarrassing and squicky--for that reason alone I'd skip it, and that's the 'to be 100% safe' scenario--but this particular high schooler, because as a hot 23 year old female she just can't find any other funny cute guys she could screw? If the Oh So Super Forbidden and Naughty thing is the key to the attraction, I think sex on dad's desk is more likely than a successful discreet affair.
Back to SON, considering that LW not only has accepted Wife's hospitality but presumably will continue to be doing so for some time into the future, it's just a big Thing Not Done - except, perhaps, by swine. And, as you like to make your view of the situation all about gender, I was just reading a study this afternoon about how men's sexual regrets are about inaction and women's are about action. Sex with an inappropriate partner is apparently much more likely to be regretted by a woman (although, apparently, to be fair, if LW happens to be bisexual, she will be close to responding more like men), gender trumping orientation as a determinant. There is a lively debate over interpretation and causation, but I haven't seen anyone disputing the validity of the results.
Wait, you think they're discussing his unfulfilled sexual fantasies in front of his parents at these dinners? I think that tacit blessing would have been mentioned.
Any sexual affair that relies on secrecy is risky. If the secrecy fails, how bad are the consequences? A severe talking-to from your parents? The loss of someone important to you, whether that's a primary romantic partner or a friend or a mentor? Embarrassment? Jail? Gossip at work? One of you needing to find a new job? Torching your professional life?
I'm guessing your fondly remembered 17/20 affairs had a potential fallout of a stern talking-to on the young end and not much on the older end, not marking yourself to your employer and co-workers at your real grown-up career as a creeper with no self-control or judgment.
So I guess do it if you really want to get fired...?
What kind of job has the requirement of abject stupidity? Is the job title moron?
You want to earn money, or do you want to fuck?
If that were my child, and you worked for me, I would find it difficult to not want to make it my life's focus to make your back-stabbing little ass into a life long receptacle for my foot. Seriously, there aren't many things that would be more likely to incite rage!
If you have to, do the adult thing: find a new job away from your boss, and wait for kinky junior to graduate high school.
Also, commenters that can't even CONCEIVE of a scenario when SON and the hottie got to talk sexy--hanging out outside the house, hanging out in a different part of the house, on the Internet, maybe??--makes me giggle, in that we apparently had very different home lives.
They could have met outside the home, at a company picnic, on the internet. But she KNOWS he's the boss's son. That makes him off limits for a reasonable person. There are just too many people in the deep blue sea to fuck. She needs to stay away from this one.
Business and sex: bad mix. Business sex and very young coed hooked to boss's child: can you say sexual exploitation lawsuit?
IANAL, BUT, this seems so potentially fraught with disaster...
I've tried to picture this for my nephews when they were 18 but in high school. I think their dads would have been annoyed and worried if it were a random 23 year old. A 23 year old to whom dad was a trusting mentor climbing in the window at night, that would be enraging.
Though you do hit something that I think matters: to learn your child is having casual sex with age mates would be one thing, and a lot of parents would shrug. To learn that your child is the unworthy-to-date but worthy-to-fuck entertainment for someone five years older--someone you trusted and introduced into the child's life--is a lot more disturbing.
Though it's worth noting that people are noting the barely-legal-still-in-high-school as distasteful, and the don't-fuck-people-who-can-torpedo-your-job as the big thing.
But meeting online and chatting about kinks with the boss's son is still poor judgment on SON's part. I can think of situations where it might be a little less creepy (say, boss's son is closer in age, out of college, out of the house) but the it is generally bad judgment to fuck the boss's kid(s), even adult ones. Sure it can work out but as a general rule, I'd look elsewhere and hope my kids so when the time comes.
While the Boss's Child is exhibiting poor judgement, SON is raising that bar to potentially legal recrimination for said behavior. Poor Boss, betrayed by some of his nearest and dearest...
What you are concerned about is a verbal label.
Do you feel cared for and fulfilled? Protected and understood? Confident that your future together will be interesting, safe, and fun? Then you're doing better than a lot of people that exercise that verbal label to hold together a proposition that stands altogether more chancy: wishful thinking. Demanding the verbal part of that label shouldn't cause problems, but some people are superstitious about jinxing a good thing by acknowledging it.
NIPPLES-- I had a similar scenario, but I was on the other end. I had a FWB. We work in a very flirty environment, and it's a very dating small pool. (We worked on a cruise ship.) My FWB came to me one morning and told me he had spent the night with our coworker. Nothing happened, he assured me. I had no problem with this, (and wouldn't have even if sex had been involved,) and he knew it. We weren't officially dating, so at first I was confused why he even bothered disclosing. He explained, I didn't want you to find out from someone else. Ah! I completely agreed that I would not have liked that, and totally appreciated him telling me. Thanks!
Granted the difference is that we didn't have an exclusive agreement that NIPPLES had, but confessing to a minor, probably forgivable infraction, is probably nicer than blindsiding someone from a third party news drop.
As for SON; I didn't bother reading all the comments, but one of the hallmarks of adult life is learning to control your impulses and also learning that you can't have everything you want right now, and THAT'S OKAY.
Also, a hot 18 year old is probably going to be a hot 20-21 year old, and when you are 25-26, you probably won't be working with his dad anymore. Surely you can control or distance yourself for two years, and let this fling simmer on low until then!
Knowing how a couple handles conflict resolution is a big deal in knowing how they'll succeed as a couple over the long haul.
If your definition of not fighting means you don't yell, scream, throw things, hit each other, pout, bring out the silent treatment, storm off, and have revenge sex with other people, then I'm all for not fighting. If it means you think you've somehow found the perfect person with whom you never feel like you want to do one of those awful things, then I-love-you is the least of your worries.
WRT my own fondly-remembered past: neither of my parents ever said a word to me more than "please use protection" about any of the escapades - this was before HIV was rampant and STD paranoia in general was significantly less. It was also before the age of helicopter parenting. SON could easily be my own child, time-line wise; if I'd had children at the same age as my parents, they'd be older than the boss' child. Perhaps times have changed and parental concerns have shifted.
No, though, while I had plenty of workplace dalliances (this is the food service industry - this stuff comes standard), none of these things involved my parents in any way, so no repercussions for anyone involved. But this brings me back to, why so much fear of repercussions? Although @70 is obtuse trolling the point I've made is that we have a long standing double standard that a daughter's most precious resource to be preserved at all costs is her virgin "purity" while sons should benefit from some experience. I'm hardly defending this (in my perfect world we'd treat both equally, with a bias in favor of experience), merely acknowledging it.
I think @75 is right: BOSS started to mix it up - family, private life with professional life - and SON's not engaging in some shocking morally reprehensible corruption of a minor.
Oh, and though I should really know better, @71 - my point was that F is gay, and the target of F's affections was 14. It's apples-to-oranges, that's all. Plus, SON doesn't say she's going to march in and tell her boss/mentor that she wants to bonk his son all summer - that would be a demonstration of horrible judgment. Doing it discreetly and not creating a scene shows some judgment. Yes, it's a risk but...
If SON is reading this: is your boss nearly as big a prude/safety-nazi as so much of the savage love commenters appear to be (what is up with that anyway)?
Glad you appreciated the shopping analogy extension.
My brother-in-law is still good friends, 30 years on, with his thesis adviser. He also started a company where he hired recent grads from his alma mater, and he would sometimes have employees to dinner or to gatherings at his beach house. They would meet his kids. (Heck, they met me and my kids.) And if any of those 23 year olds had been "Hmm... your high school kids are really... sexy. I'll be climbing in a window next week..." I cannot imagine that being in any form good for their career. Whereas if high schooler took up with an older person they met in some other way dad would focus on this being stupid on the kid's part, since the sort of 20-something who's interested in high school students does not tend to be a shining beacon of maturity, impulse control, and good judgment. Those last three being things people want their boss, mentor, professional colleagues etc to think about them is the reason to not let them think you go for high school students you found anywhere, much less by using the office barbecue as your own grindr for locating barely legal targets with whom to talk about your kinky sex interests.
I just don't understand how anyone could blame SON's boss based on the few details provided in the letter. It is not unusual for a boss, even mentor, to invite employees to his/her home. I've had 2 mentors who have invited me to their home, usually for a holiday party or a simple get together with a few other colleagues. My current boss has kids and I (as well as his other employees) have met them a handful times. Just because the LW, has somehow engaged in very intimate discussions with her boss's son about his (the son) sexual desires and kinks, is completely her fault. Even if it was the son that brought up those topics, she should have quickly stopped the conversation and clear set some boundaries about what is appropriate to talk about and what is not.
Furthermore, her reasons for being willing to violate her own rules against having sex with someone under 20 are that he's good looking and she seems to think that since the girls his own age won't indulge his kink (and she has no idea whether that's really the case or not), she seems to be obliged to give him what he can't get elsewhere. Oh, and he's horny (as if that's a state of being unique to him). Maybe she's just in "good, helpful employee" mode.
I doubt very much that her boss would approve of his employee/mentee, a 23-year-old adult, one-quarter again as old as his high-school-aged son, taking advantage of the hospitality he's shown her to fuck his kid. Surely she can find some other person to have sex with. She's a 23-year-old woman; there are dozens, if not hundreds of men she can fuck, if what she's looking for is casual sex.
And something tells me that if the 18-year-old hasn't found any girls his own age willing to indulge his kinks, if he's really "very attractive, . . . funny, kind, and sweet," he's not going to have such difficulty finding someone willing or interested in exploring his kinks with him. She doesn't need to "help" the poor kid.
She's an immature idiot and an ingrate, to boot.
Good jobs are scarce and hard to come by; good bosses, rare. Mentors can make a huge difference in one's career trajectory. 18-year-old hot boys who are DTF 23-year-old women are a dime a dozen (probably a nickel per hundred, more like). That SON is seriously considering jeopardizing her relationship with her boss-turned-mentor (she says she thinks it would likely "seriously wreck" the relationship she has with him) for the chance to have sex with literally one of a handful of guys in the world who's off-limits to her suggests she is incredibly immature and judgment-impaired. Possibly she's trying to undermine her success subconsciously. She needs to grow up and find some other good looking, funny and sweet kinky 18-year-old to fuck. I assure you they're out there.
Look, we can't know from the letter, but the relationship with a thesis advisor is huge relative to "first boss learning a new job". I just don't think that's apples to apples...and here's what's definitely not: showing up and openly expressing to parents lustful thoughts about their youngsters. I'm not advocating that.
Yeesh..well, I'll stop repeating myself.
I'm dying to moon the Republican National Convention. Somehow, I don't think it would be a good idea.
@82: You're not the only one snickering at the kid's "Help me, Obi Wan Protege, you're my only hope for kinky sex!" actually working on her.
Ask the Spouse to ask their Sib to do the things the Spouse would not do!??
If I were the BF, I would be more upset at missing the event than anything else. Maybe next time you should make certain he takes part in the visit...
and her considering that is no better
and on SON, I am not sure if fucking the son could go well in any way, but if, only if the son is the one initiating and not SON.
Btw, Dan, I didn't know that people in the US even know Schnapsen, or is it just you, 'cause you spent some time in Germany.
In the original letter, SON uses the terms "boss" and "mentor". That gives me a picture of an office, retail outlet, maybe a restaurant or hotel. I envision a business relationship, one where the boss/mentor gives protege/employee advice and encouragement on business related problems. How to handle a difficult customer professionally, how to organize time efficiently. With this picture, the absolutely most personal I imagine it getting might be something about dressing appropriately for the job. That would be recommending a store and salesperson to help with a suit and make-up. Perhaps a lead is in order if SON were looking for an apartment. Small talk in this scenario would never go beyond some chit-chat about family. Possibly if SON was dating someone, it's okay if Date drops by the office, but that's it. No personal inquiries. In this warm business relationship, Boss and Wife might invite their protege over to the house once or twice a year for an office party where they celebrate the completion of a major project and where, at these parties, they talk business or stray on to safe small talk topics like movies or vacation spots.
Then I see "welcomed me into their home" which produces a different picture. You changed it to "invited me to their home" which I believe is substantially different. "Welcomed me into their home" makes me think of someone who is over there all the time, maybe has the key, maybe someone doing more than office related work. This is a frequent guest who has become integrated into the personal lives of the hosts. We've all wondered how the subject of sexual kinks came up. With little information to go on, I filled in the blanks with an atmosphere at that home so free and easy and personal that little jokes about sex were possible, little intimacies shared.
I'll grant that it's not often easy to tell who started it or how that line between friendly and too friendly gets crossed. A comforting pat on the shoulder when you know a co-worker is having a hard day is fine. Constant comforting hugs becomes too much. One invitation to dinner: fine. Come spend weekends with us where our teenager will be lounging around the house in his boxers: over the line.
This is why I accuse the employer of fostering an environment where SON could get the wrong idea.
And it IS the wrong idea. I'm not letting SON off the hook. Whether Boss was going for professionally friendly and SON got the wrong idea, or whether Boss was subconsciously allowing inappropriately flirtatiousness and SON got the subtext right, she still needs to back away with a grateful "gosh, you were so terrific to invite me over so often when I was new in town, but now I find I'm busy with my other friends. I'll see you Monday at 8:00am sharp ready to work."
I have seen feminist writings that the road to equality in the boardroom would be assisted if the amount of mentoring offered by male executives to female employees were greatly increased. I agree with wanting to see many more female executives, and with the idea that increased M-F mentoring would be a strong step in that direction. Some of the feminists who have written to address the subject take the attitude that male executives with concerns about mentoring women just have to suck it up, which I don't think is the most productive approach to bring about increased mentoring of the sort desired. I'll agree that I really ought to have parenthesised my snark about that point, which was thus made a little muddy. But the point that, if LW sleeps with Junior and Parents find out, Boss won't be mentoring any more young women employees, was actually sincere. I think I made the tone less than serious because we don't know if LW is a feminist or not, in which case a serious lecture about the potential harm she could do other women in future by depriving them of a male mentor might have just been a waste of words. Had I intended to poke fun at feminism in general, I'd have emphasized her potential CHOICE in the matter, and I've seen enough internal debate about Choice Feminism to be able to do so to some effect.
I actually do think the "suck it up" line has partial validity, in that one aspect to mentoring only young men is the parallel between mentoring and I'll Love You When You're More Like Me. I'll accept that an examination of what societal preferences they've internalized, which can for some people expand their circle of attraction, can similarly expand one's mentoring comfort level. There might also be some headway with men who won't mentor anyone they're likely to find tempting, but of a more limited scope once risk is attached. If the reluctance is tied to an executive's marital agreement, that seems a wall.
There remains the question of social policing, which was the basis of my discussion with Ms Crinoline. Knowing their actions to be far more open to hostile scrutiny and interpretation when mentoring women is a strong motivating factor for many male executives who mentor only male employees. There is valid reason for heightened scrutiny of M-F mentoring. My three alternatives for progress seem to have impediments. Reduced scrutiny paves the way for those inclined to behave inappropriately. Telling men just to cope with the attached unpleasantness seems impractical for a voluntary activity with an imbalance. There remains scaling back M-M mentoring to a level appropriate for M-F mentoring, which seems unenforceable.
I imagine that those whose feminism runs to evangelical literalism will happily consign me to burn for all eternity as a heretic. But I hope that the length and seriousness of this reply at least illustrates that there might be for some a difference between disagreeing with one approach to a desirable goal and disagreeing with the goal and the system behind it.
I agree we need a good deal of cross-examination, which is at least always good for the daily refreshers.
Yeah, I think you're reading to much into this. The LW said nothing about feeling like she the boss has integrated her into his family. I have a boss who is also a mentor. He has invited me into his home. I have met his wife and his kids several times, as have other colleagues. I could just as easily use the LW exact phrasing to describe my relationship with my boss (which is nothing but professional) and how I came to meet his kids. This is not an unusual situation. What is unusual, is how close the LW seems to be with the high schooler and that she is even considering having sex with him. As Vennominon pointed out, what is probably the more likely (and for more common) situation is that she was invited to her mentor's home for a party or some sort of get together. By chance, rather than design, she had some time alone with her boss's son in which they somehow got into a conservation(s) that led to him discussing his kinks with her. Hell, they could even be continuing these conversations via Facebook or email. Based on what the LW has stated, the boss did nothing wrong and is not in any way at fault. His only mistake is that he trusted the LW to be a mature adult with good judgement who would not be trying to devise a way to sleep with his kid.
I am a guy and I have been in that situation with a boss's daughter. Consider this way, if you were a dude and this was his lovely daughter, he would be insulted.
Dunno if you will ever read this, but you are better off drinking from another pond,
in high school I had the chance to get with a girl that was a few years older then me, a guy in my class did, and what did he do? he told everybody.
Wait until he is in college at least and visit him in college where it matters less...
@6 DRF: I second that! Short, sweet, and right on the money!
@1 & @25: I'm okay with no more Black Fridays.
But that's just me.
In terms of something that could make your partner feel angry and violated, it contravenes both the standard "no fooling around with third parties unless we're both there" and "no other guys involved." Which for this particular couple were rules of their relationship.
Maybe her bf would shrug it off with a "Hey it was Karen and Bill, I trust them." Or maybe his feeling would be "You put on a sex show for Bill?!!! The guy who has always had that creepy thing for you?" Or "I'm not allowed to lick a girl's tits at a party while you're gone, but it's okay for you?" Or "Remember how you got a little over-gropey with people last time you were drunk, and we talked about how I felt and you promised it wouldn't happen again?" There are hundreds of variations dependent on background we don't know.
His licking another girl's tits in a threeway is perfectly allowed in their relationship, but I'm guessing if he were the one who'd gotten drunk with friends and wound up licking another girl's tits while one or more people watched while his girlfriend was out of town, she might be feeling rather squicked and uneasy, even if she would have been cool with it had she been in the room.