Savage Love Jun 22, 2016 at 4:00 am



Now I understand why so many people I know gave "human" names to their dogs.
KINKY can also add something like… “…and if your intention was to be out in the open and express yourself freely then I truly applaud you.”

Peter is only 21 and ”a longtime fan.” Lava may have been right all along, telling us we need to behave since youngsters all over the world read this.
So hi young people, I’m a semi- cool aging dude/tte and I’d like to take the opportunity and thank YOU. Seriously. I think you’re being a tremendous hope and inspiration to many of us who grew up in other times. I have personally experienced your easy-going acceptance during many different interactions, and it was once again so blissfully apparent two days ago on Father’s day.

As horrible as the Orlando massacre is one shouldn’t lose hope.
I attended the spontaneous vigil held at Savageville later that evening. In a park named after an openly gay state legislator who died of aids crowded people from all walks of life.
I spotted quite a few teenagers in the crowd, moving on their own or in small groups, who seemed to be there simply because it was the right thing to do.
So thanks again, we’re all in it together.
LW1: If a "kink" (maybe closer to an identity) means so much to someone that they take the risk of bringing into into their daily life, I don't think they can really be accused of dragging you into their sex life.
Adults all around you are having sex all the time, as is this gentleman who feels most himself wearing a nice little collar. You can fixate on it as much as you want, the rest of all will go on with our lives.
Well that was somewhat typo-ridden. Hope at least some can grasp my point. :P
I'm not sure the analogy is of the first rank; I doubt anyone finds marriage a fetish too far. Of course, I doubt anyone for whom puppy play is will likely make the connection in this case. If forced to take a position, I think I'll feel for those with more moderate kinks who can't manage to benefit from such an indulgence.
Mx Wanna - A solid addition to L2.

But isn't Father's Day politically incorrect now? I don't at all object to reducing the number of holidays, but I saw almost no notice of the day..
Also a note for DOGGONE. While not everyone into puppy play is a furry fan, your co-worker might be. Is it possible that his 'pup' name is also his furry handle, and he just likes going by that nickname (plenty of furs do)? He might be more comfortable expressing the nickname in the context of his fetish because for a lot of people that's oddly easier to grasp than being a furry fan, so he hasn't brought it up. (Or he has and everyone just assumed it was part of the 'puppy play' thing)

(Full disclaimer: Furry fan for just short of 20 years, in case anyone thinks I'm entirely talking out my ass on this.)
LW 1 I have to ask if you didn't know about this co-worker's kinks would you even be questioning this request? Is it really all the different from someone asking you to refer to them as 'John' or 'Betty' or whatever nickname they prefer?

LW3 it only ends when you quit. So don't quit. Don't let one murderous asshole make you give up when you come so very, very far.
LW1: If there was no open sexual connection to your co-worker's puppy play (only for everyone to call him by his puppy name: re: "Spike"), I don't see a problem in your work place--just a nickname at work.
Peter (LW3): Feel the love instead and don't ever quit. The haters are cowards and bullies deeply buried in their own shit hole of pathetic fears, hypocrisy, lies, and self-loathing. I wholly agree with Dan: they win when we give up. Don't give up! Shocked, mortified and appalled as I am at what recently happened at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and the idiotic Senate's do-nothing attitude concerning banning guns I am not giving up, either--ever. I survived a toxic relationship with a hater. Keep going and hang in there.
This is off topic, but just for the record: I don't hate my dysfunctional siblings---I am only disconnected from them. I just can't relate anymore after five decades of hopelessly no-win, forced-upon role-playing futility. I have, instead, quietly discovered an infinitely healthier, self-preserving solution: (for me) to back away and let my nieces, nephews and great-nephew come forward about their parents and grandmother should anyone curious enough ever ask them. There. Said, over, done---yaaaay! I now return to my life.

Okay-- back to Dan Savage and Pups.
Venn @ 6
No wonder it went unnoticeable. Apart from a slight spike in hardware sales and attendance of greasy joints the economic impact is minimal.
No one even attempted to sell flowers down the street this Sunday after all fainted in the sun last year.
I still had a great time.
Isn't the key to Spike's situation that his coworkers know his name is related to a fetish? If Spike had kept quiet about being a puppy and just presented coworkers with a new name, there would be no issue. But that's not what happened. If the married woman changed her name and explained it was also her slave name, everyone in the office would recoil because TMI.

But if someone changed gender identity and launched a new name, it would be wrong not to honour that name. Neither puppy play nor BDSM nor gender transition are necessarily about sex acts, so that's not the source of the squickiness. What is making me go 'eww, no,' about calling someone Spike 'cos he's a puppy, compared with him just changing his name and leaving his coworkers in blissful ignorance?
DOGGONE: I think a better analogy would be, let's say you have a co-worker who is a goth and asks to be called "Raven" instead of her legal name. "Raven" has nothing to do with her sex life; it's a badge of her membership in a subculture.

Besides, you know Spike is into the gay puppy subculture due to having friends in that scene, but your co-workers have no idea where the nickname Spike comes from. It's just his preferred name. Unless Spike starts asking colleagues to leave a bowl of water next to his desk, he's not involving you in his sex life.
For the third letter, my one addition to LW from my post on daily thread is that, if he stops talking, there are plenty of people out there who will put words in his mouth, many of them claiming to be on his side. Chances are he won't like what they'll call his voice for their own purposes.
@ 11 - We should also start checking if there's a spike (no relation to letter no 1) in the sale of guns around fathers' day.
I don't think it's creepy to call someone by their BDSM name or whatever, I wouldn't mind doing it. However I object to the reasoning that "puppy play" isn't a "sexual activity." I see people in fetish communities say stuff like this A LOT. I think this attitude is the product of a sex negative culture. They get involved because it makes their dick hard or their clit hard, and then they get offended when someone says it's a "fetish" because they mentally associate fetishists with bad people. This level of cognitive dissonance isn't healthy.
@Doggone, Because you randomly know the origin of the name, this is your cross to bear, and I would contend, if it's the worst randomness that comes your way, you lead a charmed life. Talk about randomness, quite a contrast between the first and last letters.
I would feel a bit uncomfortable if a co-worker demands to be referred to as their sex fetish name.

Pretend all you want, but being "Spike" is part of this guy's sexual life, and by demanding everyone call him by his sex fetish name, he is demanding other people take part in it.

But yeah, I am sure for some people being treated like a dog by a "Daddy" is not sexual at all. As your "Daddy" puts the collar and leash on you and you walk around on all fours for him. Not sexual at all, sure.
@ 19 - The point is that the LW only knows that it's the coworker's fetish name because he has some friends in the gay puppy community. To the other coworkers, this guy just wants to be called by his nickname.
LW3: the wisdom that's associated with age is often just a matter of life experience. If you're fortunate to be around a couple three more decades you too will, sadly, have seen a bunch of negative shit go down--and great stuff, too. If someone is wise, they use these experiences for a calming sense of perspective. They've seen it worse. And they've seen the victories, and the positive trends too.

Just a boring old fart's way of saying you were right to pose your question to a 50-something guy like Dan Savage. He's got the perspective, the life experience, the calm, that cumulatively amount to 'wisdom.' Quite a leap from the snark-meister once addressed as "Hey Faggot", it shows there's hope for all of us if we manage to live long enough.

Is Spike’s pup identity going beyond a fetish act?
Some people suggest it’s strictly sexual and should not be accommodated at the work place, while others see more to it.
I’d like it if “others” like MythicFox @ 7 and BDF @ 14 could elaborate and educate us about the subject.

As for me, I’m toggling between male and female identities and use my legal and femme names accordingly (and expect others to follow through.)
And while I can be sexual in either one, it goes well beyond a sex act.
DOGGONE wants LW to call him by his puppy name. She knows it's his puppy name and doesn't feel comfortable being dragged into his kinky life. If it was me, I'd just continue to call the guy by his given name – a lot of people prefer to address co-workers in a more formal way...sorry, Lorraine, not gonna call you "Moon Unit" or "Dweezil" (unless your father is Frank Zappa.) If they guy protests, I'd just say, "Sorry, you'll always be Bob to me." If he keeps pushing, then he's being a dick and needs to be swatted on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper.
Or she could get him one of those shocking collars and put an "invisible fence" around her desk.
Agree with @26. I'd feel ridiculous calling a co-worker "Spike" or "Rover" or what have you. Just like I'd feel ridiculous calling a co-worker "Princess Sparkle" or ""Rough Rider." Indulging someone's fantasy life is a bridge too far, regardless of whether that fantasy life includes a sexual component.

Sorry DOGGONE, but if you want me to use your fantasy name, then you better pick one that doesn't make me feel like a fool. Otherwise I'll stick to "Bob" or "Mr. Smith."
Considering the main problem with coworkers' names is my forgetting them, and their forgetting mine, I think Spike a genius at getting himself noticed. He'll go far.
@14 If I had a co-worker who dressed as a goth and wanted to be called Raven, I'd have a talk with whoever hired that someone that clueless about appropriate attire and behavior in a professional workplace. But I work in the kind of place where that shit just doesn't fly. I'd say I'm sorry, but I'm not. Not even a little bit.
Just call him Spike, that's a fine name. He's not asking to be called YiffyFox420 or whatever
@7: Yup, I worked at a larger software company a few years back and there were a few names in the distribution lists that were for persons' furry persona, I don't believe they were necessarily legal names, just what the person asked to be called.

To that LW, you're seriously obsessing too much about someone's private sex life. It doesn't involve you, it's not your business, and give him the respect to use whatever name he feels comfortable with.
@30: Yup, there's a reason people are drawn to tech well beyond problem solving, and it's generally to avoid shitty coworkers like yourself.
Donny @26: I have a hard time believing that someone who's intimately acquainted with the gay puppy scene is a "she."

Dick @30: I'm so glad I don't work wherever you work, wherever that is. Never watched NCIS? Abby Sciuto seems to discharge her duties as a forensic police scientist quite effectively in spite of wearing black nail polish.…

CMD @25: Not sure what there is to elaborate; it seems pretty clear-cut to me. Someone has a preferred nickname. Any decent human being will call them by the name they want to be called. Simple.
It’s a rare moment; I’m in an advantage of some sort.
Seems like some of the people who will accept me in my female persona, including the toggling aspect of it, are reluctant to do so with other identities beyond gender.
And while gender jokes are politically incorrect, even on this forum people see no wrong with inconsiderate jokes about furrs and puppies and diapers.

I’d still like a true furry and/or puppy to give us their account of identity and how strong or not it is for them.
It also seems like the person in question did not ask to come to work to work in their furry outfit, just a seemingly harmless nickname, which once again makes me wonder what the fuss is all about.
What a lot of twaddle about a nickname. LW, when you look at some of your co workers, do you think of sex? There you go. Thoughts of sex in the workplace.
@35: "which once again makes me wonder what the fuss is all about"

There is no "fuss" to be had, DOGGONE is just a judgmental, gossipy asshat.
@34BiDan Point taken. My bad for assuming.
Years ago I worked with a guy who answered to "Spike." (Hi, Spike!)
He gave us to understand that there was some goofy/embarrassing story
behind it, which he didn't want to get into, but that the handle had stuck. We all said "Fine, Spike." Dcp was not a member of our working group, which was good, for many reasons.
In other news:
Last week’s PARK- in case she really is from Seattle- and other local women who like watching live man-man action, not to mention men who want to create some action themselves, should check out the DICKSLAP event this coming Friday.
Scroll down to the second event, I may attend the first one:
Ms Fan @34 - May we add that the name in question is not considered inappropriate for professional use?

I'm going to stop now before I waste too much time trying to figure out why certain nicknames are considered professionally acceptable.
Mx Wanna - Well, at least that event does welcome women. I wonder what the saturation point would be.
Venn @42: I'm wondering why you're trying to figure out why only certain nicknames are considered professionally acceptable, rather than "professionally acceptable" being the default.

Aside from "Bitch," billed as playing herself in the film Shortbus, I can't really think of many exceptions. Particularly when one person's nickname is another person's whimsical parent. Would "Raven" or "Spike" be acceptable if the person in question had been thus named by goth or punk parents? What if they had changed their name legally?

As for using a long name like "Princess Sparkle," that's no different to a colleague who insisted on being addressed by their full name, ie "you must call me Catherine Anne Mulligan, not Catherine, and not Cathy." I've known people socially who had pretentious net.names and they were always happy to have them abbreviated for informal use. Princess Sparkle's friends probably call her Princess, or Sparky, or something, if she hates her given name too much to use in real life. (But she probably cringes and answers to Susan in the workplace.)

400+ years on, and here we are, still wondering "What's in a name?"
@22: Does not matter.

I find it amusing that everyone is supposedly "required" to play a role in this guy's sex fetish (knowingly or unknowingly) or else be a total asshole, but absolutely no accusations of assholery are directed towards the guy who is demanding everyone take part in his sexual life against their will in some cases.

Asking to be called your "slave" or "dog" name by people who are not consenting to being a part of your sexual life is a huge dick move. One that, I might add, has been called out as so explicitly in other Savage Love letters.
@44: Right, and the woman demanding you call them "Heather Catherine Morganstern the III" instead of "Heather" is also a huge asshole, just like the person who would demand to be called "Princess Sparkle-Pony" or "Big-Dick Spike" in a business meeting.

Have you people who think this should be totally fine never operated in larger society or never had jobs? I am busy enough everyday without having to worry about who is having an identity crises today, or who wants to rock out their sex-slave dog persona at work.

Preferred gender pronouns and names are one thing, but keep your personal, private life to yourself and be decent enough to stop forcing it on other people so you can be the center of attention. Think of someone else for once.
It would certainly depend on the profession in question, as well. Even Bitch gets away with her nickname as a performer, while Spike the investment banker might get some funny looks.
Theodore @46: Right, and the woman demanding you call them "Heather Catherine Morganstern the III" instead of "Heather" is also a huge asshole
Yes, that was my point.
Why don't YOU think of someone else for once? What does it hurt you to call someone Spike instead of Peter? Why do you care where the name comes from? What does a small amount of respect in the workplace cost you?
Yes, I have had jobs, thank you very much. And I am now self-employed, so I can introduce myself to clients and business associates the way I choose, I don't have to worry about what HR has put down or whether I'll get the sack. And if I run across a client like you who doesn't want to use my preferred name, they can take their business elsewhere. IT'S JUST A NAME. Chillax!
The other question I would put to the nickname police is: How often is this likely to be an issue? Have you ever actually sat down in a business meeting with someone who introduced themselves as Big-Dick Spike or Princess Sparkle? No? Then why are you getting your knickers in a twist over it? Most people with unusual names do, in fact, use their real ones in the workplace. It feels like we've adopted some sort of "normal" alter ego, but there you go. Seriously, this is a storm in a teacup. Slow week, not much to argue about, so let's create a nickname crisis.
@48: Respect is a two way street. I respect people enough not to foist on them all of my personal baggage, including sexual nick names when we are at the workplace trying to work. Because I understand that I am not the only important being on the planet, and sometimes the world needs to be focused on things other than me.

So if you were at work and someone declared that they want their name to be "BiDanFan is an Asshole," you would be totally fine with it? I mean, otherwise you would just be the nickname police, right? Not respecting their personal choices? Or is there a reasonable limit?

And by the way, no one is having a crisis here but you, apparently.
My goodness me, so much fuss about a nickname. It's not like the guy is introducing himself with "Hi, please call me Spike, it's my sex fetish name" or barking and licking people and smelling their crotches (or whatever it is people who are into puppy play do) when they call him Spike. It's just a name that he prefers and also happens to be his puppy play name.

I regularly go by a name that is not my first name, both in my personal life and my professional life. Just because you call me by my preferred name, does that mean I'm inviting you into my personal life? Do you automatically assume that it's sex-related (and if so, why does your mind go there first)? It's actually just my middle name. I've hated my first name since I was a small child, and started introducing myself by my middle name when I was a teenager. Most people don't even realize it's not my legal name, because it's the only name they know me by. I still cringe when people use my first name, and occasionally it creates confusion because I'm not used to being called by it and I don't always respond or notice that someone is looking for me.

To the nickname police, have you considered that maybe he's just more accustomed to being called Spike, and that's why he wants to be called that? That maybe it's not sexual at all?
Theodore @50: Anyone who interprets "Please call me Spike" as "foisting all of their personal baggage on you" has problems.
I prefer to deal with real people in the real world. If you ever encounter someone using the nickname "BiDanFan Is An Asshole," get back to me and we'll continue the discussion.
It seems to me that there are several separate issues here.

The first is the workplace etiquette of asking your co-workers to call you by a nickname, rather than your given name. So long as the nickname isn't absurdly long or difficult or doesn't hint at inappropriate-for-workplace descriptiveness at a highly counter-cultural lifestyle, that happens all the time and seems fine. In this case, the coworker, upon being introduced as Frank, could have said, "actually, I prefer to go by 'Spike;" and few if any, would guess that to him, "Spike" is his puppy name, or even the name of an alternate persona. They might think it was a childhood nickname of sorts. There is no need to explain the origins of a nickname and if asked, all anyone needs to say is "I got in when I was a kid and that's just what everyone calls me now." If someone asked me to call him Spike rather than his given name, I'd perhaps think of several origins, but I would never guess that it was his puppy name. "Fido" might raise an eyebrow, but even then, I'd probably assume a childhood nickname owing to some embarrassing moment or joke that has become a standard nickname for the person. There are jobs and workspaces that are more formal or some interactions require more formality than others, and a sensible person ought to know when to toggle to the given name. Most of us have coworkers who are more or less our equals and nicknames are fine with them, but perhaps not so okay with corporate management or clients or the parents of our elementary school students or our college students or the patients in our practice. You get the point. So I think a bigger issue is someone who insists on using an unprofessional nickname when it's clearly inappropriate, regardless of the nickname's origin or private meaning. But within your design group? Amongst the rest of the kitchen staff? All the others in the branch office? With everyone in the staff lounge? Sure; why not?

The second is involving others in your sex or fetish or kink life who aren't part of it themselves. That gets trickier. The workplace is no place for TMI, so anything that suggests the details of how you comport your self sexually is inappropriate for most places.

The third is identity related. If being a puppy is an identity that transcends mere sexual kink, but incorporates his sex life, it seems he has a right to ask to be called by his puppy name in the same way that CMD says he toggles between his/her male and female personas and uses different names. If I say my name is Matilda, that signals that I am female, so it addresses my gender identity. Since most women are sexual beings, it could be construed to incorporate my sexual identity, too, in that it is presumed that someone named Matilda has sex with either men or women or both. But it doesn't suggest that just because my name is Matilda, I like to have sex with people while dressing as a space alien or that I like to have sex with actual animals. And saying "my name is Matilda, but I prefer to be called Mattie" doesn't tell my colleagues that I like to dominate my partners or that I am into breath play or that I like anal sex. Asking coworkers to call him "Spike," even if Spike sounds like a dog name, may signal that being a pretend dog is part of his identity, but it doesn't tell them how he likes to have his sex.

Lastly, there's the issue of involving people in your kink or sex life or fetish without their knowledge, assuming that such an involvement, if known or understood, would make them uncomfortable or be against their will.

This is the finest of fine lines. It is wrong to make someone an unwitting and unwilling witness to your fetish or kink, and some people's fetish is indeed involving others against their will. People who masturbate publicly, people who leave sexual fluid or other body products where others will inadvertently find them, sometimes without ever realizing that they're coming into contact with them. Shoe salesmen who fondle the feet of customers or leer; shoe shoppers who kind of force the salesperson to have more contact with their feet than is normal or necessary. All that is unethical.
Asking people with whom you're not sexually involved to call you by a nickname that is an allusion to your sex life, if they can tell that's what they're being asked to do, is equally unethical and inappropriate, particularly if you know or have reason to suspect that they'd not want to be involved in your intimate life or know the details of how you like to have sex.
So asking coworkers at the food co-op to call me "Mistress Heather" falls under that category.

The part that gets tricky is when co-workers can't tell that your nickname is an allusion to a sexual role you play. As long as your fetish isn't the fact that you're involving others unwittingly in your sex life, it seems like a case of "what they don't know doesn't hurt them." So in that case, motivation seems to matter quite a lot.

In the case of letter #1, we don't know what Spike's motivation in asking his coworkers to call him Spike is. Maybe he's getting a secret laugh or boner by having Mary from Accounting call him Spike without realizing it's his puppy name. Maybe he's just trying to be Spike the puppy as much as possible 24/7, and even if he's not going around on all fours and panting, this is a way he can incorporate a little of his dog-identity in the non puppy/owner world. So long as he limits his puppy identity to his name and doesn't explain or give details and the name is plausible as a nickname, what's the problem? In this case, the lw happens to know, not from anything Spike is doing at the office--not in the way he asked to be called "Spike," not because Spike is acting like a dog at work, not because Spike talks about the details of either the non-sexual aspects of his private puppy life or the sexual aspects of it--but because of something he happens to know on his own. Spike seems to be behaving ethically.

So the letter writer should respect his name preference and stop assuming that he's being drawn against his will into his coworker's sex life.
Venn @ 43
If I ever go to the first event then I may continue to the one mentioned. Needless to say "just to take a look and check out the scene,"
And if this ever materializes then a detailed account will appear on my Saturday hangover report
Nocute @53: Excellent analysis. The only other thing I would add is, perhaps Spike, like Jina @51, always disliked his real name. So it's not just a case of using a name he likes, but of not using a name he dislikes. Perhaps his real name is Dana and he's always being mistaken for a woman, or it's John and his life has been one long "Which John?" until his friends in the puppy community picked a new, unique name for him. A name he's happy to be called in multiple situations, not just with his fetish friends.
CMD @54: I will look forward to that!
@50: If you think "BDF is an asshole" and someone's nonsexual nickname are the same, you're the shithead here.

Kin to the puppies, furries have their own nonsexual identity, even if they may introduce sex partners to themselves as their fursona.

You're obviously doing the judgmental prick posturing here, why are you reading Savage Love if you don't actually like reading about people different from yourself?
@41: CMDWannabe: The night events bore me this year, but I'll be out and about on Saturday!
I have some relevant experience with the first letter. I myself "have" a dogslave. He has a dog name. He does not use his dog name in his public/daily life, but does use it in our communications. As for whether it's a sexual identity, this is one of those "maybe it is for him, but it ain't for me" situations. To me, he's a dog. Nothing sexual about that, in my case.
Wouldn't it be best practice to choose a name at work that is not something like "Spike" or "Butch" or "Rock" or "Baby?" Even if it's not sexual in any way, there are a lot of nicknames that seem rather unprofessional and it seems like a small compromise just to use your name, or your middle name, or some traditionally informal thing like "Billy" or "Kathy."
@60/marmer: That's what I think. I've been rattling around the punk scene for decades, and most of the people I know have (at least) two names; one in the scene, and one with the family/work. That's what I'd do, but then I'm not one very interested in making everyone else conform to my whims. I also don't have any nicknames, so who knows really.
@60: Any job I've ever worked at asks you what you prefer to be called. It's a relatively common nickname (less so legal name) and the maturity level of someone not wanting to respect their coworkers is a far bigger issue.

Nocute @ 53
Is “Matilda” a tribute to our very own waltzing one from down under?

BDF @ 56
And you thought I wouldn’t tell you???

Undead @ 58
While I had plenty of opportunities in the past to join pride events, this is going to be the first one I’m actually participating in. Friday is the day since there is going to be a transgender event in the park earlier (which reminds me that I seriously had a dream last night in which Hunter is approaching me over there, saying he is actually from Seattle and he has a trimmed grayish beard. Not sure why and rest assured, there was no boner involved.)

And Just in case you or anyone else is interested in introducing themselves, I’m very likely to stop for a drink in Vermillion at around 9.
I still need a chaperon/someone-to-hang-with for the late events. I’ll pay for the tickets. No sex required.

@45 But he's not doing that. He's forcing people to take part in his sex life, he's asking them to use a nickname. The only reason the LW has a problem is because he has information his other office mates don't. And as I said before if he didn't have that info I doubt this request would be a blip on his radar.
Let's phrase this a different way: I get to choose the words that come out of my mouth. Demanding that I use words that I'm uncomfortable using is an asshole move, whatever the origins of my discomfort. So I will never, ever refer to anyone using the N-bomb, even if they are black and insist they like it. I will never refer to a grown woman (who is not my wife or daughter) as "sweetie," even if that's her preferred name. And yes, I'm not calling anyone "Princess Sparkle" in a professional environment. Because I am the owner of everything I say.

In the case of someone who hates their given name, I'm willing to work with them to arrive at some accommodation, e.g. Mr./Ms. Smith, or their initials, or some alternate less-cringe-inducing variant. But I get to choose the words that come out of my mouth, not Princess Sparkle.
CMD @63: No, "Matilda" was just chosen at random.
@65: Someone's nonsexual preferences are easily accommodated, if, again, you're not an asshole.

But the LW and you both stomp your feet, because that's all you have the maturity to do when something comes along you don't understand.

"Spike" was a common human nickname well before it became a common dog name, freaking out over it is really your own personal damage.

@63: Agh, I'm not going to make it out Friday, have fun! I love Diana/Vermillion :(
@67: I'm not stomping my feet; I'm disagreeing. That you perceive that as "stomping" is your issue.

Why do their preferences trump my preferences? I agree people have some right to what they are called-- a "Dave" can reasonably object to being called "Mark." But I also think people have a right to use words they are comfortable with. Which is why I suggested working out a compromise if their preferred name makes me genuinely uncomfortable.

You seem to be taking the position that whatever discomfort the speaker has, and no matter how absurd the preferred name is, the speaker should just endure that discomfort in the services of the asker's whimsy. Why is that discomfort irrelevant?
Its just a nickname, not a hand-job. People call him that socially. The BDSM community is mostly about community and slightly about sex. Freaking out about calling someone by their preferred nickname is petty nonsense. We should respect people and call them what the want to be called.
@ 53 - Thanks. I think you've said all there was to say about this, and come to the only possible conclusion. I just don't get why some people keep harping on about this. It really shows that they're the ones with a problem, seeing sex in everything.
@ 68 The primary argument against gay marriage is that it makes people uncomfortable. Life is filled with discomfort for people who are judgemental and uncaring.
@71: Right. So for same-sex marriage, the answer to "why is that discomfort irrelevant" is "because the social and economic benefits of being married far outweigh whatever discomfort someone has at the abstract concept of same-sex marriage. Makes sense to anyone who isn't a homophobe.

But that's not the situation with silly names, is it? One person is more comfortable being called X. One person is less comfortable calling someone X. Why does the former always trump the latter?
@68: Its just something you need to grow up and be a mature adult about.

It's not sex, you're disgusted with his lifestyle. Which, again, stop thinking abut his dick at work if you're thinking about his dick at work and it bothers you.
"Why does the former always trump the latter?"

Because you're the sort of person who thinks what he does in his private time reflects on the respect you should give to a person in their work hours. Your outrage is self-generated and yes, people are going to tell you you're being irrational and shitty.
@74: I'm amused that you think you know my motivations.

I don't care about his lifestyle. I don't care about whether, with whom, or how he has sex. What I care about is that *I* look less-than-professional in calling someone "Spike." Looking professional in my place of professional employment matters to me: that's why I dress and act a certain way for work. It matters to a lot of people. We can't all work in tech start-up utopias.

I'd have no problem calling him Spike at a (non-work) party. If he bought me a beer and seemed like a good bloke, I'd even go for Princess Sparkles. But on the clock, when I need to look competent and composed in front of others, I'm not going to "break character" to indulge someone's fantasy life.
I don't care what kind of fetish/lifestyle he has, a guy who tells other people to call him "Spike" is most likely a tosser extraordinaire. The only excuse for telling people your name is Spike is if you're played by James Marsters.
You keep bringing up "princess sparkles" to try to conflate absurdity with this.

"Spike" is both a proper name and nickname. Your hostility to something inoffensive and not at all unprofessional goes deeper, regardless of your claims.

You make yourself look unprofessional well enough alone, not any association with this guy.

I've seriously never worked anywhere that wouldn't accept a nickname when preferable by the user and reasonable (which this certainly is.) I also currently work in a stuffy industry, none of which would give any concern for the provided nickname, nor would they have any concerns addressing him as such in front of clients.
I Hate... @ 72
"Silly names" are in the eye of the beholder, and calling people by their chosen name is often called "respect."
I agree that "respect" should go both ways and within reason, especially in the workplace. Yet "Spike" is very likely to pass if no other coworkers told you what they found out about Spike without his knowledge and approval.
Ms Fan - You forget (or perhaps never knew) that My People are the Gentile Country Club Set. The number of weird nicknames I know that I know are considered professionally acceptable would raise tremendous jealousy among mere kinksters.
@79: I suggest you stop attempting to divine my "real" motivations. I know me a lot better than you know me, and your constant ad hominem attacks make you look like an idiot.

I've never met anyone named "Spike," either as a given name or as a nickname. The only human (well, vampire) "Spike" I know is played by James Marsters, as @78 noted. Like "Spot" and "Rover," I can only conceive of it as a dog name, and expect most other people will as well. And I'm not going to call a person by a dog's name in a professional environment. As I said aaaaall the way back @28, "if you want me to use your fantasy name, then you better pick one that doesn't make me feel like a fool."

"Rex" works. So do "Max," "Charlie," "Milo," etc.-- all popular dog names that are actual human names as well.
" 82 - Oscar-nominated director Spike Lee. Oscar winner Spike Jonze.

There, your ignorance just diminished a tad. Hopefully, so will your prejudices now.
@82: I've known somebody who was called Spike, and somebody called Boomer, and somebody called Peach, and somebody called Whitey. I hadn't realized Spike was a dog name.
@82: Sounds like you spend a significant portion of your life feeling like a fool.

That's on you.
@84: Apparently "Spike" started as a generic name for a guy you didn't know, much later on (for similar reasons) became a friendly name for a dog.
I’ll put it on my online dating profile. Not that I have one…

Lookslikeyoustillhateforsomeunknownreason @ 82
“I've never met anyone named "Spike," either as a given name or as a nickname.”
Once again I’m in an embarrassing position. Check out Hunter’s Bar-Mitzvah @13, and now also Ricardo @ 83. But since you never met the Mr. Lee maybe it shouldn’t count.

You also quote 2-3 people to be on your side, yet ignore a fairly rare and big coalition on the other.
Honestly, I'm tired of this. I'm trying to explain why someone might not be comfortable calling a person by a dog's name at work. And while a few (e.g., CMD) are making reasonable arguments, the majority seem to be taking the following tactic:
1. If you disagree with me, you are necessarily a bigot.
2. Any bigot's argument is invalid.
3. Therefore, you are wrong.
Think otherwise? Consider why posters seem bound and determined to establish my supposed bigotry, when motives are entirely irrelevant to logic.

I find I no longer have the patience to wade through this kind of smug self-superiority. I'd rather head home and drink a martini.
@44 - I know several women named Raven, named that by their African-American (not Goth!) parents.
As for Princess Sparkles, I know 2 women (both elderly, both African-American) named Princess (no Sparkles.) Also a man (in his 60's) named Precious.

@60 - My first husband, whose legal name was John, was Butch all his life. I may possibly have called him "John" in our wedding vows (I honestly don't remember; quite a bit of alcohol on that day plus 40-some years have made my memories a little fuzzy!) But other than that, he was Butch until the day he died (and our daughter has it on his urn.) Funny, when our first great-grandson was born he was named for John, and we thought he'd be "Baby Butchie."

Nope; he's "Peanut."
Edited to add: John, or "Johnny" was Butch's DAD. Really, no one EVER called Butch John. Friends occasionally called him Bubba or Tut (because he was a big husky bearded guy who looked like King Tut from Batman!) But if you said John we'd all be wondering "who?"
@ 88 -Here's what smug self-superiority looks like:

"I've never met anyone named "Spike," either as a given name or as a nickname. (...) I can only conceive of it as a dog name, and expect most other people will as well."

To paraphrase: Since I am ignorant, I expect no one else to be better informed than I am. (And when proven wrong, I make a pseudo-dramatic exit.)

That is smug self-superiority. That is you.

@13, "Spike Spiegel"?
I had a friend years ago who had a massive cock and went by the nickname "Vlad", after Vlad the Impaler. His friends in high school had called him that, and it stuck.

Decades later, everyone (his minister, his co-workers, his wife) called him Vlad, and, I suspect, got quiet enjoyment out of it.
@91: It's hilarious how someone thinks that being churlish about someone's nonsexual preferences and identity is going to receive a positive response here.

Sidestepping that, CMD have you posted a contact email here before? I forget.
@88 actually you haven't 'explained' anything. You've bitched and moaned and whined that you thought this name was unprofessional [someone should tell Spike Lee] and that it. You haven't really offered any reason why this would 'hurt' you other than you don't like this name so you don't want to use it.

So yeah you want to sell us on this? Give us something other than 'I don't like it'.
@92: You're gonna carry that weight.
Oh. Venomlash is here. Hi.
CMD... I see you didn't reprimand
Joe( naughty boy) Newman
for his cartoon having a lend of Spike's kink.
I see there is a difference between accepting some one's kink; each to their own, no one seems to be getting hurt, unless they start chasing after cars; and seeing that yes, that is a kink.
IHSN @65: No, asserting a greater right over someone else's identity than they have is the asshole move.
I'm getting confused with what the problem is here. The name Spike is innocuous, that surely is established. Should be fine around the work place to call this guy Spike. If it was Princess Sparkle, or similar, that might not sit too well in most work environments.
So Fan, are you guys really out. have to get visas now to go to Europe?
And I just see that David Cameron has resigned. Jezz, bye David.
@98: I love that he thinks "disagreeing" with a person is why he's being called out for being shitty.

No, it's the general taking of something he finds personally offensive and trying to dismiss a person to the point where he'd LITERALLY REFUSE TO WORK WITH THE PERSON than call them by their preferred nickname.

Also lol @ bringing up Ad Hominem as if he understands the logical fallacy. We're not arguing that because he's... whatever category he thinks he's being targeted for, that his position is wrong. He acts a petty manchild because of his position. He can talk about "motives" all he wants, but if his motives were less shitty, he'd be more open to the reasonable requests to allow a person to be addressed by whatever name they choose. And this is a reasonable, fairly common name.

I'm sure some other idiot could hear IHSN's given/preferred/nickname and find it stupid and similarly make fun of it. Maybe someone has, in the span of his life.

But those people wouldn't be makin fun of IHSN's name, they'd be attacking him by whatever means they can, his identity.

Hopefully he can ruminate on that for a while and figure out what's actually bugging him here, but I doubt it. We don't know his "true soul" but we know his works.
RE: Doggone
As I read these posts all I can think of is the SEINFELD episode where George decides that the times has come to grab a cool nickname for himself. He sets up a plan to get the nickname "T-BONE".
@102: This guy gets away with it-…
Undead- I did but can't find it, so here's a rerun cmd78014 at yeah who
@104: Messaged!
@ 99 - "I'm getting confused with what the problem is here. The name Spike is innocuous, that surely is established."

There is no actual problem, Lava, only a few uptight people who refuse to recognize the fact that Spike is innocuous, common, not limited to dogs, etc. because what really bugs them is that someone else has a kink. Or maybe just a sex life of any kind.

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