Savage Love

Pair of Jacks

Comments

1

He gave her carte blanche to explore her bisexuality... and she came out pissed that he doesn't want her in a relationship with a man? That is a massive red flag. Never mind putting the brakes on an open marriage, he needs to figure out if he still has any marriage to speak of. I know we only have one side of the story here, but he comes across as eminently reasonable, and she comes across as either wildly unreasonable or ready to leave her marriage.

2

JACKS
I think the guest expert is projecting way too much fear. There is no coercion nor abuse of power in your situation, HR has no business determining yours or any other employee’s off work activities, and that other dude is very likely to be as terrified as you to see someone they know, yet forever grateful to implement a non overlapping schedule.

Now I wonder about those circles…

3

@1: "he comes across as eminently reasonable, and she comes across as ... wildly unreasonable"

That happens to me all the time, especially when I'm doing the telling!

4

The wife is being sneaky. I don't see how dating other men when she's married is exploring her bisexuality. He should start prepping for divorce.

Jacks is stuck in a bind. I hate to say it but I tend to agree with Dan's expert: Jacks is stuck. I certainly wouldn't continue going to the meetups. I guess the only move would be to talk with the employee about it, but that really could get messy if the employee was fired for some other reason or reprimanded for some reason.

BTW, how do these clubs work: are dudes looking at each other for stimulation, watching porn, what's the setup? Is there some kind of criteria for the night in that what happens when someone cums fast? Does the guy stick around or is that that and he splits?

5

"My only caveat for opening our marriage was that I wasn't comfortable with her entering into a relationship with another man. This pissed my wife off."

I wonder if PFFT proposed they both be allowed to have sex and form relationships with women. That would explain his wife's reaction.

6

Seems a shame that LW has to stop something he likes, when it's entirely possible that the employee never goes to that club again, either because he spotted his boss there, or just for reasons of his own.

I agree that if employee is actually going to the club on anything like a regular basis, LW needs to find a different club. I wonder if there's a way for him to find this out without being creepy. Maybe if he knows someone else who is a regular, who he can ask "Hey, is a blond guy with black framed glasses showing up these days?' I dunno, seems there should be some way.

7

@6 agony: I agree, there's gotta be a way to do some reconnaissance. For all JACKS knows, maybe the employee saw his manager and won't go back. JACKS could also make note of any vacation plans the employee discusses at work; if he talks about a trip to Florida or planned medical leave or something that could be a time to risk a visit to the club.

8

JACKS, get thee to Fetlife and see if there are any other places where you can enjoy yourself without the risk of being nekkid with your employee in the room.

9

Green's advice to JACKS is excellent (unfortunately). Dan's to "risk going back at least one more time", is (to be redundant) risky.

PFFT:
I /think/ Dan is right, it sounded like Dan is right, that PFFT is "not interested in polyamory...If a boyfriend is what she wants...she's unwilling to compromise and can't negotiate with you in good faith, you don't want to be her husband." But I'd have still phrased it in the form of a question. He did ask how to "acclimate to this"; I think there's a non-zero chance if ASKED if he would be up for polyamory (instead of being told he's NOT), he might be. Probably not, I agree. But why not ask instead of tell? Don't people who already practice polyamory also have feelings to navigate?

@7 Ankylosaurus
"there's gotta be a way to do some reconnaissance."

Yes I thought of that, and /if/ the LW simply failed to mention that (quoting @6 agony) "he knows someone else who is a regular", sure, show a picture to his buddy and go back after a number of weeks pass without his employee jacking off there.

10

TSA ~ ...Aaaah, the old “bad clams” excuse...
PFFT~ All your employee needs to do is SEE you at the circle jerk...you might need to find a less public diversion. As they say, “Life sucks and then you die”.

11

Whoa. They really need to put the brakes on the whole opening up thing until they define terms that they are both comfortable with and have an honest conversation about their desires. Also I think it's weird that he didn't mention anything at all about who he is interested in / allowed to hook up with- seems odd to leave that out. Is the relationship only open for her? Or is it open for them both? Did it start out that he could fuck other women but she couldn't fuck other men? Then expanded to current situation? Or was it just open for her to explore her sexuality with women and then she expanded it to include men while he gets nothing? A lot we don't know. In any case, they need to have a really long talk (or three) and sort this out before either of them do anything or else it's likely to escalate and explode. The fact that the husband is feeling uncomfortable with the pace of change is enough that the wife should stop until they are both on the same page.

12

PFFT went from "explore this side of her sexuality" to "opening our marriage" without missing a beat. These are not the same thing, and a chunk of this story may well have been omitted.

Still, Dan's advice is solid, provided PFFT is not fucking and relationshipping other women to his heart's content under the "you're having sex out side the marriage, so I'll have sex outside the marriage, but I'm only attracted to women" justification.

14

I still fail to see the imminent disaster JACKS is destined to encounter if continuing to attend his masturbation circle.
I wonder how many of us went to events/ shows/ play parties etc. while terrified of who we might meet in there, yet once realized there’s indeed someone we know managed to navigate the situation safely.

I’m aware of the unique situation at hand, of course intended, but it’s also my observation and experience that kinksters are fully aware of their potential vulnerability, hence inclined to live and let live and provide a safe space for themselves and all others.
As I shared in the past I ran into a former coworker and gf in a bdsm event of some sort few years ago. We were not nude let alone masturbating, but just being there was plenty for stigma and shaming, not to mention that I was fully en femme which they didn’t know about. We talked, gave each other some relevant background, and went on our separate ways. There was neither mention nor any issues at work afterwards.

I personally find this circle thing to be quite intriguing and challenging on many levels, and suspect I’m not alone regardless of gender and orientation. Images are delightful yet seem to be orchestrated, so here are some articles I found:
Seattle’s group founder is getting philosophical:
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/bnp5vd/rain-city-jacks-is-seattles-premier-masturbation-club

Philly’s branch Q&A:
Ahttp://www.philadelphiajacks.com/more.html

Apparently there’s also a women’s circle. It does deal with body issues, there’s an imminent empowerment involved, and as expected it is a very long and probably pricey workshop one has to endure before any meaningful action finally takes place, with even more unique female bonding afterwards:
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/jenny-block/group-masturbation_b_5659617.html

15

@3&12/fubar & @5/EricaP: LOL. PFFT is either an unreliable narrator or he is unreasonable. Funny how that just always seems to be true for male letter writers discussing their female partners or the male partners of female letter writers.

I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before someone is commenting on the absolute fairness that a marriage bisexual has an absolute right to either have a one sided open marriage to fuck women or the right to fuck men too because her heterosexual husband thinks it’s fair if he has the right to sex outside the relationship if she does. And of course the basis for this is that it is just so much harder for women to find female sex partners than for men to find female sex partners, so of course it’s fine if she ends up just fucking other men.

16

@14: If JACKS were just talking about a garden variety sex event, sure. They could simply avoid each other. Even so much as one spectating the other creates a dynamic that's best avoided when one person has professional power over the other. It might not blow up, but the mess if it does is best avoided.

When the point of a club is open group masturbation, avoiding sexual interaction becomes much more difficult and avoiding seeing each other in a very unprofessional position is nigh impossible. Given that JACKS can't say anything here without an implied "because I'm your boss" being attached, we're only left with bad options. Bowing out seems like the least risky of the bunch.

17

Yeah, I agree that either Mrs PFFT is being unreasonable, and the sort of person who gives us bisexuals a bad name, or PFFT has misconstrued the situation. It sounds like he meant "My wife came out as polyamorous," given the rest of the letter. Applying the benefit of the doubt test, it sounds like Mrs PFFT has made it clear that full polyamory is her price of admission. "Throwing the brakes on" sounds like a recipe for resentment, so I think it's probably for the best that this marriage ends.

Agony @6: Great suggestion. JACKS does sound like he's in a tough spot. Could he fire the employee? Just kidding. If there aren't other JO groups in his area, would it be easier for him to start looking for another job? I wish him luck.

18

The problem for "vagina-only" or "dick-only" clauses given to bisexual people exploring non monogomy is... we desire both, not either/or, and we can't dictate the future.

Also, not all genders have the genitals cis people tend to associate with them. And ohmigosh non-binary.

If your partner wants to explore people other than you, you absolutely need to discuss how non monogamy will happen. But don't be crass and say "if you want to be bi, no penises." Because fuck your fragility.

I say this as a person who once told my bi, ex bf that he had a no-vagina rule for exploring himself. I have apologized for that and grown. Especially because I have since realized am also bi: because repression but also karma.

19

PFFT's wife doesn't sound very nice. I suggest he treat himself to a nice oreo cookie milkshake and an excellent divorce attorney.

20

@1, 3, 4, 19 etc. I'm not sure that PFFT's wife is selfish or unreasonable so much as entirely unversed in degrees of marital openness. She's taking the options on opening the marriage as 'all or nothing', 'open or closed'. (Sure, she has used the word 'boundary', which may suggest she has more of a clue). PFFT needs to take her back to a very basic discussion: what does she want? Does she want to be with him? Does she want to have sex with somebody, anybody, else? Let her answer these without pre-emption, listening to the answers. The LW has every right to feel fearful. He shouldn't think this is a feeling he has to disembarrass himself of, for whatever reason.

With JACKS, I doubt the expert has ever been to such a setting. A guy on my dissertation committee (i.e . a Professor) at grad school frequented the same scene as me. I enjoyed socializing and getting to know his friends / other profs. I couldn't watch him fuck; but fortunately we had different kinks and no problem ever arose. It would have been awful, thoroughly lacking in solidarity and friendship, had I given him a berth. He had the same right to be there I had. His partner was younger than him but not drawn from his pool of students; his manner in professional contexts was never anything other than professional.

21

@18. Rosey. I sort-of feel you were right before.

'Male' and 'female' are social categories, relating to how a person would be seen, not unerring descriptors of what people's genitals look like.

The idea in an OS relationship where a bisexual partner is only given the latitude to explore their SS side is that their straight desire should be sated by their husband (wife/bf/gf). 'Should...'. Well, we all know it isn't, that married people desire other OS partners; but that's what a commitment is: an apparently arbitrary restriction giving a partner peace of mind and pledging to maintain the relationship. 'Not fucking other men' e.g. is a very common formula for giving partners peace of mind. To a bisexual person, esp. NB or GQ, it can seem hopelessly arbitrary--but isn't respecting inexplicably arbitrary boundaries what commitment is?

22

@14 CMDwannabe: I agree. JACKS quickly and discreetly left when he saw an employee at the event. If his subordinate didn't see him, what's the big deal? Less said, soonest mended. If nothing more comes from it, life goes on.

23

Sublime @15: I have a feeling your comment was intended as BDF bait, so here goes.
So you're arguing it IS fair for a man to fuck women outside the marriage but for the woman to be limited to fucking only women? Hmm.
Fairness would mean that either they both get same-sex-only partners (which is fair if both are bi), or they both get whatever-sex-they-want partners. So uh, yes. You're correct that it wouldn't be fair for him to go fuck other women and then get mad if she fucked other men. Not that this is the situation currently under discussion; the situation under discussion is that she wants to be fully polyamorous while he is okay only with casual sex outside the relationship. This is an incompatibility problem, not a fairness one.

Rosey @18: It depends on what you want. Again, if both partners are bi, and if both are okay with same-sex-only openness, no problem. (I've been in LTRs with men and honestly didn't mind the lack of other men. Others' mileage may vary.) But as Sublime says, in a mixed orientation partnership, the only "fair" agreements are either that both people get to fuck the people they want or that neither does.

Harriet @20: I had the same reaction to the choice of a female HR expert to answer this specifically (gay) male question. (I'm not sure if "male only" means "gay only" in this type of setting, but I'm not sure it matters.) If Dadddy and CMD agree it's no big deal, they may have a point. Perhaps JACKS could keep attending and discreetly leaving if Employee shows up. A second expert opinion may be in order.

24

@23/BiDanFan: No Bi, we both get to fuck same-sex partners is some circumstances normatively fair (“we both get the same thing”) but it is not a sin qua non of fairness. Other normative values include “we both get something that we want.” In the case of bisexual women married to heterosexual men fairness requires both parties get something through outside sex partners that they want, which can mean we both fuck women. That’s not unfair. You’ll recall that you’ve previously made clear that getting opportunities for lots of sex you don’t want is valueless, so it is in this case too.

25

Harriet @21: "isn't respecting inexplicably arbitrary boundaries what commitment is?"

Excellent point, this does come up quite often in discussions around polyamory. Certain partners will ask for seemingly arbitrary rules like no fucking someone else in our bed, no dating people we both know, check in with me first, etc. Some of these are simply unworkable, such as no catching feelings. Others are basically designed to say "I want you to show me by your actions that you respect my feelings and insecurities more than you want to fuck these other people." If a partner can abide by these arbitrary rules, the relationship tends to flourish, and several years in they find there is no longer any need for the rule because they know they can trust each other, that they're not just using polyamory as an excuse to try out their next partner before moving on. If one can't follow the rule, it's clear there is not enough respect there.

The PFFTs are very new to exploring openness, and Mrs PFFT has shown she does not respect PFFT enough to take baby steps in an effort to assuage his concerns. PFFT seems like he could eventually get to a place where he was okay with complete polyamory, but by rushing him and disregarding his feelings, Mrs PFFT seems to have ruined her chances of getting there.

26

Your gotcha attempt failed, Sublime @24. Please tell me how "Fairness would mean that either they both get same-sex-only partners (which is fair if both are bi)" is not a reasonable statement. If the woman isn't fucking men because she doesn't WANT to be fucking men, that's a different issue. If she does want to be fucking men and her husband says "no men" while fucking women, he's being a selfish jerk. In other words, you're arguing a point I completely agree with, ha ha! Go pick a fight somewhere else please.

27

I read you again, Sublime @24, to try to figure out what on earth you're talking about.
You seem to be arguing that a bisexual woman in a marriage will want other women but she won't want other men, because bisexuals are demi-monogamous by nature? Eh? So a married man wants other women but a married woman won't ever want other men. Read Rosey's comment @18: "we desire both, not either/or, and we can't dictate the future." If your hypothetical married woman only wanted other women and never other men, she'd be a lesbian, right? And she wouldn't be married to a dude, or fucking him, in the first place (see the recent letter from a woman in this situation: https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2018/10/09/33614134/bisexual-woman-on-the-verge-of-a-nervous-breakdown)

If a woman is granted permission to fuck people of either gender but doesn't want other men, don't worry, she won't fuck them. Problem solved.

28

I read PFFT's letter as "they had a closed relationship, but because the wife was bi he agreed to open the relationship for her with other women, while the relationship remained closed for him." Support for this reading includes the lack of mention of him going outside the marriage and that he has a "hotwife kink": swingers and polyamourous people generally don't use that term. (On the other hand, he also refers to "opening the marriage", which usually but not always means opening the marriage for both partners, so who knows?) Reasons why restricting her to women would be reasonable, if the marriage is still closed for him, include that she already has a male partner, so she has a need to go outside the relationship for a female partner but not a male one, that pregnancy is not usually a risk when two women have sex, and basically that if the marriage is still closed to him then her getting anything is generous.

Having said that, the fact that she's investigating the possibility of relationships with other men whether he's OK with it or not does not bode well for the marriage.

29

@24. Bi. I veto my partner (who has more lovers outside the relationship than me) fucking anyone who knows more about Shakespeare, Goethe or opera than I do, or who has a fatter ass.

30

@13 Dadddy
You apparently either don't care that JACKS is risk averse (that is, wrote that he is concerned about "dangerous HR consequence", in other words he doesn't want to lose his job), or you know little about employment law.

(I do have substantial experience with employment law; I spent years in labor unions fighting soulless HR drones and malevolent supervisors in the course of representing hundreds of employees [of a very large employer].)

Kudos to Dan for (mostly) deferring to someone who knows.

31

It's sad, but JACKS should follow the recommendation of Alison Green, the HR consultant. As a manager, he needs to be above suspicion especially when it comes to sexual activities and employment.
Consider what happens if JACKS continues to go to the club and the employee is there regularly, then JACKS has to lay people off. If the employee is let go, JACKS could be seen as pushing out an employee to ensure he can still go to the club. If the employee is kept, JACKS could be seen as showing favoritism. In other words, any decision JACKS makes that has an effect, positive or negative on the employee will be suspect.
That said, JACKS should ask someone who attends the club regularly if the employee is continuing to attend. If not, JACKS could return, though if the employee ever shows up again, JACKS should consider the club off limits.

32

ChiTodd @ 16
I didn’t suggest they should masturbate together while attempting to avoid one another. If they run into each other again they can easily discuss alternate play times and the supervisor offering to leave the establishment right after in order to let the co-worker continue with the current session.

curious 2
Can you give us examples relevant to the situation at hand, like someone loosing their job after engaging in a fully consented off work event?

What risks do you see for LW briefly discussing alternate visits with his subordinate inside the club, in case they meet, then leaving the place?

33

SublimeAfterglow @15 -- as Old Crow said @28, we can't tell from the letter whether PFFT is free to have sex and/or relationships with others. Given how these negotiations about fairness often go... yes, that makes him an unreliable narrator.

As an aside: Nnon-monogamous men who date women are better off in the long run (in my opinion) accepting that their partners will date other men too. The pool of non-monogamous women willing to restrict themselves to one man is pretty small.

34

It's pointless to talk about what is an objectively fair arrangement for opening a marriage in terms of who gets to fuck who. There is no objective standard. What is fair is that both partners get something they want within the gently expanding comfort zones of their relationships with a priority on communication, trust, and (when applicable) the prioritization of the feelings of the marriage partner (I said when applicable because this might be more complicated in poly arrangements of which I neither experience nor interest).

As for this couple, we don't know because the man left out any words describing what he's allowed to do, but he also did not say he was supposed to remain closed- he said nothing at all about himself. It's a baffling omission. The woman appears to be confused at best or selfish at worse. I don't understand how they went from a scenario in which she gets to fuck women to one in which they might have a threesome to one in which she gets a boyfriend. All of this with no explanation at all for what the man wants / is seeking.

They need to go back to the drawing board.

35

Presumably the Jacks club has someone organizing the events. Might be worth talking to them and letting them know your situation. They could likely confirm if the employee was a one-time participant. They might also be able to say, "Ron only comes in on Tuesdays so just avoid that night" or even drop you a line if Ron ever stops attending.

36

Unknown @31: Yes, good point. I'm convinced. If either JACKS or the employee could transfer -- or be discreetly transferred -- to a different department, might that solve the problem?

EmmaLiz @34: If we're discussing "objectively fair" in a context of inherent inequality (gender and sexual orientation not being the same), I wonder if Sublime would be satisfied with an agreement whereby the wife could have sex with women and the husband could have sex only with red-haired women, who comprise a similar proportion of the female population as bisexuals who will date married women. ;-)

37

The man did say something about himself. He said "I have a hotwife-type fetish." In cuckold porn, the term "hotwife" is used a lot to describe the cuckold's wife. So it's very reasonable to read this letter as him using a euphemism to say he has a cuckold fetish. And if you read the letter that way (I agree that it's so badly written that reasonable people can read it mulitiple ways), there are no omissions.

He didn't say explicitly that the relationship was closed because he thought he'd covered that with his euphemism. The idea of being a cuckold turns him on, but he's not sure he wants that in reality, especially if it involves his wife having a boyfriend and not just one-night stands. The relationship went from one where she gets to fuck women, to one where they have an MMF threesome, to one in which she gets a boyfriend, because she knows that he has a cuckold fetish, and she's decided that she'd like to fuck other men, but on her own terms.

38

The couple wanting to open their marriage -- they need an intimacy coach to keep them feeling like teammates and negotiate a playbook that has them 'care for each other so they can share adventures ~ together'. Intimacy is the foundation, bring in a contractor so the structure does not fall. @IntimateWithAmyColor

39

@7 (Ankylosaurus)

Re JACKS, it's even easier than waiting for the employee to discuss going on vacation, as most companies require a subordinate to acquire a manager's okay first before submitting vacation plans. So, JACKS should know well in advance that the employee will be away (in Puerto Vallarta, etc,, one hopes, and not having a "staycation").

If JACKS can also take advantage of spur-of-the-moment opportunities (he hears employee talking about attending the latest movie or XYZ team playing that night), he can still attend the club without the risk of running into employee.

As for those who commented that men tend to be cooler about unexpectedly bumping into one another in sexual situations, that may be true, but the manager-subordinate aspect (rather than mere coworkers) ups the risk factor.

40

@37 (Old Crow)

Regarding PFFT, I'm wondering whether he fits into an alternate interpretation of hot-wifing as a euphemism for cuckoldry ... wherein he gets turned on by his wife being fulfilled by a woman (someone without a dick) rather than another man.

In any case, without any other corroborating details, his wife sounds shady, presumably wanting to open the marriage to satisfy her bisexual side but seeking men instead.

41

Oh, I see that Ms. Green's role isn't as an HR drone, she's a consultant. I think that might possibly make her more objective.

@32 CMDwannabe
Others have said a lot really well, but I think I can add a bit. (Even though I never dealt with or even heard of a similar situation!)

To try to say more I went back and re-read Ms. Green's advice.

First, it is as you say "a fully consented off work event", but it's also a sexual situation, and (quoting Ms. Green) "JACKS has a responsibility to avoid any remotely sexual situation with an employee." (I'll give an example why in a bit.)

(Now quoting Dan) "initiating a conversation with a subordinate" about sex stuff is also "a bad idea". I think Ms. Green's stated reason is unconvincingly mild that "It would call his professional judgment into question...that he continued to attend knowing an employee was also participating", so I can see why an example will I hope be helpful:

Let's say for example JACKS someday needs to fire the subordinate for a totally legitimate work-related reason. Then (as is common) the firing ends up in court as a wrongful termination lawsuit. The lawyer for the subordinate could (heck likely would) use JACKS presence with the subordinate in sexual situations or even just a conversation about sex to cost the company a ton of money.

More importantly, companies only want supervisors in place whose HYPOTHETICAL future terminations (and less extreme personnel actions, both favorable and unfavorable) will be legally rock-solid. Supervisors with anything fired employee's lawyers could draw unfavorable attention to in court (such as being in sexual situations, or just talking about them, with a subordinate; let alone for example an undisclosed criminal record) are extremely likely to lose their jobs out of concern that their hypothetical future motives for and testimony about actions will hold up.

In other words, in the eyes of an employer, a big part of being a supervisor is one's ability to take personnel actions that will absolutely positively hold up in court.

(I subsequently spent some years as a manager. I liked that I was beloved by my employees; I didn't like how little other managers liked THAT. I guess it highlighted their cruel heartless managerial styles.)

42

I too thought it was odd that PFFT didn't mention his own desire to get some strange. It seems gendered stereotyping to assume that any man whose wife asks for any degree of openness will automatically respond "Whee, more pussy for me!" He perhaps was too concerned with his own conflicted emotions over her outside dalliances to think about his own, just yet. Or he didn't mention it because she has no issue with the concept of his being as poly as he wants. Regardless, this shows that "just go get some of your own" is not an answer to the jealousy and fears a situation like this can provoke.

43

I think that the advice given to JACKS is spot on and for perhaps another reason. As a professional Jacks is opening himself up to professional black mail if his subordinate is that sort, using what he knows as a "get out of jail free" card. Secondly, if JACKS fellow worker is a standup sort, there is very little chance he isn't going to tell this to good not to tell story to someone he trusts. Who will tell this to good not to tell story to someone else until this to good not to tell story reaches the ears of someone who can harm JACKS career.

44

PFFT: Use your words or get run over. You told your wife you didn't want her having a relationship with a man, then were kinda cool with it while she swiped right, directly in front of your face? Your wife is a line-pusher and that was everything she needed to know. She read your signal and moved forward. If you want her to change up, you can't soft-sell it like "okay maybeee in a few months..." - say what you want now. If in a few months you change your mind, you can tell her then.

45

re: Jacks. Agree with Ms. Green - you can't get everything you want

@2 We scold Louis CK because he asked to masturbate in front of some people WHO SAID YES to him. Because he had nominal power over those young comedians. This gentleman has actual power over this employee, leagues more than CK ever did. Why the different attitude now?

46

Must you Sportlandia. Creep boy CK did not get consent, otherwise the women would have enjoyed the experience and not needed to say anything. He coerced them, and it’s about time as grown men, he and you knew the difference.

47

@46 my understanding is that he asked and they agreed; the coercion was invisible because CK had some type of power over their careers - they were afraid to say no. (double check the reports, this is 3 of the 5 accusers. A 4th said no, and a 5th was over the phone).

Anyways, my point still stands. If there's a power imbalance in the relationship, any sexual contact - be it flirting at the office, dates, jacking off at a jack off party - become inherently exploitative. That's been the prevailing attitude over the past decade or so. I don't know why that's suddenly not part of the equation anymore (well, we know why, but that's a debate for another time)

48

@41 curious2 your point is well taken, but the idea that employers own employees and have control on their out-of-the-workplace speech, and consenting adult legal behavior: this is deeply troubling and one step from indentured servitude. It's a problem of our "free market rules" country where the only really free people are the super wealthy.

49

I’m not following the discussion here closely, I found you using Mr Jack off in the pot plants guy, a little provacative. And I content the abuse, because I see it as such, was only seen in hindsight. CK’s sense of entitlement lead him to believe women would be fine with some dude whipping his dick out and rubbing it.
What, no kiss first? He imposed himself on these women suddenly and confused them. His Star power did the confusing.

50

And to think, back when I decided that they were beings lacking both hearts and souls, all management and career consultants were ordering people to do was just along the line of having a social media account for public consumption that is 5000% work-friendly. Now look where they've gotten. Full credit to Ms Fan for catching that this is a venue for women to get a chance to dictate gay male behaviour (I'll add that Mr Savage's part of their conversation reminds me of the recent interview in which Mr Rubin learned that not only would Mr Shapiro not bake him a wedding cake, but that he would decline an invitation to his anniversary party); in appreciation, I shall avoid further speculation about the guest expert's character.

51

M?? Harriet - Well, at least we can discuss Shakespeare. I'll give you an example of MRA-coloured glasses; two or three weeks ago, I heard someone declaring on a livestream that Lady Macbeth survived and found another fool of a man to manipulate.

52

Ms Fan - Would you accept a trade-off of a gender for an unindulged-in-the-partnership kink?

53

I’m JACKS-ing again.
Back in the days when homosexuality was kept under wraps suspected homos were not allowed in the military/secret service and the like for fear that if some hostile entity finds out about their homosexuality they could use it and force them to spy on their behalf. Cross dressers, an umbrella term I’m using here in reference for today’s alphabet soup, trans, nonbinarians, etc. weren’t in a much better spot either.

I may be spoiled in the sense that nowadays I’m comfortable to project my femme side in public, not tomention being able to do so freely and safely in and around Savageville.
All this may influence/inspire me to think that this attitude can also be applied to JACKS situation, assuming he can take some safety measures such as leave the place if a coworker is present.
I still think that in case he runs into this guy he could at least offer privacy and suggest the alternating action.

I know this may seem radical, but maybe he can even approach HR, tell them in general terms what the situation is, ask for their advice or at least have them be aware of it.
Now this is not to pull a sporty- BTW, you’re beyond repair. And also be aware that CK eluded to gigs earlier, was leaning on the door as they sat down hence blocking the exit, maybe even pulled it out before even asking- just to point out that Employers/employees do all kind of stuff together, from drinking after hours, going to concerts or playing soccer on the same team.
Yes there’s a difference, ours is a much bigger mine that may require extra effort, creativity, and possibly some level of acceptance in order to diffuse it.

54

@48 delta35
"It's a problem of our "free market rules" country where the only really free people are the super wealthy."

Sadly true. Honestly I felt most free at the start of my career. As it progressed I made more but not nearly enough to compensate for all the added work and stress and pure bullshit. Being evil would have helped my career, but "what good it is for a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul"?

Other than, as you say, "the super wealthy", everyone has a master. Even a CEO and a POTUS, (theoretically at least) shareholders/the electorate have power over them.

56

Could everyone stop feeding the troll: please.
And Grizelda, please let it go. We all know you served your country and nothing anyone says can take that away from you. Love you honey.

57

JACKS:

I'm here to contribute a fairly pointless, related anecdote: As a grad student, I ran into one of my professors at The Zone (a gay sex maze in L.A.) and I pretended not to see him. The next week on campus, he approached me and said "hope you're playing safe!" He also added a conspicuous wink (this was pre #MeToo)...and the whole thing icked me out beyond measure. Anyway there is probably no way to make this situation ok.

58

Oh hunter, just when someone embraced your “transparency” on last week’s thread you immediately lashed at auntie for no reason, like you did in the past, clueless as ever to situations others are sharing here.
Sometimes I wonder if you secretly impose your kink on us. Maybe it’s only the booze.

59

Sportlandia, the difference is obvious. Both of these people individually made the decision to go to an adult place where men gather consensually to masturbate together. To make a comparison with CK is absurd. If the LW had approached the employee at work and asked if he would watch him jack off, that would be an appropriate analogy to what CK did. But that's not what happened. And there is concern that contact between this man and his employee would be a violation of workplace power- hence the conversation we are all having here and Dan's response. I tend to think it's not since they both, independently and in their own free time, made the choice to attend a sex club. But I also worry about the possible repercussions- could the knowledge be used (or appear to be used) later on in the workplace as leverage for something, blackmail, toxic gossip, etc. I could see that the LW could be concerned about this from his employee or the employee could be concerned about this from the LW. But this has nothing to do with a person in power asking a subordinate in a work environment to watch them jack off. The ONLY thing the two situations have in common is the masturbation.

60

I'm confused why there are comments from the other thread spilling over here. There's plenty of new things to talk about.

61

As I read the comments, I realize I just hadn't read the letter close enough about opening the marriage. Hence my post above mirrors what Old Crow (28) wrote: he wasn't looking to open the marriage. She wanted to open the marriage to see other women because she's bisexual. She's got a husband (a man) but she feels unsatisfied because another part of her identity isn't being met/fulfilled (i.e., a relationship with a woman). As others have said, his letter is a bit of a mess. Brevity might have helped him. But if we just take the first part at face value then it's understandable that he would be confused and hurt by her request to see other men. He feels like he's providing the heterosexual fulfillment of her bisexual identity. In the end, it's moot. These two will be done soon enough.

62

Some years ago, I was at a party mostly but not entirely based on workplace relationships, and my boss and his boss were both there. (This was one of those high-tech outfits where everyone was between 25 and 35 so, same culture, etc.) After awhile there was a good deal of intense making out and other overtly sexual behavior going on, albeit all cis-het vanilla. So, should the managers have left? I wish they had, because I was getting pretty intense with one of the boss's supposed girl friends; but they sure didn't, no indeed. They were in the midst. Too bad Ms. Green wasn't there.... But maybe there is less HR danger when things are vanilla?

65

@56 LavaGirl: HUnter missed the point again. No surprise. I know--don't feed the troll. Thank heaven for music, Volkswagens, and cats.
Love you, too,
XO,
Griz

Congrats in advance for this week's Lucky @69 winner!

66

@58 CMDwannabe: Thank you and bless you.
@60 EmmaLiz: I know, right?

67

Sporty @45: Because Employee has of his own initiative attended a club where men masturbate in front of each other. The women Louis CK propositioned did not willingly put themselves into a situation where they could have expected to see a man masturbate -- nor should any man have presumed they would want to.

Venn @52: It's Sublime, not me, who's insisting that "he gets to sleep with whoever he wants (ie women), she gets to sleep with whoever she wants (ie men and women)" isn't fair. But yes. If the rationale for openness is that each partner has needs that aren't being met within the relationship, a kink that the bi partner won't indulge would pass my fair-trade sniff test.

Lava @56/Emma @60: Good points. Hunter @55, I've replied on the relevant thread.

68

@67 BiDanFan: Thank you for your comment from last week, and bless you.

69

Anarcissie (@62)

You wrote "Some years ago" and "But maybe there is less HR danger when things are vanilla?" as bookends in your comment.

As we've been reading the last few months, many people (especially women) felt pressured to just go along with whatever covert or overt sexual stuff (don't be a wet blanket, party atmosphere, it's all in fun, honey, etc., etc.) was happening ... and it's all being revealed decades later to general condemnation.

70

@62 Anarcissie
"maybe there is less HR danger when things are vanilla?"

Sadly there might be less, depending upon how prejudiced against non-"cis-het vanilla" people a potential jury in the area might be.

@63 Dadddy
"...join "Ask a Manager" in her crusade to help corporations encroach on what little personal, private life their employees have left."

Daddy I now see a pattern: your brain isn't in good working order. Ms. Green isn't helping corporations do X, she's helping the LW (do what he wrote asking Dan how to do, namely) keep from getting fired because corporations are ALREADY DOING X!

Your willingness @13 to get the LW fired even though he doesn't want to was fucked up advice. (Thank goodness you weren't doing the jobs I held for several unions as Chief Steward; I made the lives of hundreds of real people better, sometimes simply by giving them good advice.)

We all see that the legal-corporate dynamics that could lead to him being fired are fucked up, but it seems only you don't see that no good can come from your willingness to involuntarily lose the LW his job on the altar of our shared disdain for those dynamics.

(How DO we change those dynamics? Er, that's another discussion since as others have noted it's baked into the corporate structure. And when one becomes a supervisor in a corporate structure, one does opt into this shit. Sorry, one just does.)

Another pattern I see is Dadddy's non-responsiveness. (Which I'm used to from rightwingers, either you are one, or you share the same mental dysfunction. Together with your posting history of irrational misogyny I suspect you are a rightwinger.) It's impossible to have a conversation with someone who when they're wrong/lose either makes no reply, or makes an irrational one. (If I had to choose, no reply is better; I guess you do that when you can't think of a fun troll?)

The one thing I've thought was relatively laudable about Dadddy in the past was that (unlike other trolls) he didn't response with angry insults, but honestly, passive-aggression is no less functional.

71

RE: Jacks club
I re-read this letter and aside from the HR issue I am trying to understand the purpose of the club. Is it designed to attract lonely gay men tired of doing it alone, or are they seeking to appeal to the gay exhibitionist?. Perhaps a hookup venue?

72

@57. GayBoi. Yes, it's highly unlikely that either JACKS or his work-subordinate find the situation comfortable. I also found my professor grating.

@71. sb53. Does it matter? It could be any of the three things you say. I think some people, at least, go to be unashamedly gay in public and for sexual release, rather than to find a sexual partner. JACKS says he was abused and implies it's a way to be sexual again around others. But let's imagine someone for whom the jacks club was the very apogee of sexual engagement (and it is kind of hot, no?). Both people can be applauded, endorsed, welcomed; certainly, given the consensual nature of the club, both can be tolerated. Maybe panicked by his junior showing up, JACKS came close to apologising for engaging in this activity, for having this kink.... He doesn't have to.

73

SB53 @71: I would imagine these types of clubs became popular in the 80s and early 90s when AIDS was a death sentence. Seems like a good way to get sexy with other guys in a 100% safe environment. Also seems like it would appeal to the voyeurs and exhibitionists, guys who are avoiding both hookups (risky in many ways) and relationships (too much commitment, personal issues, closets), and guys who want to improve their body image through being appreciated by other men. Personally, I'd answer "no" to Harriet's "it is kind of hot, no?" but I can see several reasons that it might appeal.

74

Curious2 @70: "Another pattern I see is Dadddy's non-responsiveness.... It's impossible to have a conversation with someone who when they're wrong/lose either makes no reply, or makes an irrational one."

Yes! Dadddy swoops in like a sexist seagull, makes an intentionally provocative comment, mocks people for reacting, and doesn't respond to the challenges his provocative comment provokes. He doesn't want a dialogue, he just wants to ruffle feathers. I believe this because he could easily make the same points -- which are often valid -- in a non-sexist way if he chose to do so.

And congrats to Helenka for winning the Lucky @69.

75

JACKS could probably also check in with someone at the club (the organizer or whatever) to find out whether so-and-so is continuing to come. No reason to drop out if your employee was giving it a try, decided he didn't like it and didn't return.

76

I'm late to the party here but thought I'd chime in since I'm in a similar but reversed situation as PFFT. I'm a guy in a mff poly triad (cliche I know). We are all three bi to some degree. Recently the gals agreed to let me explore MM hook ups outside the relationship. I'm fine being limited that way, I get what I really want, even though more variety on the lady front would be cool. My guy guy dalliances aren't a threat to the gals, not because same sex relationships don't count, but because they aren't my preference.

Recently my wife asked to see a single male swinger guy we used to play with. He isn't bi. I didn't say no (nor did my girlfriend) because we both think it is super hot, but I have to admit that it did require some soul searching precisely because I know men are my wife's preference. This guy is cool, really not a threat, being a single guy in the swinger world he is very cautious about overstepping. Even still their relationship (new though it might be) is way more of a relationship than I would have with my guy fuck buddies. My wife needs that connection, and to be made to feel special, I get that. The thing that makes this guy work is also the most threatening thing about him. He is single, well educated, our age, very good looking, basically retired (he has lots of free time to pursue her), wealthy, etc. If she was going to leave me for someone those would be prerequisites for her. I'm pretty confident that it will all work out, and that eventually they will settle into a couple of times a month hook up. If it is more that is probably fine too. He is a nice guy and totally the type of person I'd hang out with.

We decided that any time one of the three of us wants some extracurricular action that the best plan was for the other two to use that time for a one on one date. It is always nice to have that time to focus, and the support of my other partner will certainly help with any issues that might pop up in the moment.

Ultimately any relationship is built on compromise, and someone who was so dogmatic about their poly that they couldn't deal with some limitations wouldn't be a match for me anyway.

77

I have a deep yearning, difficult to articulate but fervently felt... although I confess it is odd to crave so desperately a life I have never actually lived, a life wherein the most complex decision to be made was whether it was more effective to gain calories by climbing a tree to fetch a beehive or by chewing on grass stems and seeds... I can't escape the feeling that we (humans) indulge in absurd levels of folly when we're bored and safe.

78

@69 Helenka (also a Canuck): Congratulations on scoring the highly coveted Lucky @69 Award!! May a golden showering of desired abundance come forth your way soon.

79

Urban dictionary on 78 and I'm very disappointed someone beat me, intended, to it:
78
Masturbating once at One o'clock, twice at Two o'clock, three times at Three o'clock until twelve at Twelve o'clock. In total 78, good challenge.

80

Re: Jacks Thanks Harriet and BDF. You have opened my mind on how this club thing works, and all those points make sense. I am old in years and yet in many ways a noob!

81

@60 EmmaLiz: I know this is SO last week, but I responded to your comment, as well as to curious2, BiDanFan, CMD, et al. to further clarify.
Okay, everyone---back to a Pair of Jacks.
@80 sb53: Naww, you're still a kid, as are we all!

83

Anarcissie @ 62, do you mean parties like the ones described here? They do seem like minefields for everyone involved.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/01/brotopia-silicon-valley-secretive-orgiastic-inner-sanctum

"Some of the women work in tech in the Bay Area, but others come from Los Angeles and beyond, and are employed in symbiotic industries such as real estate, personal training, and public relations. In some scenarios, the ratio of women to wealthy men is roughly two to one, so the men have more than enough women to choose from. 'You know when it’s that kind of party,' one male tech investor told me. 'At normal tech parties, there are hardly any women. At these kinds of party, there are tons of them.'

"You only get invited if you can be trusted and if you’re going to play ball. 'You can choose not to hook up with [a specific] someone, but you can’t not hook up with anybody, because that would be voyeurism. So if you don’t participate, don’t come in,' says one frequent attendee, whom I’ll call Founder X, an ambitious, world-traveling entrepreneur."

"Men actually get business done at sex parties and strip clubs. But when women put themselves in these situations, they risk losing credibility and respect."

"The women who do say yes to these parties rarely see a big business payoff. 'There is a desire to be included and invited to these kinds of things and sometimes it felt like it was productive to go and you could get ahead faster by cultivating relationships in this way,' one female tech worker told me. 'Over time, I realized that it’s false advertising and it’s not something women should think is a way to get ahead. It’s very risky—once you’re in that circle, once you decide you want to play the game, you can’t back out. If you really believe that’s going to get you to a serious place in your career, that’s delusion.'"

84

Ms(?) Curious - This would be an excellent time to have that discussion. A good human being would be devising ways for LW to subvert and overthrow the evil system without being fired. The guest expert may be "helping" LW, but does so clearly with a focus on converting human beings into good corporate drones.

85

Curious2 @70 and BiDanFan @74: I think you already know this, but Dadddy is a troll. So is Hunter.

Back before the Internet was a thing... on CompuServe and the dial-up bulletin boards, we would say "don't feed the trolls" or, if someone did reply to a troll, "YHBT" (You Have Been Trolled) to remind them to disengage.

These days, trolling is completely normal, and probably irreversible. Just look at the comments on CNN and FuxNews. Or Twitter... the POTUS is the biggest troll of all.

That said, I notice there are trolls on SLOG that never seem to get a reply - no names mentioned, as that would feed those trolls - so maybe there's hope that we could starve them out?

86

I don’t see Dadddy as a troll fubar.

87

Venn @84: what's with the M?? and Ms(?) prefix to people's names when you reply to them? You're not writing a letter, so there's no need to be formal. It comes across as trolling.

The issue at hand is not about turning people into corporate drones. It's about managers, who generally have a lot of power over employees, behaving appropriately in inadvertent sexual situations with said employees. Someone in the comments above touched on firing the employee so LW could continue attending the wanking party. That's what it's about.

88

JACKS’ position is difficult because he has to maintain his authority at work over the other man. What if the other guy gets a crush on the LW and starts coming on to him at work. Perhaps if they were peers at work it could play differently.
I’d look for another club to join, LW.

89

LavaGirl @86: You may well be right. I've read a number of Dadddy's comments that seem to be intended to trigger people, and perhaps I missed the positive contribution.

90

I don’t think the comments should all be facing the same direction, fubar. Can get a bit bland. Time will tell hey?
In hunter’s case, he’s been trolling for yrs.

93

Coolie @76; you sound like you are saying the right things to yourself. You have been having time with two women, I’m sure you knew this time would come where your wife would want to go with another man. Especially if she’s more into men. Hope all goes well.

94

Maybe Dadddy, and yes, so much romance goes on thru work. The perfect place for it to germinate, no kids around.
In this situation, these men would be sharing an intimate sexual behaviour with each other, and for me that would be very weird to go back to the place of work and then pretend this didn’t happen. Would take me too much energy, and being a person of least resistence, I’d find another place.
Positions of authority are real, and if LW is ambitious to go higher, much better he keep his nose clean. Unless he works for google and the like.
It is such a joke anyway having this conversation when the President of the USA has thrown the book out on what a man in an office can get away with.

95

Coolie @76: Sounds like you're doing poly right! Lots of conversations, admitting when you feel jealous/threatened, and addressing that directly, with flexibility and love all round. Sounds like you have the ideal setup. Congratulations!

EricaP @83: I am gladder than ever that I've always made a point not to mix business with pleasure.

Fubar @87: Formality is Venn's thing, just like the literary references that pass over the heads of 99% of us. I see Venn as sincere; he's certainly been consistent enough in his own language and his critiques of others that I believe the scholarly persona he inhabits on these threads. As for the real trolls, yes, I know they're trolling, but it still amuses me to respond to them. Keeps the mental reflexes in order, particularly as I block more and more assholes on Facebook. ;-)

Dadddy @91: With my new glasses I read part of your post as "As people spend more and more of their wanking hours at work..." which is probably the funniest thing I'll read all day!

To the substance of your post, yes, though I personally think it's a terrible idea, more and more people are forming romantic relationships with co-workers. What you continue to miss, though, is that these two men are direct reports. Anyone dating their direct boss would be frowned upon. If two such people did "fall in love" the appropriate next step would be for one of them to transfer so they would no longer be in a boss-subordinate relationship. I don't see how it would be different with these two guys, even if their "relationship" were purely as co-jerkers. (Not as great a pun as your inadvertent one, I admit.)

96

Congrats in advance on this week's Lucky HUnsky Award!

97

Lavagirl and BDF, thanks for the kind words. I do have it better than I deserve and only want to see them happy. A little discomfort on my part is a small price to pay.

98

@73. Bi. Ten straining cocks in a ring? In various stages of tumescence and post-orgasmic detumescence? ;) All right then.

@76. Coolie. Thank you for explaining your experience; this shows how someone in a poly marriage/committed relationship can have both serious and manageable insecurities about their wife leaving them. Hope your wife's new partner works out well for everyone.

@80. sb53. Circle-jerking isn't in fact one of my kinks, but I am exhibitionistic (on occasion). It’s about feeling my way of having sex and expressing my sexuality is acceptable.

99

Ms Fan/Ms(?) Bar - Of course, newcomers will not be familiar with the story. An opera singer friend then living in California was also a friend of the late Mr Crisp (THE Quentin Crisp), whose columns I'd read for years in Christopher Street. One day in an email, I happened to mention to my friend that I'd be going to Manhattan with my so-called aunt for one of her chess tournaments. My friend had just been cast in The Pirates of Penzance as the Sergeant of Police, and emailed back that I should, when in the city, telephone Mr Crisp (who did not run to computers) and let him know. Public telephones still existed at the time. As requested, I made the telephone call just before the return train left. The call was only three to five minutes long, but Mr Crisp was absolutely charming, and thoroughly entertained that his young friend, then strongly anti-police, had been cast as a police officer. When Mr Crisp died two or three weeks later, I decided to adopt a variant on his manner of address (he always referred to everyone as either Mr or Miss) as homage.

Over the years I've expanded a bit, having started with Mr and Ms. M? is someone whose gender I don't know. Mx Wanna and M?? Harriet are variants on the gender binary; both have expressed content with that form of address. Mrs Horton and Msr Erica are examples of people who don't exist as known entities on their own and are only referred to as someone else's spouse (I can't think of an example I've used of a Mss or a Mrr. The Miss Cutes are known only as Ms Cute's daughters; I can't think of any Masters. Mme Sissou (French), who is no longer among the assembled company, got a grandmothered exception, as she was addressed before I began using Msr for male spouses of known females.

100

@77. aftertheafter. Do you want to have a go at expressing your yearning?

101

Ms Fan - I'd agree if this counts as dating by gay standards, but you're apparently judging by standards that apply to a situation with one or more women involved. I don't know enough about this particular sort of club to render an official opinion at the moment.

More importantly, however, corporate drone culture needs to be changed, and the guest expert, while perhaps of use in helping people adapt to it, as someone upholding the evil instead of working to change it, is really in the enemy camp. A few decades ago, she'd have had no problem with telling me to put a photo of a distant cousin on my desk and call her a girlfriend.

102

My sense would be that someone who grasps that their views are likely to put them in the minority on here (esp. a straight male with non-feminist, perhaps sociobiologically-influenced views) is more likely to post provocatively, or in an ironically hyperbolical manner. They don't deserve to be dubbed a troll.

Their motivation for posting provocatively? To get us to think; to set up a self-reinforcing loop in their minds, whereby they're right for saying something offbeat and challenging; and (I would think, most of all) to get them over the fact they are like us, the other perverts, not like their fellow men/cishets/Chauvinists/ordinarily vanilla 'citizens'.

103

@100 It mostly involves swinging..from limb to limb. What do we do now with all this extra cortisol?

104

Venn @99: Funny. I came this close to calling you "our very own Quentin Crisp." Of all your obscure references, I'm glad I caught that one! :-) And glad you got to speak with one of your heroes, just in time.

Venn @101: I am not sure I would define co-jerkers as "dating" by any standard. I was merely responding to Dadddy's example of a more traditional couple in a "dating," or rounded all the way up to "in love," situation at work, which would still not be kosher due to the direct-report nature of the working relationship.

105

Cookie @97, Wanting happiness for others is true love. I feel for you, jealousy is the worst emotion for me. I link it back to family patterns, being one of four daughters with a mother who not only competed with her daughters, she created competition between us.

106

Sorry. Coolie. Correction; wanting happiness for others/ even if it causes oneself pain/ is the true definition of love.

107

@103. One bigot I knew would preface his explanations of why homosexuality was wrong, or of other enforced restrictions on behavior, with: 'when man came down from the trees...'. Maybe a good riposte would be to return to them....

I am positively happy with Venn's form of address for me. Disturbingly, however, some of those he presumes are female I take as gay men....