Polyamory, swinging, kink and employment

Recently a Twitter contact and fellow sex blogger was fired from her job for her private life and as she puts it, “Clark Kent” identity on the web. She blogged about her open relationship and her escapades using the nom de plume: “The Beautiful Kind”.

It appears her employer, a non-profit, was running Google searches (and possibly more background checking, I think) on current employees in an attempt to dig-up any dirt on those employees that could be potentially compromising to the company. In doing so some old information from her Twitter account came-up with her real name and her Twitter nom de plume, and thus further Googling lead to her blog and a whole lot of really dirty stories I’m sure the “researcher” and the boss wanked-off to for hours.

When she arrived at work on April 27 she was immediately dismissed from her position with the company for her private life, that had someone not dug really, really deep would never have been discovered. To boot, she wasn’t in any position in the company that anyone outside the company would have been looking for her name, in short she was an office drone, not management, her name was nowhere on articles of incorporation.

Her boss wrote to her in her termination letter:

“We simply cannot risk any possible link between our mission and the sort of photos and material that you openly share with the online public. While I know you are a good worker and an intelligent person, I hope you try to understand that our employees are held to a different standard. When it comes to private matters, such as one’s sexual explorations and preferences, our employees must keep their affairs private.”

Dear Mr. Employer, what per se is that “standard” that your employees are held to that is different than other comparable companies, and wouldn’t her private life remained private had you not been digging for something with which to nail one of your employees on? Would her private life not remained private if you had not been sticking your nose into her bedroom?

Where do you draw the line of what is your life at work and what is your life away from work? As is, our employers have great control over our after-work activities, from drinking and drugs to when we actually get time off, and anyone who signs the back of the paycheck instead of the front can tell you that according to their employer there is never a “good” time to take vacation or take a sick day.

I personally recently lost a part-time job due to breaking one of my own rules and getting involved with coworker, and although she knew up-front what my relationship status was, when shit went south with her she filed a complaint with HR against me. I was honest with HR in regards to my relationship with my wife and my relationship with her. She lied about many things. She still works there and I was let go for “inappropriate behavior” (see this post for the back story).

I also think a recent job offer was retracted after the employer that had offered the job I had accepted hooked-up to me on Facebook (obviously I pretty much had to accept his “friend request”) and three days later I got an email stating the position was “on hold” and the company “wasn’t sure which direction we are going in this division”. I think my liberal politics and support of LGBT issues did me in with this Conservative-leaning employer. My Facebook has no mention that my wife and I are in an open relationship.

As many have said though, if your boss and coworkers can’t accept you as you are, if you have to pretend to be someone else at work than who you are, do you really want to work there?

In today’s economy here in the U.S. I don’t know if the answer to that is “to thine ownself be true and be happy and broke” or “be an actor and be who they want you to be but unhappy”?

Where does the line between being who you are outside of work and discrimination in the workplace blur? Lesbian, gay, and transgendered people have been fighting this fight for years.

Regardless, the Internet and social media is rapidly redefining the workplace and workers’ place in it.

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Traditional Relationships from Dungeonplace.com

My friend Tutivillus over at Dungeonplace.com posted the following ideas of his regarding traditional relationships after a polyamory post he made a little while back.  Read what he’s said and if you have any ideas or opinions be sure to comment on Dungeonplace.com.

The post about Polyamory sparked a bit of a debate…and some attempts at abuse. But hey! That’s what opinions are for, correct? Now it’s time to turn the spotlight onto “Traditional” relationships.

Q: First, are they any better than non-traditional relationships?
A: Hell NO! Human beings have this incredible ability to destroy everything good and precious in their lives. We love instant gratification and can rationalize *anything*! Our “Traditional” relationships take a large part of this beating.

Q: Will God punish you or reward you for your choice in relationships?
A: Come on…PLEASE tell me you (as a reader of this blog and listener of the DungeonPlace podcast) don’t give any credence to “God’s” opinion when it comes to your happiness? You’re considerations should be applied to the people (tangible people) in your life; don’t worry about a bipolar old man in the sky.

Q: But the Bible says!….
A: The Bible is a great literary work…that is all. Don’t take it literally.

Q: Divorce rates are going down now that we’re focusing on “Traditional” relationships, right?
A: Divorce rates are going down in the U.S. – (CDC website), Cohabitation is climbing, success of these relationships is still about the same…although higher for people involved in a “marriage”. So…if that’s the case, why not just BLOW MARRIAGE OPEN TO ALL? (I’m just applying a model here).

This is opinion. All of it, with a few facts sprinkled in for good measure.

If “Traditional Marriages” are so great, why don’t we all apply that “Tradidtional” model to other relationship types? Wouldn’t that benefit us all?

You can go directly to the comment section here.

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Society’s ideas of other people’s sexuality

I think the general attitude in our society regarding other people’s sexuality and lifestyle is: “Of course you can do whatever you want to do, so long as it is something I would do. If not I’ll judge, scorn and marginalize you.”

What do you think, and why?

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First Time For Everything: A Polyamorous Relationship

This is a repost of an article in The Frisky, written by Anya James from about a year ago or so, but an excellent article about a polyamorous triad and how it’s worked for them.

I really didn’t know what polyamory was until I fell into it at 27. I was arguing one day with a couple I’d been sleeping with for about a month, when BAM! I ended up in a three-way relationship.

I’ve always been open-minded as far as sexual relationships were concerned and was sleeping with a male/female couple. That day, Dan was being overly critical of Ellie. I told them the nit-picking was bothering me, but it really wasn’t my business how they treated each other, since, you know, it was their relationship.

That’s when they looked at each other and asked me, “Well, aren’t you kind of… with us?”

Hmm. “Fine,” I said to Dan, “Be nice to my girlfriend then.”

And just like that, we became a triad. It was easy and natural and we had such a good time! There was twice the energy and convenience of a normal relationship. We all had a lot going on, but when one of us was busy, the other two were still able to spend time together. Jealousy just wasn’t there. We didn’t have to ration out love. It multiplied.

On the negative front, our problems turned out to be really the same as anyone else’s. Dan did dumb boy things and I did dumb girl things and Ellie just watched calmly and loved us like a true negotiator. Our situation felt totally normal to us, so much so that we often forgot that people didn’t expect to see a man out for Valentine’s Day dinner with two dates, or three people snuggling together on a plane.

The only real trouble with being a triad came from the world around us. Dan and Ellie worked together and were known as a couple to a very large network of friends and colleagues. Our close friends knew the truth – that the three of us were together— but there were uncomfortable situations in which I felt like their dirty secret. It really sucked that we couldn’t be too open or affectionate without inviting gossip and discrimination. With as many strides as we’ve made in terms of social acceptance of various lifestyles, the general populace isn’t used to seeing three people holding hands at the movie theater.

And just like that, we became a triad. It was easy and natural and we had such a good time! There was twice the energy and convenience of a normal relationship. We all had a lot going on, but when one of us was busy, the other two were still able to spend time together. Jealousy just wasn’t there. We didn’t have to ration out love. It multiplied.

On the negative front, our problems turned out to be really the same as anyone else’s. Dan did dumb boy things and I did dumb girl things and Ellie just watched calmly and loved us like a true negotiator. Our situation felt totally normal to us, so much so that we often forgot that people didn’t expect to see a man out for Valentine’s Day dinner with two dates, or three people snuggling together on a plane.

The only real trouble with being a triad came from the world around us. Dan and Ellie worked together and were known as a couple to a very large network of friends and colleagues. Our close friends knew the truth – that the three of us were together— but there were uncomfortable situations in which I felt like their dirty secret. It really sucked that we couldn’t be too open or affectionate without inviting gossip and discrimination. With as many strides as we’ve made in terms of social acceptance of various lifestyles, the general populace isn’t used to seeing three people holding hands at the movie theater.

You can find the article at http://www.thefrisky.com/post/246-first-time-for-everything-a-polyamorous-relationship/

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More on compersion

I came across this passage from the Bhagavad Gita today, and of course it is translated slightly differently depending on who’s translating it, but I felt this translation from Eknath Easwaran was related in the most plain of English:

When a person responds to the joys and sorrows of others as if they were his own, he has attained the highest state of spiritual union.

Bhagavad Gita 6:32; Easwaran, Eknath; May 31, 1985

Sounds a lot like compersion to me.