Saturday, November 25, 2017

"Bring your Master to Work" Day

One woman wants to wear her slave collar to work, another one asks her co-workers to address her boyfriend as master at the office party. What can possibly go wrong?

Office party!

I found this particular little gem on Not Just Bitchy and it is from 2016. If you work in an office you know a lot of things are completely absurd. Just think about the management jargon being used, expressions such as “doing a deep dive”, “reaching out”, and “thought leadership”. I don't know what they mean by that, but more often than not it is nonsense.

Put a ring on it

Life in the office is never boring, at times it can even get a little absurd, but for most of us there is a clear distinction between work and our private lives, especially when it comes to our kink. That's for good reasons of course. Every kinkster knows at least one person who lost his or her job because their employer found out about their preferences. Narrow-minded? Yes, but also everyday reality. So when you are wondering whether or not you should wear a highly visible slave collar to work, maybe you should rethink that. Of course not everyone will recognize the collar for what it is, but as Ask a Manager says: "I do think that anyone who recognizes it for what it is will look at it as an inappropriately sexualized accessory for the office, yes."

Tie 'n gag to the office today or...
You can argue that d/s relationships are not about sexuality and for some that maybe true, but that is definitely not how your co-workers will see it. A collar is simply inappropriate workplace attire and by wearing it in the open you are forcing your private life upon everyone around you, that's very disrespectful.

A collar is nothing but a symbol just like a wedding ring. Of course you wear your wedding ring with pride, it shows the connection between your spouse and yourself, but would the connection between the two of you any less if you don't have a ring? Note that I am not talking about people here who take it of to cheat on their [not so] significant other.

On top of that there is a group of kinksters scolding everyone who doesn't live up to their standards of 'pure' kink, meaning the purists loathe those who profess a love for leather and latex outfits. The purists consider it completely wrong, reducing the beauty of BDSM to a mere fetish [their words, not mine]. That's nonsense of course. A collar is no different from other props and if it is a prerequisite to complete your kink experience the collar is just another fetish. After all, aren't the real connections forged in the heart, both kink and vanilla?
By insisting that the symbol has to be a collar instead of for example a nice necklace you're fetishizing it even more of course.

Yes master

Wearing your slave collar to the office is fairly innocent compared to asking your co-workers to address your boyfriend as 'master'. Yes, I have a hard time too, believing people are that naive, but apparently they do exist. The story goes something like this: a few months after Sally starts dating a new boyfriend, Peter, she brings him to the office for the Christmas party and addresses him as master. People are surprised but laugh it off. Six months later, another office party, the same thing happens but more open. Peter orders Sally around and every time she responds with "yes, master". People are feeling uncomfortable around the two of them.

... or my leather bow tie with O-ring?
After the party one co-worker asks about the master thing and Sally explains she and her boyfriend are in a 24 d/s relationship and Peter is her "master" and has to be addressed as such. In the weeks that follow she steps it up a notch and corrects someone who refers to her boyfriend/partner, saying that he isn't her partner [sic!] but master and should be referred to using his appropriate title. Co-workers clearly aren't comfortable speaking about her master instead of her boyfriend, so they start to shun her at work, just to avoid bring it up. It doesn't help either that Sally mentions Peter a lot. Meanwhile, management has told everybody in the office that they don't have to address Sally's boyfriend as master.

Finally Sally gets called into her bosses' office. She is told that some relationship details are inappropriate for the office. It's an discussion Sally cannot win and she descends into absurd arguments, "insisting that “lover” or “binkie-boo” or “snuffalupugus” or “fuckboy” or whatever should be used if they were accurate, because they accurately represent the relationship." The whole thing leaves the manager with the idea that Sally is pushing boundaries for some reason rather than being naive. Not long after Sally quits.

A honorary title of any sorts has to be earned. Sally's behaviour - and that of her boyfriend - is wrong on so many levels, it is hard to understand why they persisted. It feels like Sally is a bit of an exhibitionist and perhaps topping from the bottom when it comes to her co-workers. Both Sally and Peter are responsible for what happened, they both should have shown some common sense and respected other people's feelings. Assuming they are 'living the dream' and find it impossible to snap out of, Peter could have ordered Sally to address him as Peter in vanilla situations, if only to keep her safe from the harm this destructive behaviour one day will cause.

In hindsight, using the word master clearly seem meant to be a provocation. Does her mother call Peter 'master' too? Sally could have turned down the heat a notch by addressing him as sir, still not a good idea, but less intrusive on her co-workers. Remember it's an office where people are forced to interact, they can't ignore you, so respect other people's feelings.

We get it, if you are in love it's hard to keep your hands of each other even in public but just think how annoying two love birds can be, kissing and fondling in front of everybody else. You wouldn't do that at the office party, would you? So how is this any different? As for calling someone's partner master, think about how ridiculous it would be if a vanilla person insisted on having her co-workers call her boyfriend her sex toy, after all that is how vanilla people look at BDSM relationships, whether it's true or false.

One final thought. Did Sally wear her collar to the office? I thought so.

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