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  1. Your job vs. your sex life - When should it matter?

    1283903153
    Ecksvie [sign in to see picture]
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    This is something of a moral debate that's been on my mind for some time now.

    In our society, sex is generally something that happens behind closed doors. People are very conservative, it's not usually acceptable to be sharing the details of our sex lives, and even just letting other people know you're having sex can damage your reputation, and thats without details like toys, bondage, or other perfectly normal things that are seen as deviant.

    I know alot of past and present members of this forum have been careful in posting personal details, photographs, anything that would make them personally identifiable. I can understand why people would do this for personal comfort reasons - I do it myself - some people just prefer to remain anonymous. I dont really mind other people knowing, but its easier this way.

    One of the main reasons people quote for witholding these things, however, is their jobs. If their employers knew of their bedroom antics, it could result in them getting fired, disciplined, or harm their future promotion or employment prospects. ESPECIALLY when their job involves working with children.

    Personally, I actually find this to be wrong. While I can understand why it might be a good idea to keep things private, I disagree with it having an effect on your job if you don't, for whatever reason. Are employers really so short sighted to think that their employees never have sex or do anything deviant? Why should it even matter to employers? While image can be important in many jobs, I do think it can be a bit ridiculous having to hide the complete details of your sex life because you of your job.

    A while ago, I read a story in the newspaper about a teacher who got fired because he was found to have a second job as a stripper. Right or wrong? There seems to be this idea that if you do anything sexual in your free time and you work with children, you're going to end up as a paedophile or something. Sex isn't seen as something that normal, well-adjusted people do.

    Even not working with children, to use a current example, Wayne Rooney and the prostitute story. Every time a footballer gets caught with a prostitute, there's calls for them to be dropped from whatever team they're on. While the ethics of using prostitutes is another argument for another time, does it really affect how they play football?

    I understand this is not likely to change. There probably arent many careers where you can splash about your sex life with no consequences, but I find this wrong. I enjoy sex, I do do things which could be seen as deviant, but at the end of the day I do my job just as well as the virgin standing next to me.

    Opinions?

    1283903567

    [suspended user]

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    Unless someone is using their sexual style /bullying to gain power or maybe position ,in my opinion it should be behind closed door's.

    1283903855
    CurlyCoupleWife [sign in to see picture]
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    I believe that it shouldn't matter in the slightest but unfortunately it does.

    When I have kids if I go to parents evening & find that one of you guys is their teacher it wouldn't bother me at all but unfortunately a lot of people cannot separate one sexual "deviancy" from another. Y'know the whole "you're into BDSM, you're obviously a paedo too".

    Quite aside from the whole children issue, there's also the respectability issue. You're not white-collar enough unless you're vanilla and generally ashamed of the fact you have sex at all. I don't see why my sexuality should have any bearing upon how I am viewed professionally but I know my employer holds a different view.

    As mentioned on another thread the whole company was warned that if they were identifiable as an employee and they did anything on facebook that wasn't respectable they risked being disciplined for it.

    So I'm with you, it should have no impact on our professional lives but I think it'll take a while for our employers to realise that we have a right to do whatever we please (within the law) on our own time.

    1283903927
    Sez909 [sign in to see picture]
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    Did the teacher apply for unjust dismisal? I think both this and the football player are people being made an example of. They don't want other people to see being a stripper or hiring prostitutes as an ok thing to, they are in the public eye (whether to children as a teacher or to fans as a player) and so should act respectfully. Even though it should be fully up to them to do as they want. With the general work thing, can you legally be fired for that? x

    1283904061

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    Does someone who goes to a footie match get classed as a hooligan...i don't think so

    1283904256
    Malteser81 [sign in to see picture]
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    Erggggg, thats a point. I hope to be a teaching assistant and would hate my sexlife to be somthing that would be thought of as a bd thing =S

    1283904297
    Ecksvie [sign in to see picture]
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    I think this was the story, although googling it brought up a flood of other similar stories. http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23854034-teachers-double-life-as-a-stripper.do

    The part that particularly irritates me is this:

    Parent governor Sara Patience said she was shocked to hear of Mr Garrett's activities. She said: “I have a child at the school and I'm obviously concerned about these allegations. But I don't know the details and it would be up to the headteacher to investigate.”

    While I could understand about perhaps being concerned for the school's public image, why would you be concerned for your child? Do they think he's gonna start stripping for his pupils?

    CCW, you hit the nail right on the head. Why can't they separate one deviancy from another? Stripping, at least in the capacity that guy was doing it in, isn't illegal.

    1283904430
    Starlight* [sign in to see picture]
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    This is a VERY interesting topic of discussion, and something I have thought about quite often. I honestly do not think it matters in the slightest. I've worked in a child's play centre with somebody who is into heavy bondage, and it hasn't influenced my opinion of her and the way she works in the slightest. I've had experience of this 'work/sex' situation just yesterday...

    Yesterday whilst i was at work, a girl made a comment about having anal sex, and using her toys to stimulate her clit (not exactly the usual chat for my workplace, may I add!) Anyway, my boss, to put it frankly, was absolutely disgusted with her, and took her into the office for a 'word on her behaviour'. Today, the girl was called 'dirty' by my boss- albeit in a tongue in cheek manner, as my boss appeared to have got over the situation, but still, it raises the question as to whether my boss has actually been influenced by my work mate's sex life. Now, I personally think this is ridiculous, as it wasn't as if she was expressing her desires to do it there and then in the work kitchen- it was just her explaining the sexual side she likes to partake in at home. But, I do think there is still a taboo for girls to talk so openly, and explicitly about their sex life, and as my boss is rather conservative, I do think that this has influenced her opinions of my work mate. The thing is, we do work with children in our work place, therefore I feel my boss thought the extent to my work mate's 'confession' was over the top.

    As for the 'Wayne Rooney scandal'... I think that is more the circumstance of life in the public eye as to why he is called to be dropped. With being a professional footballer comes the responsibility of being a role model for the millions of children who follow football around the world. I don't think it is the fact that he is having sex which is the issue- just the means he has gone about it, i.e. apparently cheating on his wife, whilst she was pregnant, and paying for it. He is obviously having sex: his wife has had his child, yet the means he has cheated on her is more the reason for people telling him to stand down. I do think the taboo with using prostitutes is ridiculous: if people want to pay for sex, then whatever, but, if somebody in the public eye so obviously uses paid sex to cause distress and hurt, which is going to be portrayed all over the media, then it will obviously become an issue for those who will express a desire to want him dropped. But, and it is a very big but, I do think that sex life and work life should be kept seperately: if a teacher had cheated on his husband with a prostitute, would they have been dropped from their career? No, and this is the difference between life in the public eye, and life which is more sheltered. Sex with a prostitute would not affect how a teacher teaches the ABC, or, judging by tonights goal, how Rooney performs on the pitch.

    x

    1283904733

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    I'm not sure about it but mrs rooney might have told him no way go and get it sorted yourself who knows what happened.Some women go off sex when their pregnant

    1283904788

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    lickmadick wrote:

    I'm not sure about it but mrs rooney might have told him no way go and get it sorted yourself who knows what happened.Some women go off sex when their pregnant

    but it shouldn't of reached the papers anyway

    1283906142
    YesChef [sign in to see picture]
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    Sadly I think you're right on both counts - you should be able to do whatever you want to (provided it's not breaking any laws and doesn't hurt anyone else) without fear of humiliation/disciplinary/etc.; and in most countries that would be an unrealistic expectation.

    Ultimately the issue really is one of your employer's reputation. You as an employee are associated with their name, and if their name suffers as a result of your actions, you can't blame them for wanting to limit the damage any way they can.

    I would hope (but wouldn't guarantee) that any employer would have to prove that their reputation was damaged to actually dismiss someone - e.g. a newspaper article, publically accessible blog post, that kind of thing. I guess that's what makes Facebook so dangerous - the personal information you share can be automatically linked to your employer very easily.

    I know uniforms are also an issue - where photos have appeared of people in a work uniform, even engaged in fairly inoffensive activities, employers have taken exception - rightly so, perhaps. Maybe a cautionary note for some on this thread - http://www.lovehoney.co.uk/community/forums/orgasm-army/sex-talk/258613-fantasies-men-or-women-in-uniform/

    Footballers (and other celebrities) also have a tightrope to tread - on one side there are the tabloids and gossip mags, who basically ensure that any juicy secrets will be uncovered sooner or later. On the other side, their celebrity/hero status, which rests in large part on their popularity. A footballer is more than just a person who kicks a ball about for a bit - they represent a large number of people, often even whole countries, and are idolised by the people they represent. Behaving badly is then a sin twice over - whatever they did is magnified by the distance they have to fall off that pedestal.

    Regarding the issue of teachers, it's a very tricky area. They should really expect the same treatment as people in other professions; however, your effectiveness as a teacher depends on keeping a sense of authority, not only with students, but also with parents and other colleagues. Doing anything in your private life that, if it comes into the public eye, would seriously undermine that authority, really does risk limiting the extent to which you can do your job effectively.

    I think I'm right in saying that most employers (certainly in the UK) are able to place restrictions on any other concurrent employment - partly to protect their own interests, so you're not working for a competitor or knackering yourself working 100 hour weeks; but I guess also to ensure things like the European Working Time Directive are followed. In your example, Ecksvie, I'm guessing the school didn't know that the teacher had additional employment - regardless of the nature of the employment, he was likely breaking the terms of his contract.

    I do agree - work v. sex life should not be an either/or decision for anyone. However, any kind of behaviour, sexual or not, which affects your reputation can affect your employer's too; and some kinds of dirt stick worse than others - hands up all those who think 'premiership' when they see the word 'spitroast'?

    1283906529
    *AdamKR* [sign in to see picture]
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    im very much 1 of these people who believes everyone is allowed to live there life how they choose as long as there not hurting anyone. so totally agree she shouldnt have got fired because its not as if it effect her abilities to teach at all

    1283909094
    YesChef [sign in to see picture]
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    *AdamKR* wrote:

    im very much 1 of these people who believes everyone is allowed to live there life how they choose as long as there not hurting anyone. so totally agree she shouldnt have got fired because its not as if it effect her abilities to teach at all

    I disagree - if this teacher's class were anything like my classes when I were a nipper (I wasn't one of the disruptive ones sir!), he'd find it very difficult to keep control of a class if the local papers were full of stories about his other job.

    Aside from that, being a teacher places demands on your time outside the classroom. Both my parents were teachers, and they brought work home every night. If this chap had other work commitments in his evenings and weekends, sooner or later there would be a clash of interests - working 'til late would also affect his ability to teach the following day.

    Reading the article, as far as I can gather the teacher was suspended pending an investigation (which may or may not have resulted in disciplinary action), but had already resigned. If he had been dismissed then yes, it might have been an overreaction, but (depending on his employment contract) he probably would not have much of a case for unfair dismissal.

    1283909260
    *AdamKR* [sign in to see picture]
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    YesChef wrote:

    *AdamKR* wrote:

    im very much 1 of these people who believes everyone is allowed to live there life how they choose as long as there not hurting anyone. so totally agree she shouldnt have got fired because its not as if it effect her abilities to teach at all

    I disagree - if this teacher's class were anything like my classes when I were a nipper (I wasn't one of the disruptive ones sir!), he'd find it very difficult to keep control of a class if the local papers were full of stories about his other job.

    Aside from that, being a teacher places demands on your time outside the classroom. Both my parents were teachers, and they brought work home every night. If this chap had other work commitments in his evenings and weekends, sooner or later there would be a clash of interests - working 'til late would also affect his ability to teach the following day.

    Reading the article, as far as I can gather the teacher was suspended pending an investigation (which may or may not have resulted in disciplinary action), but had already resigned. If he had been dismissed then yes, it might have been an overreaction, but (depending on his employment contract) he probably would not have much of a case for unfair dismissal.

    very fair point made here. i suppose we all have our own views on different situations really :)

    1283910033
    YesChef [sign in to see picture]
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    *AdamKR* wrote:

    very fair point made here. i suppose we all have our own views on different situations really :)

    Absolutely - there are always arguments from both sides. Ultimately an employer isn't going to dismiss someone unless they've really messed up - losing a good employee is detrimental to the organisation, recruiting a replacement is expensive, and potential unfair dismissal cases are even more expensive!

    All to often people will resign before it gets that far - almost certainly the majority of cases would have just ended in a light slap on the wrist; but no-one wants a dismissal for gross misconduct showing up on their employment history.

    1283910201
    *AdamKR* [sign in to see picture]
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    YesChef wrote:

    *AdamKR* wrote:

    very fair point made here. i suppose we all have our own views on different situations really :)

    Absolutely - there are always arguments from both sides. Ultimately an employer isn't going to dismiss someone unless they've really messed up - losing a good employee is detrimental to the organisation, recruiting a replacement is expensive, and potential unfair dismissal cases are even more expensive!

    All to often people will resign before it gets that far - almost certainly the majority of cases would have just ended in a light slap on the wrist; but no-one wants a dismissal for gross misconduct showing up on their employment history.

    this is very true - at my sons school the head master was suspended pending investigation, and he chose to resign before investigations went on, turns out he was connected to a assult that happend in the town next to where i live

    1283930536
    telemachus [sign in to see picture]
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    It is interesting, but you have a clash of issues in your OP. One person's sexual interests in their bedroom is not the same as strippers and prostitutes. I would say that the issues of strippers and prostitutes does not even come under the heading of sex. Of course, they are attached to the sex industry, but being with a prostitute, or being a stripper is not the same as being into bondage, or swinging in your spare time.

    As YesChef has said, the teacher you referred to resigned. Of course, they may have been sacked eventually, pending the outcome of a disciplinary. However, I would say it is worth noting that in many professions, discovering that an employee has another job, whether stripping or working nights in Tesco, can often be cause for disciplinary procedure. Dual employment is something that a lot of employers do not allow.

    The argument for people to live their lives however they choose as long as they are not hurting anyone is on the surface a pleasing one, but gets very muddied when you take into account things like stripping, and other professions within the secx trade. Many people are hurt by such things, including a lot of the women that take part, and not only hurt, degraded and exploited. So, saying "no-one gets hurt" is one thing - what you mean is, "it doesn't adversely affect anyone in MY life" - but there is a bigger picture.

    I would fall down on the side of it not being a choice between work/sex life. Your antics in your bedroom should not be a matter for your employers, assuming you are within the law. However, I would add that I believe that footballers and prostitutes does not fall into my acceptance - I would imagine that hardly any of the famous cases LEGALLY hired a prostitute, and it isn't as simple as "going with a prostitute doesn't affect his ability to play football" - there are issues regarding endorsements, role model status, the good standing and reputation of a club and the managers.

    1283939229
    BashfulBabe [sign in to see picture]
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    The problem coems with that grey-ish area in between the public and private aspects.

    Obviously, being publicly 'outed' is a bad thing from an employer's point of view - be it working as a stripper, hiring a prostitute, or just being accused of something dodgy that makes the papers as happened to a teacher when I was in school - because you are a public face for their company or business, and everything you do or say, or even are openly accused of doing or saying reflects on them and can affect business. The teacher I had was arrested in France because he bumped into an ex-student - in her late 20s, so no concerns there - and, both being in a café alone, sat to eat together. She was pregnant, and obviously a distressed, and he knew she'd suffered mental health issues in the past, so he tried to talk to her to see what was happening. She went to the bathroom, and when she didn't return after a long time he went to find her, and got lifted by the police before he could. Turned out she'd actually had the baby and dumped it in a bin. Took a month to get him cleared and sent home, since he was in no way involved, but the papers had made such a hoopla over it (including posting pictures of the woman in her school uniform and hinting at him being the father) that the school said it had to let him go. Obviously we were outraged, because he was a great teacher, great person, involved in Amnesty International and did tonnes of charity work, and had been cleared of all charges, but because the local paper chose to publish rumours and lies and put a certain spin on it, he lost his job. He actually understood though, because when you are in a position like that, be it a teacher or some other 'role model' style figure, you have to be above reproach, and even something like that where he did nothing wrong can destroy it.

    To be honest, I think it's a bit strict to include even accusations - sure, suspension pending investigation if it's something illegal or potentially harmful to others, but not outright firing - but they do have to pander to the lowest common factor, in our case the parents who phoned up radio statuions and wrong to papers and demanded that the board not allow the "monster" back into the school or else they'd remove their kids (they also refused to listen to the truth, because since it was published in the paper it was all true, and the tiny retraction in the back pages couldn't wipe away the front-page headlines about how "teacher murders love-child"). But if the employer has guidelines as to how you must conduct yourself in public because they don't want their company or organisation linked to certain behaviours, then it's hard to argue with it. I used to know a few of my teachers outside of school from theatre work and so forth, and it was always awkward because of little things, like we'd all be sitting in the pub having a drink as a group, and they knew that if the others left, they couldn't sit alone with me, even in public and in a completely innocent setting and me over 18. I couldn't even imagine the possible repercussions if one of them had been a stripper and I'd happen to go in there!

    Private stuff that's kept private, clearly is ok, because no one knows about it. But I hate the idea of having to be paranoid about it. I do remember vaguely a story about some teacher whose ex-lover posted nudie pics she'd sent him on the web that made the papers. She lost her job over it. There was a factor there that once the pictures had been seen by her class, she lost all control, they were abusive and disruptive and it was impossible for her to do her job, although I think it was only half a day before she was sent home, so it's always possible that would have died down. But that's the problem: she privately gave her partner erotic pictures, and when it ended, he published them to shame her: she didn't willingly expose herself, she had no knowledge that it had happened until a student told her, she was in no way to blame, and yet the parents were up in arms over the 'sexual deviant' and her 'perverted porn career' (again, some people seem intent on breeding despite being beyond moronic, and we all have to set standards based on them, yay!). Personally, I'd have thought the question should be "why is your 12 year old able to find those kind of pictures", but I guess those kind of parents are exactly the ones who will let their kid on the net unsupervised and then blame the ISPs and websites for not being more secure when they discover what little Johnny's been looking at, so it's probably unreasonable to expect basic intelligence.

    It's one of the reasons why I don't like the idea of putting my e-mail address (because it's my full name) or a face picture on here, because I already have enough trouble finding a job, I don't need Google throwing up 'questionable' hits. We saw another member not too long ago have to vanish because of his job, and it's a massive shame that, on top of fighting ignorance in the real world, even completely innocent asking questions or providing advice could lose you your job to the point that you have to be scared to post anything on the internet.

    The bit that gets me most of all is the "you're just as bad!" section. Obviously if my boss googles my name and the first hit is some porn I made, that has to be taken into consideration, since any client/customer/whatever can do exactly that and link his business to porn, which - assuming it's not a sex industry job - is not a good thing. But when there's sites that require specifics to access, as in you have to register to see the pictures or even any content, then if they find me, they were obviously on there themselves, so how can they judge me for that? I will never, ever understand how that one works.

    The only real consolation we have is that it is becoming more socially acceptable to have sex and be open about it, and even the milder 'deviencies' are drifting into the mainstream, so within a few generations, it won't come as a massive shock that teachers and police and footballers and so on actually do have sex. Even comparing the average attitudes of our generation to the average attitudes of our parents' and we can see a change, and hopefully with more of us being open and understanding (and intelligent, cause we are bloomin' awesome) our children will be able to go a step further. For now, we do have to tred a certain narrow path, doing what we like in private, but moderating what we allow to seep into the public domain. I hate it, because it reinforces the idea that sex is dirty and wrong and something to be ashamed of and hidden, but when the choice is play the game or f-off home, you have to follow the rules, no matter how dumb. But I will never accept that what I do in my own bedroom in my own time - alone or with other consenting adults - bears any relation on my ability to perform a task.

    1283942365
    CurlyCpl [sign in to see picture]
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    Eloquently put and spot on BashfulBabe. I too take consolation in the general broadening of what is deemed socially acceptable (between consenting adults and within the law of course) over the past decades. However this is tempered by the resurgence of what I could only class as a somewhat puritanical streak becoming pervasive in government and authority in the last 10 years - especially regarding legislature. The road ahead still looks to be a bumpy one.

    1283943535
    WandA [sign in to see picture]
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    I will read all these long replies when I have more time...

    I would add a point, I think that was already made, in that businesses want vanilla.

    Right, I know this is wrong but I was unhappy being served by someone with the ear stretching things in recently in a store. I feel it reflects badly on the store in question if there isn't some uniformity beyond an apron in how their employees are... Take it out fair enough but to leave it in in my opinion is unprofessional. I'd expect the same of some piercings and for bosses to have a word about really silly make up. You are representing that business when on their time. Some will always consider you on their time and will take badly to dodgy FB photos. I remember people at school being disciplined when they had done something out of school but in the uniform.

    Although I'd prefer there wasn't such an issue I understand there is and don't feel you can blame a company for looking out for their interests. One store might pay more than another as they feel it increases productivity, frowning upon certain sexual practices is just another way of looking out for their interest... I have more to add at some point.

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