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#1 Dec 22 2012 at 8:01 PM Rating: Good
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(CNN) -- Can a boss fire an employee he finds attractive because he and his wife, fairly or not, see her as a threat to their marriage?

Yes, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday.

"The question we must answer is ... whether an employee who has not engaged in flirtatious conduct may be lawfully terminated simply because the boss views the employee as an irresistible attraction," Justice Edward M. Mansfield wrote for the all-male high court.

Such firings may not be fair, but they do not constitute unlawful discrimination under the Iowa Civil Rights Act, the decision read, siding with a lower court...

The case concerns her client's employment as a dental assistant. Nelson worked for James Knight in 1999 and stayed for more than 10 years at the Fort Dodge business.

Toward the end of her employment, Knight complained to Nelson her clothing was tight and "distracting," the decision read. She denied her clothes were inappropriate.

At one point, Knight told Nelson that "if she saw his pants bulging, she would know her clothing was too revealing," the decision read.

At another point, in response to an alleged comment Nelson made about the infrequency of her *** life, Knight responded: [T]hat's like having a Lamborghini in the garage and never driving it."

During the last six months of Nelson's employment, Nelson and Knight, both married with children, started sending text messages to each other outside of work. Neither objected to the texting.

Knight's wife, who was employed at the same dental office, found out about those messages in late 2009 and demanded he fire Nelson.

In early 2010, he did just that. In the presence of a pastor, Knight told Nelson she had become a "detriment" to his family and that for the sakes of both their families, they should no longer work together, the decision read. Knight gave Nelson one month's severance.

In a subsequent conversation between Knight and Nelson's husband, Knight said Nelson had done nothing wrong and that "she was the best dental assistant he ever had," the decision read.

Nelson filed a lawsuit, contending that Knight fired her because of her gender. She did not say he committed sexual harassment.

In response, Knight argued that Nelson was fired because of the "nature of their relationship and the perceived threat" to his marriage, not because of her gender. In fact, he said, Knight only employs women and replaced Nelson with another female employee.

A district court sided with Knight; Nelson appealed.


So...that's pretty weird. I figured gender discrimination would at least be upheld, as it's assumed this wouldn't have been an issue if she was a he. Thoughts?
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#2 Dec 22 2012 at 9:20 PM Rating: Excellent
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They worked together for ten years. He made some inappropriate remarks about her appearance. She never initiated or reciprocated any inappropriate behavior. He fired her because he was afraid he wouldn't be able to control himself.

It's *********

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#3 Dec 22 2012 at 10:45 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah, he could control himself for 9 years but then during that 10th he lost control. Irresistible she was, I tell ya.
#4 Dec 22 2012 at 11:33 PM Rating: Good
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Well, apparently near the end there there was mutual text messaging... I imagine they were of a sexual nature, otherwise it wouldn't be something brought up.

Edit:
Also, I don't see it. Maybe if I were 20 years older...

Edited, Dec 23rd 2012 12:34am by TirithRR
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#5 Dec 22 2012 at 11:37 PM Rating: Excellent
I hope it makes it to the US Supreme Court. I can't wait to see how misogynistic Scalia can go.
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#6 Dec 22 2012 at 11:40 PM Rating: Good
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Omegavegeta wrote:
I hope it makes it to the US Supreme Court. I can't wait to see how misogynistic Scalia can go.


I wonder what sort of evidence they'd bring to the table to prove she was too irresistible?
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#7 Dec 23 2012 at 1:36 AM Rating: Excellent
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I wonder what sort of evidence they'd bring to the table to prove she was too irresistible?


Husband bulge.
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#8 Dec 23 2012 at 6:49 AM Rating: Decent
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On a more serious note:

Ignoring the whole "9 years to develop" thing, and some possibly inappropriate comments (which appear to not have been an issue if they started a text messaging relationship afterward), how would one handle something like this? If you hired someone, and the relationship between them and you ends up being unprofessional because of a sexual attraction, what route would you be able to take?

Let's take a step through these events in a different light, just to get an idea if this is ever an appropriate way for an employer to act.

Man hires a woman
Man develops an attraction for the woman and feels she's dressing inappropriately for work
Man approaches her about the way she dresses, she doesn't feel it's inappropriate and doesn't change
Feelings don't go away, relationship becomes increasingly inappropriate for a workplace (like with text messages).
Man decides to let the woman go with a one month severance.

I think it's easy to fault the employer for his behavior, but sexual attraction isn't always something you can turn on/off with a flip of a switch.
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#9 Dec 23 2012 at 7:32 AM Rating: Default
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I think it's easy to fault the employer for his behavior, but sexual attraction isn't always something you can turn on/off with a flip of a switch.

What do you mean? Homosexuals choose to be *** all of the time!Smiley: nod
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#10 Dec 23 2012 at 9:05 AM Rating: Decent
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It's called not having a sexual attraction to someone other than to the person that you married. If you're married, you make the choice ahead of time to not even let those thoughts develop, especially with someone you see every day. Not only is it a 2012 decision that continues to vilify the mistress in an adulterous situation, it's more of the stupid myth that "Men can't control themselves around attractive women!" that is used as a defense for rape. It's a very slippery slope and I hope the US Supreme Court will decide that it's very unconstitutional to rule that an attractive woman is apparently incapable of working in an environment that's not a strip club.
#11 Dec 23 2012 at 9:24 AM Rating: Excellent
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Also, I don't see it. Maybe if I were 20 years older...

Maybe she was uglier ten years ago and gets hotter by the year. He could have been nipping this in the bud before she reached the tipping point.
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#12 Dec 23 2012 at 9:30 AM Rating: Excellent
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TirithRR wrote:
Well, apparently near the end there there was mutual text messaging... I imagine they were of a sexual nature, otherwise it wouldn't be something brought up.

Edit:
Also, I don't see it. Maybe if I were 20 years older...

Edited, Dec 23rd 2012 12:34am by TirithRR



According to another article I read the text messages were about their families. Now, granted, that could be anything from "I'll be late tomorrow, taking Timmy to the doctor" to "My wife doesn't understand me."

Regardless, the grownup way to handle that, if it's becoming a problem, is to control yourself. Stop texting, stop making sexually suggestive comments, get a frackin' grip.


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#13 Dec 23 2012 at 9:56 AM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
TirithRR wrote:
Also, I don't see it. Maybe if I were 20 years older...

Maybe she was uglier ten years ago and gets hotter by the year. He could have been nipping this in the bud before she reached the tipping point.


Honestly we can only see her face in the report, maybe she's got a smoking hot body.
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#14 Dec 23 2012 at 10:30 AM Rating: Excellent
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I for one wonder how the **** medical scrubs can be "tight" and/or "revealing." They're the most sexless uniform ever made.

As a dental assistant, if she wasn't wearing medical scrubs... then yeah she was dressed inappropriately. Smiley: oyvey Maybe she was wearing halter tops and shorty shorts underneath them?
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#15 Dec 23 2012 at 11:07 AM Rating: Excellent
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Eh, not all hygienists wear scrubs, but yeah, I'd imagine she wore some sort of uniform. Maybe he made the comments about her street clothes, who knows?
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#16 Dec 23 2012 at 11:13 AM Rating: Decent
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Isn't he basically opening himself up to another future lawsuit with this statement:

Quote:
Knight only employs women and replaced Nelson with another female employee.


Couldn't a male apply for a job and take him to court for gender discrimination when he was not hired? I don't really understand how these lawsuits typically start and what is required regarding proving discrimination occurred. Or does it not work that way?
#17 Dec 23 2012 at 12:00 PM Rating: Excellent
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Maybe he's got binders full of men.
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#18 Dec 23 2012 at 2:43 PM Rating: Good
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It seems to me the key part of the whole story is that the firing came shortly after the wife discovering the text relationship. It would appear the only reason she was fired was because the wife likely told the husband to fire her or lose the marriage.

Edited, Dec 23rd 2012 2:43pm by BrownDuck
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#19 Dec 23 2012 at 6:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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Yeah, seems like. And I don't know whether Iowa is an at-will state where employers can fire employees for any reason or for no reason with impunity as long as they don't cross the lines of discrimination; but potentially there's nothing illegal about the firing, as the court found.

Still stinks, though.
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#20 Dec 23 2012 at 10:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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A quick look on Wiki says Iowa is an "at-will" state.
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#21 Dec 23 2012 at 10:56 PM Rating: Decent
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I can see where a defense might not be able to prove discrimination. It was her actions and admittedly the reactions of the employer that caused the problem. If you're going for sexual discrimination you really have to prove that it's that the employer found her unfit for the job simply because she's a woman.

If the roles were reversed and a male employee was coming-on to his boss, the happily married mother of three. The boss, who recognizes a temptation she doesn't want to keep facing thought his behavior inappropriate and even detrimental to business so fired him. Would it still be a question of the employee being fired because he was too pretty?

Employers are really free to hire and fire at will as long as they discriminate against one of the groups covered under the law. Good looking people are not covered.

Edited, Dec 24th 2012 5:57am by Elinda
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#22 Dec 24 2012 at 11:32 AM Rating: Decent
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From what I read the only reason he ended up firing her was because his wife saw some texts on his phone, got all ******* and demanded he get rid of her. While you can argue control all you want, the bottom line is his jealous wife got ****** and gave him an ultimatum. Which he acquiesed to in order to keep his family together.

Maybe if the insecure bitter wife would have given up the goods a little more regularly, he wouldn't be walking around work at full mast making inappropriate comments.
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#23 Dec 24 2012 at 1:56 PM Rating: Excellent
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Guenny wrote:
It's called not having a sexual attraction to someone other than to the person that you married. If you're married, you make the choice ahead of time to not even let those thoughts develop, especially with someone you see every day.


I wouldn't agree you can just decide not to be attracted to people. I think the answer is to be committed to monogamy regardless, be honest with your partner, and don't act like an ****.

I mean, I developed a little crush on someone at work. I told my partner. She asked "would you ever do anything about it" and I said "no," and that was the end of it. I still find my coworker attractive, still would never even mention it, let alone act on it, still isn't a problem. Finding someone attractive isn't a big deal. Just don't be a douche.

As for firing someone because you find them attractive/your wife tells you to? That's ridiculous.

Edited, Dec 24th 2012 11:59am by Olorinus
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#24 Dec 24 2012 at 2:58 PM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
It was her actions and admittedly the reactions of the employer that caused the problem.


What actions of hers?

And while I agree that it's difficult to just decide not to be attracted to someone, we all do exactly that all the time. We all have friends who are dating or married to people that make us go, "hmm". We just bound those people off-limits. It can be done. It's done all the time.
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#25 Dec 24 2012 at 3:06 PM Rating: Good
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Samira wrote:
Quote:
It was her actions and admittedly the reactions of the employer that caused the problem.


What actions of hers?

And while I agree that it's difficult to just decide not to be attracted to someone, we all do exactly that all the time. We all have friends who are dating or married to people that make us go, "hmm". We just bound those people off-limits. It can be done. It's done all the time.


Well, we have very little information on her. Maybe the boss went up to her out of the blue one day and said "LOL, you give me an erection, stop being so hot!". Or maybe he truly did feel she was dressing inappropriately for the office setting and asked her to tone it down which she didn't? Or somewhere in the middle. If he really did make out of line comments go after him for sexual harassment in the workplace.

The way I see it though, not being able to work with someone because you find them attractive, and in turn firing them, is really no different than not being able to work with someone for any number of personality conflicts and decided to get rid of them. Regardless of who the personality fault lies with.

Edited, Dec 24th 2012 4:07pm by TirithRR
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#26 Dec 26 2012 at 10:13 AM Rating: Excellent
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atriclethingywhatever wrote:
At one point, Knight told Nelson that "if she saw his pants bulging, she would know her clothing was too revealing," the decision read.


Smiley: rolleyes

Also, for a thread about an attractive woman, there's a distinct lack of pictures here. Smiley: disappointed

Edited, Dec 26th 2012 8:13am by someproteinguy
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#27 Dec 26 2012 at 3:48 PM Rating: Excellent
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I wouldn't agree you can just decide not to be attracted to people. I think the answer is to be committed to monogamy regardless, be honest with your partner, and don't act like an ****


This. I am a huge flirt but have told my girlfriend who I flirt with and know where to draw the line. When it starts on the eye candy becoming touchy or making comments about hooking up, it ends there.

This guy is an idiot, next girl he thinks is cute it will happen again. Needs to man up, let his balls drop and tell his wife she is hot now let go into the supply room.
#28 Dec 26 2012 at 6:08 PM Rating: Excellent
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someproteinguy wrote:
atriclethingywhatever wrote:
At one point, Knight told Nelson that "if she saw his pants bulging, she would know her clothing was too revealing," the decision read.


Smiley: rolleyes

Also, for a thread about an attractive woman, there's a distinct lack of pictures here. Smiley: disappointed

Edited, Dec 26th 2012 8:13am by someproteinguy


You really aren't missing much. She isn't ugly but she isn't what one would call super hot. Average would be a good summation of her looks.

I am really torn on this. On one hand if she was dressing inappropriately and refused to wear less sexual clothing he could easily fire her for that. On the other he did carry a conversation on with her and let things slide for way to long. Sounds like he let his ***** think for him too much and now it is going to ***** him.
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#29 Dec 26 2012 at 7:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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Criminy wrote:
someproteinguy wrote:
atriclethingywhatever wrote:
At one point, Knight told Nelson that "if she saw his pants bulging, she would know her clothing was too revealing," the decision read.


Smiley: rolleyes

Also, for a thread about an attractive woman, there's a distinct lack of pictures here. Smiley: disappointed

Edited, Dec 26th 2012 8:13am by someproteinguy


You really aren't missing much. She isn't ugly but she isn't what one would call super hot. Average would be a good summation of her looks.

She looks good for a woman in her forties.

Also, I assume Guenny is either some kind of robot with a kill switch for her libido that she can hit at will, or BT is some kind of *** god that can hit said kill switch several times a day. In my experience most people won't look at a hot person and not even think that they're hot unless they've repressed themselves in a rather unhealthy way (honestly, the only people* I've heard of who can do that are A) Rape victims who are totally anti-*** in any way, or B) Evangelicals raised in a Purity Culture where even thinking of holding hands condemns you to **** and after years have numbed all their romantic feelings). YMMV.

*Or asexual. Kinda goes without saying.
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#30 Dec 26 2012 at 7:58 PM Rating: Excellent
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LockeColeMA wrote:

She looks good for a woman in her forties.

Also, I assume Guenny is either some kind of robot with a kill switch for her libido that she can hit at will, or BT is some kind of *** god that can hit said kill switch several times a day. In my experience most people won't look at a hot person and not even think that they're hot unless they've repressed themselves in a rather unhealthy way (honestly, the only people* I've heard of who can do that are A) Rape victims who are totally anti-*** in any way, or B) Evangelicals raised in a Purity Culture where even thinking of holding hands condemns you to **** and after years have numbed all their romantic feelings). YMMV.

*Or asexual. Kinda goes without saying.


Aye she does but that really isn't saying much at all. There are a lot of women that look good in their 40s and a lot that don't. But I suppose that is just nitpicking over semantics.

Also my old man told me something when I started dating in high school. "Once you get married you can admire the flowers in the garden but you are no longer allowed to pick any of them, enjoy it while you can." I feel it is relevant to the situation at hand.
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#31 Dec 26 2012 at 8:08 PM Rating: Good
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Criminy wrote:
Also my old man told me something when I started dating in high school. "Once you get married you can admire the flowers in the garden but you are no longer allowed to pick any of them, enjoy it while you can." I feel it is relevant to the situation at hand.


Nothing stopping you from a quick run through though.
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#32 Dec 27 2012 at 2:19 AM Rating: Excellent
Criminy wrote:
LockeColeMA wrote:

She looks good for a woman in her forties.

Also, I assume Guenny is either some kind of robot with a kill switch for her libido that she can hit at will, or BT is some kind of *** god that can hit said kill switch several times a day. In my experience most people won't look at a hot person and not even think that they're hot unless they've repressed themselves in a rather unhealthy way (honestly, the only people* I've heard of who can do that are A) Rape victims who are totally anti-*** in any way, or B) Evangelicals raised in a Purity Culture where even thinking of holding hands condemns you to **** and after years have numbed all their romantic feelings). YMMV.*Or asexual. Kinda goes without saying.
Also my old man told me something when I started dating in high school. "Once you get married you can admire the flowers in the garden but you are no longer allowed to pick any of them, enjoy it while you can." I feel it is relevant to the situation at hand.

Or you could decide to be polyamorous or swingers. Smiley: sly
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#33 Dec 27 2012 at 9:37 AM Rating: Excellent
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
Or you could decide to be polyamorous or swingers. Smiley: sly

You never miss an opportunity to be smug about your lifestyle do you? Smiley: lol

Smiley: thumbsup
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#34 Dec 27 2012 at 12:32 PM Rating: Good
LOL, I'm not being smug! Most people don't think about these things, so I'm just sharing my knowledge!
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#35 Dec 27 2012 at 11:39 PM Rating: Excellent
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
Or you could decide to be polyamorous or swingers. Smiley: sly


Well yeah there is that. Smiley: laugh Not my cup of tea but I can definitely see why someone would enjoy that kind of set up.
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
Most people don't think about these things

I'm fairly confident that the reason most people aren't swingers isn't because they're unfamiliar with the concept.
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#37 Dec 29 2012 at 1:32 PM Rating: Excellent
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Wait wait wait... so I could have *** with my primary partner, and also have *** with other partners?
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Spoonless wrote:
Wait wait wait... so I could have *** with my primary partner, and also have *** with other partners?


Just don't tell the old man on his death bed, no need to make his last moments nothing but regret.
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#39 Dec 29 2012 at 1:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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Wait wait wait... so I could have *** with my primary partner, and also have *** with other partners?

Here, take a pamphlet.
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#40 Dec 29 2012 at 8:27 PM Rating: Decent
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
Most people don't think about these things

I'm fairly confident that the reason most people aren't swingers isn't because they're unfamiliar with the concept.

True. But it's not like it's something that is socially acceptable or really talked about much aside from in a joking manner. I didn't really think about it until I stumbled across the idea on a feminist forum on myspace about 6 years ago.
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#41 Dec 30 2012 at 2:27 AM Rating: Good
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Protip: Guys talk about it all the time. Your little "Grrl Power" thing is a man's wet dream.
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#42 Dec 30 2012 at 5:41 AM Rating: Excellent
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Professor stupidmonkey wrote:
Protip: Guys talk about it all the time. Your little "Grrl Power" thing is a man's wet dream.


Some people really hate sharing.
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#43 Dec 30 2012 at 8:08 AM Rating: Good
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Professor stupidmonkey wrote:
Protip: Guys talk about it all the time. Your little "Grrl Power" thing is a man's wet dream.


*Insert Demotivational Poster About "Male ******* Fantasy" vs "******* Reality" Here*
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#44 Dec 30 2012 at 12:59 PM Rating: Good
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Professor stupidmonkey wrote:
Protip: Guys talk about it all the time. Your little "Grrl Power" thing is a man's wet dream.


Some people really hate sharing.

I think that's the crux of the issue right there. Most people don't like to share, especially if they've never thought of the concept of sharing before. When my boyfriend and I first got together around 5 years ago, I suggested the idea to him. He came from a very strict religious background (in fact he was still a virgin when we met), so it wasn't something he was ready to jump into. After we'd been together a year though, he brought it up again and said he was curious and wanted to give it a try. We had a bit of a rocky start, but overall it's been going well for us.
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#45 Jan 02 2013 at 3:00 PM Rating: Decent
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I think that's the crux of the issue right there. Most people don't like to share, especially if they've never thought of the concept of sharing before. When my boyfriend and I first got together around 5 years ago, I suggested the idea to him. He came from a very strict religious background (in fact he was still a virgin when we met), so it wasn't something he was ready to jump into. After we'd been together a year though, he brought it up again and said he was curious and wanted to give it a try. We had a bit of a rocky start, but overall it's been going well for us.


That is cool it worked for you. I just never got really into the relationship either time I tried. For my friend though has worked great. She has a husband and a bf. The guys are straight, one is questionably bi imo, and they have three sons. Not everyone's thing but it does work.
#46 Jan 02 2013 at 4:40 PM Rating: Default
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Slapping these together for relevance.

someproteinguy wrote:
Samira wrote:
Quote:
It was her actions and admittedly the reactions of the employer that caused the problem.


What actions of hers?

atriclethingywhatever wrote:
At one point, Knight told Nelson that "if she saw his pants bulging, she would know her clothing was too revealing," the decision read.


We can condemn his actions (and his wife certainly did), but she was clearly a participant in mutual flirtation. Sometimes, it's not about looks specifically, but that two people "click". They catch the innuendos from the other, think similar (dirty) thoughts, and feed off each other in this way. It's a fun game initially, but over time this will tend to grow into something beyond just flirtatious comments if the breaks aren't put on at some point. And that usually requires not interacting with the other person so frequently. So while it seems unfair, when this happens between an employer and employee, termination may have been the only way to end this process.

Sucks and all that, but it's one of the reasons why you should maintain a professional demeanor at work. She clearly went well past "attractive employee being hit on by her boss", and became a participant herself. At that point, she lost any high ground she might have had. It's an unprofessional work relationship, and the boss can't fire himself.
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King Nobby wrote:
More words please
#47 Jan 02 2013 at 5:50 PM Rating: Decent
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21,718 posts
gbaji wrote:
Slapping these together for relevance.

someproteinguy wrote:
Samira wrote:
Quote:
It was her actions and admittedly the reactions of the employer that caused the problem.


What actions of hers?

atriclethingywhatever wrote:
At one point, Knight told Nelson that "if she saw his pants bulging, she would know her clothing was too revealing," the decision read.


We can condemn his actions (and his wife certainly did), but she was clearly a participant in mutual flirtation.


Protip: Knight was the male. Nelson was the female.

I'm not saying she never flirted or anything, but you're quoting the wrong statement if you're trying to make that point. Of course, mis-reading is par for the course in Gbajiland.
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gbaji wrote:
You guys keep tossing facts out there like they mean something.


#48 Jan 09 2013 at 2:20 PM Rating: Good
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9,382 posts
TirithRR wrote:
Professor stupidmonkey wrote:
Protip: Guys talk about it all the time. Your little "Grrl Power" thing is a man's wet dream.


*Insert Demotivational Poster About "Male ******* Fantasy" vs "******* Reality" Here*


Man, I looked for one, but they are all either too inappropriate to post or totally don't actually understand what lesbians are... Sigh.

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lolgaxe wrote:
When it comes to sitting around not doing anything for long periods of time, only being active for short windows, and marginal changes and sidegrades I'd say FFXI players were the perfect choice for politicians.

clicky
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