I have often stated that the organization of many gay bdsm families required the kink equivalent of a corporate org chart. I say this because it’s not that uncommon to have a conversation with a new friend that goes something like, “hi, my name is Josh, but my Sir, Joshua, calls me j, I am submissive to him, but we are both submissive to Daddy Chris who is owned by Master Chris who is married to another dominant named Sir Josh who has three boys, alpha Josh, beta Chris and gimp Bob. Alpha Chris owns two pups, mike and mike, not including beta jay who has one dominant brother, Bobby. All of us are submissive to Super Master B, who himself, and by extension the rest of us, submit to Super Duper Master Chris. It’s all very simple.” Yes, I have exaggerated a bit, but come on, we all have had similar conversations.
Currently, my definition of our family is only three people, but, as I have said many times, I always hope that the boy, who I call slave, boy, jack, boyfriend, and sometimes, dog, interchangeably, will have his own slave but for now, unless I use the myriad of names for the same person, we are generally pretty easy to define. Now.
But, back to my corporate analogy for two reasons. This week, at work, I had an employee who, at the ripe old age of 25, zoom with me to demand more money. Now, being that times are different, she at 25 makes now what I made at 40, told me that she had been doing some research (we have open salary ranges) and that there are some people with a “similar” title making six figures and that she felt she deserved that. I have to say that I admired her moxy to come to me like that, but my admiration quickly went away as she continued to talk because she clearly didn’t do her research, her math, or even look at Glassdoor, because the people she was referring to were ten or more years older than her and that “similar” title, for them, included words like “senior” or “director” or other key signifiers to prove that they had done their time, done their work, and deserved the pay they were making. I was very kind and, while pointing out that she had clearly not made any of her KPI’s or metrics last year and was really behind this year, that I would in no way consider this and that, if she was unhappy, that the job market is quite healthy for a young double degreed elite university graduate and that I’d certainly understand if she needed to go elsewhere. That did not go the way she thought it would and she, on the edge of tears, decided that we should finish our call later (by the way, if you ever work for me, please don’t cry. I try, really hard, to be empathetic but something about that makes me giggle and, though I try, again, really hard, to not show it, I can’t stop giggling. I do that at funerals too. I am not a bastard but…).
Fast forward about four hours and we had another call. This time, she seemed to have done some soul searching and she started talking about how she just wanted to not be at the new kid and be at the level of her more senior peers because “they seem to always have an answer, have respect from colleagues, and they make a lot of money and I am ready to have things they have in life and, I deserve it.” I remember feeling that way too. Fuck, I am the senior peer now and I still feel like that at times and, I told her that. We talked for over an hour about paying her dues and putting in the time (and, fwiw, I did not shatter her dream about the definition of “a lot of money” is) and I explained to her that she is not looking at all the work THEY put in, and that she deserves nothing at this point because she hasn’t proven anything, that she doesn’t see all the struggles they had at her age and the even more struggles they have now because they don’t talk about such things with those young enough to still have a dream. I also added that, if they are anything like me, the more money they make the less they enjoy their job because money and titles come with expectations and expectations come with stress. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’d not change a single thing (well, a few) but she.has to just have her eyes open now and be willing to adjust, be molded, and grow (with me or elsewhere.)
Now, what the fuck does this have to do with kinky families? A lot in my mind, especially after I had that conversation, Where I am going with this is I have a pretty damn good thing going with my little triad, especially the Master/slave duo within it. However, that did not happen overnight and many of the above things on growing in your career come close to matching this. I was thinking about this because at least three or four times a week I get a request to “join us/join the family/step in to come play/use the slave, etc” (this does not count friends who seemingly joke, okay friends?). These are absolute strangers who, in the above situation, would be currently making $20K a year and expecting me to hire them at $100K because “those guys doing the job I want free about my age, have the same interest career wise, and it would be cool.” In all honesty, I don’t know if I ever want to add to our family in the way we are now but, if I did, the corporate rules of earning their place would apply. Anybody we might invite in has a lot of tests to pass, work to do, and trust to build. Right now, I have no interest in going through all of that, but I have also learned to never say never. I could and would love to one day have an extended family, like great friends treated as brothers, cousins, etc for the bonding and awkward Thanksgiving dinners, but who knows what reality will bring on such things, but even those guys would have a probation period.
Speaking of that probation, it’s an absolute. The idea of someone just dropping in to join us at a level we are now is indeed impossible because they have not gone through the hiring process, orientation, probation, and it will be years until they are fully vested. And, even though I did have a full strategic plan in place, what we have now doesn’t match it because the parties involved are much different than who I intended to hire. We have worked hard to make the plan flexible and put a lot of time to make it work and I do not think anyone could, despite their impressive resume, just drop in. They might intern, but that’s a whole other ballgame.
I am not meaning this to come away as cold as I welcome anyone and everyone to have a conversation with us, but, to those guys, please just don’t assume that returning a text is the same as an invitation. I am more writing this to the, in theory, young kinksters who want it all to tell them that they can have it all, but it will take work, it will take time, and it will take some heartbreak at times too. As Walt Disney once said, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” So, “kids,” have courage and pursue away but be realistic. Remember, just like ANY job description you may get in the muggle world, the real work in a kink relationship will often be glaringly different than described and those guaranteed benefits often change. That’s okay. You can get to a place of happiness in time.
Did you ever listen to the podcast No safe word? They always said they need a whiteboard to explain the relationships. I miss those guys. Luckily I downloaded all the episodes.