Dear Prudence

When the Boss Wants (Personal) Overtime

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Dearest Prudie,
I do hope you have the time to answer my query. I am a young, professional woman in grad school and also have a full-time job. I am also a stripper. I am not ashamed of my night job. I love to dance, am an exhibitionist, and use the money to put myself through school. My problem is this: I asked my supervisor at my day job if I could make a slight adjustment to my schedule to accommodate my full workload. We have a very candid and friendly relationship, so when he pressed me, I told him about my other job while asking him to keep the revelation in confidence. Since then he has started making lewd comments to me, asking me out to dinner (he is married), and making other unprofessional advances. I understand that there’s a negative association attached to strippers and also know, personally, several who are plain prostitutes. I do not fall into this category and don’t appreciate my boss’s assumption that since I have a “kinky” job, it is acceptable to harass me. He is an excellent supervisor in all other respects; I would guess that he is just sexually repressed and thinks that he can vent this frustration on me. I do not want to file sexual harassment charges, but if this continues, I don’t see that I have a lot of choice. I’m also afraid if this happens he would tell others in the company about my secret, which I’m sure would damage my reputation as most of my co-workers are conservative. I am a very honest person and would prefer to be up front with him. Any suggestions about how to broach the subject?

Educated Kinkster

Dear Ed,
Sit down with your supervisor and explain that out of regard for his professional abilities, and your formerly friendly relationship, you are going to tell him something in the hope that it will not become necessary to tell his superiors. Then tell him this: If he will clean up his act, you will not report him. This way, you’re giving him a chance, which you seem inclined to do. If he persists, however, in hitting on you and continuing with the suggestive remarks, then, indeed, you have a harassment case. And don’t be too sure that general knowledge of your job—the one where you’re not wearing many clothes—would be damaging. Prudie, for one, finds it admirable that you are going to school and working. “Stripper” does not equal “hooker,” so give yourself a break.

—Prudie, professionally

Dear Prudence,
I have been in a relationship with a guy for almost six years now. I love him very much, and I know he feels the same about me. We have talked about marriage several times. We even have it planned out as far as the groomsmen and bridesmaids. I have asked him when he thinks we should get married. He keeps telling me that it should be in either spring or fall. When I ask why we have to keep putting it off, he gives me this “male fear of commitment” excuse. What can I do? I have tried to talk to him about this, and I keep getting the same answer about fear of commitment. Do you have any suggestions?

Tired of Excuses

Dear Ti,
Tell Mr. Cautious that spring or fall is all very well and good, but spring or fall of which year? Inform him that you’d like to get the groomsmen and bridesmaids into the sphere of reality. This chap is what Prudie calls a free-range chicken: He has free range … and he’s chicken. Prudie thinks six years takes your decision to marry out of the hasty actions category; also, it’s perfectly correct to tell the beloved that if he cannot conquer his fear of commitment by this spring, your relationship is going to fall apart because of your fear of inertia.

—Prudie, ultimately

Dear Prudie,

What’s wrong with men liking to
wear lingerie? It’s cool and smooth and soft and feels nice. Don’t women like gentle, sensual men? I personally know several men who enjoy lingerie. My husband enjoys lingerie, and this is why I like this about him: 1) When we go to lingerie shops, he’s not sulking in a corner. Also, since we’re about the same size, we save money by buying things we BOTH can wear! 2) Sex is not all wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am. Men who like lingerie tend to be very tactile and sensual and like all those things that women wish they would … candles, incense, bubble baths, massages, etc. 3) There are a lot of women who like men who like lingerie! It’s a turn-on, and it doesn’t hurt anyone, so what’s the problem? If you ask me, the world needs MORE men like this.

—Kinky in Kansas

Dear Kink,

Prudie agrees that your situation is perfect for keeping your ol’ man happy when you drag him into lingerie stores. And how great that you both wear the same size! While it’s debatable that the world needs more guys in marabou and satin, it’s fine with Prudie … as is pretty much anything that doesn’t cause you to be read your Miranda rights.

—Prudie, silkily

Dear Prudence,

Help! I’ve been dating a wonderful man for the last few months. We are both single parents in our 40s. My kids are great with this, but his 16-year-old son is having a hard time with Dad dating. (Dad has been separated for six years and has custody.) The dating issue has been a problem for his son with every woman he’s dated since the separation. I have met the boy three times. The first time he said hello. The second time he would not make eye contact or speak to me until I spoke to him first. The third time he would not come out of his room until I left. How do we handle this? His dad has spoken to him about this but gets “no problem” as an answer. I suspect it’s a jealousy thing and possibly misplaced “loyalty” to his mother. Is there anything we can do to help the boy accept the fact that we are not going to stop seeing each other?

—In Love

Dear In,

The best way for the young man to accept that you’re not going to stop seeing each other is to not stop seeing each other. Prudie has long felt that children do not get a vote in these matters. And in this case, two years from now the boy will be in college. It might be useful for his dad to invite him to lunch or a movie with the two of you. Whether he goes or not is his decision. Prudie would suggest you not make any aggressive moves in his direction. The good news is that his father already knows you are not the problem. If it brings any comfort, a story was printed that one of Katie Couric’s young daughters told her that the new boyfriend was OK … just as long as they didn’t have sex.

—Prudie, gradually