Actually, that’s what’s already happened.
So, this isn’t a case of my dad showed up at my job and it was awkward. If that were it everything would be fine. The problem is what I do.
I sell sexual pleasure. That means, even though I don’t star in porn or prostitute myself, I’m still involved in the sex trade.
With that comes certain stigmas that we as a company can’t allow ourselves to even flirt with. One is the idea that all of these types of companies are sleezy and filled with loose women. My dress code is business casual very specifically to help fight this. People walk in, they see a woman with a collar and dress pants or a skirt and a blazer and they feel better about being in there. The fear that buying a sex toy is for all the women mom told them not to be disappears. I’ve watched it happen. Shoulders rise up, back straightens, and some of them stop trembling. They see a professional that they could easily see selling clothes or diamonds, not a stripper.
Now I don’t have anything against strippers or porn stars (well, maybe porn starts, but that’s super complicated and off topic), or women who like sex or sell sex. But other people do, and other people are making claims about female sexuality that demonize it and I’m a soldier on the front lines to fight demonization and teach women that masturbation is okay. That having kink is okay. That’s my job. I supply to women who already know and I teach women who come in looking to learn. For guys I spend a lot of time talking about how erectile dysfunction happens and seeing a doctor is the first step, then coming to buy a penis pump. I get paid to punch stigma in the face.
And because this is what I do, there is a level of confidentiality. Some retail places when an employee sees a customer off hours they approach and ask about what the customer bought. When we see one we flit over and pretend we didn’t as they stare in absolute terror because I now know their secrets. And I don’t tell. Sure, I will tell you stories, but never with names or descriptions that you could use to track someone down. People stay anonymous.
So having friends or family swing by to catch is heavily frowned upon. It is a sales position, and when I am chit chatting I’m not selling. There are times of the day when it is okay, because we are usually dead and I am more than willing to show friends product. I’m also friends with people my age.
People my age aren’t threatening. You expect to see them alone in a sex store. It is well within the expected demographic. My guy friends aren’t scary looking and they aren’t bros. I trust them to not talk about their penis just because they are in a sex store. And I can sell them product.
My dad is almost 60. He won’t go to children’s movies because he thinks that if he went alone people who think he’s stealing children for sex. But he’s willing to come into my store to visit his children? Sex within families is a taboo. We’re all very familiar with the fact that most kids and most parents don’t talk about sex in great detail with each other. We’re also aware that gender does divide. Boys don’t talk to mom about sex. Girls don’t talk to dad. We also need to factor in that ‘daddy’ is a well established kink and that older men are viewed as the ones who purchase sex.
My dad knows the first two things. My dad has always told me that once I hit 18 he doesn’t need to know. So my father doesn’t know my drinking habits or about my sex life. The only things I have told him are my orientations. That’s it. Because he doesn’t want to know. And as to my orientations he doesn’t believe, so I could have been whispering to the wind for all that it matters.
But I know that he didn’t sleep with his last girlfriend because he was afraid of being burned again. I know that his previous girlfriend was also sleeping with her previous boyfriend the entire time her and dad were sleeping together and that dad feels like it retroactively tainted. I know that he and mom were discussing having a fourth kid before they divorced.
I know far more about my father than I should, and far more than I am allowed to tell him.
So by showing up at a store where I do over 18 he violated the rule he set down. He smashed through the boundary that he has had set up for years. He just got to walk through it because he felt like it. That’s hypocritical and feeds into a deeper problem dad and I have in which he was no boundaries with his kids and has been using me as a therapist since I was a child. That fucks a person up. Can you imagine playing with GI Jos, going to bed, and falling asleep to your father explaining how your mother broke his heart because he has phone records to prove that she was cheating on him? I don’t need to.
Now let’s factor in that what I do is private. I’m not selling shirts. People actually have to share intimate personal details to get what they need from me. I have a guy who is 19 and can’t get it up and doctor phobic that I spent an hour trying to convince to see a doctor. I have a woman who burst into tears of relief when she came in to the store the first time and there were no guys there. People tell me incredibly private details and it is my job to honor that trust. The number of times I’ve explained how to have anal safely is innumerable.
This isn’t the only job that has that. There are signs at the pharmacy that say stay back and give people a little privacy. Imagine my dad, swinging buy to talk to me while I’m trying to fill prescriptions. He’s compromising that confidentiality. Imagine I were a therapist and dad swung by while I was waiting for a patient. Even if he leaves as the patient shows up the patient clearly sees someone who isn’t a patient seeing them in a clinic for therapists. This person now knows they see a therapist. It’s kinda traumatizing. I know because I have been there back in university.
That’s the type of job I have. I’m not selling shoes where it doesn’t matter if people swing by.
Now, I can’t show my dad sex toys. I can’t. That’s beyond fucked up. I am the child in the child-parent relationship and it isn’t my job to help the adult part find sexual release. This isn’t shoes. I would be selling my dad an orgasm. Thankfully, he didn’t look.
But he still walked into the place where I sell orgasms.
My dad came to a place where I sell orgasms.
He did it to hang out and chat. Not pop his head in and set up a lunch meet but to make small talk. He hung around. And he knew it would be awkward for me. He admitted as much while he was there.
Now, I want you to imagine this from an outside boss perspective.
An employees ‘dad’ has shown up to speak to the employee. To chat. Well, chatting in all retail is frowned upon, but not always enforced. Here it is enforced. So now the employee does, “Oh, well, it’s my dad.”
Either 1 of 2 things has happened. The employee either has really severe daddy issues that have now shown up at her work and are interfering with her ability to do the job I pay her to do or she is lying and using this job to make connections so she call sell sex.
We’ve had people fired for using this job to make contacts, so both are a plausible, and one of them is 100% correct.
Customers came in so my dad left. I switched to sales voice and told him to have a nice day. He said, “see you Sunday,” so the customers spent the next twenty minutes glaring at me because they thought I was a hooker. And how do I say “That’s just my dad” with out sounding incredibly fucked up?
Another comparison. This is like if you had been pursuing someone for months. And you told everyone that you were going to take them on a date to a classy, semi-private restaurant. And your dad showed up. And hung around to talk until you were ready to order. Everyone is upset because your dad wasn’t there to eat, wasn’t in dress code, and totally ruined the illusion that the customers had paid for. And your date is now wondering what the hell they have gotten themselves into. Or imagine you went to a sex store and you dad randomly showed up because he knew he would be there.
That’s what happened, but instead of getting dumped I could have gotten fired.
And that is why I’m upset. Dad and I aren’t close. Dad has hurt me in a lot of ways. If Dad had set my career back by years, because this is the first time I have ever managed to even get close to management, I can’t even explain how I’d feel. I spent 24% of my childhood in my father’s legal custody (and that’s a high estimate) and he spent most of that time at work. My dad doesn’t know me, especially when he ignores the true things I tell him about myself. This isn’t the man who raised me making a mistake. This is the man who didn’t.
And that is why I am upset.
I am thinking I am going to tell him that he needs therapy. Because I am tired of him hurting me. And he is always sorry. That's just not enough anymore.