One Step Back

Today was a disappointing day. Despite being extremely pragmatic in my view of human behavior, I came across a new low for people.
People actually complained to our employer about the Inside Edition piece.
Married monogamous couple kissing on TV. How that is offensive is beyond me. America is fail.
We have three responses to this:
(1) We unfortunately now have to decline any mass media related things in Connecticut. The book is doing well, but not quite that well that we can both quit our jobs. We also don’t hate our jobs or our employer, it’s just stupidly awkward.
(2) The blog is now behind the annoying adult content warning.
(3) Should anyone ever complain to our employer again, it will be because you have actively sought us out, have actively tried to be offended, and actively sought to damage us. As such, we will actively seek to recoup any lost income from you. Jennifer’s legal connections in the GLBT human rights community are quite spectacular. They will probably actively enjoy our case too.
We will be continuing what we do here.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh my god, that sucks, and fuck those guys.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely. This is so wrong on so many levels!! Two posts back is a Christian man thanking his God for Athol and the book.

    That's it, we have to start spreading the word ourselves. Grassroots, word-of-mouth style. Know anyone married? Send 'em here. Buy books for people.

    People suck. We have to show people how to not suck. Well, unless it's the right appendage…

  3. Miles Anderson says:

    The very thing that makes Athol's book useful in our society guarantees bozos won't get it. That doesn't make it any less bogus.

  4. Anonymous says:

    You should NOT be using Blogger, get a hosting plan, Google can pull your site anytime they feel like and it'll be gone.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Oooh… Good point on the Blogger business. WordPress.com is even suspect. Get your own hosting. I'm sure plenty of us will help…

  6. Badger says:

    Total BS, but good response…talk about alphaing up.

    You and Jennifer are both very strong, some people couldn't take this kind of criticism. You know you are doing the right thing when gadflies emerge.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Dude, why are you even using blogger? While you may not have enough $$ to quite your job, surely you can pay someone to install WordPress for you!

  8. Anonymous says:

    please, please, please get your own hosted service. Blogger recently took down Ann Althouse due to complaints – the same can happen to you.

  9. Shawn says:

    Yup, married monogamous couple kissing and having sex. Downright offensive and against family values. Who's protecting the children? It's the end of civilization as we know it. The sky is falling.

    Not that it's any of our business but I'm curious what grounds your employer gave for giving the complainers any merit. Were the complainers 'deep pocket' donors? Your employers correct response should have been "piss off"

  10. Shawn says:

    and pretend that I actually spelled and punctuated correctly in my previous comment.

    Thanks, you're a doll ;-)

  11. Matt says:

    That action against you is a war on marriage itself. You sir, are a national treasure.

  12. rycamor says:

    Athol, so sorry to hear about this. As a married 45-year-old conservative Christian man, I can only roll my eyes at this idiocy. Prime time TV can air any kind of flaunted sexuality and no one cares, but have a husband and wife actually admit they are hot for one another??? Don't they know marriage is supposed to be an exercise in grueling sacrifice and despair?

    I'm trying to remember the last time I saw anything on TV that portrayed marriage in a positive sexual light (vs. the Everybody Loves Raymond sort of ridicule), and I think it was an ad by the Cotton council, back in the late 80s, which showed a man and woman in a bedroom in the afternoon taking off each others' clothes and slipping into bed, then cutting to a scene on the golf course where the guys are saying something like "Where's Fred? You mean he's spending the afternoon with his wife? Why would he want to do that?" That really is the last time I can think about. Other than that, every ad or sitcom seems to portray clueless husbands with wives that are complete masters of the situation, and the Big Joke is always how he's not getting any tonight.

  13. Twenty says:

    As such, we will actively seek to recoup any lost income from you. Jennifer's legal connections in the GLBT human rights community are quite spectacular. They will probably actively enjoy our case too.

    Every single sentence there is really, really interesting.

    Hun.

    (Okay, just to give you a hint what I mean: So, the GLBT legal eagles are now opposed to harassing people by pestering their employers to punish them for their extracurricular activities? Really?)

  14. Sweet As says:

    lawyers tend to like a good fight. if they can make a case, they will. so it doesn't matter — they will argue both sides if they can. :) it's how they work. LOL

    i'm sorry this happened, and I wondered when it would come to issue. I knew it was a matter of time.

    Ironically, I would find out what your employers footing is in this matter. They may not have any such that you would have to inhibit yhour activities in actively promoting your (important) book.

    If you get on Oprah or something, then what? you'll suddenly be ok?

  15. Terry @ Breathing Grace says:

    Sorry you guys are getting flak, Athol.

    You should host your own site if you can

  16. Eric S. Mueller says:

    This is why taking anonymous complaints seriously is a bad idea, and why a small number of them should be ignored as a statistical anomaly. If tens of thousands of people watched Inside Edition, and two complained, they should be ignored. If three thousand complain, maybe there's something to look into.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Man, I'm sorry Athol. I had something similar happen to me. Nothing ever came of it. You're a lifesaver. Keep on with your work. (mad props to Jennifer too)

  18. Antigone Amplified says:

    'We will be continuing what we do here'. Yes, exactly right!

    It's ironic, but whenever anything new is being born, there is bound to be opposition from those who want to cling on to the old and are afraid of anything unconventional and radical, like being open about sexuality within marrriage, lol. It means things are really happening here. Warm wishes to you both!

  19. Viliam Búr says:

    People are stupid. Do you know that 50% of people have below average intelligence? It's a scientific fact!

    I cannot imagine how the complaint was worded. "Sir, do you know that one of your employees was kissing his wife? I do not feel safe knowing that such perverts work at your institution, so I am seriously considering going to your competition."

    Regular backup of your articles, and maybe also comments, is always a good idea, for many possible reasons. Don't forget to backup pictures, too. It can be done by a simple program that will crawl your website and just download everything on a disk.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I did wonder before about doing the Inside Edition piece due to privacy concerns for you and your family. However,why anyone would complain to your employer that you and Jennifer had come out and proclaimed about your frequent sex life as a married couple does not make sense. And I really don't understand why your employer would say anything. Are you two meeting in broom closets at work and startling other employees or patients.

    It was discouraging to see the blogger warning when I got on this morning. You may write about adult themes but this is no triple xxx site. Don't we married folk get a break?

    Athol, America is too big a place and too diverse to state America fail due to this incident. It looks to me like the complainers and your employer are falling in to the fail category. If you hadn't taken up residence here we might never have heard what you had to say,who knows.

    The complainer(s) are probably just jealous of you two or have some archaic notion that having lots of sex with your wife and writing about it makes you too physically or mentally drained to do your jobs properly. Anyway, as long as your patients' privacy has not been compromised what is the deal with your employer??? Do you have a written contract with them to never do anything publicly? This gets more bizarre and unfair the more I think about it.

  21. Pickle says:

    Sad that a happy, married couple is now considered taboo. People treat it worse than a dirty movie. Keep up with what you are doing,I would agree on hosting your site.

  22. dalrock says:

    Very troubling. But as others have said it is proof that you are making a real difference. People wouldn't fear you if you weren't.

    On the web hosting, I think the main thing is to have a site backup. I use HTTrack on linux, but I'm pretty sure there is a windows version of the same program. I'll see if I can't do my own backup of your site in the interim. It came in handy with Solomon II's site.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Forget the haters, some people have no life, they have to nosy around and find something to rile them up. All I can say is: Happy fucking to you and Jennifer! You guys rock!

    Katherine

  24. Timitz says:

    That sucks. I still support you and am glad you are still doing what you are doing. As they say, "Haters gonna hate, cuz they ain't getting laid."

  25. Julia says:

    Do you have any frenemies at work — who would be aware of this website? The troublemakers are probably people you already know and would never suspect (relatives, "friends" – the jealous/petty types). I didn't see the interview but can't imagine anything was said that would cause a total stranger(s) to lodge a complaint with your employer.

    If some people "ain't gettin' none," nobody else should, I guess.

  26. Phil Mueller says:

    I've gotta assume the complaints came from divorce lawyers, otherwise that makes no sense at all…

    I guess that is the downside of working for a big company, they have corporate policies about everything… are you still allowed to do media stuff in, say, Vermont? Or nationally?

    +1 to the idea keeping a backup of the blog+comments, if you don't already. Even aside from complaints etc, Blogger just isn't reliable enough.

  27. Just a College Girl says:

    I was wondering why Blogger made me click a mature content agreement thing…
    I mean, duh, I'm not going to be surprised about whatever's on the blog when I've been a follower for several months (not that it deserves a mature content warning, omg you talk about s e x and not even explicitly.)

    I understand that if someone complains to your employer that they have to address it, but unless you were taking office time for your book/blog/Inside Edition thing or were using office funds for them or something I don't see how it's any of their business. As I recall, you and Jennifer don't work in the same place, so I doubt it's that people are stumbling upon you in the broom closet.

    As a side note, I would like my nurses to be as happy and contented as possible.

  28. mark says:

    if you would have advocated some type of swinging lifestyle, S&M, or other types of debauchery you would probably be given your own show. or think how many crime shows there are with the most gruesome crimes and violence, where is the outrage, you demonstrate a happy marriage and the haters come out. just keep on, you are appreciated.

  29. Jasmine says:

    So sorry that this happened, Athol. I have a thought regarding this situation. You, very obviously, have a lot of grateful and appreciative followers. I don't want to know (and I am sure most of the people here don't want to know) who your employer is, but if a good many of the people here could somehow let them know that what you're doing has vastly improved their lives, your employers might change their minds about the media thing. I don't know how you would anonymously do this, maybe a PO Box or something. But, if you wanted to, something tells me a lot of people here would be willing to write a letter or something like that for your benefit.

    I also think a lot of people would be willing to send you donations to help out in hosting your own site.

  30. Michele says:

    I think Inside edition needs to do a follow up story on this… what silliness. Seriously, you may want to talk to a lawyer, your employer should not have said anything to you. Just to cover yourselves… they cannot fire you for talking about sex with your wife on TV. It is not immoral.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Meh. A little controversy can only help sell your book. Say thank you to the folks at Blogger for the mature content warning.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, the only cause of action you could have would be against your employers, and it would have to be for some sort of wrongful termination. People can say whatever they want, and as long as it's truthful, they're home free. But I would really look closer to home (i.e., workplace, neighbors). Nobody on this blog knows exactly where you or Jennifer work.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I just have to wonder at the type of person who would complain about this. "This married couple has had sex – with each other! – 5000 times. That's disgusting!"

    Blogger stinks, anyway. It's a great time to switch.

  34. RJ says:

    America IS fail, and has been fail since 1913 at least.

  35. AmyJ says:

    I guess the people complaining are so utterly helpless that they can't help but watch/click on/read things against their will. And of all the things to get upset over – a healthy (in all aspects) marriage being broadcast to the world.

    Talk about first world problems. Geesh.

  36. Tinderbox says:

    Oh brother! Sounds like someone out there is envious of your success. Maybe someone at your workplace.

  37. Anonymous says:

    So sorry to hear that Athol. I agree with many commenter probably a wife/husband that is not having a ton of sex with their SO, feel threatened by your happiness and wants to destroy it. I mean if they cannot claim that their lack of sex is normal for a marriage then they might have to deal with their problems…God forbid that!
    S.R.

  38. LJ says:

    What total numpties.

    Nothing new or helpful to say, I agree with others that this is probably a case of jealous spite. There are also a small number of petty, narrow minded people who try very hard to find something that offends them – but this just about takes the biscuit.

    Anyhoo, just wanted to add my support. Keep doing what you do.

  39. Athol Kay says:

    Thank you all.

    All anger does is make me more focused.

  40. paige says:

    Just chiming in my agreement that whoever did that is a moron.

  41. Bhetti says:

    Healthcare organisations are the most censorious, least tolerant and unreasonable employers when it comes to freedom of expression by their professionals. Partly in response to certain consumers who honestly think we do not have the right to be anything but their servers.

    I can only hope your employer is reasonable. You're challenging a narrative routed in certain groups' ideologies.

    Wish you all the best, Athol. Will be buying copies of your book for whomever seems they could use it.

    –Bhetti

  42. Hope says:

    Sorry to hear about that, Athol. I work for a healthcare organization as well, and I'm careful not to reveal my full name.

    I host my own blog on WordPress, with my own domain and database/file backups if I need them. You have your own domain name but not your own hosting service? I would be willing to host your site, as it is unlimited. It's not the most reliable ever (dreamhost), but I know all the ins and outs of WordPress and can set one up rather quickly.

  43. Anonymous says:

    athol get your own site, and upgrade your security at home! If such person knows who you work for etc etc, maybe you should do more to protect your personal things. Some people are bat shit crazy so be careful! You haz girls. :(

  44. pdwalker says:

    Assholes. There's always someone.

    But even worse are those people who'd even think to entertain the complaints! Are there any mature adults here?

    Do what the others have suggested. For 10 dollars a month, you can have your own wordpress installation. Move your site there now before some asshole decides this site needs to be shut down for "offending the public mores" or some such nonsense.

    Heck, if you're non technical, I'll do it for you.

  45. Doug1 says:

    Athol–

    What I want to know is what the hell is wrong with your employer???

  46. Doug1 says:

    Athol–

    (1) We unfortunately now have to decline any mass media related things in Connecticut.

    This is absurd. I think you should appeal this. Get them to reconsider.

  47. Doug1 says:

    Phil–

    I've gotta assume the complaints came from divorce lawyers, otherwise that makes no sense at all…

    lolzzloll

    Good one.

  48. Anonymous says:

    someone is not getting laid.

  49. Anonymous says:

    THAT complaint is ridiculous. In this you both have my full respect: you go guys.

    Jennifer 6

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