Sex and Sea Men
Captain Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clarks Corps of Discovery ate over 200 dogs while traveling on the Lewis and Clark Trail. However, Captain Lewis’ New found land dog named “ Seaman ” was spared. Captain Lewis tried two attempts at marriage but both were unsuccessful. He didnot have any children. Lesson learned: Sea men are survivors but semen may not endure.
Sex is a mysterious and magnificent motivating force in life that has been an absorbing source of interest through the ages. John Barrymore said, “ The act of sex is something that takes up the least amount of time and causes the most amount of trouble !” It can definitely cause problems on yachts where the crew’s quarters are tight and hormones run free. It is an energy that you can take or leave but sex always needs to be controlled among crew members.
“ Crew ” is defined by Wikipedia as “ a body or class ofpeople who work at a common activity, generally in astructured or hierarchical organization. ” “ Work ” is the critical word in this definition. This can be a daunting proposition when your living quarters, which are fully equipped with your “ stuff, ” are in close proximity to your work. It can become further complicated when a person that has“ caught your fancy ” is working and living very near to your personal space.
The second definition of “ Crew ” is a “ small tight-knit group of friends. ” Working and living on a yacht cultivates friendships and familiarity which can promote a family atmosphere or a very sexually charged environment. A family atmosphere would seem to be the option of choice to facilitate accomplishing work in a business like manner. Families bicker, but as a general rule and inevery state by law, siblings do not sleep with each other for sexual gratification without ramifications.
A third definition of “ Crew ” is an acronym; “ Citizens for Respect and Ethics on the Water ”. In all aspects of life, it is important to establish certain rules by which you are willing govern yourself. These rules are your fail safe for leading a respectful, ethical, responsible life.
The word sex or sexual is often followed by another word in the work place… harassment. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission describes sexual harassment as a form of gender discrimination that is inviolation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Requests for sexual favors, unwelcome sexual advances, and verbalor physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment if it affects an individual’s employmentor interferes with their work
A precedent for harassment was set by the Oncale V. Sundowner case that happen on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. It stated that it isn’t necessary for a harasser to have sexual intentions toward a target for behavior tobe viewed as sexual harassment. For example, if a man is harassing another man and the behavior includes unwanted sexual attention or actions, it can still constitute sexual harassment that is irrelevant of the sexual persuasion of either party. An interesting point about this case is that it is praised as a gay rights defining decision, even though the people involved in the lascivious behavior onthe oil rig were all hetero sexuals.
Studies on myths and misconceptions about sexual harassment indicate that most harassment has nothing to do with flirtation or sincere sexual or social interest on the part of the perpetrator. Harassment is largely about control, domination, and punishment. This is a very important point to remember when you are talking about sex in a lewd manner.
The yachting industry is not immune to sexual harassment, intimidation, and bullying. The cast system on which yacht employment is based invites trouble. The Owner is the boss, the Captain is the boss and if you are in the lower echelon of power, several other people can claim to be your superior! If any crewmember compromises the atmosphere in which each person receives dignity and respect, the entire concept of “ crew ” can fail.
Lord Acton, the historian and moralist, expressed in1887, “ power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The rest of this famous reference is “ great men are always bad men.” Strive, in the yachting industry, which is filled with powerful people, to prove this enduring quote wrong; be great and be good.
Do not be duped into thinking that some people ask to be sexually harassed because they send off “signals.” Being subjected to harassment is a painful traumatic experience that can be very difficult to handle. The most effective method of dealing with crew members who insist on treating sex as child’s play is tell the aggressor to STOP.
Every crew member should be aware of their co-worker’s comfort zone. If anyone on the crew has tendencies to talk about their sexual conquests or to tell off color jokes, everyone involved should listen to words of protest and watch the body language given off by less than receptive crew members. Be considerate of a negative attitude toward a sexual conversation. Be instrumental in creating an atmosphere of respect and dignity toward all whether you are the Owner, the Captain, the fourth Stewardess, or a deck hand.
When in doubt about conduct issues, refer to your Crew Manual. Generally speaking, yachts have zero tolerance with regards to unwanted or unwelcome harassment which includes but is not limited to degrading remarks, jokes, tricks, insults or gestures, displaying or passing around offensive objects or pictures, and posting compromising pictures on the internet. When a crew member’s conduct has the effect of substantially interfering with a person’s work performance or of creating an intimidating and hostile or offensive work environment, consequences will follow.
After reading this article, consider using the content to initiate a frank discussion regarding sex, the vessel’s policies regarding sex, and the comfort level of all crew members. Education can be established through conversation. Onboard sexual relationships can happen even if you do your best to set up boundaries. If you fall in lust or love, talk with the Captain and be truthful. If the Crew Manual prohibits on board romances be prepared to lose your job. If there are no specific rules regarding romances among crew, curb your enthusiasm to touch, fondle and caress your new best friend especially during work hours. These actions may make others feel uncomfortable, lonely, or irritated.
The yachting community is a Discreet Club; maybe because of the money that is involved or hopefully because we know the meaning of respect, tact, diplomacy and family. Interactions of a sexual nature between coworkers may be inevitable but remember work is work. Sex and talk of sex in its’ purest form is normal and beautiful between adults… so, be an adult! Take pride in the way you conduct yourself and never confuse your interest in semen with being a sea man.
Fair winds and Calm seas,