My boss messaged my anonymous profile & I can’t unsee the photos he sent me

My boss messaged my anonymous profile & I can’t unsee the photos he sent me

You are currently viewing My boss messaged my anonymous profile & I can’t unsee the photos he sent me
wp header logo png

Hi Jake,

Headless torso here. I don’t have any face pics on my Scruff profile and only share them after I’ve been chatting with a person for a while. I know it annoys some people, and it has probably cost me some potential hookups and dates over the years, but I like to maintain my privacy.

Last weekend I got a notification. When I went to check it, I saw it was a message… from my boss. I already knew he was gay, but I had never seen him on the apps before, so he must have recently joined. In his message, he complimented my pics, said I was sexy, and unlocked his private album without me even asking. It was kind of late on a Saturday night, so I’m guessing he might have been drunk.

Now here’s where it gets a little squirrely… There’s absolutely NO WAY he knew it was me since I have almost no identifying information on my profile. I didn’t reply to his message, but curiosity did get the best of me and I peeked at his album. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have. The pics were very graphic and, at the end of the day, he’s not even my type.

I would never consider hooking up with him or anyone at work. But I also can’t un-see what I saw or stop thinking about those pics every time I interact with him. It’s made being at work awkward, but only for me, since, like I said, he doesn’t know he was communicating with me. I wish I could go back and instantly block him before I ever even opened his message. Do I need to find another job?

Stunned Subordinate

Dear Stunned Subordinate,

As you certainly found out, being a headless torso does pose some risks. It’s a small gay world, especially on the apps, and unfortunately, unwanted run-ins do happen from time to time. However, I wouldn’t want an innocent, chance encounter to affect the important things in your life, like the trajectory of your career.

Seeing your boss as you’ve never seen him before is certainly jarring, and may take some time to process, but it doesn’t have anything to do with your job performance or your working relationships. Please don’t let it unravel your entire work life.

No one likes to think about our supervisors, therapists, parents or other authority figures in our lives as fully-formed individuals. In fact, it’s easier to imagine them like the animatronic characters in Five Nights at Freddy’s, who simply power down at night, and power back up as soon you step back into the office the next morning. Seeing them out in “the wild” can make the relationship feel less contained, and therefore more difficult to manage.

Alas, as humans, we all have various sides of ourselves. We have our work self, we have the self that hangs out with our friends, we have our family self, and so on. Your boss is a fully-formed gay man with all those parts as well, and although it may be unsettling when you see a different side of him than you’re used to seeing, you may just have to come to terms with that fact.

At the end of the day, he had no idea he was sending these pics to his employee. This isn’t an H.R. issue, but more likely a one-off faux pas that won’t happen again (assuming you’ve now blocked his profile). If he knew what happened, I’m sure he’d be completely horrified and embarrassed, so why should you be the one spiraling? You can continue to keep the relationship contained and within boundaries, even if some lines were unintentionally crossed. Over time, it will likely fade from your memory.

It’s okay to process the shock and awe as you need to, even if it means minimizing contact for a bit, or venting to a friend outside of work. Then, once you’ve let go of your feelings, try to slip back into your professional role and move on.

Gay men will be gay men, even when they sign your paychecks. The good news is, now you know he’s into you. Wasn’t it about time to ask for that raise?

Ask Jake is our advice column by Queerty editor and Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Jake Myers. If you have a question for Jake, please email [email protected] for consideration.


Leave a Reply

This site uses User Verification plugin to reduce spam. See how your comment data is processed.