Sex and the Cubicle: Yes, Your Office is Still The Sexiest Place Around


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Photo credit:  http://www.stuffmomnevertoldyou.com

Photo credit: http://www.stuffmomnevertoldyou.com

Most workplaces are not not exactly what I’d call sexy. The grey cubicles, the solemn decor, dark computer screens and conservatively-dressed employees, not really the set for “Sex and the City”! Or so we think….Take for instance the recent juicy office romp splattering the media front pages, courtesy of a New Zealand couple¬†engaging in sexual intercourse…at work! Ahem…

In her book Sex and the Office: A History of Gender, Power and Desire, Julie Berebitsky retraces the fascinating evolution of the meaning of sex at work. Right after the Civil War when women started working in offices, they were considered as objects of desire for their male counterparts, who until then, were not accustomed to having the tempting female presence in their workplaces. Hence the funny, but-not-so-funny, leeching, leering, and extramarital stuff back then (and still today actually…). Slowly but surely, the female presence at work moved from male attention magnet, to a threat to men’s jobs. And women went from struggling to define what was appropriate for them to wear or how to behave, to justify whether we come to work to find love, feed lust, or well…do the job!

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Yes, things have changed, somewhat. Sexual harassment laws are now in place, although out of the approximating 12,000 complaints received a year by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, only about half are found with cause. There are more women executives now than ever, although we still have ways to go. And although we don’t like to think about it, sexism is still rampant in some industries, like in the airline industry where apparently, you may have to freeze your buttocks in skirts to do your job thousands of miles in the air (no funny business intended here).

At the end of the day, gender stereotypes when it comes to sex at work, are very much in existence today. The belief a powerful, successful, and attractive woman may have used her ahem…sexual powers to climb up the professional ladder, or not possess enough sex appeal to land a man, any man, is still there…

And while we are hopefully inching closer to equal pay for equal work, you may want to keep in mind your seemingly dull office is way hotter than you may imagine…

Do you think the office is still very much the place for sexy (and sexist) politics?

The Corporate Sis.

Author: Solange Lopes

Solange is the founder of The Corporate Sister, as well as an author, entrepreneur and CPA. She’s passionate about helping women do work they love, build fulfilling careers and living life on their own terms.

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