As an affable, unrepentant office pervert, I have grown accustomed to
indulging in shockingly noncorporate activities on company time. This is what I do. I have an instinct for intrigue, an eye for the isolated corner or
unused stairwell, a sense of timing that allows me to make the most of my co-workers' absence or inattention and dive headfirst into a steaming miasma of
fantasies and raunchy, electronic repartee. I wrote all of my freelance erotica, essays and reviews while pretending to "work." I have had figurative and literal sex on the clock. I have, you see, no scruples.
Mind you, I am not at all the shifty-eyed, scuttling deviant you might expect to be confessing such sins. Objectively speaking, I am a lovely young lady, with a big, bright, customer-service smile, flouncy skirts, proper Mary Janes, a Nordstrom card and a blatant preference for clean living. I power-walk on lunch breaks. I can use words like "expedite" and "interface" without wincing. I am a "team player" who aims to "delight the customer," on the condition that I satisfy my need to perv away during the slack time.
Never will you see a pornographic Web site in my Internet visit log. To me,
that is for feckless, muddy-brained wankers. No, no, I am too clever. And what a stereotypical transgression besides!
There are others like me, though, going tippety-tap at a frantic speed, reeling from an erotic directive from an e-mail amour, oblivious to the din of
office drones yapping on speaker phones. We title our messages blandly, to discourage snoops from drawing the right conclusion about our twisted nature. I have sent many nasty notes about "filing procedures" or "administrative
duties" that, lo and behold, inspire immediate replies and relentless follow-ups.
My secret lover happened to be just down the hall, another upstanding office perv in our Fortune 500 company. At first I had no idea that he, too, heard the slutty siren's call most afternoons, when business memos would strangely metamorphose into Victorian porn with their naively sexual
verbs and master-slave attitudes. We would watch each other walk. We would blush when we were caught staring. I tested his perv radar by wearing outfits that suggested, oh so subtly, assorted sexual roles: Catholic school girl,
Queen Bitch, librarian; and I would gauge his response by the darkness of his pupils and his enthusiastic greetings. Between phone calls and word processing, I would have idle thoughts of flouncing into his office and mounting him on his chair before he could protest -- fast and furious, decorum
But decorum was, as it turned out, the most intense turn-on. Decorum, and our superficial obedience to all its demands and advisories, incited insatiable hunger, a reckless, deviant imperative. I began fetishizing business attire,
fantasizing about him yanking off his corporate-color tie to restrain my wrists and then laying me across the conference room table; he salivated over the thought of me, going presto-change-o, from modest professional to sex kitten, blowing him under his desk as the phones continued to ring and ring.
Our first private e-mail exchange was, symbolically, our first kiss.
Important detail: I did not "cc" him. We were absolutely alone, connecting online. His response to my comment about -- of all things -- pro-sex feminism was an eager stream of questions, revealing his appetite for more probing conversation.
When we passed in the hall, our mysterious smiles confirmed our collusion: We had a secret, slippery rapport that would not survive in the lunch room.
And so, our e-mail evolved from sexual politics to personal confessions to a wanker's wet dream; a flurry of fuck-and-sucks, Lord have mercy! If I wrote a
zinger, bound to blow the pants off any hot-blooded male, I could either wait for the chirp of an incoming response or wander down to his office to catch
sight of the first flush of a tasty, sexual predicament. He would look at me with a feverish, teasing, "Darn you!" expression that would quickly turn to
erotic alertness, like a cat spotting a rustle in the grass. When I'd take a seat in his guest chair I'd cross and uncross my legs, flashing hints of
hyper-femme: a white garter strap, lace, satin and creamy thigh. When I'd get up, I would place my fabulously high heel on his crotch and smolder.
There were windows outside his window, peepholes for all the other yearning pervs in distant buildings to spy on us. Using exceptional creativity, finesse and time-management skills -- qualities that any company will try to
encourage in tedious seminars, I might add -- we escaped reprimand.
Those were splendid, torturous days. My lover and I upheld our professional reputations while mind-fucking via e-mail, building up the lust all afternoon
and rushing back to my place for a lecherous love-fest. We got promotions; we inspired others, lifted group morale because we were so shiny and "on." Clearly, this arrangement was benefiting the company. Surely, a sexually
tense employee is more energetic, vivacious and driven than the average, erotically challenged grind! And if that dark auditorium should not be used for a late afternoon up-against-the-wall quickie, then why aren't the doors
locked? And if two employees have been giving 100 percent to the company eight hours a day, why should they not give each other a congratulatory 100 percent across the sink counter after 5 p.m. in the women's restroom?
It had to come to an end sometime. Even a stealthy, prepared perv like me knew that there would be an externally imposed obstacle.
We moved to a Corporate Hell.
I am writing now as an office pervert in chains, under constant surveillance, imprisoned in an isolation cell, without windows. This story, my friend, was
not totally composed on company time. That freedom is but a distant memory.
They told us we'd be moving to a new, wonderful (small) building in an ideal location that would promote productivity. Then they decreed that there would
be no plants, art, radios, personal doo-jabbies or tall decorative knickknacks allowed in our economically minimized cubicles. Then they said we needed to wear our security badges around our necks as toddlers who might get
lost or misidentified. Then they gently reminded us that corporate attire was enforced four days a week; Casual Fridays tolerated. Oh, and by the way, we
will randomly track your Internet and e-mail use. Then they said, "Welcome to your new home!"
This Habitrail is designed for optimum supervisor surveillance. Ingenious, really. Our backs are to the door. You are forbidden to rearrange your furniture so you can face the entrance to your little cubby-hole; thus,
focused, electronic wanking is nearly impossible to achieve when the trained gerbils are walking and talking behind your back, occasionally barging in
before you can hit the "escape" key. I have installed a small vanity mirror as a rearview monitor, but alas, it offers little security to a pent-up, hungry perv.
We were bestowed privacy panels as a concession, slim, gray walls on wheels to protect us from a few roving eyes, but they are useless. Our cube-mates a few feet away from us can easily narc on us for excessive typing, personal phone calls (a whisper can be overheard from all directions) and chatty, indiscreet guests. Tormented and utterly frustrated, the office perv may flee to a small conference room to talk dirty on the phone, but even that is a trap: The door doesn't shut, and there's a strip of glass that allows passersby to see you no matter what corner you may be pressed against for dear life.
There is no such thing as privacy.
Everywhere you go, there are corporate spies with dog-tag security badges on
their necks, noting your countenance, your attire, your apparent productivity,
the people with whom you socialize, the number of sanity breaks you take. There are those who are afflicted with Compulsive Greeting Syndrome, who say hi and ask how you are doing six times a day: in passing, in the bathroom stall, in the elevator. Thus, even the blessed quiet of your subversive thoughts may be interrupted by the corporate gerbils.
This is my new home, a hell designed especially for office perverts. Needless to say, my sweet partner in kinkdom and I have closed shop. How can we continue? How can we let our minds stray to noncorporate terrain, such as What Mistress Has Planned for Tonight (titled, "Corporate Directives, FYI") when any intruder can disrupt our glazed-over musings and sneak peeks at the lurid words dripping all over our screens? There are spy cameras ("Little Brothers") in the stairwells and elevators, former sanctuaries for greedy lovers in which to kiss and grope.
My lover and I bid farewell to the perviest, most passionate days of our lives and began worrying about our droopy mental health.
I understand there may be some of you who will not be sympathetic to my quandary, and will be outraged that I should be so presumptuous as to regard a respectable place of employment as a potential Perv Wonderland. I admit, I
have, in my compulsive, however unnoticed, lapses in propriety, given the shaft to the Man, and behaved very unprofessionally indeed. I am an ingrate,
I suppose, but I also question whether big businesses' tendency to stomp out worker privacy is really in their best interest.
Because I was a good employee. I met every deadline, I rarely made
mistakes, I was efficient and responsive because -- yes, because -- I was turned on.
Can you blame me, then, for the outrage I felt when I was denied the freedom to be the best employee I could possibly be? And how could I even begin to approach the Big Boss with my suggestions on how to improve productivity and morale when my philosophy would guarantee me swift and humiliating termination? Only the smartest, most successful pervs would applaud me; and even then, they would most likely deny association. There's no public loyalty in the world of pervs.
As the weeks go by and I become acclimated to the new regime, I find myself suffering from various aches and pains due to exposure stress and repressed
desire. I have a chronic scowl where there used to be a high-beam smile. I am counting the days until I can leave this Orwellian nightmare and find a new
job that stimulates me on several different levels. A perv can only hope.