Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Bigger Problem: Part 3 of Sex Among the Consulting Class

Sex is a tricky subject, especially in a competitive and personality-driven field like consulting. Far from a simple, universal, physical act, sex brings along issues of power and misogyny, as well as obvious legal and contractual troubles. This is part 3 of a 3-part post on the dynamics of consulting and sex.

A Bigger Problem

I don't have an answer for this issue, and it goes way beyond the world of consulting. Women everywhere are subjected to double standards, objectified and harassed, and yet still expected to battle it out in the workplace with men.

Frankly, sex is inappropriate any time it's between a boss and a subordinate and this is a continuing issue for consultants. Woman or man, we shouldn't be sleeping around issues of power and money. I find that women are just as interested in sex as men, but their qualification minefield is harder to navigate. That's why it's so nice find an "out" that's outside the structure!

Photo by celikins
After seeing each other around the hotel for a few days, a woman and I got to talking. Turns out she was a partner at a big firm and rarely had the opportunity to "engage" with men who weren't co-workers or clients. It was such a relief for both of us to be our bad selves, talk about work, and get some flirting done without it winding up on our performance report! Neither of us wanted to let a chance like that go to waste, since suddenly all the power issues could be set aside and we could just be a man and a woman. But this sort of opportunity is rarer than most outsiders think.

Honestly, there isn't all that much sex going on among consultants. Probably no more than other fields, and definitely not what the "stud/slut" image might suggest! Just as in all other fields, the sexual dynamics too often get in the way. That, and we're smart enough to know what sexual dynamics and repercussions are!

Previously: What We Do
Previously: Women Consultants


consultant said...

Please continue to write more because it’s unusual that someone has something interesting to say about this. Will be waiting for more!

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