Monday, April 15, 2013

What We Do: Part 1 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 1 of a 3-part post on the dynamics of consulting and sex.

What We Do

Photo by GoingSolo
Although outsiders might think consulting is results-driven above all else, the truth is somewhat more muddy. Frankly, the work itself isn't really all that challenging for "A players". Sure, we need creativity, experience, and knowledge. But we have that, or at least some of us do. Truthfully, the difference between success and failure of a project has much more to do with charisma and salesmanship than content!

There's a great deal of posturing involved in consulting. We declare ourselves experts and recruit a choir to sing our praises. We dress better, speak better, and are far more worldly than our customers. Frankly, most of the people who hire me wish they could have my lifestyle, but see themselves trapped themselves behind a desk while I roam free in the first class lounge!

This creates an oddly sexual dynamic in the workplace. We consultants are like Hollywood stars: At once attractive and repulsive, desirable and reprehensible, studs and sluts. And this applies to male and female consultants alike: Both genders are seen as studs and both are seen as sluts!

Next up: Women Consultants
Then: A Bigger Problem 

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