In light of the news that something like 40 percent of people are beating off on the clock, we recently advised men who are thinking about joining the ranks to consider a few things before getting down to business. Then we heard from women who said they, too, masturbated at work, and wanted to tell their story. Here is one such tale from a woman we’ll call Sarah, mid-20s, London:
I first had a work wank when I was a disgruntled young temp, straight out of university and working minimum wage in hellish office environments for bastards. I was in a fairly new relationship, which always means my libido soars, and since I was a teenager I’d always used masturbation as a way to relieve stress. I didn’t get many breaks, though permanent members of staff smoked umpteen cigarettes a day; I hadn’t yet started smoking then, so I decided I would use my smoke break allocation to go and jill off in the toilets.
This meant my stress levels went down and I didn’t end up the latest workplace shooting statistic.
Since then, I’ve flicked off in various workplace scenarios (all of them office-based, I think), usually in the ladies’ loos but not always. I’ve not been able to do so at my current employer, because the stall doors are about a foot off the ground and I would feel way, way too conspicuous — also there are only two cubicles in a tiny bathroom, so even the tiniest movement or noise would be super suspicious.
At my last job I hated my bosses so much that, perversely and somewhat ironically, my frequent stress-flicks felt like a big fuck-you: You guys are paying me to have an orgasm! Also, the toilets were beautiful and extremely clean, so it felt like a five-minute spa break every time I felt the need.
I’ve never used a vibrator at work, though at another temp job during the last recession in 2009, I ceased to give all fucks and occasionally just sat at my desk with Redtube during my lunch hour, safe in the knowledge that nobody would be bothering me until about 2 p.m.
Once, I did climax just as my boss’s friend was entering the loos, and I had to work with her for another month without her ever making eye contact with me.
— As told to Tracy Moore