The office’s chemistry provided a source of fascination as Robert whiled away many long hours wondering how to fill his time. In between reading around the various reports on strategy he had been passed, and browsing for reports on Medico and their operational methodology, he found himself contemplating the sexual dynamics of the workplace. Something about the office workspace was in itself erotic to a certain extent, albeit in an abstract sense. The crisp, linear clinicality of the office space, despite its open plan, seemed to gleam with erotic potential based around a sense of wrongness and incongruity. Another factor was the austerity of the requisite work attire: this somehow had the opposite of the desired effect, namely in that rather than providing an asexual uniformity, the suit, the skirt, the shirt, the blouse, seemed to accentuate physical aspects in a semi-unobtainable light, likely to create both a mystique and a certain frisson. This was common to many working environs. But while one would likely expect pockets of sexual tension in any office, Medico seemed to practically steam and crackle with pheromones and musk. Perfect strangers engaged in casual acts of frotteurism and Toucherism as Robert noticed colleagues subtly and not-so-subtly making physical contact, brushing past one another in tight spaces, even overtly making excessive and unnecessary contact while passing in corridors. Kraft Ebbing would have had a field day observing the interactions as groins surreptitiously rubbed against buttocks, hands swept against hips and breasts brushed backs and chests.
Ordinarily, these behaviours were merely alluded to in the workplace. At Medico, there was nothing simmering or beneath the surface: the kinks were rampant and rife. Was it something in the air – or the air-conditioning – which provoked this endless demonstration of sexual psychopathies and perverse paraphilias?
from Retail Island by Christopher Nosnibor, out 1 January 2018. Available to order now, here.