Circumstantial Hotness & The “Sex-retary” Effect

I’m a big fan of the show “How I Met Your Mother.” During a particularly memorable episode, the characters discuss the concept of “Circumstantial Hotness.” What is Circumstantial Hotness, you ask? It’s an turbo boost of sexiness due to a change in environment or circumstance. In “How I Met Your Mother,” the theory is proven valid when Robin walks behind the bar and is instantly transformed into a super sexy bartendress.

What does this have to do with being a secretary?

Well, you take an average woman….

…and put her behind a desk…

…and somehow, you get this:

Riiiiiiiiiiiight. The age-old female-dominated profession of secretary holds an untold amount of sexual power for men. A secretary possesses a certain degree of authority in the office; she runs the place like a well-oiled machine. But at the end of the day (in Male Dreamland), she’s also subject the boss’s wants and needs.

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Regardless of what base desires drive the “secretary fantasy” that so many men (and bad porno plots) hold dear, actual secretaries are affected by the fallout from these fantasies in everyday life. Walking behind that front desk is just like walking behind the bar: suddenly your hair gets blown back, your skin seems to glow a little, and “Cherry Pie” starts playing in the background.

It’s Circumstantial Hotness. Or, as I like to call it, the Sex-retary Effect.

There are a lot of women in my office, but only myself and the head secretary seem to be subjected to this weird phenomenon. Maybe it’s because we’re dealing with a never-ending parade of repairmen, bankers, and Jimmy Johns delivery boys. Maybe it’s because our job requires us to interact with everyone who walks in the door, regardless of how creepy they are or how blatantly they stare at your chest.

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Considering the lack of effort I put into my appearance some days, I’m amazed when the water-cooler delivery guy or the summer intern looks at me with misty eyes.

Geeze, guys. I didn’t even take a shower last night! I only wore my pencil skirt because my comfy dress pants were in the wash and it has a stretchy waistband. The only thing I’m not wearing today is make up!

Despite my careless disregard for my own appearance (I’m not dirty, just lazy), the Sex-retary Effect reigns supreme. As long as there are secretaries, nurses, and librarians in the world, there will be classless men who want to ogle them.

Related: Why Can’t I Get A Tan?

Still…can somebody explain THIS fantasy for me?

My CompliKAITed Life is a column by Kaitlin Williams running on every other Wednesday at noon. You can read all about Kaitlin’s Zombie Apocalypse plans on her blog Oh, and follow her on Twitter here or on Pinterest here. She pins obsessively.