Before I get hung out to dry and deemed a wretched, self-hating, feminine force-of-nature who is bestowing harsh judgment and making unfair claims unto her own kind, grant me the opportunity to ever so briefly DISCLAIM: When I refer to people who sleep with others with the sole intention of attaining career success, I'm not exclusively referring to women.
Truth be told: I’ve borne witness to a plethora of both women and men who have attempted to sex their way to the top of the food chain.
With my own bare eyes I’ve seen this age-old epidemic sweep across the colorful spectrum of gender and sexuality.
Contrary to what the media might depict, those who partake in sexual acts for the purpose of success come in all shapes and sizes and are widely diverse in their style sensibilities.
So kindly suspend your judgment because you might be surprised to learn that the conservative looking creature in the buttoned-up oxford is just as likely to use sex as a weapon as the thick-lipped bombshell with the mega lashes and teased hair.
Engaging in sex for an ulterior motive is not an activity exclusive to the world of entertainment either; the casting couch is ripe for the plucking within a vast variety of underworlds, staking its respective claim in finance, publishing, media and more.
It's not to say the temptation isn't bitingly real.
I get it -- you’re young, beautiful and wildly ambitious.
In this day and age, if you aren’t born into the corporate hierarchy and blessed with a surplus of supreme business connections, it can feel painfully impossible to get ahead in the cruel, cold world.
It doesn’t help that we live in a society that is perpetually throwing hardballs of mixed messages directly into our frame of vision.
It’s a confusing moment in the culture, especially for young men and women.
We are endlessly instructed that we exist in a time when we need to embrace our sexual FREEDOM, yet in the very same sentence, we are shamed for wearing a crop top.
The lines between owning your sexuality and merely objectifying your sexuality can get dizzyingly blurry.
I don’t care what promises of grandeur are bestowed upon you by a casting director, media mogul, Hollywood producer, CEO or editor-in-chief -- choosing to sleep your way to the top is NEVER a good idea:
It’s the ultimate abuse of power
Sex is not a power exchange (role play between two consenting adults is a very different animal).
It’s heart-shattering that anyone holding court in a leadership position (such as a boss or manager) would ever abuse his or her power by insinuating sex could lead to a promotion.
You have too powerful a voice and far too much self-respect to participate in that kind of skewed dynamic.
Honestly, if you even so little as witness subtle acts of sexual power play in your workplace, I would advise you to immediately report to the person in charge (scary, I know -- but it’s necessary).
The twisted notion that anyone would bring sexuality into the workplace is abusive, unprofessional and setting the entire staff up for an uncomfortable, triggering work environment.
You don’t have to get on top to be on top
I remember when I first moved from the East Coast to Hollywood at the tender, impressionable age of 17; I found myself bitter and twisted over the amount of girls who would flaunt their sexuality as way to get “roles” in movies and plays.
It infuriated me -- while I shelled out $300 per month in acting school, spending every free moment honing my craft, it appeared as if there was a laundry list of girls exchanging dinner dates for auditions.
I was sorely confused and felt heartbreakingly hopeless, for it seemed impossible to get to the top of my career without compromising my body.
I loved acting with every fiber of my being, but I felt a sick pit in my stomach when a potential agent would casually mention oral sex during a general meeting.
At first I was horrified and baffled, pissed off that no one had warned me that this is what it took to get signed by an agency.
And then it hit me like a fist: None of the girls who slept with a director or producer in hopes of getting cast booked anything more than a non-paying, non-union, music video for an obscure band no one had heard of.
A real director cares about the level of talent he casts, not how far a person will go in the bedroom.
The true professionals in any industry would never discuss oral sex with a teenage girl, only frauds do.
The girls and boys who get on top of the career game for the long haul are the ones who work endlessly hard and remain laser focused, not the ones who get on top of a casting director.
Consider the ethics of the one making the proposition
Anyone who offers you anything in exchange for sex is a sick person with zero ethics or understanding of moral values.
Imagine if someone attains the sleazy wherewithal to proposition you for sex; he or she most definitely has no problem lying to you.
Pillow promises are not real promises
Sex is a powerful force in good ways and um, not so good ways.
Sadly there is a surplus of people in the world who will make promises to you in the heat of the moment because they’re turned on and desire only one thing: your body.
Promises made in lust don’t contain the same integrity as one’s made in the sober light of day.
Your only protection is a condom
When you’re using your body as a tool in which to get ahead, you’re frighteningly unprotected.
You can’t exactly march over to human resources and say: “I had sex with __ , and he promised me ___ , and I would like to file a report.”
Important To Note: If you’re being harassed at work, go to HR right away.
While this can feel scary, they will take you seriously, and you can stop this from happening to someone else.
Your brain is more than enough to sustain you
You are fiercely SMART, and by using sex to get ahead, you’re discrediting your incredible brain.
Relying on sex will take a serious long-term sock in the gut to your self-worth, and you will become reliant on your sexual prowess instead of your talent -- and that’s definitely NOT the goal.
There is always someone willing to do more
What you think might be one “innocent” date in which you get the opportunity to butter up your boss will quickly escalate to he or she wanting more and more and more from you.
And there will always be a boy or a girl willing to go even further to get ahead.
It’s a twisted lose-lose game you don’t need to get involved in.
It taints your future of sex
Once you start using sex as way to receive things, it scars the way you look at sex forever.
Sex should stem from the roots of mutual respect, lust, love even -- not from the broken foundation of achievement.
Even if you tell yourself it’s “just this one time,” the emotional repercussions will cut deeper than you think.
Find the inherent trust within yourself that you will get to where you need to go in life because of your incredible talent, astounding intellect, unique personality and unsurpassable work ethic, not whom you spread your legs for.