Monday, November 26, 2007
My Job & Sex
When I started working for the library as a bookshelver, I was a remarkably innocent 19-year-old, very nearly 20-year-old. Although I didn't mind (I've never been big on censorship), I was astonished to learn that the library has books not only about sex in a general sense (Sex for Dummies, etc.), but books about men having sex with men and women having sex with women, masturbation, oral sex guides and all manner of between-the-sheets (or wherever) activities. Even though I didn't mind shelving these enlightening how-to's, I was awkward about the occasions when I'd find myself having to transport just one by itself across a room or something, because someone might see me carrying around a big book about sex and think that I was checking it out... OH. GOD.
I've moved past that. Today I was just tickled silly... um not like that... when a 20-year-old college boy whispered to me that he needed books for a paper he was writing about the effects of pornography on relationships. He was whispering, but I went about my usual way talking at normal volume, and maybe I imagined it, but I think he was concerned as I lead him to my desk and then down an aisle with the books I'd found for him, that I might say out loud, so the whole library could hear, that he was getting books about porn.
Later, The Bloodhound Gang's Hefty Fine was sitting on my desk, for like, the hundredth time, waiting to be sent across town for a hold. Have you ever seen this album? The cover consists of almost nothing but a very large naked man. I got to thinking about how it never bothers me to have it on my desk; that I never worry someone will think I appreciate the picture of the large naked man or that the seemingly innocent library girl is a Bloodhound Gang fan. Okay, actually, I very much enjoy their song The Bad Touch. I was in awe of it when it was a new song.
The next thing that happened was a nice lady came and asked for books about party games for a Christmas party that would be all ladies abut her age. I was using the search term "adult party games" to weed out the million children's party books we have. I found a couple of books for her, and she said she wondered about looking on the computer. I said she might try using Google. She said she might do that, and just search for "adult party games". I thought about it for a minute and decided it would be best to warn her that might get her some very adult games. She was worried about that because, according to her, it's illegal to have that on your computer and what if it's just an accident? I wasn't sure how to explain it isn't actually illegal, so I just said it'd be alright if she just left any such site right away. Oh, gosh, I hope she doesn't find this if she does google "adult party games".
I just had a lot of reasons today to think about how my response to sex books, naked men on album covers and stuff like that has changed over the past six and a half years.
Labels: on the job
Dude, Bloodhound Gang is awesome.
I've never had to work with sex material at my job, but I can relate to your story based on my interaction with the, apparently mandatory, sex book table at bookstores around valentine's day. I used to talk smack about them, then I just ignored them, but then I was like "yay, sex books" LOL!!! So yeah, things do change from when you're 20. Although I do think that sex books at the library have a slightly higher sense of creepiness due to the fact that you know the books have to "used" by other people... whereas if you're at B&N, you can at least pretend that its a virgin book... not a book about virgins, but a book that's never been touched by another person.. .you know? ok this comment is WAY TO LONG... :)
"Can I help you?" I ask.
"Yes sir!" he replies, "I'm looking for..." Then he sidles up real close to me and says in a hushed tone "...jock straps."
Oh, and there was the time at the mall store that the guy was wanting a product called 'Incrediballs' and asked me, "Do you have, what they call, Incredible Balls?"
It totally shouldn't have made me giggle, but it did. Still does, actually.
closest thing i've ever had to a sex story about work, other than just co-workers who liked to share a little too much, is the shear number of people who would make dirty jokes about the giant summer sausages.