Hot For Teacher: What Happens When You Work in a Stereotypically Sexy Job
Illustration by SARAH SCHMITT


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Hot For Teacher: What Happens When You Work in a Stereotypically Sexy Job

Secretaries, flight attendants, and nurses have one thing in common: Their career moonlights as an erotic fantasy for men. We spoke to women about how they deal with the uniform fetishists and sexual harassment they encounter in their line of work.

Pretty much anyone who has ever surfed the vast expanse of internet porn will notice that there are a lot of men who find nothing more sexually stimulating than getting a checkup from a sexy, well-endowed nurse, or hearing their desires read off their Rolodex by a horny secretary.

If you search for the word "nurse" on the relevant websites, you're likely to get harmless titles Nasty Blonde Nurse, as well as more extravagant variations like Nasty Old Nurse Gapes Her Pussy. There really are no limits this workplace fantasy can't go—and surveys have measured (with varying degrees of representativeness) the amount of influence these porn cliches wields on the perceived 'sexiness' of a profession.


When Men's Health asked its readers which female-dominated professions had the greatest sex appeal, nurses came second, right after flight attendants. The erotic portal, MyDirtyHobby looked at this more closely in 2015, analyzing the search queries made by German users. The results were almost identical.

Obviously, these porno fantasies aren't realistic—nurses don't actually totter through the hospital corridors all day in high heels, and secretaries don't want to get bent over their desk by their next client. So how does it feel to work in a profession that people regularly jerk off about?

"I've been working as a secretary for many years and I've never been sitting on my desk filing away with my legs spread, waiting for a client!" explains Denise, a secretary who works for a big company in Heidelberg, Germany. "I know that it's like that a lot though, in porn. That gives my profession the wrong image and has nothing to do with reality."

Tanja Thelen, a practitioner of alternative medicine and sex therapist, explains why certain professions are seen to be especially sexually attractive. "With secretaries, it's the case that they're seen to be a kind of maid-of-all-work. They also take care of their bosses' private matters and are 'willing,' in a sense, which makes them appear tone devout and submissive."

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"I've only had one bad experience with a client," Denise goes on. "My office is built in a way that you can't see the elevator, but you can hear everything being said there. A client and his colleague were getting out of the elevator. They were standing right outside the elevator and I heard one of them say, 'I hope that hot little secretary is sitting there. I'd really like to give it to her!'" The man in question was old enough to be her father.


Leonie, who works as a nurse in a hospital in Cologne, knows the pitfalls of a 'sexy job' all too well when it comes to her patients. "I think that the image of the sexy nurse is present in most peoples' heads, especially when it comes to older men. Younger patients only try to flirt in a nice way for the most part. One patient once said he'd like to watch me having sex, and that was pretty harmless. I've also been offered money for sex and have also been groped before," the 26-year-old recounts.

"Two components are playing important roles here," Thelen says of the fantasy appeal of nurses. "First is the uniform and the second is the issue of power and submission. Most nurses wear a white uniform, which symbolizes something pure. They take care of patients, make sure they're okay, and they're not squeamish when it comes to bodily fluids."

So allow Leonie to dispel the idea of the sexy nurse uniform: "The typical image of a nurse is way different in reality. Most of the time we wear oversized scrubs that we have to roll up to keep them from dragging on the floor. There are ambiguous stains on our uniforms that could be anything from blood to feces. We sometimes also have yellow gunk stuck in our hair, which often turns out to be pus. So it's really not all that sexy."

Her statement also rings true with former police officer Lena. "We lady cops aren't actually running around in fishnets and hot pants. That wouldn't be comfortable."


As with nursing, both elements of power play and uniforms are at work when it comes to fantasies about female officers, Thelen points out. Except this time, offenders can get punished if they don't submit—not subjected to a sponge bath.

"I've heard several times when making arrests, 'Oh, hit me now, Mrs Sexy Officer?' You just have to let it go," Lena adds. "You learn at the academy to ignore comments like that. When we're on duty and can tell that we may be sexually harassed or discriminated against, then our male colleagues will strike."

Selina, who teaches at a German school in Italy, reveals similarly sobering facts about the existence of a teacher. "There are very clear rules around the classroom, so looks including short skirts and plunging necklines wouldn't be tolerated. The image of a sexy teacher in a tight little dress is something invented by the porn industry. No teachers would teach in that kind of outfit."

I think women in these professions have to use more energy to protect themselves from these clichés, or worse, from harassment and discrimination.

Teachers may not have a uniform, Thelen explains, but they possess pedoagogical skills of their own. They're often presented in porn as strange and punishing. Here, it's about power and submission—we're talking S&M games, submissiveness, punishment, and obedience.

But what about flight attendants, who are come out on top when it comes to rankings of the world's sexiest professions? Claudia, who works as a flight attendant for a Lufthansa subsidiary, tries to explain why people are especially enthusiastic about her profession.


"One the one hand yes, on the other, no. Men have always had very cliché ideas about flight attendants. The uniform for women doesn't play such a big role in basically any other profession in today's world," she says. "And many other professions have gotten rid of uniforms. I think it's the uniform, which often consists of high heels, skirts and red lipstick, that men are really into—at least the ones who don't see it every day."

Claudia says she's gotten a lot of curious looks in public when she wears her uniform, but she thinks a lot of the people don't have anything sexual in mind—they're just fascinated by the entire look. Men have flirtily handed the 28-year-old their business cards before, but most people tend to react to her profession very positively. She often gets asked questions about her lifestyle, like how her schedule works for long-haul flights and how she deals with jetlag.

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But since many flight attendants still unfortunately have to meet certain physical requirements, the uniform foregrounds the fantasy appeal. "They can't be too short or too plump, they have to have an attractive appearance," Thelen says. "They serve the passengers, are always friendly and try to fulfill every wish. Similarly to secretaries, flight attendants—in terms of how people perceive them—are devoted and submissive."

As with any other service industry job, flight attendants have to be cordial and accommodating. This friendliness, mandated by their profession, can often be misinterpreted as flirting. "Some people think it can go further. But flight attendants learn in their training how to deal with drunk or aggressive passengers and how to keep things professional."

Sexualizing certain professions brings with it the increased danger of sexual harassment, Thelen says. Women working these jobs often have to ward off inappropriate advances or outright sexual prejudice. "Boundaries are really important here. When is someone crossing my personal boundaries and how do I react to it? I think women in these professions have to use more energy to protect themselves from these clichés, or worse, from harassment and discrimination. There are women who will endure a lot for fear of losing their job instead of turning to management or the police. It's also known that victims aren't always taken seriously and won't report offences out of shame because of this."

Of course, it's tempting to dump the blame for this on Nasty Old Nurse Gapes Her Pussy. But the porn industry doesn't necessarily pick and choose professions to turn into a bona fide fetish. Whether and when someone develops a fetish has to do with their own experiences and influences. It's likely that someone who had a good experience with a nurse when they were a kid developed a certain sexual preference. That just doesn't mean that he has the right to sexually harass his grandma's nursing home attendant.

"Nobody should have to tolerate sexual discrimination," Denise, the secretary, concludes. "Thinking back on it, I'd like to have thrown something back at the perverted client. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the words to at the time. I was so perplexed. Us women need to defend ourselves frequently and must let it be known that these actions aren't acceptable!"