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We Asked a HR Expert About Whether It’s Cool to Masturbate at Work

Spoiler: It might be better to ask for a ‘gym break.’

The next time your boss pisses you off at work, the solution may be to take your dog for a quick walk. Ya know, make the bald man puke. Polish the pearl. Yes, we are talking about masturbation here.

An ancient, but still relevant, 2008 study suggested that "brief diversions" could greatly increase productivity, or at least help you forget about your passive aggressive colleague sending out yet another mass email condemning the whole office for jamming the paper shredder.

More specifically a Time Out New York survey found that 39 percent of people masturbated at work, while a Glamour survey uncovered similar numbers.

Psychology lecturer Mark Sergeant of Nottingham Trent University told Metro UK that polishing the banister on company time is "very effective at work" and a "great way to relieve tension and stress," especially after you discover someone has stolen your tupperware for the second time in two weeks and you were really looking forward to that homemade lasagna for lunch.

And because at our most basic level we are just a bunch of salivating dogs, Sergeant added that it works as a "great form of self-motivational reward."

He noted that beat-off breaks should be for the express purpose of "stress relief and a genuine desire for a break," in case you were thinking this gives license to lust over that co worker who brushed your shoulder one time at the holiday party. That would be borderline sexual harassment and is not in the true spirit of Capitalism.

Read More: This Prof Wants You to look at Porn for Science

The real question, however, is how at-work masturbation breaks would work irl.

"My guess is employers would not want to touch this particular policy," said David Doorey, an associate professor at the School of Human Resource Management at York University told VICE. "Especially considering the heightened sensitivity to sexual harassment and the legal obligation in Canada to avoid poisoned workplaces."  

"An employee who announced that he or she was stepping out for a few minutes to masturbate would almost certainly make coworkers uncomfortable and elicit complaints," he added. "My advice would be for employers to encourage brief periods of exercise at work by installing a small gym area rather than masturbation rooms. That would be effective for stress release and morale, with less mess."

For now it's probably best to give that stress ball a good squeeze before anything else.

Follow Lisa Power on Twitter.