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Ambition at a price
Here is a very short story, a vignette, about the price of ambition. Price or fruit?
Is it a sad story? You could say that. It is a story about ambition and defeat. About ambition at a price. But is it a price?
Here is a woman, single and unattached, a high-ranking professional at an unnamed consultancy or banking firm, who is capable, yes, but who has seen fit to brownnose her way up. Or, in the way of woman versus man, screw her way up. Is that way entirely inadmissible? We all know about the glass ceiling, about women being kept down, deliberately or subconsciously, because she is simply not a man. Bear with her.
So, she has reached a level two down from the highest management level and is the only woman there. Let’s say that by merit, she has every right to be there. She manages to hold her own amongst her new peer group. OK, she is relatively young, three to five years compared to her peers. Whilst they all subscribed to the company mission of increasing the number of women at the top levels, they also feel a touch threatened.
If she is competent, she certainly is attractive. She has not only been graced with a great mind, but with a statuesque body, tall and well-proportioned, as well. What could she say? It is not her achievement that she was born with good mind and body, but she can be credited with the ambition to make the most of those. She has worked hard and worked out ever since she started going to university. No, she has not had any plastic surgery done on breasts, hips or face. That rumour has made the rounds, but we can be witness to the fact that those rumours are false.
But there is another rumour going round, that she has slept her way up. As you know, that rumour is true. And her having arrived at the minus two management level did not stop her from continuing the practice. She had been sleeping with a manager at the minus one level and he had helped her get promoted to her current level. Incidentally, that man was all for hard sex and she was happy to go to that length. For her next promotion, in three to four years or so, she felt she would need to promote herself to sleeping with a man at the highest management level. She has targeted a candidate and started her overtures, it seemed with some success.
Her failure then is that she does not know her minus one lover and her new target are great chums. How could she have? Corporate heavy-weights tend to behave rather chummy, or, like great actors, could pretend to be chummy. Hard to identify the real chums from the pretenders.
So, it came to pass that she is buttering up her new target at Friday afternoon management drinks, when he asks her to join him in a side-room in fifteen minutes. Her heart jumps when he asked, thinking about the success so soon.
Her heart drops by at least the same distance when she appears in that side-room. She has left her jacket in her office and looks — let’s not mince our words here — very sexy, about as sexy as could be deemed appropriate for a professional woman. No, no visible cleavage, extravagantly short skirt or fishnets. But her red turtleneck, sleeveless top is very, very tight. It doesn’t take a lot of staring to detect her belly button, her nipples and the pattern embroidered on her bra. karaman escort And her curves — again, all her own — are killing. Same for her grey skirt. As we said, it is not very short. The length is entirely appropriate, but its tightness — in the absence of the jacket she has been wearing — reveals that she is wearing a thong. Her well-toned belly is simply super and for that she deserves all the credit.
What makes her heart drop is the fact that her champion at the minus one level has joined his chum at the top. From the look in their eyes, it is clear that she has been found out and her game is over.
Her game, as such, is indeed over. The top-level man closes the door and explains in a quiet tone of voice that he is happy with her work, that she fully deserves her current position and that for all he knows she has the potential to rise higher. He even does not reproach her for sleeping her way here. He accepts women are at a disadvantage in companies such as these. What he has trouble with is that she is prepared to abandon her benefactor so soon after he has lost his usefulness. And because this man happens to be a great friend of his, they cannot let this go.
They give her a choice. Either be dismissed on the grounds of inappropriate sexual behaviour at work or accept an arrangement. An arrangement that would see her grant her favours to a wider group. For the next ten, fifteen minutes, he explains in great detail what would be required of her, checking frequently whether she understands what he means. At the end, he asks her to think it over and accept or indeed leave the company. She can take her time and think it over.
Perhaps she should have taken her time, perhaps she should have consulted a lawyer or a friend, but she accepted that they were always going to be stronger than she, that their influence would reach to pals in other companies and that she would be ruined if she did not accept. So, she said ‘yes.’
Was she right? We shall never know.
Here is the arrangement in operation.
I have lost count of how often I have gone this way by now. Ten, twelve times, roughly. I could expect the phone to ring at any moment during the working day. Whether I would be working at my desk or involved in an internal meeting, I had to finish within five minutes and be on my way down in the lift. Somehow, I have never been summoned during a meeting with clients. Whether this was coincidence or intelligence on the part of my masters – my secretary might have been involved – I cannot say. But I would break off such meetings too.
I go seven floors down, down to the basement. Sometimes I am in the lift alone, sometimes people are already in it, or people enter and exit at intermediate levels. Only once was I escorted all the way to my destination. The man was a fellow manager I vaguely knew and I greeted him as I entered the lift, not knowing that he would join me and within the hour ruthlessly penetrate my rectum. I did notice that he noticed the Chinese jade bracelet they had put on me as a permanent accessory during my first session here.
As always when I enter the company archives, I am struck by the mood of the surroundings. The huge shelving units filled with thousands of anonymous file boxes, the localised spotlighting in the place where I am expected, the rest karaman escort bayan of the basement lit only by green emergency lights, the marginal, cool temperature, the vaguely musty smell… Today five men are waiting for me, all dressed down to their shirt sleeves. I know them all. One of them is my boss, the lowest level of management that participates in these rituals. Knowing my organisation, his level and the level above, the top level, counts about twenty men. I know of a few who have not yet participated. Whether they were not invited or declined? Do they even know? Who knows? They have not explained this protocol.
I go and stand in the middle of the cone of light, three, four arm’s lengths away from their group. They have stopped talking and are all looking at me. I know what is expected of me, but stretch their patience a little. I still find it hard to submit to them here at work, which was and still is the centre of my considerable ambitions. But the sex machine I have had to become here in Shanghai is inside of me and real. I am more than ready for what is expected of me, so they don’t need to force me. No nudging required and I willingly undress facing them, neatly fold up my clothes and place them on the table. I stand naked before them for a minute. Then, with the help of the control box, I lower the hook of the lifting beam running along the aisle to a set height just above my head. I tie my hands with a looped sling, which I then insert in the hook. The preparations done I stand before them, at their command. They have not moved and silently look at me.
And I look at them. It is so strange. I work with these gentlemen. I regularly meet with them, with some more than others, and will meet them again. I negotiate with them, am tough or accommodating, implement strategies, often win our professional battles. How then can I bear these ordeals here? I get beaten, my three body orifices are ravaged, I get pissed on, which mess I get to clean up too. It is the most delicate balance. What keeps it going must be that neither they nor I ever refer to these scenes down here. If they ever do, the balance falls away. Doubtlessly, I would be down, but they know I would drag them with me. As it is, I am proud of both my existences. That of helpless body, that of strong mind. I am inclined to think that I am trying to lose myself during these trials, but I am really not sure if that is the right expression. Losing the sense of control and conscious thinking, yes, but finding my essence in an overdose of physical sensation…? I am an inverted ascetic, addicted to excess.
Naked, hands up and attached to the lifting hook, facing the men… Now the action begins. One of the men raises the hook a touch higher, thereby stretching me and leaving my toes barely touching the ground. Then the party trick… The CEO grabs my hair… and takes off my wig. Cries of surprise from the newcomers and of pleasure from the rest. The first time I was submitted my head was shorn, as punishment for my opportunism. Well, I felt punishing me was just an excuse. Some of these men just happened to share a fetish for bald women. The worst moment in my life! Remember, I was being separated from my submissive virginity. But at least they had the grace to have a wig at the ready, that first time, that was a perfect replica of my escort karaman hair as I entered here. How they managed? They must have studied me. Power works in mysterious ways. They ordered me to keep my head shaved henceforth.
The men study me, with eyes and hands. Here is a helpless female form, pale, without hair, nearly suspended, belly retracted and ribcage stretched forward, breasts stretched, but nipples proud — not a fellow human, but a carcass in the slaughterhouse? — a body still, with sexual powers, ready for the taking. The men talk about me and my anatomical details as if I am a thing. They bend down and look at me closely, from behind and from the front.
A whip is taken from a filing cabinet. Today, they aim at my calves and the back of my thighs. They are scrupulous and careful and manage to miss every part of me that is visible when I am dressed. I hear them talking about it and how they have brought me opaque grey stockings to hide the fresh welts that will develop. Then they start striking mercilessly. Oh, the first pain I hate! But hate turns to love after a minute or two. Love is not the word. Craving! The lashes on the back of my thighs hurt, but the pain on my tight calves is criminal. Yet the pain is lessened by more pain, which needs yet more…. and I rise above it like a saint.
Outside of these sessions, during my sober moments, it still surprises that I can stand being treated like this. The truth is that I can no longer bear nòt being treated like that. I am a submissive. Full stop. But I didn’t know it before.
I can now endure — no, need any kind of staring, touching, hitting and slapping. Any kind of groping and penetration. Any offering of male fluids in any orifice. Any talk about me, as a body or as a person. Because I know – and this is crucial – that they need me, want me and admire me, whether consciously or not.
As it is, I am hardly conscious of when they finish, readjust their clothing and leave. I finished this session with my torso flat on a desktop with my wrists and ankles tied to its legs. My skin burns and is soiled in many places. One man has remained, he uses me anally and – surprisingly — closes by kissing me very tenderly on the skull. He releases the ties that bind me and sits down. He does not have to instruct me what to do. The janitor has a cupboard in the corner with everything I need to clean the desk, the floor and so on. I have to do this naked, under the watchful eye of the man who stayed behind. Having done the chores, I put the tools and instruments used into a file box somewhere on a shelf (marked “Confidential – Human Resources”) and the cleaning materials in the cupboard.
Finally, I wash myself at the janitor’s sink, dry off and, back in front of the senior manager, dress to a T. Observant colleagues and certainly my secretary may notice I have changed stockings from nude ones I wore coming in to the grey and opaque ones they provided, quite necessary because of the marks of the cane on my calves and thighs. These will be prominent for a day or two. It is the manager who completes my appearance by lovingly putting my wig back on. Then we board the lift together. We exchange not a word about what has just happened. In fact, we start talking about my work and a project I have going on, in which he has a strong interest. We finish the conversation in his office, over a cup of coffee, amicably, as if nothing had happened.
Am I the only one that is part of such arrangement? Or are other women involved? Or men? I have no way of knowing. Am I happy to be part of it? Happy is not word. We need air, water and food. I need my submission too.
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