S–3–X Talk Week: This Totally Won’t be Awkward

We’re conducting S–E–X Talk Week here at the MidnightDBA #Awesomesauce blog, in honor of everyone’s favorite subject. In deference to the fact that this is (against all odds) a professional blog, and SOME companies aren’t fond of “that” kind of talk wending its way through the office intertubes, we will be using the very clever analog for the “S” word: 53x. We’ll also keep all this on the up-and-up, shall we?

Last week, SQLServerCentral hosted four editorials on the differences between men and women, from four different women: me, Jessica Moss, Julie Yack, and Wendy Pastrick. We had some great reading, and great debate in the forums after publication, but it wasn’t until the fifth editorial (by Steve Jones) that the subject of 53x came up at all. In all the talk about differences and similarities, difficulties and advantages between the sexes, we four never once mentioned the elephant in the room. I know I figured that since it’s just not a part of the professional sphere, it shouldn’t be mentioned at all.

The thing is, this industry is made up of people, and people have 53x on the brain. Who’s 53xy, who had 53x on TV (or IRL) last night, who among your preferred-gender office workers might be interested in 53x. (Be honest, now…being married doesn’t eliminate attraction to others. No, I’m not hitting on you, so stop looking at me like that.)

Generally speaking, men and women are different about 53x. From long friendship and partnership with hubby Sean, who is very open about such things, I’ve learned how very differently men think about sex than women. For one thing, it appears that it’s not a myth that 53x is on men’s brains about 90% of the time. This was a real revelation to me (many years ago)…I know I can run a good deal of a day without the subject coming up. The “who gives a flying crap?” upshot of this particular factoid is multifaceted:

  • It can affect how women conduct themselves (see “Actually, It’s Totally Smart To Flirt Your Way To The Top“, or as I like to call it, “Unbelievably Bullsh*t Career Advice“),
  • How we dress (I’ll have more to say on THAT this week), and
  • How we interact with each other at work (there’s far too thin a line between “asking you out” and “here’s your restraining order”).

Stay tuned this week…we’re going to get into office romances, office dress, harassment (of course!), and all kinds of stuff to make your HR department wonder.

Happy days,

Postcript – QnA:
Q: What does this have to do with SQL, exactly?
A: Have you ever been to PASS?

10 thoughts on “S–3–X Talk Week: This Totally Won’t be Awkward”

  1. I was trying to give the benefit of the doubt. Besides, that’s really discomfiting.

    BUT, you totally get the Random Award For First Post on S-3-X Week Blog! Yay…

  2. It’s all about memory contention with 53x. Need a big enough problem to cause 53x to page out of memory but as soon as problem is over with, 53x starts to reclaim memory. It’s like a persistent background task.

  3. “For one thing, it appears that it’s not a myth that 53x is on men’s brains about 90% of the time. This was a real revelation to me (many years ago)…I know I can run a good deal of a day without the subject coming up.”

    In all seriousness, it’s not that 53x is on a guy’s mind 90% of the time. It’s more accurate to say that it’s on his mind *all* the time, unless something else is actively pre-empting it. And there are a number of factors that make it less pre-emptible – one of which is simply having an attractive woman (or, I would guess, man – but I can’t speak with authority on that) in the room.

    Factor in that “attractive,” to many male IT professionals, includes “technically competent” as a component, and the elephant in the room starts to resemble a freight train. In other words, the more a woman exhibits technical competence, the more likely it is for her male coworkers to be thinking about 53x.

    (With appropriate caveats about blanket statements, generalities, etc)

  4. Agree with everyone here. It’s 100% and runs unattended as a background task. If there is any contention, you can always prioritize it to the TOP and take care of the requirements :)

  5. Nice post, Jen, and it is on our minds a lot. We can’t get away from 53X, but we can learn to consciously combat those feelings. If you’re attracted, move to outside of work. And if those feelings are returned OR rebuffed, keep them out.

    Remember that the pretty girl isn’t likely thinking about 53X with you. She’s worried about work. You ought to be worried about work as well and try to treat her with respect. That includes listening to what she says.

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