New Bonus for Top Employees -- Hookers!

Sasha Brown-Worsham

A company in Germany is in hot water after they used prostitutes as a business reward for their top salesmen in Budapest where such activity is legal. Naturally, everyone is up in arms about the actions of Munich Re Insurance because it's viewed as so unethical, but is it really?

Every day in the US, businessmen on business trips away from their wives and families go to strip clubs. How is this different?

About 100 top salesmen had been invited to the orgy, which featured women dressed in revealing clothing to act as hostesses and about 20 prostitutes who would fulfill all sexual wishes. They also wore color-coded armbands to help the men distinguish between them.

OK, so I wouldn't want my husband there, but I don't see what all the fuss is about. After all, working girls have to eat and businessmen are their bread and butter.

It seems that the most offensive part of this whole thing is that it rewards in such a male way. How do the female employees get rewarded?

And it's true. For women, this might be a little uncomfortable, but it isn't as though the company is suggesting everyone had to partake. It was just a perk of the party, which makes it a pretty crappy bonus. Truth be told, there were probably more than a few men who didn't want to partake. Married men, for instance. Or any men who are homosexual. Come to think of it, sex in general is a pretty bad bonus. Most men would have probably just preferred the money.

But it is what it is. If the company offered manicures and pedicures, would the men be all up in arms?

Now, it IS “a clear violation” of company policy, said Alexander Becker, a spokesman for the Munich Re subsidiary Ergo Versicherungsgruppe. If anyone wants to get upset, perhaps that is where to focus, but the fact is, prostitution is legal in Budapest. It isn't that abnormal or weird to partake in it even if you do so silently.

It's no different than a man (or woman) who goes to strip clubs here. Would these same people be offended by a hunting trip? A trip to a gun range? As females in the working world, we do have to navigate some annoying male (and female) behavior.

Yes, men can be pigs and say and do some things that are offensive, but any woman who has ever worked in an all-female environment can attest to how annoying it can be to have to have meetings to discuss feelings and deal with the drama of who hurt whose feelings today. The best work environments have a healthy mix of men and women and open dialogue.

Turning everything into a politically correct utopia doesn't change the reality, it just moves things more into secrecy.

Rewarding businessmen with sex is nothing new (anyone watch Mad Men?) and men who didn't want to partake didn't have to. There was no violence or coercion, just the possibility of something that was safe and legal. If the women wanted to partake, they probably could have, too.

And as an aside: I bet the men who did partake are awfully annoyed their secret is now out. Darn party poopers!

Do you think this is so awful?


Image via Ben Fredericson (xjrlokix)/Flickr

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