In The Walrus, Natalie Zina Waschots describes her time doing search-engine optimization for a Toronto pornography curator. She tagged images with anatomical and other sexual descriptors to help randy users find the type of porn they wanted. Although the optimization was standard, Waschots’ essay shows how sex work affects a person’s own sex life, and how working with sexual content makes some employees think it’s okay to be sexist.
It feels strangely noble to shepherd horny web surfers along in their pursuit of self-gratification, and under different management, it would probably be a fulfilling, even pleasant, job. I could learn to deal with the fact that constant exposure to sexual content is starting to alienate me from my body and make me distant in my romantic relationships, that my brain is slowly becoming saturated with the language of fucking. But what really gets to me are the standard-issue white-collar indignities: an overbearing, creepy boss, and the singular tediousness of cubicle life.