24 thoughts on “

  1. I’m not offended by the business, but the guy quoted who is all like, “If I’m paying $4 for a cup of coffee, I’m not going to be served by a guy!” is a sexist ass.

    This sort of work, I think if someone wants to do it, let them. Someone out there is willing to give up their cash for it, so why not? They’re not getting my cash, and as long as they aren’t being smacked around in the back by Java The Pimp, I don’t see anything to be bothered about.

    • as long as they aren’t being smacked around in the back by Java The Pimp, I don’t see anything to be bothered about.

      I would worry a bit about customer’s physical interactions with them. As it is, I’m sure men/women coffee shop workers tend to be flirted with quite a bit; but I wonder how the situation is approached if a customer tries to get a bit more physical and aggressive. I’m sure there is someone who would argue that “If she’s dressed like that, she’s asking for something.” (Not that I agree with it.)

      Which is a long winded way of saying, I’m curious to know what their work regulations are, and what companies do to protect their employees. Afterall, bars at least have bouncers/male bartenders often to keep in patrons in check (in my experience, that is).

      • That was something that crossed my mind, but that’s the sort of risk you take with any sort of sexually charged job. Wherever there is sexuality, you have people with distorted perceptions and predatorial behavior.

        I’m sure Hooter’s girls have to deal with similar sorts of behavior, but bouncers and bartenders can only carry you so far. Once you leave the building, generally, you’re on your own, because the company is no longer liable if it is off their property.

        I wouldn’t say that someone is asking for it if something were to happen by any means, but I’m sure the company has taken some of these things into account and made some preparations. As far as the women are concerned, I would hope they aren’t so naive as to think there isn’t some risk of something occurring and not having taken some precautions in the process (Pepper spray, cell phone, etc.). Something like that is like a daredevil not taking into account that they could be injured or killed.

        • I hadn’t thought about what happened outside of the building myself, but was wondering what risk management the company itself has lined up to prevent it inside the facility. Bouncers/bartenders can only take it so far, but it is part of a precautionary process. The article made no indication of having one, which is what sparked my curiosity.

        • Working fully clothed at a well-known chain of coffee shops, let me tell ya I get all sorts of creeps and people that if they spot me off the job think that we are best friends and proceed to try to follow me around. So it doesn’t depend on the outfit or how much you interact with the customers, there is something about being a coffee wench that=hot. I don’t know why. I wear an apron and if there is a skirt it is knee length and with leggings or tights underneath. but I’ve even had a few try to get “fresh” and one man tell me about all of the sordid and disgusting things he likes to do with teenage girls (he is 65+) while I was on my smoke break.

          BTW the quote you posted, it is great. one of my favorites. I have always loved it.

          AND since I didn’t say anything before the hair is awesome.

        • Miss you. Glad you are alive.

          And thank you.

          Come down and visit sometime. No parties, just some quality time.

        • I think it helps that these seem to be drive-through joints –less contact, time-wise and physically. I’m sure that helps, but yes, the distorted perceptions and off-the-clock harassments are a definite issue.

  2. This is what I wrote on this thread:

    I’m with you. I’m all for wearing band-aid-sized skirts being an option– heaven knows I’ve done more than my share of that, and much of it while working at coffee shops– but to make it a requirement is kinda… disgusting. I wear very small outfits onstage, and go for a generally ‘sexy’ self-presentation (how well I succeed I cannot evaluate, though no one has seemed to mind), but again, that’s a one-person choice, and not a company requirement. It’s true, if it works for them it works for them. I suppose I just futilely wish that appearance were ever so slightly less of an issue, at times.

    Or at least that someone would start a competing business, just ONCE, showcasing pretty boys in vinyl pants and fishnet shirts. Come on, if our society is moving so strenuously toward an Eye Candy Nation, why can’t I have something nice to look at too??!

    …And I couls add to it, but my coffee is ready (prepared by a blue-haired girl in a bathrobe this morning), so I shall not.

    • Blue haired girl in a bath robe??? What?

      Where did you wind up last night, I tried calling after I got off work.

      Need an update on the doctor thing.

      Call, message or email.

    • I would totally hit up a Hot-Boys shop.

      And I do believe it is a personal choice – what bothers me in this article is that some of those employed are high-school students. While many of that age group are perfectly able of making quality decisions and taking care of themselves, I still worry. Call me old-fashioned.

  3. sounds a bit up the alley off suicide girls in terms of aesthetic, i.e. i’d never oppose its right to exist, but it far from appeals to my personal sensibilities.

  4. Hey! Glad I found you on LJ and thanks for friending me back 🙂 I’d love to take (or teach) the Constructing Sexuality class you’re taking. I’ll imagine it’s really interesting. What texts do you have on the syllabus??

    Re. the Best Friends coffee franchise: That’s a desperate (and hardly original) measure on the owner’s part to sexualize her business to compete with Starbuck’s. Sexualized (i.e. sexually dolled-up) women should stay in the adult entertainment industry–not spill over into other retail or customer service sectors. After all, the sexualization phenomenon hikes up product prices, and I’m not willing to pay a couple of extra dollars for the sexual titillation that a cashier/server embodies–not to mention that I’d prefer to dissociate coffee from sex–and sex is the last thing I want to think about first thing in the morning when I’m struggling to wake up for work and direly need my coffee to combat hangover.

    • After all, the sexualization phenomenon hikes up product prices, and I’m not willing to pay a couple of extra dollars for the sexual titillation that a cashier/server embodies–not to mention that I’d prefer to dissociate coffee from sex…

      But in this particular argument, don’t you have other places you can choose to go for your coffee? As the article says, Starbucks has no plans to follow suit. They don’t need to — whether that’s because they’re a high-quality, everyday coffee shop or the evil-corp Walmart of cafes is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose.

      In this case, though, a small business has recognized that it’s ineffectual in the face of the big corporations (or the highly competitive area they happen to be in) and has therefore created a niche market for themselves — i.e., people who DO want to pay a couple of extra dollars for sexual titillation with their coffee. And it’s proven that sex sells, so why not have it sell coffee?

      I’m not sure where I fall on this particular debate as far as morality/ethics is concerned — but when it comes to business, I recognize the motivating factor, the thought process, and the end result. As always, a consumer has the right to vote with their wallet if they disagree.

  5. I’m not offended, but I’m annoyed when anyone uses flirtation and seduction for ulterior motives. See, I’m such a sucker for a wink and a smile that it’s easy to advantage of me. I don’t like being teased unless the intentions are friendly.

    bitter? maybe.

    Btw, is that quote in support of being nice or in support of being creepy?

    • I suppose it’s how you read the quote. I think it’s in support of being nice.

      And I’m glad you’re not as jaded as myself. I always question people who flirt when money is involved.

  6. But it’s Seattle. They mix coffee with everything out there. Coffee shops + spas, coffee shops + car dealerships, coffee shops + everything! Why not adult entertainment? And seriously, what better way to get your morning buzz?

    • Arright… How about naked pizza?? or naked subs? or naked deli food? And while we’re at it, not just stick with naked foods, but how about naked stationery supplies? or computer hardware? or sporting goods? or baby toys? etc.

        • Both of you play nice or not at all.

          : P

          I agree that nekkid sushi was great. So long as other options are available, I feel that people should be allowed to do what they wish, whether it is sexual or otherwise. It’s when people are forced into such positions (har har) that issues arise.

          I think the sex industry can be incredibly empowering or incredibly demeaning. It all depends on what you’re there for.

        • also the pay,many in the sex industry are trapped by wages that are sub par. If these baristas are being paid more than the Starbucks people then there is some parity…. the sushi girls (and donut guys) were paid model wages. Many that work in sex shops are paid below the industry average without benefits.

        • I thought the concept of naked sushi was utterly hilarious. So I was playing it up–going along with it, whatever. But maybe I overdid it.

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