You're familiar with the film, right? Robert Redford offers Demi Moore the chance to earn a million dollars for a sexy night on his millionaire boner. She's broke and although it threatens to destroy their relationship she and partner Woody Harrelson agree to go through with it. Then Woody Harrelson makes cash from hustling basketball hoops in the ghetto or something. Hang on, that's White Men Can't Jump. Okay, whatever.
The bright and shiny new millennium had promised many things. Hoverboards, neon vaginas and pixel sized mobile phones powered by Moon Juice.
Although I received none of my promised futuristic gadgetry, in 2000 things were going well for me. I'd just moved in with my boyfriend and made a ton of friends at my workplace which was less a form of employment and more an excuse to dick about in a confined space.
When I was offered a promotion – which entailed moving to a different part of the building and to my own, remarkably small office – I said 'yes'. Just three weeks later the company director had offered me ten thousand pounds to 'spend the night with him'.
If you think this kind of thing doesn't really happen in real life then you have never dealt with a man who thinks it is reasonable and funny to refer to all the women on his workforce as 'my dollies'.
He was only a lawsuit away from stripping us to our underwear and chasing around the office dressed as a milkman. And if you think that sort of parochial, outdated sexism is the figment of a fevered feminist imagination then you need to revisit the sort of TV we all used to watch in the eighties.
He didn't ask me directly of course – the type of man who can afford to splash ten thousand pounds to shove his withered little dong into a paid fuck doesn't need to do his own dirty work.
It was my line manager who asked me, and the conversation went like this:
“What do you think of David?”
David was the Director, a rangy looking man in his fifties, married, with Just For Men hair and thick, meaty lips which always looked glossy and pouty.
He was always casting askew, sidelong glances at the women who worked in the office, and thought nothing of sitting on the edge of your desk and fingering your pen pot suggestively.
“He seems nice,” I'd replied, the standard response when you literally couldn't give a shit.
“He likes you,” he'd said without looking at me.
“Would you sleep with him?”
“Fuck off!” Now that was out my mouth before I could stop it. That was a proper gut response.
“Would you sleep with him for a hundred pounds?” Now he was looking at me, and suddenly I was uncomfortable.
“No.” “Five hundred?”
“No, absolutely not.”
It was the next thing he said which shocked me the most and still does, ten years later: “Consider yourself lucky. That's more than he offered the other girls.”