This is a question that makes a big supposition, namely that men DO find their secretaries attractive! Whether any scientific study has been made as to the proportion of men who fancy their secretaries, I do not know, but there seem to be so many factors involved here that the blanket assumption - men find their secretaries attractive - is surely begging too many questions to be taken at face value. For example:
- Not every woman who works as a secretary is young and beautiful
- Not every man is a Lothario
- Not every woman is looking to seduce her boss
- Not every man, or every woman, wants to be unfaithful to their partner
That said, there are such things as office romances, and it does sometimes happen that a boss and his secretary will become sexually attracted to each other. In a previous place of work of mine, there was a famous occasion when a couple were discovered "in flagrante" in their office after hours, and both of them lost their jobs as a result.
One of my favoruite TV series of all times is "The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin", in which one of the themes is the fancying by Reggie of his secretary Joan, despite his genuine love for his wife. It may not sound like the basis for great comedy, but it is in this case, especially when his efforts at seduction, which Joan is perfectly happy with, lead to her having to escape down a drainpipe when he asks her home for some weekend "dictation"!
OK then, let's assume that some men do find their secretaries attractive, and seek to do something about it. And let's also assume that some secretaries are willing partners in the affair. Why should this be? Here are some suggestions:
- Availability. Busy managers may well spend more time in the company of their secretaries, or other office staff, than they do with their wives. Assuming that the working day is nine to five, and the time spent commuting is an hour at the end of each day, and time sleeping is eight hours, that's 17 out of the 24 hours accounted for already. If the man takes work home in the evening, spends at least some time with the children, and plays or watches sport at the weekend, the actual time spent with his wife is not all that great.
- Position of superiority. A boss is in a position of authority over a secretary. He is telling her what to do all day, and she will follow his instructions. That is quite a turn-on for some men, who might well fantasise about taking that relationship out of the office and into the bedroom. Wives, in the main, don't like being told what to do but secretaries are used to it. Men are stupid like that!
- Jealousy. A marriage that is going through a sticky patch might give rise to a man imagining that if he could make his wife just a teeny bit jealous, she might become more accommodating to his wishes. Give her the impression that there is another potential sexual partner in his life who is in competition with her, and ... Like I said above, some men are stupid like that!
- It takes two to tango. A woman who works for a powerful boss might see herself gaining in personal status if she makes herself available to him in more than a purely business capacity. Being friendly to your boss is in your best interest, but some women go too far in this direction and put out signals that are taken as sexual ones. Also bear in mind that the office environment is unlikely to consist of single male bosses employing single female secretaries. There is competition going on to gain the boss's favour, and some women use a variety of techniques to win the game. Some bosses are attracted to their secretaries because the secretaries do the attracting, whether consciously or not.
So there you are. Mother Nature's plan is for the male animal to seduce the female, so that the female will be impregnated by the male and produce the next generation. She (Mother Nature that is) is not too bothered whether the males and females in question are morally entitled to "get it on", but she does what she can to put the pieces in place for such unions to happen, in terms of male lust and female beauty and coquettishness. When the social conditions of the workplace put good-looking people of the opposite sex into close proximity for long periods of time, they are only helping Mother Nature to bring the plan to fruition!
Chris Thompson on January 25, 2018:
I've seen some pretty nasty secretaries though!
Anonymous on May 02, 2013:
For almost two years I had this attraction for my boss but I did all the best I could to hide it. Somehow I had this feeling that he felt the same because the way he treats me. But I kept telling myself this is all but an illusion because we are both married and I'm sure he loves his wife as much as I love mine own husband. I came to conclusion that the attraction is only because in the office we both potray the best of who we are, displaying our abilities , our intelligence, we dress nicely and smile a lot.
anonymous on May 02, 2013:
"If a boss is attracted to her secretary I think it has to do a lot with most secretaries always being well dressed, smily, compliant and helpful. Whether when the man goes back home, the wife is tired, in pijamas or tracksuit and complaining about the children, her bad day and a hundred other things... Who would you feel attracted to?"
The secretory has to smile because if she shouts she looses her job. That is why I said, that people forget how impotant is what their wives do for them. and then there are several women who are willing to be mistress to enjoy sex, and money no matter whether the man is married or aged. They present themselves as perfect offer- a woman who is willing to have sex with you and doesn't want you to leave your wife.
The secretaries have to be dedicated other wise won't they be fires? this is what they are getting their salaries for. A spouse works only for getting love in exchange.
anonymous on May 02, 2013:
And another biggest reason is people forget what a secretory is..... when they see them running around for them they think its special or when she takes care of their schedule they think it is special.. they forget that IT IS SECRETORY'S JOB to do it. That is why she is being given that big salary. Wife does the same and mcuh more at home but her efforts are not recognized and when she craves for some recognition or appreciation she is blamed to be nagging.
Anonymous on May 02, 2013:
Cheating with a person subordinate to you makes the man feel powerful and boosts his ego That is why many men cheat with secretaries or servants because it gives them a high which they don't get when they are with their equal status partner.
I can say this because in the past women were never given equal opportunities. They were confided at home so that men can feel 'manly' and powerful.
Or like they said secretory is most available and many times the secretary is looking for monetary incentives.
Jennifer Massey from Spain and England on June 17, 2012:
Hey I married my boss! I was his secretary for 3 glorious years, We've now we've been married for 14 even more glorious years. The only downside is that 'once a secretary, always a secretary'!
Good topic for a great article.
marissa on April 30, 2012:
my new job is a personl assistant/ secretary... My bosses wife works with him. she is a very jealous woman. I want to know how i should dress. It stinks because he opinion counts a lot.
Telvis on August 29, 2011:
I'm surprised no one said anything about clothing. Being a man, myself and others have always mentioned about what the women wear at the office. Most of the time its their heels, hosiery, etc....
Marco on June 13, 2011:
what would you say are the top attractive character traits of a secretary
John Welford (author) from UK on May 08, 2011:
Why can't you let your wife make the decision for herself, given that she has a professional attitude to her job and your marriage is sound? Should her boss try to act inappropriately, she will surely know what action to take. She should not need your permission to do what is best in terms of her career.
Daniel on May 07, 2011:
Sorry for posting in bits and pieces, but thoughts just keep coming in. I think if I allow her to be in close proximity with her boss 4 days in a roll, and answering to his every beck and call, is really hard to bear. She thinks I am getting in the way of her advancing in the company. Her dedication to her work make her vulnerable for exploitation by her boss. I know she loves me.
Daniel on May 07, 2011:
He asked her to accompany him on a 4 day trip. She speaks Spanish and part of her job is interpretation. I refused to let her go and have her called her boss the night before the trip that she was not feeling well. That was over with, but now the boss is asking her again, just one month after. I cannot think of any other excuses. Should we make it clear to her boss that I do not like the idea? Or should I consent to it. Am I over reacting? Her jobs pays well and we both need it. The boss has been divorced years ago.
Daniel on May 07, 2011:
My wife is a secretary and it is hard to get used to the fact that she is at his every beck and call. But that is the nature of a secretary's job.
Ed the Boss on February 02, 2011:
My secretary will do just about any thing for me and that is the way it should be! If your secretary doesn't get rid of her and get one that is submissive and obedient!
Maran on October 19, 2010:
You missed out one of the obvious ones of course, that many women in the office take time over their appearance, where as it isn't everyone's priority to look as good as they would day to day, when they are just relaxing at home.
For the average guy/girl it usually is imho when there is a rough patch at home, and someone, man or women, is coming into work seeing a smartly dressed colleague at their best all hours of the day.
It is up to all people to make an effort for their partners no matter how long they have been together, an effort to have those special days and look good for them once in a while, at least that is how I see it.
xoli on March 26, 2010:
i think sometimes it happen through fear when you are a just woman who need to be taken into notice. but he will take and advantage of you if he say something and you say no he will start treating you bad. i think it happened out of fear or confusing.
solarshingles from london on May 22, 2008:
Very well though and well written hub! I also like the Princessa's point of always looking immaculate. I could only add: the meaning of the real help, which a good secretary could make to her boss and his company. My wonderful secretary had been really running my entire business in an optimal way, and protecting 'my back' and my spare time. (we haven't got any intimate contacts and it is much better in this way).
grill'n guy from San Diego on March 06, 2008:
In thirty years as an Executive, I enjoyed the support, dedication and loyalty of six executive assistants. There were five women and one man. They came in all shapes, sizes and levels of physical attractiveness but five of the six were "beautiful people" to me. I swear that two of them could read my mind!
The sixth was an attactive, early 40's woman who came to me and said she was afraid she was going to have to quit after four months on the job. She indicated that in twenty-two years she had never worked for a man who did not "keep her as his mistress." When I made it clear that this was not going to happen, she gave me two weeks notice and I countered with "clean out your desk!"
My point, it is not always about "attraction" on the part of the male boss. Sometimes it is pure manipulation or pursuit of opportunity by the female.
Wendy Iturrizaga from France on March 06, 2008:
If a boss is attracted to her secretary I think it has to do a lot with most secretaries always being well dressed, smily, compliant and helpful. Whether when the man goes back home, the wife is tired, in pijamas or tracksuit and complaining about the children, her bad day and a hundred other things... Who would you feel attracted to?
Ricardo Nunes from Portugal on March 05, 2008:
I´m considering to make a hub request: "Does women find their male secretaries attractive?" :D
I gess (and I speak just for my self) men feel attracted to lots of women (and vice versa) without having to occur any interrelatedness. But it´s also true that Mother Nature figured out things very well :)
privateye2500 from Canada, USA, London on March 05, 2008:
I am sure there are as many reasons they do as they don't.
But the ones that do - in my opinion, it is a simple minded *power-trip* - one of the oldest *phenomenon* in the world. Me tarzan - you Jane. It's a *MAN's world* fantasy thing.
It is pretty pathetic IMO.
Too bad for men it isn't reality anymore!! Women have taken this world by STORM now that the physical beat-down era is hopefully on its way under for EVER.
It is NOT a "mans world" any more (thank gawd).
Politics and religion headed this major beat down on women and men have used it since time began to keep women down.
And that's what I think about that.
John Chancellor from Tennessee on March 05, 2008:
Well thought out and well written. I agree that making the assumption that many bosses find their secretary attractive is assuming something that is probably not true.
Even if men find their secretary attractive, that does not mean there is any romantic feelings or involvement. I see plenty of attractive women each and every day. But that does not mean I am in any involved with them.
I think the major reason that office romances happen is that people work together in close proximity and get to know each other on a personal basis without any pressure. Often times the secretary is not as attractive as the wife/significant other. But for the romance to bloom both will be getting some emotional needs filled.
An office romance will not just happen. There has to be an emotional need that is going unfulfilled. When that happens, people look anywhere they can to fulfill the need. Usually the closest, most available source is the one that is utilized.