There are jobs that come with great perks, and jobs that don’t. The basic perks of being a writer include a flat bum, bad eyesight and the careful curation of an arsenal of excuses and work avoidance techniques.

I have a friend who works for a car dealership; he gets a new sleek shark of a car every season. Another friend works for a brewery, and he gets a couple of cases of free beer every month. I probably should have paid more attention in school and gone into something more functional like they did.

Although I am a couple of different kinds of writer, and some jobs do actually come with the odd perk. While working in advertising we once had a two day shoot for a cheese client and at the end of it I got piles of left over cheese. You’ve never seen so much cheese; enough to build a new moon. I’ll never eat Gouda again.

And very early in my career, as one of the few female copywriters in the industry, I spent many hours working on the agency’s sanitary pad client, so I had free tampons coming out of my ears. Like I said, I should have paid more attention in school, that’s not where they go at all.

Then there are the perks I get ever since I started writing about sex. Like the crazy letters from dodgy guys who like to tell me in vivid, full off-colour detail exactly what they like in the sex department. If I’m especially lucky they will attach a cell phone selfie of their penis. Or at least I hope it’s a selfie, no other human being should have to see these things. I don’t recall ever asking for this kind information, but then perks are like family, you don’t get to choose them. I like to think of it as a sex writer tax.

In another perk across town, a friend just started an online sex shop, so I helped her out with some words to market it. Although they say sex sells, so she may not need me. As thanks for my efforts she sent me a little gift. I had planned on opening it at the post office counter, I figure if you work for the South African postal service, the very least I can do to improve your day would be to open a giant dildo in front of you. See even postal workers have perks.

But they’re much fancier than that in the sex toy business these days, apparently all her products are hand-delivered. I suggested a whole new business opportunity, with buff, topless couriers, giving tutorials on the products. Fortunately, I don’t think the hairless, toothless guy making my delivery had any idea what was going on inside that innocent looking package, and I waited till he was long gone before opening up a pair of red feather nipple clamps and a fishnet body stocking.

Did I mention that I have another friend who’s a travel agent? She gets tons of free holidays every year.

I’ve never actually held a pair of nipple clamps before, but it’s quite hard to take anything with pink feathers on the end of them too seriously. They look like a cross between a set of miniature jump-starter cables and those troll dolls with the shock of pink hair.

Can you spot the difference?

                                         Can you spot the difference?

I called up another friend who helped the kinky sales lady, to see what she’d gotten as thanks for her time. She said she’d received a pair of the most darling pink feathered hair grips which she’d already put in her eleven year old’s hair. I didn’t want to burst her bubble.

I wish I could tell you I was the kind of intrepid journalist who puts themselves out there in the trenches – in the name of truth, justice and good reporting, but I’m sorry, those puppies aren’t going anywhere near my puppies! There isn’t enough whisky in the world. I tried to convince my friend Warren to let me peg them on his nipples just for a second, to see how they feel, but he wasn’t having any of it – and he’ll usually do anything for a chocolate brownie.

I promise I seriously considered trying on the fishnet body stocking. It says one size fits all on the packaging, but I think I have more all than most (I blame all that cheese), so I decided not to risk it. Had I got trapped either getting in or out of it, the trip to the emergency room would have been awkward– especially since it has no pockets, where would I have put my keys?

I can’t say I understand the body stocking. The nipple clamps I get, some people like a bit of pain with their pleasure, but the fishnet thingy doesn’t seem to have any functional use. Other than the crotchless part, I’m sure that’s useful. So you see, now you know all about nipple clamps and crotchless pants – that’s just one of the perks of reading this column.

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