Home | Short stories | Dialogs | Novels | Diversions and oddities | Non-fiction | Pin-up art


by Frenulum

Copyright © 2009 Frenulum. All rights reserved.

“Hi, may I help you with anything?”

“Oh, hi. Um, yes, thanks, I could use some advice. I’m looking for clothes for work — I’m starting my first job next Monday, and I’ve never had any, you know, office outfits.”

“Well, congratulations! That’s wonderful — I’d love to help you find some things to get your professional wardrobe started.”

“Thanks. I know... the, you know, standards have changed a lot recently.”

“That’s for sure. So I know how to guide you, what’s your NIPPLE number?”

“My, uh —”

“NIPPLE number. Normalized Index of Place and Purpose at Licensed Employers. It would be on your work permit...”

“I have that in my purse somewhere, hang on... Here.”

“Wow, you’re a three? And just starting your first job? I’m impressed — how did you manage to start off a couple of rungs up the ladder?”

“Well, I did just graduate with a Bachelor’s degree.”

“Oh, what did you study?”

“Art History.”


“Yeah, no kidding. Well, you know, the economy wasn’t anything like this when I started school. But anyway, I guess the sheepskin helped. Plus, you know... I, um...”

“You’re a knockout.”

“Thanks. That’s nice of you. Yeah, you kind of hope appearance isn’t going to be the key, but these days...”

“True all over. Well, let’s get started. Do you know exactly what work you’ll be doing?”

“They said they would move me around for the first few months, try me in different spots for a couple of weeks at a time, to see where I would fit best. Can you — I mean, from the, uh, NIPPLE number, can you figure out what kind of outfits would be best?”

“Reasonably well. Now, if you were a one, you’d just be eye candy — a lobby decoration, say. A two, she might get to deliver a message or some other simple task. As a three, you might be, oh, tidying up a conference room, fetching coffee, maybe delivering mail. A little more responsibility at each level.”

“That’s the kind of thing they told me about, yes.”

“Ok. You’re going to want to spend about three-fourths of your budget on shoes, stockings, cosmetics, and accessories. I can walk you through those departments, but as long as we’re already in Business Wear we might as well start here. I’m sure we can find a couple of really great suits to get you off to a proper start. This way.”

“Thanks for your help.”

“You’re welcome! Let’s start with this. A good, basic, navy business suit, appropriate for any office. Half-ass skirt, built-in 6-strap garter, cropped peak-peek jacket —”

“Holy cow, that’s supposed to be a skirt? I, it, it would barely cover half of my, my —”

“Hence the name of the style, half-ass. Yes. That’s going to be standard corporate wear anywhere below the executive level: NIPPLE number twenty. Well, except for the number ones, they’re pretty much going to be kept in nothing but heels and a smile, but you don’t have to worry about that. The great thing about having the garter built in to the skirt is that you don’t have another layer at your waistline — I think that’s so much more comfortable.”

“I didn’t — I mean, I knew things these days were, you know... more, I guess, daring, but...

“Here, try this on, right in here, and I’ll find a couple more that would be good for you.”


“What do you think?”

“Oh, that looks wonderful on you! Perfect! Every inch the professional — I love the traditional, conservative fabric with your smashing looks, it’s such a spicy contrast.”

“God, I feel naked. No matter how low I wear the skirt, my panties are on display.”

“That’s the style, honey. And anyway, that won’t be an issue at the office.”

“Why not?”

“Oh, my, you’re certainly not going to be allowed to wear panties! A three-girl? Good heavens, the idea.”

“N-n-no panties?”

“Suit, stockings, heels, jewelry — that’s the look for today’s office girl. Show up in panties, or a bra for goodness sake, and you might as well just sign your own pink slip.”

“But. But. And this... jacket, if you can call it that. You must have given me the wrong size. I can’t get it anywhere nearly closed, and even if I could pull it tighter, there doesn’t seem to be any kind of fastener.”

“No, it’s the right size. It’s meant to display your bare breasts, not hide them. What we’re looking for in a perfect fit is for the jacket just to come around to your nipples, so that any movement at all will make them peek right out. Miss, are you all right?”

“I’m — I’m ok, I just — I’m trying to picture myself walking around, you know, a bunch of strangers, with my... my... boobs, and my ass, and my... my...”

“Cute little bare-naked pussy.”

“Yeah. On display. Like, like... some kind of stripper, or... worse.”

“Times are hard, hon, what can I tell you? The people with the jobs to offer get to make the rules for them. But look on the bright side. You have a job — so many girls can’t say that. And with your body, and especially with your beautiful, beautiful face, you’ll be an eight or even a nine-girl before your probation’s out, I’ll just bet you will.”

“A, a nine, or...”

“Some young exec looking for a PA is going to set eyes on you and decide you belong on your knees under his desk. And then, hey, no more worrying about your lunch break!”

“On my —”

“So much better than those intermediate levels in the office pussy pool, it really is. And look, at least you get to dress by office standards. Those of us in retail? Well, you can see.”

“Yeah, um... if you don’t mind, I was going to ask... how is it, having to work in the nude, in public and all?”

“I was pretty shy about it my first couple of weeks. After a while, you just stop noticing. And it really helps my commissions — not so much for women, but when couples come in? I can usually up-sell through the guys, just by giving ’em an extra-good show or a little accidental bump-and-rub. The only thing that bothers me anymore is clipping my name tag on every morning — well, and taking it off isn’t exactly a picnic. But what the heck, I’ve got work, and it sure beats the alternative.”

“I suppose.”

“Now, for a little change of pace, why don’t you try on this pleated plaid number. Half-ass skirt with two side slits and it comes with two tops, a match and a contrast. Wear this with some white stockings and pigtails in your hair and you’ll have your coworkers just eating out of your hand. Or, well, somewhere.”

“Sure. I guess I don’t see what choice I — oh, god, how did we ever get to this?”

“Honey, oh, poor thing, here, take a tissue. Look, we’re not suppose to talk politics with the customers. But if you want my opinion, there’s not a soul in the Capitol who isn’t corrupt. And as long as we keep letting the same people play the same games with money they haven’t earned?”


“Every one of us, one way or another, is going to get fucked. Now try that plaid suit on, and then let me take you over to lingerie. We just got a brand new shipment of thigh-highs from France, so luxurious and sexy, and they’re a steal right now at forty-five dollars a pair...”

I was out of work for seven months in the current recession. As you might imagine, that can put a fair amount of stress on a fellow, and sleep was sometimes an elusive thing. Worse, I was unable to write at all after the axe fell. The words just would not come.

Lying half-awake one night, this fragment of a story just came to me. Was I dreaming? Something close to that, I think.

In a curious way, then, I am not sure I can claim authorship of this. The story appeared in my head, no doubt about that. I’m just not sure how it got there. Was my muse close by, hoping that I would emerge from writer’s coma and play with her? Or is this just the product of anxiety, insomnia, and a basic liking for pretty girls to be on display?

Well, it doesn’t really deserve much analysis. Here is my wish for you: that you escape these awful times with your family and home unscathed. If you have friends who have been hard-hit, please, please, reach out to them and say you care.

If your browser supports JavaScript, you may click on this link to send comments using your e-mail program.

Otherwise, see the instructions in the story index.

If you would prefer to comment through your web browser, simply fill out this form.

Please enter your email address so I can respond to your comments. You won’t get spammed or otherwise bothered:

Please enter your name:

Tell me what you thought of my story:

Read more stories by Frenulum