Like many people I have had to take a job that I am way overqualified for in order to pay the bills while I look for other opportunities and finish my education. I thought being a cashier in a retail store would be mindless and boring and most of the time it is. What I didn’t know and what I have been made aware of is there are a lot of people who like to use retail establishments for sex.
Maybe it is the thrill of having sex in a public place or the idea of getting caught that makes it something so many people decide to attempt. Maybe it is part of their sex bucket list and want to check off having sex in a dirty dime store bathroom. Whatever it is, the first time I caught someone having sex in the bathroom in our store (which to be honest, is not the cleanest) I was a little unnerved. First, our bathroom is not for the public and is in the employee break room. We let people who ask, use it as a courtesy. Sitting down to take my break and eat my lunch became an entirely new experience when I heard what I knew to be the unmistakable sounds of sex coming from the other side of the bathroom door.
After doing some asking around, to other people who work in retail, I found out some interesting things. Big Box retail stores have more people engaging in sexual behavior than Small Box retail stores. Possibly because the stores are larger, there are more areas to hide and the bathrooms are larger. Dressing rooms are also a favorite destination for people seeking retail sex. Dressing rooms and bathrooms are two areas of a store where security cameras are not allowed because it is considered an invasion of privacy. We often catch teenagers parking behind the store by the dumpster but technically that is not our territory.
I think there is definitely an exhibitionism aspect to retail sex as none of the people we have ever caught seemed the least bit embarrassed. The manager simply knocked on the door and told them they needed to come out of the bathroom. They knew that we knew and they were all smiles.
What concerns me is the idea that someone may not be in there of their own free will. The local news recently ran a story about a young woman who went to the bathroom on her break and there was someone waiting and he sexually assaulted her. While that is a completely different thing than a couple who just like the thrill of possibly getting caught having sex in public, people need to understand that store employees have no idea if what is going on behind the bathroom door or in the dressing room is consensual or not.
So please understand if the manager or an employee has to interrupt your retail store sexual escapades. Nowhere in my employee handbook does it mention the appropriate way to deal with people getting it on in the store.