Michael Scott of “The Office” has a thing for strong women. However dysfunctional, his relationship with Jan Levinson was evidence of that. I would like to take things a step further: Michael Scott definitely likes to get pegged.
For those of you who don’t know, pegging is a sexual act wherein a partner sans penis uses a strap-on dildo to penetrate the anal cavity of a partner with a penis. Because it is an act that upends traditional gender roles, which dictate that the penised partner (generally considered to be the man) penetrates an orifice of the penis-less partner (the woman, in this paradigm), it is often thought of as an act performed by dominant woman over submissive men. One of whom is almost certainly Michael Scott.
Let’s examine, using the season seven episode “PDA” as evidence.
Holly Flax: the dorky HR rep Michael ends up marrying (spoiler, but also if you haven’t seen “The Office” yet, that is entirely your problem). Theirs is a healthy and loving relationship, if grossly clingy to witness. In “PDA,” we see Michael sitting on Holly’s lap in a conference room meeting. This is a switch from the much more “normal” woman-on-man lap-sitting we see, and he tells Holly, “I don’t sit on your lap because it’s comfortable. I sit on your lap because I like how your thighs feel on my butt.”
Both the picture and the statement give us a hint of the role his butt plays in their relationship.
Later in the episode, she comes up behind him, grabs his hip, mimicks holding a gun, and orders him “give me all your money and take off your clothes.” Again, the image of her standing behind him, hands controlling his hips, is innately kinky with her as the dominant. But also again, not exactly proof.
Here’s the Santorum-covered smoking gun: when Holly gushes about Michael’s sex appeal to the camera and conspiratorially tells us, “he can put both his legs behind his head.” WHY would you know that, if you weren’t putting things up his butt? That position just doesn’t make sense, anatomically, unless it was missionary pegging. Him on his back, legs up by his ears, with her penetrating him.
To be fair, there is a slight chance she was referring to an unusual variation of penis-in-vagina missionary where the man is on his back, legs held high, erect penis sticking through them, and the woman imitating the “jackhammer” effect you often see in straight porn. She is technically being penetrated, but is the one making it happen. Personally, I think it less likely that this position is what Holly refers to, and not pegging, if only because a friend mentioned it to me when I mentioned writing this article… so naturally I went looking for porn of it and it was incredibly hard to find.
Even if, however, that position is what Holly is referring to, it is not at all a heteronormative position or act. It is still highly suggestive of gender role reversal that imitates the man being the one penetrated. No matter how you slice it, Michael and Holly are up to butt stuff and it sure ain’t Holly’s. No doubt, sex and power dynamics are about more than just what goes into which orifice but equally true is that socially dictated gender roles have imbued a ridiculous amount of meaning into penetration. Considering the amount of misogyny and disregard for women’s bodies that it must take to elect what we have elected into political office, looking back on this iconic show and seeing such an unusual sexual dynamic is heartening.