GLOSS Issue 21 APRIL 2015 - Page 30

I was recently asked to speak to a group of women at a screening of 50 Shades of Grey. Now I appreciate it may seem strange to ask an accountant to speak about money before a film that is almost completely about sex. Perhaps you’re thinking, I was the metaphorical bucket of cold water. It simply wasn’t talked about and nice girls certainly didn’t want more of it. Thanks to Sex and the City and other books and movies that dealt with it irreverently and cleverly, somehow sex became OK to talk about. Not just over cocktails where you hoped you wouldn’t remember the conversation in the morning, but over brunch. Whatever the reason, I was so glad to be asked. Sure you might not talk about it with your mum but somehow the ick was removed from sex because the shame was lifted simply by bringing the subject out into the light of day and talking about all of it: not just the polite parts. Now it’s not because I wanted to watch 50 Shades of Grey. I haven’t read the book and wouldn’t have watched the movie if left to my own devices. That’s because I’d rather watch an episode of Sex and the City and I suspected the movie wasn’t really going to be up to scratch. The reason I was so happy to be asked is because of the connection between sex and money. Once upon a time sex had an almighty ick factor. Now women (and some blokes) are flocking to the movies to watch a movie that is unashamedly about sex. I, for one, would love money to be given the same treatment. FIFTY SHAD Now some might argue it already has. The Wolf of Wall Street certainly idolised money and there have been many books and movies before and since where the making of money has been lauded. A few weeks ago I met with a potential client and I think she beautifully described why we don’t talk about money. Early in the meeting, it became clear she felt she wasn’t in a great place financially and was very embarrassed about it. But what about the vulnerability associated with money? What about the shame? What about the ick factor that means we won’t ask a girlfriend over lunch if she’s racking up a large credit card bill because she seems to be doing a little too much emotional spending at the moment? Or we don’t ask a beloved relative whose husband has passed away if she is going to be able to pay the bills? Or we can’t talk about how we want our business to net a profit of more than a million dollars a year and be wealthy? She said to me that she felt incredibly vulnerable coming to see me and gave me a long explanation before she even talked finances about why that was. Eventually, just as she was about to talk numbers, she said “I feel like I’m about to get naked.” That phrase encapsulates why I was so pleased to be invited to speak before a movie about sex. Because for the same reason that so many people are leaving the lights off in the bedroom in order