4 Badass Jobs With Downsides Nobody Talks About
If you have a boring office job, it's easy to sit there and daydream about how much radder your life would be if you switched to a more exciting career like video game development or professional athleticism or porn. Except, all these jobs are still jobs ... which means that they come complete with weird-ass downsides that you probably won't see mentioned on the new hire forms.
Male Mountain Climbers Have to Suffer, Um, Testicular Shrinkage
When you commit yourself to a life of mountain climbing, it's obvious that doing so means you'll have to give up some creature comforts. Junk food? That's out. Money? That's out. Alcohol and drugs? Those should be out already. (My mom reads my articles.) For the most part, you train a lot, and when you're not training, you're eating and sleeping well, which must make you feel really good. I wouldn't know. I sleep so little that I'm not sure if I'm writing an article about goofy job downside right now or have slipped into a particularly vivid coma.
Still, it's all worth it, right? For the memories? For the groupies? Maybe not if you're a guy because it turns out that you'll also have to give up something else: Regular genitals.
According to research recently published in High Altitude Medicine and Biology, it turns out spending time at high altitudes can lead to what's known in the medical parlance as "testicular shrinkage." The results of this study came after researchers in Italy fMRI'd a group of men after they'd spent twenty-two days at high altitude (plus an additional thirteen days hiking). They found that the guys' balls had shrunk by 15 percent on average compared to their testicular mass pre-climb -- while similar experiments on animals suggest that this might be caused by the reduced oxygen levels.
That's not all, either. Another study by the same group of researchers found that spending time at high altitude also causes a reduction in sperm count that can last up for a maximum of TWO YEARS. The quality of the sperm isn't affected, so while mountain climbers don't necessarily shoot blanks, they have to make sure that every shot counts.
Game Developers Can Get PTSD From Working on Violent Games
Although the video game industry is, what's the word...terrible and not really suitable for people who want families, social lives, money, and a life without experiencing anxiety attacks, it's also undeniably cool to be creating revolutionary entertainment that people all over the world will play and (hopefully) enjoy enough to not send you death threats.
With the cutting-edge nature of the job, however, comes a problem that on the face of it, reads like a discarded Black Mirror script. As graphics get more photorealistic and violent games get more gory, that shit can haunt you. That's what one developer who worked on Mortal Kombat 11 found after months and months of designing and executing elaborate, violent finishing moves. The combination of the necessary anatomical research -- no, really -- and the need to watch simulations of hi-def bloodplosions all day conspired to create something that wormed its way into his nightmares.
"I'd have these extremely graphic dreams, very violent," said the unnamed developer in an interview with Kotaku. "I kind of just stopped wanting to go to sleep, so I'd just keep myself awake for days at a time, to avoid sleeping [...] You start to feel like an idiot for thinking about what the impact of working on that game has been on yourself. Other people I've talked to have been like, 'I know what I'm working on, I know what I've gotten myself into here.' And you start to blame yourself for being shitty or weak or spineless."
And this is a problem that will only get worse as graphics improve and things get even more photorealistic. So how do we fix this? Culling all violent content from games or going back to 8-bit graphics would be a disastrous war on the concept of fun, so maybe game company higher-ups could be a little more cognizant of the mental risks that game development can pose and take better care of their developers? I'm just spitballing here, but it would be nice to write an article entry on video game creation that didn't start with a preface about how rough it is to be in video game creation.
Tattoo Artists Break Their Bodies to Ink People
At first glance, being a tattooist isn't a half-bad job. You design rad drawings and etch them onto customers in exchange for stacks of cash. What's the problem with that? You might have to chase away a few moochers who're convinced that they can get their sweet Joaquin Phoenix Joker back tat for $10, but otherwise it's an cool gig as long as you have a solid imagination and working hands.
According to a recent study by Ohio State University, tattoo artists are at a heightened risk of developing a musculoskeletal disorder (like carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis) in their neck, elbows, back, and basically everywhere else that works. That's because contrary to popular belief, tattooing is hard -- not just in terms of needing to know how to draw rad flames, but because it requires tattooists to stress and strain their bodies for hours on end while ALSO dealing with the repetitive strain that holding and moving around a tattooist pen can cause. Let me put it this way: After that studio closes down for the day, your average tattooist isn't going to a biker bar or a punk rock show. They're going to a chiropractor.
These same musculoskeletal disorders aren't just a threat to tattooists, though, according to OSU. They're across a wide spectrum of professionals including hairdressers, body piercers, and barbers -- basically, anyone whose job requires them to contort themselves into a weird position and hold it for hours, a list that I guess, also includes your mom. OH. GOT YA.
Adult Movie Stars Can't Easily Rent/Sell Houses
People have sex in their homes, or at least that's what I've heard. This isn't a weird, twisted, or socially-unacceptable thing. That is, unless you have sex on film in which case society will judge you and whine about your existence for all eternity. And this lame treatment of people extends itself to the real estate sector, because if you do porn, you're basically unable to rent or sell a house.
As Aurora Snow and Dana Vespoli recounted for The Daily Beast, trying to rent while porning is a grim experience that's subject to more scrutiny than even the frumpiest grandparents would dish out. "I had to be vague on my applications, listing myself as an actress/model," described Snow. "I was young, had great credit and plenty of money, and had even agreed to put down three times the deposit. But it wasn't enough. [The owner] grilled me about my employers in person, demanded to know why I did "it," and wanted to know how I could "live with myself."
Vespoli's experience wasn't much different. "It was always nerve-racking trying to rent a house. Even with good credit they'd want an extra deposit. There was always this assumption that something crazy would happen. They didn't say anything to me directly, they just added an extra addendum to the rental agreement stating I wouldn't shoot any adult content there. My real estate agent laughed about it. She hadn't seen anyone do that before."
Meanwhile, when professional dominatrix Evelyn Milano tried to sell her home, an excited neighbor accidentally "outed" Milano to some interested buyers -- to which they responded by making a reduced bid while at the same time asking her to rip out and replace the counter tops and carpet. Obviously, this is absurd and goes far beyond wishing for basic cleanliness and into thinking that having a lot of sex in your house leads to lingering boner poltergeists. But until we're able to consider those that make their living off of sex as, gasp, regular people, we're likely to continue to hear about house sales that don't go through due to fear of orgasm contamination.
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