Sex in the Workplace: What to Do and What to Avoid

Sex in the Workplace: What to Do and What to Avoid

By Rebecca, 14.10.2019

Sometimes romance happens at work, and no matter what you do, you can’t resist your co-worker. Spending all of your time with the same people can create unique relationships, which might end up including an office romance! 

If that chemistry is too powerful to resist, there are a few things to consider before jumping into a more physical relationship with someone you see every single day. If you’re contemplating sex in the workplace, here are some things you should do and some things to avoid. 


1. Find Out the Company Policy

Some company policies prohibit people from starting any relationship, while some company policies require you sign a document about it. Some companies don’t have any policies. It’s important to know where yours stands prior to engaging in any sexy moments. 

2. Practice Discretion

Even if your company policy allows you to date each other, it doesn’t mean people at work want to know about it. Don’t talk about it at work, don’t flirt with each other at company events, and don’t gossip about it with your co-workers. Keep the romance a secret between the two of you until things get more serious (if they get serious). You don’t need the whole office knowing the ins and outs of your office romance. At the office, treat them how you treat everyone else.

3. Choose Your Partner Wisely

Even if there is chemistry between the two of you, you need to make sure this person is the right person to have an office fling with. Make sure they are single, make sure they aren’t dating someone else at work, and make sure you aren’t a rebound. As well, make sure they are willing to practice discretion. If they can never keep quiet about the latest office gossip, they might not be worth the risk.

4. Tell Your Boss

If the office romance blossoms into a relationship, you need to tell your boss as soon as possible. You don’t want your boss to find out from other people. Similarly, if you get caught before you were ready to say something, you need to be honest and own up to it. You don’t want to be caught in a lie because it will put a negative filter on how people view your relationship.

5. Be Prepared for it to End

Before you start, you need to be prepared for it to end. Not just emotionally, but in terms of professionally. Will it impact your career? Will it impact your quality of life at work? You need to make sure it is really worth starting based on the potential ending.


1. Not with a Supervisor or Subordinate

Starting a relationship, even if just a sexual one, with a supervisor or a subordinate employee can be incredibly messy. There are power dynamics at play that are not the fun role-playing ones. Dating someone with a different hierarchy within the company can lead to negative impacts on your career. You might not get a promotion because they can’t appear to be giving you preferential treatment or if the relationship goes sour, someone can file a complaint. It’s just a whole mess and it is way better to avoid the situation altogether. 

2. Don’t Be a Mistress

Make sure the person you want to sleep with does not already have a partner or family. You definitely do not want to be seen as a home-wrecker or a mistress. These have serious negative connotations and some of your co-workers will never be able to look at you in the same light if the relationship gets revealed. It will make everyone uncomfortable so don’t put your colleagues in that position.

3. Avoid Work Confrontations

If you are having a relationship problem, do not bring your problems to work and do not address it at work. Dealing with your personal problems is super unprofessional and can cause your colleagues to be uncomfortable to the point of making formal complaints. 

4. Don’t Have Sex at Work

It might be really tempting, but don’t have sex at work unless you have an absolutely airtight location. We’re talking about no windows, no cameras, no foot traffic, no one knocking on the door, and no chance of someone walking into the room post-coitus to the scents of sex. If you can’t guarantee total and complete privacy, don’t do it. 

5. Don’t Do It Because You’re Bored

An office romance can really shake things up and make work a significantly more interesting place. However, boredom should not be the leading factor in your office romance. If you’re bored at work, find another way to spice it up. There are too many risks associated with an office fling for you to do it out of sheer boredom.

Work romances can be a lot of fun when done with the right person in the right situation! If you do plan to pursue a colleague, make sure to have fun, set boundaries, and be safe! 

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