Is everyone just sleeping with their coworkers? Maybe not, but we should probably start discussing the topic.
Last month, Businessweek columnist Liz Ryan challenged us to start finding ways to talk about -- and properly address -- the realities of sex in the workplace. "It shouldn’t really surprise us that people get crushes on their co-workers and sometimes take it to the next level," she wrote. "But we don’t talk about love and lust at work. We don’t acknowledge that people sometimes act on their office attractions, even though it happens all the time."
Business Insider took Ryan's challenge seriously and ran a survey asking 2,500 B.I. readers for their opinions on and experiences with workplace sex.
Even though the survey is not necessarily representative of the population as a whole -- only people who happened upon the survey on Business Insider and chose to participate were included -- it does provide some interesting takeaways. Here are a few of the highlights:
--People overwhelmingly agreed that sleeping with coworkers should be allowed, and even more people agreed that hooking up with colleagues you don't work directly with was a-OK. More specifically, over 50 percent of people said that sleeping with coworkers is fine as long as it's "handled professionally" and doesn't involve an innapropriate power dynamic. Contrary to the "don't sh*t where you eat" truism we often hear, only 10 percent of people said that they thought sex with coworkers was always a bad idea.
--Participants were much less permissive when it came to to sleeping with one's subordinates. Sixty-four percent of participants said that manager-employee sexy time shouldn't happen.
--The vast majority of participants said they have been attracted to someone they work with (about 90 percent of participants), and 64 percent have made a move on a coworker. However, over 50 percent of people reported not pursuing someone because of the work connection.
--People perceive that sleeping with coworkers is less common than it actually is. Thirty-nine percent of participants surmised that 20-40 percent of their coworkers had hooked up with another coworker, while 24 percent guessed that the statistic was somewhat lower or higher. In reality, over 50 percent of people reported having slept with someone they worked with.
Click over to Business Insider to read the rest of the survey results.
We'd love to hear your experiences with sex, love and attraction at work. If you've ever flirted with, hooked up with, slept with or dated a coworker (regardless of whether the experience was good or bad), we want to hear your story. Send a paragraph or two about it to email@example.com, and since these stories will be published anonymously, please also send your age and location for context.