Sleeping with your coworkers can be a tricky business. (Just ask Melanie Griffith halfway through "Working Girl.") But according to a recent survey conducted by Business Insider, a whole lot of people get romantically (or physically) involved with their colleagues.
We were curious about the realities of office sex -- did most people have positive experiences? Terrible ones? Were these interactions just sexual flings or did they turn into extended romantic relationships? So we asked HuffPost readers, both male and female, to chime in and share their stories.
"Sometimes we give each other that look of 'if only they knew.'"
He technically isn’t a co-worker, we just work in the same building. All the women in the building talk about him and how good looking he is. I obviously agreed, though I never thought that flashing a smile here and there and having quick flirty conversations every once in awhile would lead to anything. Eventually, he asked me out and we went out a couple of times before we hooked up. It isn't anything serious and it’s still going on. We both agreed that we would NEVER mention our situation to anyone at work because people would most definitely gossip about us. When we are around each other at work, we just act normal and sometimes we give each other that look of "if only they knew."
I don’t think there is anything wrong [with office sex] if you can keep your work and personal life separate. I think our arrangement works because we aren't look to be in a relationship, we are just having fun.
--24-year-old woman, Boston
"The thought of doing it right there where people work was intense"
We had just started dating and we worked in a computer room. We first worked together -- she was my supervisor. Then she was transferred to a different department but still worked in the same computer room. A couple of things happened. We worked nights frequently. We would flirt around constantly, playing little games like giving each other dirty handwritten notes or playing grab-a** as we passed by each other while no one was looking. One night when the two of us were alone in the office the games started getting really heavy we were outside of the computer room in an open office area and she laid down on the floor then we stripped each other's clothes off just enough. And then we started having sex. It was a bit tough at times because she complained about the carpet on her body and it was hurting my knees as well. But it was so hot that [the carpet] didn't stop us. The thought of doing it right there where people work was intense. Afterwards when we would see each other in the area during the day we'd give each other an evil grin -- like, "oh yeah we did!"
--50-year-old man, California
"Dynamics change when sex is involved"
Dan took me under his wing at my first attempt at working retail; fresh out of college I thought I'd struck workplace gold. He was a year or two younger than me but we shared similar interests and he was approachable enough to ask questions when I couldn't figure something out. After a few months, our flirty exchanges had grown into a friendship. One day Dan asked me on a date after work, and I accepted not thinking much of it. I had just gotten out of a bad relationship and I could use a drink or five.
I'd never dated a co-worker, never thought I would, and I definitely didn't want to date him. Dan was cute enough to flirt with when work got boring and nice enough to talk to on a break, but that was it. We had a few drinks too many, one thing led to the other and next thing you know we are romping in his bedroom somewhere in Jersey. My first one night stand (because I wouldn't do that again) and my first and only fling with him. The next morning I woke up casually, pulled myself together and he escorted me all the way back into the city. I knew he wanted something more, and that was something I just couldn't give him. I'd made it clear to him that that day was a one-time deal.
Things at work got weird. His demeanor toward me shifted. He would get mad at me in front of clients if I took too long to respond to him, if I seemed uninterested or if I was plain too busy with work. I confronted him about how unprofessional it was and he'd say "sorry" but would continue making comments here and there, giving me dirty looks, or confronting about things in fits of jealousy. After this experience I am wary of creating any sort of relationship other than a professional one with co-workers. Things tend to get tricky when you spend so many hours of your day around a set of people and dynamics somehow change when sex is involved.
--25-year-old woman, Miami
"The interview almost immediately felt like a date"
I needed a job quickly as I had just gotten laid off from an office job. I found myself outside the doors of a restaurant. I was reluctant, but went in an applied for a job. I was interviewed my the manager on the spot, [and the] interview almost immediately felt like a date. It was casual with lots of laughter and I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation.
Four months later, I received a phone call around 8 o'clock from this manager. We spoke for quite literally 12 hours. The very next night, I was over his apartment and it feels like I have never left since. I ended up moving to a new restaurant as my staying would jeapordize his job -- but we've been married for a year and together for six years!
--28-year-old woman, Arizona
"Everything was fine -- until we broke up"
So I was a professional musical theater actress for a while and I was dating a fellow cast member during a dance-intensive show. Everything was fine -- until we broke up. Since he was the largest man and I was the smallest woman in the cast, we had many dance lifts together during the show, the sort of death defying pick-you-up-and-spin-you-over-my-head sort. Needless to say, he got vindictive and dropped me several times during rehearsal. It was childish and stupid, and gave me more than a few bumps and bruises. I wouldn't recommend dating your lift partner. Believe me, it doesn't turn out well. Fortunately the director took note and he wasn't given dance roles after that.
--23-year-old woman, Seattle
"Today he is still with his wife and I have raised our son singlehandedly."
I 'hooked up' with a co-worker. We both worked for a large, multi-national company. Many of the (male) staff spent their week away from home and returned home over the weekend. We ended up sharing a house and I used to take him to the airport on Friday evenings and pick him up on Monday morning! That was over 20 years ago. Today he is still with his wife and I have raised our son singlehandedly.
[My son is] a successful young man now at university getting a math degree. He has never seen or spoken to his father! Will they ever meet? How would his father feel? How would my son feel? I loved my son's father and don’t know if we will ever meet again. Life has gone on and my son has only ever bought me joy. He is a product of an affair, illegitimate and unplanned. Yet this has never been an obstacle in his life or prevented him from being the intelligent, kind, funny and successful young man that he is. My heart has ached over the years but now it has healed.
--53-year-old woman, England
"I cheated on my boyfriend with one of the managers at my old job"
I cheated on my boyfriend with one of the managers at my old job. I ended up breaking it off with my boyfriend and marrying my manager! When my boss found out we were dating, my hours were cut from 20+ hours a week to five hours a week. He also made my time there absolutely miserable so I quit and found a new job: motherhood.
--21-year-old woman, Seattle
"Perks of the job, I suppose"
When I got my first job after uni (managing a small country pub), I had a few female co-workers. One I fancied like mad but she wasn't interested. Another was young and impressionable, and I'll happily admit was infatuated with me. We often shared drinks after work and spent the nights on the sofa in the bar.
Perks of the job, I suppose!
--25-year-old man, England
"Our relationship was against company policy, so we had to keep it hidden"
I've slept with a co-worker. We were in college, we had all the same friends and [we] hung out after work. One night after a handle of vodka the inevitable happened. In fact, it happened about four times that night. And then every day after that. We broke up a few weeks later. Working together was so awkward. He brought another girl to work one evening and I freaked out a little.
We got back together. He got promoted. Our relationship was against company policy, so we had to keep it hidden, even from our friends that we saw every night. [Eventually], he quit his job and we "came out" at the company party. Everyone was shocked. We've been together eight years and got married in February!
--30-year-old woman, Houston
"The entire time, my mind kept repeating, 'this is bad, you shouldn't be doing this'"
I am very conscious about keeping my personal and professional lives separate. However, one night, a co-worker and I ended up grabbing a couple drinks. It was meant to be just a couple post-work drinks, vent about the day, etc., but those drinks took us to a dark, poorly-lit bar oozing with sexual chemistry and pockets of isolation.
Then, one of those movie moments happened: he put his hand around my waist, I put mine on his shoulder. He looked down at me and I looked up, and then, it happened -- this incredible, inappropriate, "I know I shouldn't be doing this" kiss. It then morphed into, "let's go to your place" which then led to the most erotic, shameful and amazing sex I'd had up until that point. The entire time, my mind kept repeating "this is bad, you shouldn't be doing this, this is just stupid" but my body was loving every second of it. I haven't indulged since, but it's definitely one of the most intense experiences I've had.
--30-year-old woman, Oregon