It's that time of year again. The time when holiday music blares in every restaurant, grocery store and e-card. The time when everyone sincerely swears they, too, saw mommy kissing Santa Claus. The time when office workers toss their inhibitions into the recycled air ventilator winds and get down and dirty at the holiday party. It's the time for tips and advice about sexing it up with coworkers. Mistletoes, dishes filled with red and green Hershey's Kisses, tinsel hanging over cubicle partitions, and cheap eggnog after the close of business act like Spanish Fly to too many members of a socially starved workforce. When it comes to hooking up at office shindigs, there is only one piece of advice worth giving or getting about this subject: Unless it's already true love (or damn close to it), don't do it.
Call me prissy (it won't hold up in court), call me a prude (uh...ok), call me a good worker (why, thank you), gettin' down with coworkers creates an environment that isn't conducive to professional ethics. And those ethics are expected to be present the very next morning, when you're still trying to remember where you left your bra.
Office party hookups make you look bad, sad, and had. Sex with coworkers blurs the line between public respectability and private desperation. Career-wise, if you keep your knickers on, you're more likely to move ahead when the time comes. That other coworker, the one who used the maintenance closet for a drunken quickie and went home with a Lysol-stained back pocket? They'll be fetching your mail down the line. For women, this is twice as true. A man who works his way around the office can tell back-patting tales at happy hour, then go home to work his way through the internet dating pool. A female coworker who gets it on with colleagues will be known as a slut. Once the holidays are over and the new year rolls in, nobody remembers how much they ate, how badly they danced, or even how much they drank. But they will -- 100 percent guaranteed -- remember that you got freaky. Rumors will circulate, eyes will follow you, whispers will linger in your wake, and you'll never live it down. Plus, few humiliations compare to HR dragging you in for "a little talk."
If you choose to disregard allll this pretty wisdom and hookup anyway... 1) Don't blame it on booze. If you drank enough to even try that excuse, you look bad anyway. 2) Don't blame it on the holidays. That's a sad excuse for getting used, then waking up alone to relive it through a hangover. Unlike sex with someone you actually like and get to date, next-day visions of a naked conference room tango with Bill from the 3rd floor do not give you the warm fuzzies. 3) Don't blame it on 'needing some.' Great sex will not come from a romp with your sauced boss on top of the Xerox machine. And if it does, your standards are really low.
So there it is, your DON'T HOOK UP AT THE OFFICE HOLIDAY PARTY excuse checklist. Granted, it's a list of excuses you shouldn't use, but smarties like you get the point.
For more holiday season tips, click here for more from Huffington Post's Living!