I never thought I’d see the day, but over here at WTF?! we seem to be in a weird mind meld with Playboy, which launched their new, “safe-for-work” website at midnight. The Smoking Jacket (named for Hef’s signature lounge-about-the-mansion ensemble) boasts shorter, more sensational content than the magazine and NO pictures of naked women. The lead story on the site today? How To Get Laid At Work.
Crazy shit! Jess and I also had a long debate about whether and where to post all those NSFW nude photos of our Hot Sex Prospects. (that’s a joke. your pictures are safe with us, guys.) But the real reason I call attention to the mind-meld is that we’ve been talking about the do’s, don’ts and how-tos of office sexual politics here at WTF?! – most recently in the latest Ask Jess column. And we laid (ahem) the groundwork months ago when we started talking about that Career Booster in your dah.
Now. It is not recommended WTF?! policy that you should be TRYING to get it on at your place of work. “How To Get Laid At Work” is a Playboy-appropriate, rather callous, 10-step plan for office copulation (though the dirty deed itself, TSJ advises us, should never actually take place in the office, except in stairwells). The goal is sex, and the affair is doomed to failure, “due to profound incompatibility, dramatically divergent priorities or her husband.” But never fear, TSJ encourages YOU to move on and “start throwing smoky eyes at the new temp with the perky sweater puppies….”
Oh, male bravado! I can just imagine dorky (but lovable) Sam-in-accounting or socially awkward (but strangely handsome) Joe-in-IT reading these Smoking Jacket articles with wrapt attention. It’s still never gonna happen, guys!
As usual, in our post-dating world, interpersonal (and therefore intra-office) connections are more complex and ambiguous than TSJ would have us believe. The idea that office trysts are all about the broom-closet-menage-a-deux is a Mad Men-era anachronism (though to be fair, they did actually wear smoking jackets back then.) Jess & I devote time on this site to contemplating the ins-and-outs (ahem ahem) of workplace affairs, because the office is increasingly a main conduit to RELATIONSHIPS.
The people you work with are the people with whom you share the majority of your time. If you’re in a job you like, then your co-workers are people who have similar interests and passions as you. If you’re in a job that sucks, then your co-workers may be the only people in your life with whom you can commiserate. You do favors for each other. You see each other in good moods and in funks. Because you’re spending so much time together, you all have ample opportunity to surprise and bond with each other. ‘Til layoffs do you part. (and even then, it’s likely you’ll remain friends and professional contacts.)
TSJ is right about one thing: “Where else do people meet anymore? Americans work hard, and are working harder than ever before.” Therefore, the office, romantically speaking, is indeed where it’s at.
So we need to think long and hard (ahem x 3), about how to handle workplace friends, lovers, admirers, significant others and the occasional stalker. TSJ is informed enough to forbid you from having sex with your boss (DUH) (though the oggling-of-the-temp advice remains ethically questionable), but the article does not take a step far enough into the 21st century to recognize that you may really like Ted-in-sales. Or that Ted-in-sales might be giving more thought to how he can become your Boyfriend Prospect than he is to fantasizing about bending you over the photocopier. Or at least an equal amount of thought.
Bottom line: It’s 2010 and a lot of us have grown up. Women’s careers are taken seriously, and Ashton Kutcher is married to Demi Moore. Of course, the world is far from perfect, but we’d all be better served to think past office sex to the actual life-enriching potential relationships that surround us in our work lives. Even old Hef himself has gone monogamous for a (23-year-old) gal he met through work. Let’s be optimistic, not orgiastic, around the office.
But TSJ is right about one more thing. The workplace is rife with potential for group-non-dates. How to get the party started with the co-worker you admire? TSJ advises: “They call it “happy hour” because everybody is happy to stop acting like robots. Casually invite her with the usual dah of after work drunks.”
Thanks for the shout-out, dudes! Ladies and gentlemen of the workforce, whether it’s your Playboy dah of drunks or your WTF?! dah of guys, here’s to making Dating & Hookup work for you.
Rebecca Coale - aka Becky - is a writer, musician and producer. She and childhood best friend Jessica Donalds created Dating & Hookup and founded J&R Creative Media. Becky blogs about love poetry and modern life & womanhood. She lives with her husband, Howard Coale, and their family in Manhattan and Philadelphia.
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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