Tag Archive | They (2002 film)

Sex in the Workplace

Cover of 2001 edition of Minding the Store, UN...

Cover of 2001 edition of Minding the Store, UNT Press (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stanley Marcus, the son of one of the founders for Neiman-Marcus, married a buyer at the famed store. Yet even still, he cautioned against fraternizing in the workplace in one of his famed memoirs. (He has two that I read a couple of decades ago: “Quest for the Best” and “Minding the Store,” I presume it was in the latter.)

Many times I have had clients or friends talk to me about sex in the workplace and while it does make sense it is important to be extremely cautious and very guarded about your behaviors.

First it makes sense because you are spending eight hours/day, five days a week, years on end with these people. You are joking, flirting, going to lunch, travelling together, team-building and even sharing intimate details of your life with these folks. They are like your family – except they are not. This is why we often cross the line. When you begin to become so intimate with people, they start to look sexy. This happens with clients and their therapists all the time. When you are being nurtured by a certain person or persons, you grow to love them – or at least think you do. In the workplace you are not leaving, unless you or they quit.

If you begin to have or are considering a triste with one of these folks, keep some things in mind.

1. No matter how exciting this becomes – DO NOT share it with your co-workers.

Be Advised – Your co-workers already know you are having sex with someone before you even have sex with them.  Remember they know you inside and out and don’t need to be a therapist to pick up on the subtle cues: eye movements, body language, extra time in their office, sneaking phone calls, your sudden elevated change in appearance, new perfume, long lunch dates, etc…

2. See if you can change departments (if you work in the same unit).

If this is your boss or their boss, you are now a CIA agent and must only offer up information on a “Need to Know Basis.” Your colleagues won’t appreciate the fact that you no longer indulge in daily gossip but you are now intimate with the guy/gal on top, pardon the pun, and must respect their position of authority, as if you were in their shoes. You are still being considered for promotions and evaluations, so if this doesn’t work out, don’t be surprised if you are suddenly put in a different area. It is only sexual harassment if it is quid pro quo – you do this for me and I will do that for you. If you choose to engage in sex with a boss, or higher up, you can’t expect there won’t be a fallout in the end, just as there would be if you didn’t work with them and it ended badly.

3. Do not ride to work together in the same car. Even if you did sleep at their house.

4. Do not attend company functions together.

5. Remember to continue behaving like a professional at all times.

6. Go to lunch or dinner out-of-town not in the same area where all your co-workers go. Look for out-of-the-way, hidden areas, if there are any or just wait till after work and meetup about 20 miles away.

7. Don’t be impatient – the longer you have to wait, the better it will be. Focus on your job, take your mind off the other person during those 8 hours.

Put the event date/time on your personal calendar that gives you an alarm so you know when it is time to think about the person once more. Once you know it is handled, go back to counting widgets, do your budgets, create a new spreadsheet, anything to occupy your mind on something dull (The initial phase eluding to, night one and then after having sex really does take people into another dimension. You have to work extra hard at being deceptive in the beginning.)

8. Anyone who still thinks sex will get them a promotion, doesn’t really think highly of themself. Learn how to do your job properly and get a raise on your paycheck.

9. OMG – don’t post it on FB, LinkedIn, Twitter, or any other internet outlet. Obviously you don’t want to put photos online either.

10. PLEASE USE BIRTH CONTROL – playing around = safe sex not getting pregnant or worse. If you don’t take control, you lose control.

These are all common sense ideas that we all know and say “duh” to but believe me, all these rules are broken when someone thinks “THEY” are special and are the one. You have lust, raw emotions and passion that comes from a build-up of tension in the workplace, it is rarely love.

What screws up the relationship is when it becomes everyone’s business in the workplace. This ends the affair quickly when one of the parties gets a reality check imagining the unemployment line.

What strengthens and continues a workplace relationship is when no one knows. What drives a long-term career romance is the seduction, the secrecy, the shared efforts in hiding the liaison.

Think with your head not with your heart.  If you are thinking with your heart at least pay attention to these rules. Workplace romance is one of the most erotic fantasies that are played out in the real world. It is also very unsafe and can cause job dissatisfaction, not to mention loss of one’s job, income and career aspirations. Is it really worth it?  Yes it is (for passion’s sake) but are you in it just for sex or for a long term committment? If you wish to have the latter, you really have to play by the rules and become a different person in the office.  If you are just in it for sex, at least have some integrity with your position [at the office]. Don’t make your sex life front page news.

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For Men Only – Investing in a Woman

This is not about spending money on chocolates or flowers or rings.  It is about the time and energy spent on finding the right woman.  Men complain just as much as women about the kind of people they meet.  I also hear them saying they always seem to meet the same type of woman.  We are both responsible for the choices we make, the energy we give out (how we behave), our standards and ethics in choosing.  Most of us put too much time and energy on getting each other in bed and the reality is – this is not the way to get the right person in your life.  AND it takes two to tango.

So if you want to find the right woman then you have to invest time in trying to find out who she is rather than what she is wearing under her outfit.  This comes from really getting to know the woman on your dates before taking her onto the mattress.  What does she want out of life?  What is she saying and not saying?  Does she seem to be grounded in her goals for the future or be very unsure of herself?  How does she see and view men? How does she talk to you?  If the two of you are in bed on the first date or even the first few there is no one to blame but each other.  Long term relationships are not made from sex but in getting to know each other and falling in love first.  Marriages fail because we get caught up in looks and sex appeal – this gets really old when there is not much else.  The really important things in life are communication, chemistry, common interests (some rare couples enjoy the opposite of each other), commitment to the same values and goals in life.

1. Education – Men who are uneducated complain that women want a man who is.  If she is, this makes sense because she wants an equal.  If she is not, she is hoping to learn something from you.  I wouldn’t take this personally if she is not educated herself and I doubt she will put much energy in to it.  If she does, you have to wonder what her agenda is. If you don’t have whats on the agenda, let it go.

2. Money – Yes, a woman wants a man who is financially secure. We don’t have that many generations of women who are raised career first, marriage second.  So there is still that guideline that we must expect a man to take care of us.  Men still have this expectation too – that they will financially take care of the family, so it is important that if you are hoping to find a woman to have a family with, you will be clear that this costs money.  Again, if she comes from money, of course it makes sense that she is not going to trade down and live a lifestyle she is not accustomed to.  If not she comes from a generation (or family) where women expect the man to make more than they do.  There is nothing wrong with this but be careful what she expects from you financially before you are even married.  I’ve always felt it was a little unsettling when I learned of women who had credit cards from boyfriends, especially those who were not well off.  Have some common sense and focus on her demands.  A woman with class and ethics knows better than to expect expensive gifts from a man when there is no proposal on the table.

3. Space – Women who are too clingy and obsessed with your every move are looking for someone to take care of them as well as be their parent and therapist.  However if this is happening after the relationship is under way and you have not been faithful – she is not stupid either.  Women have intuition that they listen to, some men pay attention to this and some don’t.  Men who are obsessed with a woman’s every move is often a sign of a batterer.  A relationship should be between two people who are interested in each others company. It should also be about two people who allow each other the space to have their life (career and friends, hobbies) outside of the one they have together.

How to tell if a woman wants to go out with you?

If you are amongst friends and a woman is talking with you, this doesn’t mean she is anxious to be on a date with you.  Maybe the topic is interesting to her, perhaps she is being polite or just likes to talk.  If a woman is interested in going on a date with you, she will make an attempt to be near you and make the conversation more intimate.  She will ask questions of you, find out if you are single, maybe even be bold enough to ask if you could get together sometime for coffee.  There is chemistry – certain looks being exchanged across the table that are reciprocated.  Not sexual looks but a smile, something going on between your eyes.  If you are interested in a woman you should tell her when you meet her (if she hasn’t already) before she leaves – but only if it appears she is interested in you.  If she leaves and hasn’t been asked or doesn’t seem to care, let it go.  Don’t confuse friendliness with chemistry.  Maybe you are just easy to talk to.  That doesn’t mean you belong together in matrimony.

Don’t give women gifts that you don’t know.  If you are taking her out on a date, it is about getting to know each other.  You don’t need to bring things, just be kind enough to pay for the meal (unless she is very modern and has stated she will pay or you will go “Dutch”).  I think the first time a couple goes out – if it is just lite like coffee, going “Dutch” makes more sense, as well as meeting there.  This way there has been no expectations and if being together alone isn’t interesting to one or either of you, you can leave without any hang-ups.  It wasn’t in the cards.  If it did work out and you both accept another date, then take it up a notch and pay for the meal – but still I wouldn’t bring gifts just yet.

Gifts are awkward if you don’t really know the person that well.  Red roses are something to be given to a woman you are in love with. On a first date it signifies way too many expectations and insecurity.  What if she doesn’t even like flowers or is allergic?  This is why it is important to not give gifts until you have gotten to know the woman and really have a sense of who she is. After you have gotten to know a woman, give her some small token that has something to do with what she has told you.  This shows you have been listening.  This can work against you too – if you aren’t really paying attention.  For example, I love astrology and have taken courses in college and with astrologers.  I find it very patronizing when some guy or even a gal pal has given me a beginner’s book on Astrology as a present.  It shows they really don’t know who I am and have obviously not been paying attention to the advanced level books I have on my shelf.  My very good friend has a saying “When you think flowers, send chocolate.”  She hates flowers.  If a guy were to give her flowers anyway, he would lose her immediately because he was not listening, just doing something for the sake of it.

Lastly, don’t assume because a woman is gorgeous you have to have her.  One thing I have learned about walking across the room and talking to a great looking guy is that after he opens his mouth, his level of quality can go down.  The same goes for a woman.  You don’t HAVE to HAVE the most beautiful woman to impress your friends. If that is what you need, you deserve the unhappy life that will entail (if she is not really the right person for you).  What is aesthetically beautiful doesn’t mean long lasting life.  Otherwise you might as well live in an art museum. Unless you are extremely confident in yourself and have a lot to offer the very beautiful woman (looks, money, education, intelligence), she can probably get that man without any problems.  I find it very odd when not so handsome men think they can have any woman they want – because they have money and/or a big ego. This is very time consuming to brush them off and a waste of each others time.

The beautiful woman in the room is being looked at by everyone.  Whomever she has chemistry with will know it.  Focus on meeting people in the room and seeing who you spark with.

Paying attention to what is happening during the course of the interaction will go a very long way.  Focus with your eyes and ears not your ego and you will fare much better in finding the right woman.  Take your time to get to know her on dates before taking it further sexually.  Know what you want in a relationship – write it down because by doing so you take the time to actually think it out. Find out common interests, goals, families, wishes and dreams.  Take time to fall in love.  Then take it to the next step.