Why Sex in the Workplace Is a Terrible Idea

"I lay awake in the hospital bed in Paris all night considering the blowjob that might cost me a leg."

by Jesse Donaldson
Aug 3 2016, 5:00pm

Pam and Jim definitely hit it at work. Still from 'The Office'

Admit it: The idea of having sex at work sounds pretty awesome.

There's certainly no shortage of people doing it; recently, Business Insider (that sexiest of publications) conducted a survey that found that 54 percent of respondents had screwed a colleague, and that almost half of those encounters took place on work property. Even more recently, health-insurance startup Zenefits had to circulate an email pleading with employees to quit fucking in their stairwells. And why not? It sounds fun. Dangerous. The stuff of Penthouse Forum (remember that, fellow 30-somethings?), or mediocre porn series. And often, it is.

But not always.

Because sometimes, sex at work can go very, very badly. From the simply embarrassing to the downright life-threatening, we've rounded up stories from folks who experienced firsthand the pitfalls of interoffice intercourse.

My boyfriend and I worked together at the provincial legislature, and one day we decided to take advantage of a shared lunch hour by having some sex. We scouted the floor in advance and decided the men's staff bathroom was the least likely place we'd get caught. We took one of the two stalls, put a towel down on the lid where he sat, and I hopped on. We were having a great time when we heard the door open. As quick as we could, we brought our legs up and pressed our feet against either side of the stall and waited.

We probably looked like two people playing spider on the swings, and keep in mind that we were still, um, mid-insertion at this point. Did the intruder go to the urinal? Or the sink to wash his hands? No, of course he made a bee-line to the neighboring stall for a hearty after-lunch dump.

I have no idea how long we sat there, suspended in our spider, legs up, listening to this dude take a lengthy shit while trying not to laugh, breathe, or gag. Finally, he left, and we sat there for a minute, trying to decide if we wanted to keep at it. You'd think the sounds and smells would have deterred us, but ultimately they didn't. We figured we'd earned it. Later in the day, I recognized the intruder by his shoes. I wasn't ever able to look at him again without being reminded of that awkward combo of sex and poop.

—Tina, 31

Not your average office romance. Still from the movie 'Secretary'

I took a summer contract in Toronto, and my boyfriend at the time came to visit. We were both into role-plays, but we had this cheap hotel room, so we couldn't engage in the fun, exciting stuff we wanted to do. But I also had keys to the workspace, and one room was this big, warehouse-type space. And I realized we could do some big, incredible scenes there.

So, one weekend, I set up this elaborate scenario for him. Let's just say it involved a lot of different bondage equipment that I'd set up around the room, as well as a bunch of dildos of varying sizes. It required me to dress up like a schoolteacher, and he was going to come dressed as an English student. And each of the dildos was meant to be another member of the faculty. It wasn't very discreet, but what the hell. It was a weekend, so nobody else was around. The room locked from the outside, so I hung the keys around my neck. I set up the room, the dildos, and the sawhorses and stuff, got dressed, and put on my dress shirt and tie. And I thought, OK, I'm going to run and grab a coffee. This could be a long afternoon. But as I walked out the door, I realized that the sensation around my neck wasn't in fact the key, but it was the tie I'd put on. I'd taken off the key and left it in the room. Which was now locked.

I was horrified. I thought: What the fuck am I going to do? There was this sign near the front desk that said: "In case of emergency, call security." And I did consider it for a second. But I couldn't think of a way to get them to open the door and not look in the room. What the hell would you say, anyway? "Hi, guys. I accidentally locked myself out!" Get them to unlock the door and slam it shut in their faces. "Thanks, guys! Look up here! Look in my eyes! Only into my eyes!" So security wasn't an option.

At this point, I was panicking. I ran to the admin area. Normally the door is locked, but that day, thank God, it was open. I ran behind the reception desk and grabbed every fucking key I could find. And I dashed back and tried to unlock the door, but of course, nothing worked. I don't know if there is security around, or if there are cameras. And of course, my boyfriend is due to arrive any minute. So I went back to the office and tossed the keys back, with no idea where they'd come from. Just threw them back down. I eventually made a short film about the experience, where we punched up the drama a bit more, but in real life, I just sank down in the administrator's chair. I used as much acting acumen as I could muster and said to myself: OK, I'm an administrator. I'm professional. I'm in charge of everything. I have a key to every door. If there's an emergency, I can respond to it. And I've left that key right.... HERE.

I looked down, and in front of her computer, poking out from under a stack of business cards, was one last key. I swear to God, there was a fucking choir of heavenly angels singing as I ran back down the hall and tried the door. And it worked. So I got back inside, threw the key around my neck, kissed a dildo for good luck, and put everything back where it came from. My boyfriend arrived a few minutes later, and everything worked out fine. He didn't have any complaints. Well, he did say: "Next time, if you're using dildos, warm them up in water first. That way, they feel more real." Pro tip.

Either way, I didn't tell him the story until way later.


When I was 18, I got a job at an all-natural weight-loss company. They sell pills and do diet plans with people. Clients come in three times a week to check in on their dietary goals. And there was this one guy who used to come in right before closing. He was in his 30s, and he had a wife and kids and everything. He was really sweet, and as he started losing weight, he'd thank me for all my help. And then he started bringing me little gifts. He was really sweet.

And then we started having sex at the store—like, all over the store. The way it was set up, there was a big open sales space, and a counter, and private rooms for consultations. And we had sex in all of those rooms. In the back rooms. In front. In the storage closet. All over the place. This went on for a couple of months, and eventually I put in my notice, and one day the owner offered to take me out for coffee, just to catch up and shoot the shit. And right after we sat down, she was like, "So I think I should tell you that we installed security cameras about six months ago." And I sort of just said, "Oh." Trying to be nonchalant. Because we'd always had the lights off. But of course, then she was immediately like, "Oh, and by the way, the cameras have night-vision. I just figured I should tell you because, well, his wife and I are on the PTA together."

Don't get me wrong, she was really nice about it. She was a good person and a free spirit. She made a point of saying, "You know, I really appreciate that you waited until closing time."

—Nora, 29

I was working for a pretty big tour company in Europe, and I'd been seeing this bartender in Amsterdam basically anytime I was in town. I'd stop in at his bar for a quick chat and sex during one of my breaks or sometimes after work. I showed up one day, and he asked if I could "help him with some boxes in the back." We went down to the bar's wine cellar and had sex against the unfinished rock walls.

At one point, I was blowing him, and it was dark, and I guess I was being pretty enthusiastic, so I didn't notice how rough the ground was on my knees. On the way out of the cellar, we realized that a piece of broken glass had wedged itself into my knee, and it was bleeding profusely.

I got cleaned up, and the wound healed well over the next week... or so I thought. Two weeks later, on a trip to Paris, I woke up with unbearable pain in my knee, which had swollen to double its usual size. Nearly vomiting from the pain, I went to the emergency room in a local hospital, where the doctors informed me that my test results indicated an infection that would be very dangerous should it get into my blood. They were going to do another test to see if they could contain the infection, but if they couldn't, they said the safest thing to do was to cut my fucking leg off just above the knee. Better to lose the the leg, they said, than risk the infection becoming life-threatening.

I lay awake in the hospital bed in Paris all night considering the blowjob that might cost a leg. I spent a week in the Paris hospital to recover and used crutches for another week. Thankfully, I was informed that they would be able to treat the infection before it posed any danger, but I'd already decided that my work route would never again pass by that bar in Amsterdam.

My family came out to see me. Plus, everyone at work and back home wanted to know what had happened. It was a pretty tough one to explain.

—Danielle, 29