Sexual tension in the workplace is probably an inevitability for all of us at least once in our careers.
“Sexual intercourse is a grossly over-rated pastime; the position is undignified, the pleasure momentary, and the consequences utterly damnable” Lord Chesterfield
Despite Chesterfield’s opinion of one of the things involved, many people are fans of sexual tension. It can of course be exhilarating and pleasing, much in the same way as any romantic connection can. There is the added twist of risk but the added advantage that seemingly innocent excuses can be found for crossing paths with a favoured colleague. As with all relationships, complications ensue – however, there are ways to enjoy things whilst at the same time not damage your professional reputation, productivity or promotional prospects.
Flirting can be a lot of fun, and is often a low-key way to make a connection with someone, either out of client focus or out of a desire to find out more about what someone is like. It is also relatively risk-free, no one has ever been sued for sexual harassment for flirting. Like anything though, flirting can go too far, but if it’s piece-by-piece this risk is diminished immensely. Most people do like to be flirted with, whether this flirting takes the form of charm, attention or just a pleasing conversation that is not immediately within the bounds of work or shares a joke. Flirting may seem like a daunting prospect, but if you are a bit confident (or sound it) this will help, have a few stories and ideas about things and express them at the right moment. Often it’s all in the timing, so if you are wanting to see it done well, watch actors do it on telly or comedians on panel shows, and just see how they do it.
The main thing with any relationship forming is to listen. I would still advise responding to what happens in whatever way is appropriate, but it could only be a smile or a nod.
3. Make a connection
This can be regarded as a step on from flirting, and is closer to building a longer-term relationship, either for something romantic or just a client/supplier one. Either way this is the time when your experience in relationships and ability to listen will come to the fore, and your ‘feel’ for how things are going will be helpful to you. This may sound daunting but again, it’s not – just let it happen. You will enjoy it as much as you want to.
4. Be affectionate
Small actions can also be of great importance here. But again, take your time, no matter how much you may want to take things further quickly it may be best to establish a connection which is clearly not work-based before doing this – just so do not get hurt.
So, that bit extra can occur and be useful, but above all do not worry and stay in control. Do not feel you should get involved in something you do not want, but equally do not let think they will have something they will not. Enjoy