Sexual Tension in the Workplace

Sex between co-workers can have positive or negative effects on job effectiveness and productivity.
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The average person, regardless of gender, thinks about sex multiple times a day, according to With evidence such as this, it’s easy to conclude that both men and women enjoy engaging in sexual activities. With Americans today often spending more time at the office than ever, it seems only natural that romantic and sexual tension and relationships will occur between co-workers.


    Many people are heavily motivated by sex. The possibility for sexual relationships to develop or continue at work can cause an employee to have good attendance and look her best because she wants to see and impress a prospective mate on a daily basis. Sexual tension can also motivate an employee to increase her job productivity and aspire for promotion if she believes this will make her stand out and become desirable to the one she’s interested in.


    According to ABC News, most people prefer monogamous relationships to casual sex. This is good news to employers because it can often mean less drama around the office. People in healthy, committed relationships often feel supported and encouraged by their partner. Gallup Business Journal reports that this positive well-being is likely to carry into someone's work life as well. This is beneficial because employees with a sense of well-being are more productive and creative as well as better at handling stress and change.


    For those people looking for casual sex with multiple co-workers or for relationships that just didn’t work out, many possible problems can arise. A study by ABC News reported that 12 percent of participants admitted to having sex at work. Thirty-seven percent of the respondents who reported cheating on their significant other said they did so with a co-worker. This obviously can cause major tension and problems around the office, including jealous and hostile behavior between co-workers. Sexual or romantic relationships that end badly can result in sadness, guilt, fear, anger, and -- in extreme cases -- sexual harassment or accusations of it.


    Although many employers now turn a blind eye to romantic relationships between employees, there is still discrimination in regard to what kinds of relationships are acceptable. In 2012, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs reported over 2,000 hate crimes against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer and HIV-affected populations. It’s important to keep in mind that these are only the reported cases and many more likely occurred. With potential danger such as this present, many non-heterosexual people are fearful to openly have sexual relationships with co-workers, and those who do risk becoming victims of discrimination.

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