How to have an office romance

All affairs begin, occur, and end in a welter of body language signals that are always far too potent and obvious to mask with any ease There's something intrinsically funny about sex at work . Maybe it's the cultural clash, with offices that are primarily set up for logical, planned thinking and behavior suddenly suffering a tidal wave of unbridled emotions; or perhaps it's the way that employees who are normally responsible adults can turn into reckless teens keen to throw all caution to the winds as they start groping or even having sex at office parties or photographing their bare behinds on the office photocopier

It affects the highest in the land Who can forget the mental image created by stories of Monica Lewinsky and the cigar?

There's obviously a serious side to all this as well, but for anyone thinking of embarking on some workplace sexual shenanigans and expecting to be able to keep it all under wraps, here's your thought for the day: you won't!

Why not? Well, your body language will give you away Office or workplace environments tend to create a lot of in-tune people . There's a colony feel to the teams and groups that form and, like any animal colony, survival depends on the ability to read and sense one another's nonverbal messages Sexual nonverbal messages don't take a lot of sensing . For a start, there's a natural desire to pair people off. Every colony has its own speed-dating section and if two of its members tend to register as a possible match, their names will have come up in people's minds and they'll get monitored So, some simple points if you're trying to bury your affair: I Never ignore one another. Ignoring is the oldest trick in the book and the most easily discovered. Once you're into your affair or even just embarking on it you'll have an instinctive desire to overreact when the object of your affection's name is mentioned To suppress and mask this urge to blush, giggle, or suddenly pay massive attention you'll probably overly perform in the other direction and start ignoring them instead Far from throwing people off the scent, it will only increase speculation, especially if you're ignoring someone who sits at the next desk I Do arrive together . Arriving apart is the surest sign of guilt, especially if you're caught dropping your sex-mate off around the corner from the premises and making them walk the last bit There's something about sod's law, too, that says the more effort you put into arriving separately the more events will conspire to make you pitch up at the same time I know one couple who would split up about a mile from the premises and he'd finish the journey on a bike By the time she'd parked and he'd secured his bike again, they inevitably ended up colliding in the revolving doors at the front of the building

I Don't stare. Staring is an inevitable by-product of falling in love and lust, but you'll need to tone it down if you don't want to scream your affair from the rooftops If you can't help yourself there's only one way out: use exactly the same amount of eye contact on all your other colleagues I Do flirt . But just a bit . Flirting is quite natural in most companies, albeit in a nonsexual way, so suddenly stopping will look suspicious I Don't suddenly start flirting with other people. This doesn't throw coworkers off the scent; it just makes them swivel their gun-sights on to your partner to see how he or she is reacting Laughing maniacally while the person you love is draped over a colleague is a hard stunt to pull off

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