Love, Sex, Power, and Work


Welcome back to the mid-1990s in America where everyone is riled up over mediocre sex. John Edwards. Anthony Weiner. We are offended! We are expressing righteous indignation! We have a right to scold politicians who behave badly!


But this isn’t 1995 — and it’s disappointing to know that we still lack the intelligence and subtlety in our language to properly discuss love & sex at work.


So first of all, let’s get the obvious out of the way. Americans are weird. We pretend that work is noble, righteous, passionate, and meaningful. We throw our heart and souls into a job even though our employers would gladly replace us with robot monkeys if they could. We don’t have healthcare. We don’t take vacations.

And the problem with work is that it is rarely noble and it is hardly ever righteous. Most of the time, our jobs are meaningless. The only thing that makes our jobs more interesting is sex — or the possibility of companionship and love.

This applies to politicians, doctors, lawyers, and plumbers. And I can’t tell you how many ‘office crushes’ got me through the worst HR jobs in America.

Unfortunately, crappy employee litigation and stupid HR departments have forced us to pretend that sex & love are something that shouldn’t happen in the office. It is not appropriate. Stop fucking around (literally) and get back to work.

But love is happening daily. And it’s beautiful. I met my husband at work. Bill Gates met his wife at work. I watched a waitress at The Waffle House flirt with the cook. And I’m pretty sure Newt Gingrich met one of his three wives at work.

The heart wants what the heart wants, right? Even at work.


Now listen, before you  yell at me, there is no room for inappropriate behavior — ever. But it’s dudes like David Vitter, John Ensign, John Edwards, and Anthony Weiner who ruin sex & love & flirting for the rest of us. Because these dudes screwed up and abused their power, we have to pretend even harder that it’s wrong for two regular people (like you and me) to hook up at work. Or flirt. Or sext. Or whatever.

So the lesson of these flawed politicians might be as simple ask this: make sure you are an adult before you hook up with someone at work. Don’t stalk anyone. Don’t tweet your junk. And stop fucking it up for the rest of us. As the resident HR chick around here, I am sick of doing situation-based sexual harassment training courses because some dude behaved badly.

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