How to sleep with a coworker

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Sneaking into the unoccupied conference room on your lunch break...leaving dirty Polaroids under each other's keyboards...doing it on your boss's desk while he or she is in the Hamptons. Dipping your pen in the company inkwell may not be exactly encouraged in the modern workplace, but most of us have dipped at least once. It used to be that love on the clock was for the executive married man and his young female secretary only; these days, fortunately, we all have a shot at dating in the workplace. So here's how to do it right.

1. We mean it when we say "coworker." Sex between a boss and his or her underling involves far too many messy power dynamics which invariably get abused. Not to mention the inevitable resentment such insider trading stirs among the staff members who choose to keep their pants on. Stick with someone on the same rung of the corporate ladder. Even better if they're in a different department. (Video: Have You Ever Had Sex with a Co-Worker?)

2. Before making moony eyes at a coworker, think of the situation in the same way you would if you were about to hit on a bartender at your favorite local bar: Am I prepared to drink elsewhere if it all goes pear-shaped? (Because, given the odds, you'll both move on within a few months.) Your decision will depend on the happy hour specials or end-of-year bonuses, as well as on the potential of the relationship. Obviously you should risk less for a one-night stand than for a chance at true love, which comes along less often than a charming little watering hole or a decent job offer...

3. If you decide to take the risk, then set some boundaries and come to a few understandings. For example: What happens outside of work, stays outside of work; there will be no abuse of power, no sexual harassment, and no sexual harassment law suits; there will be no special treatment or undeserved promotions; when you meet up after work, there will be a set deadline at which point all shoptalk must cease, etc. Of course, you can't predict the erratic behavior of the psychotic co-workers you choose to bed, you can only be responsible for your own good behavior and pray for the best. Again, that is the risk of mixing business with pleasure. (It certainly is a risk, but there are surprising benefits to an office affair.)

4. When it comes to coitus with a cubicle colleague, the secrecy is undeniably at least half its provocative appeal. Obviously, there are myriad reasons not to dispatch a company-wide memo after the first interlude: If it ends within two weeks, you do not want everyone else feeling awkward; it is infinitely easier to abscond to the copier room for a quickie if no one suspects your motives; perhaps it is frowned upon by your HR department; perhaps you are new at the company and do want your reputation marred early on; or maybe you do not want all the office gossips spying on those awkward first few conversations at the water cooler. The most important reason, of course, is that you don't want to kiss and tell if it would embarrass your new pookums or potentially harm (or at least alter) their professional reputation.

Find tips 5-7 for bedding your coworker here!