One night after a work drinks thing, a co-worker and I snuck back to the office and had sex on this couch in my boss's office. It's a really stupid-looking white leather couch that everyone always jokes about being the casting couch or whatever, and in our tipsy state we thought it would be hilarious to actually have sex on it. I woke up the next morning feeling super paranoid—I REALLY can't lose this job. My mind was like, what if there were cameras? What if he knows? But my co-worker still just thinks it's hilarious. He's been telling people and making jokes about it around our boss. I've asked him to stop but he doesn't. Can I really get fired if my boss finds out? Should I be worried about this? I know it's stupid but I can't stop fixating on it.
Oh sheesh. I know you're feeling bad enough already but honestly: this is why you don't shit where you eat! Or fuck where your boss has a creepy white leather couch! I'm guessing technically you can get fired for having sex in your boss's office? I mean, it's not illegal and I don't know what your particular employee handbook says, but I imagine that type of thing is frowned upon by HR. Really, though, I wouldn't worry too much about this.
Unless they're looking for a reason to give you the boot, I doubt that anyone would pursue it, particularly in an office culture that allows for white leather couches and after-work drunken hookups. It would be difficult to make a case—even if there are cameras, I can't imagine anyone could prove it was you. Like most officey things, you can get away with a lot if you're doing your job well. It's sort of like how technically you can get fired for looking at Facebook at work but everybody does it anyway, and they only get the IT guys to spy on people they already want to fire. Most likely you will just be the epicenter of some exciting office gossip, especially if your co-worker is going around telling people. That guy sounds like a douche, but I guess he doesn't think it's something either of you can get fired over.
Odds are good that your boss will find out though. And even if he doesn't care/can't prove it actually happened, that could possibly damage your career in the longer term. I suspect it might be hard to take seriously someone who you know has had sex on your couch. And, even though it's completely not fair, it is often true that women have to face harsher consequences for shit like that. I don't know what industry you're in, but if it's one that is dude-dominated, doing things that aren't "professional" can mean that co-workers and especially bosses don't take you as seriously, even if that kind of stuff doesn't stick to guys at all. It fucking sucks, but that doesn't make it not true. Not to say you can't do whatever you want, but just something to be aware of. So y'know, live and learn, don't fixate on it, and probably everything will blow over and be fine, but pretty please next time fuck your co-worker in a bar bathroom or something, ok?
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Illustration by Mike Force