Should I even attend my office holiday party? Won’t me showing up, as a man, make everyone uncomfortable?
Good question, but simply being a man isn’t a crime. Yet.
Can I greet my female colleagues with “good morning,” or is that harassment?
It’s not harassment, but who holds a holiday party before noon?
Can I talk to my colleagues, or should I hide in a corner and work on my year-end evaluation?
Depends. Can you engage in conversation without whipping out your genitals or forcibly kissing an underling? It’s a difficult question, we know. If you succeed, be sure to note this in your evaluation.
Ah, good point! Not being a harasser is sure to get me promoted. I hear there are lots of jobs-for-white-men that are suddenly vacant.
Actually, it’s just baseline decent behavior. We know this is a shock, but you’re not guaranteed to rise in the ranks simply for existing.
Can I drink, or will that make me vulnerable?
Welcome to life as a woman; we are familiar with this concern.
My co-worker, she’s so hot. Surely, that dress is really saying: Show me your manhood.
No, no it is not. Ask yourself: What would Harvey Weinstein do? Now do the opposite.
Maybe she wants a massage?
She probably does, but not from you. Do not get her a gift certificate from Massage Envy, either.
Okay, but this co-worker. She really wants me.
She might! According to an OkCupid survey, 50 percent of singles have fantasized about hooking up with a co-worker at an office holiday party. Or she might not! Only 12 percent follow through on that fantasy.
I might be part of that 12 percent! How do I proceed?
Are you her boss?
Good answer! A few quick guidelines: Do not stick your tongue down her throat near the hors d’oeuvres platter. Do not pin her against a wall in front of your boss.
Got that. But how do I proceed?
Do you think the feeling might be mutual?
Ahh, you want me to consider her feelings. What an interesting concept.
Interesting? How about vital.
Hey, stop attacking me! I respect women — I’m a feminist! Yes, I think the feeling is mutual.
First of all, the feminist thing doesn’t mean … never mind. We’ll tackle that one another time. Before getting physical, state your intentions and get consent before moving in for a kiss.
Doesn’t that take the romance out of it?
Okay, okay. Tell me: How should I make a move in a way that is both masculine and respectful of her autonomy?
Now we’re getting somewhere! Sari Cooper, a sex therapist in New York who runs sessions to help men boost their “sex esteem” (yes, that’s a thing!), gave us some tips. She suggests expressing your desire in a way that gives the other person a chance to say yes or no. (What a concept!) For instance, you could say: “I’d love to take you out sometime. What would you say to that?” Or, if the moment is more intimate: “You have the most beautiful lips. What would you say if I kissed them?”
If she says no, or slaps you, there’s your answer. If she responds affirmatively, mazel tov.
If she says no, I just keep trying, right? That’s how it goes in the movies.
No, you stop pursuing her. Full stop. She’s not playing hard to get; she is rejecting you. You’ll get over it. And the movies, they’re part of this whole problem. …
What if a woman comes on to me? That means she’s desperate, right?
Argh. We have lots more work to do.