‘A senior colleague at work wants casual sex – I’m offended he thinks I’m ‘easy”

InLalalaletmeexplain's hit column, readers ask for her expert advice on their own love, sex and relationship problems.

With over 200k Instagram followers, Lala is the anonymous voice helping womankind through every bump in the road. An established sex, dating and relationship educator, she’s had her fair share of relationship drama and shares her wisdom on social media to a loyal army of followers. Every week thousands turn to her to answer their questions (no matter how embarrassing), and her funny, frank approach to love and relationships has made her the ultimate feel-good guru.

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Dear Lala,

A guy at work has propositioned me for sex after months of flirting and a sneaky kiss the other day. He has now told me that he wants no-strings sex, blatantly adding that there will be no dates, no calls, no texting, just sex. No spending time together after or before the sex. Literally just sex.

I’ve previously told him I’m not looking for a relationship and I don’t have the time or energy to get into anything with anyone right now. However, I’m quite shocked by his proposition – though not completely opposed. Does this mean he thinks I’m a sl*t?

We get along well but do you think it will change his opinion of me if I agree? I definitely wouldn’t want a relationship with him but can’t help feeling slightly gutted/offended that he doesn’t want more than sex from me, like I’m not good enough or he thinks I’m ‘easy’ or something. My gut is telling me not to, but I have to admit the idea does excite me. He's in a senior role and always has my back at work, so I value our friendship and I don’t want to ruin things.

Lala says…

Abort mission. This will not end well for you in my opinion. If this kind of arrangement suited you, then you wouldn’t even need to be writing in to ask this question. You wouldn't be worrying about what he might think of you, and you wouldn't be feeling offended at the thought that he may not want more. The fact that you are worrying means that this level of extreme casualness is likely to be a wrecking ball to your self-esteem and therefore, it’s not worth the risk.

I can see how sexy this all feels, and how the fanny flutters must be on steroids whenever you pass each other or have interactions at work. There's also the power dynamic of you being his subordinate that may be adding to the excitement and desire. I can imagine that the thought of a night of pure unadulterated sex is turning you on a lot, and that when you play it out in your mind’s eye your vagina is probably shouting loudly that this is a great idea. But your vagina needs to have a meeting with your brain before she’s allowed to make any decisions.

There's a lot of research into the fact that casual sex tends to work less well for heterosexual women. The likelihood of a cis het woman having an orgasm during a one-night stand is around 4%, compared to 86% for cis het men. So, we already know that it’s almost guaranteed that he'll end the night feeling sexually satisfied, whereas there's a high chance that you won’t. You don’t need to have had an orgasm to have experienced sexual pleasure but given that many men still believe that inserting a penis into a vagina whilst completely ignoring the clitoris is the best way to have sex, there is a strong chance that even your pleasure will be limited. He said he doesn’t want to talk before or after, in a fantasy that might seem hot, but in reality, it might mean you get a session that doesn’t meet your needs – how could he meet them if you’ve never been able to discuss them?

We also have so much more to consider than men. I’d strongly advise you to use condoms to prevent STIs and unwanted pregnancy, but we all know that sometimes breaks or accidents happen. So, even with contraception and condoms, you might end up having to buy emergency contraception which will send your hormones into a frenzy for the rest of the month. You may end up with thrush, a UTI, or bacterial vaginosis, all of which are common for vaginas after sex with a new or casual partner. Men get to wash their willies after sex and walk away (unless they catch something of course) but for us there are way more potential pitfalls and I do think it’s important to keep that in mind before deciding whether to have casual sex, and most especially in this situation where you’re not even going to be communicating with him and you won't be in this together.

But let’s imagine that he turns out to be amazing in bed and blows your socks off. Then what? Are you going to be totally OK with radio silence? Are you going to be secretly hoping that because the sex was so good, he’s going to change his mind about his boundaries and want to see you again soon and then feel hugely disappointed if he doesn’t? Are you going to feel used? Will your self-esteem suffer the moment the sex ends and he leaves? Think about how that will feel in reality. No affection, no post sex cuddles, just him getting up and getting dressed and going while you lay there naked. Does that thought excite you or make you feel a bit vulnerable? Judging from your question, I think it will be the latter.

With regards to whether he thinks you’re a sl*t – it would appear that a sl*t is exactly what he wants, for the night. You might find that your work flirtation abruptly ends once the deed is done. Perhaps I’m cynical, but his desire for a complete no communication/connection boundary for this one-night stand could be a sign that he is in a relationship or having other office affairs. Office romances can be complicated at the best of times, but his proposition is giving power and control vibes, which can be good in the bedroom with communication and consent, but not when he actually has the power to control your working life. There is a lot of potential to ruin things at work, for possibly very little reward. Your gut is telling you not to do this and I believe that your gut is right, trust it, always.


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