The (Few) Don’ts Of Christmas Party Hookups

Scarlett Russell

It really wouldn’t be an office Christmas party unless you’ve hooked up with one of your coworkers.


Heading off to your work Christmas party? Of course you are. Because before celebrating the birthday of Jesus, it’s only fitting that you head to the pub nearest your office for a microwaved turkey dinner followed by mass drinking with colleagues. It wouldn’t be Christmas otherwise.

And, much like 2 million of us have already done, according to a new survey by, it really wouldn’t be an office Christmas party unless you’ve hooked up with a co-worker. Nothing says ‘Christmas!’ like a raging hangover and awkward shuffle past Becky in HR, when mere hours before, you had your gravy and Sambuca-soiled tongue down her throat under some wilted mistletoe.

Having spent the last six years working on women’s magazines, my Christmas parties have included fun and booze in abundance, but there hasn’t been much in the way of hooking up. Considering around 98% of my coworkers are either women or gay men — and the remaining 2% married straight men — this isn’t really surprising. The likelihood of me pulling by the photocopier has been rather scant unless I’m willing to forgo all my morals or make a hefty alternative life decision.

Even the two years I worked on a men’s magazine didn’t throw up much in the way of Christmas joy. At 23 I was more like a younger sister than sexual conquest to any of my colleagues. The year before that however, whilst temping at an ad agency, I found myself surrounded by eligible bachelors, three in particular that were attractive on the most sober level. It’s one thing to remain cool, calm and sexy whilst at work, quite another after a dozen mulled wines. I’d also only started a few weeks before, so was conscious not to drink too much, be too loud or do anything conspicuous during our Christmas party at a bar in Soho.


I barely made it to 10PM before I’d ordered my boss to buy a round of tequila shots and — loudly — demanded the DJ play Britney Spears, much to the dismay and amusement of my fellow colleagues. Fortunately, though, everyone else was as hammered as me and by the end of the night I wasn’t the only one getting off with a teammate on the dance floor, carelessly gyrating to Slave 4 U.

The following day we bonded over collective hangovers, a few rounds of group emails and spotting who’d clearly done the Walk of Shame into work. It was fun, as well as embarrassing. But, this is what’s great about office parties. We make fools of ourselves, we do things we’ll almost certainly regret, we bond with our colleagues. It’s all part of the Christmas fun. It’s also one of the few times such behaviour is deemed acceptable. Threw up in your shoes outside the Slug and Lettuce? Who cares? It’s the office Christmas party! Shag one of your coworkers? Nice one! It’s the office Christmas party!

The ‘don’ts’ of hooking up at your office ‘do’ are simple:

  • Don’t pull your boss/anyone in authority/someone who isn’t entirely single. This will cause you far more trouble then it’s worth.
  • Don’t try it on with multiple coworkers. Office sex pest is never a good look.
  • Don’t presumptuously book a hotel room. Apparently 6% of people do, according to the same survey stats. Sad. It’s the sort of thing you’d see an American teenager do on prom night, betting his mates he’ll corrupt a cheerleader.
  • Don’t make it even more awkward the next day by avoiding whoever you hooked up with the night before. At the very least arrange a group pub lunch where you can all rejoice in your hangovers and drunken antics together.

Now, someone pass me a mulled wine, I’ve got an all-women Christmas party to attend tonight.