Office gossip

Joey Garcia

I had sex with a co-worker, and now he’s ruining my life. We went out and had a great time, although he insulted me during dinner. I didn’t hear from him for a few days. Then he called and offered to cook me dinner at my house. It was fun except he only talked about his hot ex-girlfriend. Then we got drunk and had sex.

The problem is that I haven’t had sex in over a year, and I guess it showed. One of my co-workers told me the gossip: I am a lousy lay but really enthusiastic. Today in the cafeteria, the guy I dated was having lunch with a couple of people, and when I walked in, he pointed at me, and they started laughing. I am so embarrassed. Should I quit my job, or will this blow over?

Ay yi yi! Abstaining from sex for a year, or 10 years for that matter, does not render you incapable of being a fantastic sex partner. Great sex depends on chemistry and knowledge. Chemistry can be emitted (pheromones), conjured in the short term by staging romance (candles, music, lighting, etc.) or faked. Alcohol, in excess, and any illegal drug use seduces us into imagining chemistry where there is little or none.

Chemistry also can be stimulated by knowledge. Knowledge is the nexus of friendship and intimacy. Being intimately connected—emotionally, spiritually and mentally—inspires an intense physical connection because there is genuine love for the other. So, chemistry cannot sustain a union; knowledge can. And, just for the record, real attractiveness is not determined by sexiness or beauty but by a person’s level of compassion, wisdom and strength, and their ability to live by the values they profess.

Your denial of his insults (direct and indirect) shows that you need to grow in your ability to care for yourself. Begin here: You made a mistake in judgment. It is not the end of the world. It is the end of an image that you had of who you are in the world. Berating yourself offers no healing; vowing to stay conscious does. That includes acknowledging that you do not know what the group was laughing at. Don’t assume it was you.

I suggest that you ask your supervisor to speak with the gossipy guy about the consequences of gossip. If the gossip continues, confront the participants or ask your supervisor to do so. If harassment continues, seek further management support, and, if it feels right, a new employer.

Is it possible for a guy who is emotionally unavailable to open up? My boyfriend is really smart and funny, likes my dog (important!) and is an amazing lover, but it seems like he picks a fight with me the day after every great date. I feel like I get so needy because he never meets me emotionally. He says that my neediness drives him away. He won’t make a commitment to me, although he says he’s not going anywhere. He is uncomfortable being physically affectionate in public, and I’m totally demonstrative. Is there any hope?

There is hope aplenty—right now—if you don’t demand anything more than what you have or what he can give freely. But, yes, it is possible for someone who has been emotionally unavailable to open up, if he is willing. No amount of desire, encouragement, coddling or manipulation on your part will change anything. Willingness is the doorway because transforming a habit of self-protection requires a constant two-step of discipline and commitment.

Of course, you can practice being more emotionally available to yourself. If you are committed to meeting your own needs, you will, eventually, grow into a human being whose soul and ego are one.

Meditation of the week
My friend Theresa Waller is a professional model, herbalist and occasional actor with an intense dislike for the prevailing cultural attitude about work. “Do you want to go to Las Vegas with me?” she asked recently. “I have to wolay.” “You have to wo-what?” I said, giggling. “I have a photo shoot,” she said, “but I don’t like to call it work, because my work is play, so I made up the word wolay.” This week, dear readers, make changes to transform your work into “wolay.”

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