A new dating site called Affair at Work wants to help coupled-off employees cheat with their coworkers by having a “safe affair” in the workplace, according to a report by the New York Post.
Cheating sites like Ashley Madison aren’t anything new, but Affair at Work differs because it’s more about verifying if an office crush is into you, rather than showing you a database of potential people looking for affairs. While the service was created with affairs in mind, there’s nothing stopping you from just using it to assess any person’s feelings towards you, regardless of if they’re in another relationship or not.
The service works via Instagram, where you can then access a form on which you can list your work crush’s Instagram handle. The site then contacts your workplace crush and invites them to sign in and see who likes them. If two people both like each other, the site sends an email to both parties so you both know there’s at least mutual attraction before you make a move.
In an interview with the Post, the site’s founder, Mike (who only gave his first name for privacy issues), suggested that Affair at Work will also help counter #MeToo moments in the workplace.
“You can avoid rejection and shame, and even avoid being reported at work for harassment,” Mike said to the paper. “If you ask someone out, you don’t know if that person might go to HR to say that you were proposing something,” he continued.
Okay, but if you ask someone out, you should be able to predict whether or not that person has a case for going to HR based on whether or not you’re in a position of power over them? It’s not like a 50/50 toss up that women can’t decide between systemic workplace harassment and consensual flirting, and anyone has a risk of winding up getting in trouble if they shoot their shot. (Company policy, peeps.) But if you’re someone’s boss and you ask out an employee that you manage… yeah, you very well could wind up in HR, no shit.
By only setting up those who want to be set up, it’s an understandable effort, but much of the #MeToo workplace dialogue was about the inappropriate use of power, and it doesn’t seem like Affair at Work takes hierarchy into consideration. What’s to stop a user from thinking they’re getting a message from someone at the same rank as them, and really it’s like, their boss’s boss?
The stats show that millennial women aren’t opposed to dating within their offices—in fact, a recent Cosmopolitan survey showed that 84% of readers would date someone at their company who wasn’t on their team… still, abuses of power need to be considered in all cases.
As for now, Affair at Work claims to have made 20 reciprocal matches and fielded more than 350 requests so far. Once they hit 500 inquiries, they’ll start charging $9.99 to view a match. What… you thought they were doing this for free in the name of love? Ha!
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