The office Christmas party is the ideal place to let your hair down and forget about the stress of the nine-to-five. The booze flows freely and inhibitions drop, so perhaps it’s not surprising to learn that 39 percent of people have had sex at an office Christmas party. This figure climbs even higher when you consider the number of hook-ups that probably occur after these parties are officially over. An office Christmas party fling can be exhilarating - or it can be your biggest career mistake - depending on how you play it. If getting frisky's on your radar, keep these tips in mind.

Look for the Mistletoe

Kissing under the mistletoe is tradition, and it wouldn’t do to shirk tradition, would it? Cozying up to the person you’ve got your eye on underneath the mistletoe gives you a great opportunity to feel out your chemistry and see whether more than a sneaky smooch might develop. (And be sure to ask if your object of affection is up for a kiss. Consent is sexy!)

Get Out on the Dance Floor

Bumping bodies together on the dance floor is a great form of foreplay. Just like the mistletoe, it gives you an opportunity to get close to the object of your desire without arousing your co-workers’ suspicion. Stay for the slow songs to really up the intimacy factor.

Hello, Sexual Harassment Rules

Workplaces have strict sexual harassment policies, and these are enforced even at office Christmas parties. Gage the reactions of the person you’re eying carefully and make sure the attraction is mutual. If you direct unwanted attention toward someone who isn't interested, you could have a disciplinary hearing on your hands.

Choose Your Location Wisely

Once you’re sure your object of lust is keen for some action, it all becomes a question of location. Just where will you do the deed? Leaving the party and hooking up at a hotel or in your car is your safest option. When you move to another location, you significantly reduce the risk of anyone discovering what you’re up to.

If you simply can’t wait, there are a couple of places you can usually get busy without detection. Boardrooms and storage cupboards are good options, as no one else is likely to enter when the party is in session. Just make sure they’re lockable or you could get a nasty shock. The boss’s office is also a popular choice - it's used by 16 percent of coupling co-workers according to a survey conducted last year by British sex toy retailer Ann Summers - but it’s a risky one. Should your manager walk in, embarrassment will be the least of your worries.

Make Sure the Person Is Single

Christmas party hook-ups are meant to be harmless fun, so don’t overcomplicate them by sleeping with someone who's already attached. If you’re not sure of the object of your desire’s status, ask some of your colleagues. They may be more honest than the person you’re lusting after.

Do Not (We Repeat, DO NOT) Sleep With Your Superior

Most singletons are fair game, but give your superior a wide berth. Hooking up with a hot boss might seem like a good idea at the time, but things could get very messy after the deed is done.

Practice Safe Sex

This point should go without saying, but in case it wasn’t already clear, safe sex is a must for Christmas party hook-ups. It’s easy to slip some protection into your purse or wallet if a festive fling is on your mind. Just make sure you remember to use it in the heat of the moment, or you could get a nasty, unwanted present on Christmas morning.

Hold Your Head Up High When You’re Back in the Office

It’s common to feel a twinge of embarrassment after a Christmas party encounter, but make sure you shake it off before you return to the office. Some of your co-workers might know what you did, but so what? Hold your head up high and the gossipmongers will soon move on to the next story.

There’s nothing wrong with a cheeky fling at the office Christmas party, but there are some important dos and don’ts to remember. Follow the rules to make sure your moment of weakness doesn’t come back to bite you after this silly season is over.