I have to wonder, my friend, why is it OK to date your students?

I just found out that you’re dating another student. I know, I know, they are over the age of consent, and you wait until after finals; therefore it’s all well and good. Yet I find it hard to believe that there is not something sick and perverse in your chronic bedding of those to whom you recently taught remedial math. This makes four out of your past five girlfriends - which pretty much encompasses your teaching career - who have been on your student rolls before you roll them?

I do have to wonder if you penalize them for not showing their work.

If I am out of line, and this is acceptable practice, then I will of course apologize for doubting your morality. This is new territory to me.

I once had a very close friend who developed a crush on one of his students. Granted, she was about his age, and he was a TA, not a professor. Nonetheless, he waited until after the finals before asking her out (at which point she rejected him).

It’s kinda weird that most of this guy’s dates are with former students, but I don’t think it’s unethical. Hell, the world is full of weird relationships.

bell hooks, a radical feminist academic, wrote a really interesting article on the power dynamics of teacher/student relationships. I wish I knew where to find it.


I’m not sure I can see anything wrong with it if it’s after the class is over (and grades have been submitted!). Not my style, but nothing I can bitch about.

I guess it’s a little weird, but if he’s not breaking any laws or college rules, I don’t see how it’s our place to judge.

So, what bothers you? The age difference? The enrollment in the college? The power dynamics of the relationship?

If the students had never been in your friend’s classes, would that be okay?

If the students were your friend’s age, would that be okay?

If the students in question were from another university, would that be okay?

I have to ask the same question everyone else is asking you…

Why does it bother you? He’s not breaking laws, and he’s not violating school rules. He’s not fucking her for a grade, he’s dating ex-students who are adults, not in his class anymore, and have consented to relationships(social and otherwise) with him.

What’s the big deal? Is he a 60 year old perv who preys on 20-somethings? Do they offer sex for grades? What?

I see no problem here, not that my opinion counts for diddly-shit around here lately.


Amusing anecdote: My favourite teacher in history (Mr. P.) was both our gay English teacher and our Gay English teacher, if you follow me. He was unbelievably fabulous. He was an enormous screaming queen who taught us all gay lit even though that wasn’t required in the course description, he had us deconstruct a Madonna video, he drew explanatory cartoons of Wonder Woman on the board, everything. He was harsh on people who didn’t care about the class (sample quotation: “If you’re just going to sit in the back and screw around, you’re going to fail, comma, again!”), but if you did your work and paid attention, he loved you. He also helped me run the gay group. When I was 17 he was like my #1 idol role model of my life. He was fabulous.

Anyway, he told us a story once about a girl who had come to his office to discuss a bad grade. So she’s in there, and she’s like, “But Mr. P., isn’t there anything at all I can do to increase my grade?” unbuttons top two buttons of blouse

He looked at her with disbelief, then burst out laughing. “Hon, you haven’t been paying any attention at all, have you?”

Did I mention he was fabulous?


Good good good.

You’d think he could have chosen a more promising pool of candidates than REMEDIAL MATH. Doesn’t he teach any other classes?

Join the I-count-for-diddly-shit club.

Ah, fucking someone for a grade is a very black-and-white situation. I find this one… flabbergasting. I do agree it is not, in legality, wrong, or this would have been a good ol’ rant about his proximity to getting fired.

I believe that whole Bell Hooks thing is what I was casting for.

What I would be concerned about is whether this guy is unable to date women that are intellectual or social or maturity peers. Is that the case?

I have to go with the whole Bell Hooks notion. As a teacher, I must say that boys often misconstrue my relationship with them as “romantic” or Oedipal in nature. I’m a good ten years older than them, but teenage boys are very much intrigued by older women in positions of authority. I realize you said your friend’s dates are over the age of consent, but still the teacher/student dynamic brings cartloads of power issues into a relationship that really don’t belong there.

Dont shit where ya gotta eat. A dog knows bettern that.

Maybe all the women his own age that he knows are either married or not attracted to him? (Or both?)

So you folks know, bell hooks actually doesn’t capitalize her name. I don’t remember the exact reason, but I think she says it’s because her name is less important than what she says, so she doesn’t want people to focus on it (which capitalizing supposedly leads people to do). Kind of twisted logic, but I thought I should mention it.
Back to your regularly scheduled programing.

Like everyone else said, don’t sweat it. Be sure and include them in your social circle; don’t shut them out just because you think he’s being “immoral” or some shit like that.

  • tsarina, who once dated a former professor twice her age and came out none the worse for wear.

Once they’re no longer his students, then he’s not dating his students, correct? And how can they be fucking him in the hope of a grade? The OP already said the dude waited until after finals.

I think shrew hit it on the head with -

If he can wait for finals, he can also wait for graduation, although I don’t really believe it can ever have a hope of being an ‘equal’ relationship as the power dynamic is skewed from the start. What would worry me is that there is a distinct possibility that this is the precise reason he is attracted to his (former) students. Sure, nothing illegal about that, but it’s hardly a basis for a healthy, adult, relationship.

I also dated a professor twice my age, but came out of the experience with almost as many physical as mental scars. No, I’m not exactly objective on this topic.

That’s what I think too.

It’s this guy’s business, and he’s not breaking any laws. So, on one hand, it is (of course) none of your concern. But, on the other hand, you can’t help but wonder…why are almost all of the women he dates former students? This little trend definitely says something about him. I, too, see “power issues” here. It’s hard not to.