Only a few weeks into the school year, I feel that it’s not too late to dole out this warning: Having sex with your professor is not a wise idea. Trust me, I know from experience (the experience of not being stupid enough to do it).
I realize it’s probably a lot more tempting than it was in high school — the age gap between student and teacher is rapidly shrinking, not to mention the teaching assistant (TA) factor. No, I don’t mean TA as in the upperclassman who leads your chemistry workshop — the question of sex here is an obvious yes. I don’t think there are even rules against it. I mean TA as in the graduate student who’s here to do research and grade your tests to pay for his degree.
With the grad student, the situation is much more morally ambiguous. They’re often good looking and, due to the nature of their job, tend to share similar interests with their students. If you happen to be in a position to make this choice, I urge you to say no to TA sex.
While it may seem like having sex with a fellow undergraduate, except way more awesome, there’s a bit more to it than that. It’s not just that they’re older than you, but that they’re in a different place in life. They have degrees and careers and don’t tend to spend their weekends drinking mystery alcohol at frat parties. No matter how you look at it, it’d probably just be weird.
Sure, maybe you’re already dating a graduate student, and you swear it’s not like that and love (or lust) transcends all age-related boundaries — just look at Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore. Still, I have my doubts.
However, no matter which way you spin it, having sex with a TA isn’t as problematic as having sex with a professor.
Now that the TA stuff is covered, we can get down to brass tacks. The problems with professor sex run a lot deeper than potential weirdness and maturation incongruities. For one thing, a lot of the professors are married (sometimes even to other professors at our school), which would make you a home-wrecker.
But let’s pretend that it’s not even an issue. Instead, the big question you have to ask yourself if you’re considering having sex with a professor is: Why do I want to do this?
The most acceptable answer is probably because the professor in question is hot. While that is a fair observation you need to ask a second question if that’s the case: Why does said professor want to have sex with me?
There’s really no comforting answer to this question. If the professor really is attractive and reasonably smart — which we can assume — then they should be able to find a suitable mate of their own age. Failure to do so raises all sorts of questions, and resorting to student sex suggests that something is seriously wrong with this person.
For instance, they could be an ephebophile, someone with a sexual preference for teenagers. Do you really want to have sex with an ephebophile? I didn’t think so.
More likely is that they have some sort of debilitating personality flaw, which is about to become an issue in your “relationship” with him or her sooner or later. These sorts of flaws can range from the incredibly awkward nature of intellectual types to a tendency towards fits of violent rage. The chances are, if it’s preventing him or her from having a normal relationship, it’s a bit higher in severity than awkwardness.
Of course it’s also possible that they have some sort of depraved fetish that people are constantly refusing to indulge, and you’re the last shot at success. What sort of depraved fetish, you ask? You don’t want to find out.
To be honest, even if the professor isn’t incredibly good looking, all of the above still applies. Plenty of normal-to-ugly looking people have found life partners with little trouble, and it’s rare that a person has to extort a position of authority just to get a little loving. If you’re still considering it, I recommend watching the movie “Election,” bearing in mind that (spoiler alert!) chances are you won’t end up as wildly successful as Reese Witherspoon.
Bazarian is a member of the class of 2013.