Hot Profs: Fair Game?

College is so liberating. We don’t need to ask for hall passes to use the bathroom. We don’t necessarily have to explain absences. We can leave super-crowded lectures early because the professor won’t even notice. Hell, some of us can even go to bars with our professors!
The student-teacher relationship gets completely morphed once college hits. Lecturers can be more laid back– the “hip” teachers wear jeans to class and drop curse words to express their points. In many cases, students and teachers can work closely, whether it be during office hours or on a collaborative research project. But, when it comes to student-teacher relationships, how close is too close?
Most of the “hot” teachers in college are probably shrouded in urban legends revolving around steamy love affairs in class. The profs who really connect with the students and relate to us on our level are targets for schoolgirl crushes. And once in a while, a professor comes along who takes full advantage of that. There are obvious taboos regarding student-teacher interaction in high school, thanks to some of the pedophilic educators who have made headlines over the past ten years, but in college, there are many shades of gray.
First of all, college students are of legal age to give consent. And the age gap is much smaller, especially when you throw TA’s into the picture, some of whom may still even be undergrads themselves. Still, can a romance between a professor and a student really blossom in college? Here are some factors to consider:
1. Who Makes the First Move?
It’s awkward enough following up with the cutie whose number you scored at Saturday’s Graffiti Party. If you are crushing on your professor or TA, you cross more than just the ‘friendship’ line by making a move. If he really was just giving you extra attention because you really needed extra help, then you’re going to get derailed by a freight train of anxiety after he turns you down…plus, you’ll still have to look him in the face for the rest of the semester.
The prof making the first move can be just as awkward: is he some kind of perv who hits on all the undergrads? Is he trying to use his status as your superior to his advantage? Keep in mind that a teacher hitting on a student is pretty much sexual harassment, so if Dr. Dreamboat actually makes a pass, he’s risking more than just mortification: he’s risking his job.
2. Are you on the same level?
Professors have way more life experience than we do. To be a university professor, they have to hold PhD’s and be published regularly. Not to mention have more than a few years on you. They’ve gone through the college party circuit; you haven’t. Can you really be on the same page about your torrid love affair?
You see him as older, mature, and booksmart sexy. But are you sure he doesn’t just see you as a naive, innocent schoolgirl?
3. If the Relationship is Outed, There WILL be Consequences.
Simply put: his career will be jeopardized and your academic integrity will be questioned. Who’s to say you earned those A’s, when you’ve been getting extra credit in the bedroom?
4. There May be Tension in the Classroom.
You hit on your prof and he turns you down – awkward.
You have a one night stand, and come Monday morning, you have to sit and listen to him lecture about how Eliot’s The Wasteland is a marvel of modern British Lit – awkward and boring.
You have to take notes, but all you can think about is scratching your nails down his back as he thrusted away last weekend – a little hot, but you need to focus on the notes!
You thought he actually liked you; he sees it as a one-night stand to be locked away with the other skeletons in his closet – a bruise to your ego, AND he still gets to grade your exams.
5. There are Plenty of Fish in the University Sea.
There’s a lot of wrenches that can be thrown into your education if you’ve hooked up with your professor or TA. You can’t go on public dates with your professor, or bring him to Lambda Chi’s keg party, or even cuddle with him in your dorm. So why risk all of the above by trying to be that girl? I admit, it’s a little different when you’re talking about a TA as opposed to a faculty professor, especially if the age gap isn’t too wide. But if you really feel like there’s a connection, why not wait until the semester is over, and see if anything blossoms?
In “normal” relationships, we often take things slow, so what’s the big hurry to jump in bed with a teacher? Just to play out a fantasy in real life?
I’ve had some pretty cool teachers in my life, but never pursued anything past intellectual conversation. Why? Because I liked that those professors appreciated my intellect and the hard work I put into their class. When it was time to grab some stellar reference letters, I knew I had never jeopardized my reputation with these professors, which was a plus. On the other hand, I’ve been a TA, and taught students only a couple of years my junior. Some of my students were cool as hell, and we sometimes let office hours discussions segue into semi-personal conversations (e.g. favorite music, politics, or other PG topics). Still, I never thought of them as anything more than my students, and if I continued to correspond with them after class ended, it always remained strictly platonic.
The student-professor love affair has been romanticized in books, TV shows, movies, and via word-of-mouth. Still, some things are better left to the imagination. I recommend sticking to your peers, rather than pursuing your profs.

Just Rolled Out of Bed? You Don’t Have to Look That Way
Just Rolled Out of Bed? You Don’t Have to Look That Way
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