Advice

Miss Information

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Last week I asked readers to don their advice-columnist hats and answer the following question:

Dear Miss Information,
I’m a young female professor and I’ve gotten utterly obsessed with one of my students. I find myself Google-stalking this twenty-two-year-old man, fantasizing about him during the day, and — I admit — dreaming vividly of him at night. I don’t think it’s just the intoxication of my own authority: I’ve been teaching for some time and, though I could note the attractiveness of certain students, I was never sexually overwhelmed like this. How do I get past this embarrassing juvenile obsession? — Dirty Young Woman


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Giant thanks to everyone who wrote in. Despite my personal ambivalence, you’ll notice an “anti-student fucking" theme among the responses. Apparently "Fuck his lights out" doesn’t translate as well to the written word (not to mentions makes for a much, much shorter story).
First prize of a Nerve Premium membership goes to Leo, who deals in shame and Saved By the Bell references in equal measure:
Dear Dirty Young Woman,
Recognizing that the obsession needs to be gotten past is an important first step. Appeals to professional ethics are no help here. That’s higher thinking. Your lust arises from the abyss of the primitive lizard brain. History teaches us that primal urges will always mow down the squishy moral center like a tank tread on a banana slug.
Our only hope is to fight that primal urge with another. Desire for Sex is a formidable opponent, but sometimes, it can be defeated by Aversion to Shame. You have a shot if your Aversion to Shame is strong enough. Hopefully you have a Catholic upbringing, or at bare minimum a panic disorder.
One way to free yourself from the lustful pull of a significantly younger piece of ass is to focus on the pop-culture gap. Small talk in this area is inevitable. Even the most utilitarian sex-based relationship requires it. And the landscape of the American zeitgeist changes so quickly that you only need to have a few years on the lad before you’ll feel shamefully dated. To him, Mario Lopez is not A.C. Slater, but the guy on Dancing with the Stars. Pat Benatar is not the woman who militarized love and influenced the hairstyles of countless high-school girls; she’s that chick with the song on Guitar Hero III.

We all hear about those criminals will commit the perfect crime, only to be overheard bragging about their crime to a friend. He will tell someone he nailed his professor. Mark my words. He’ll tell over beers to his male buddies, or sheepishly over chai to his female friends. I’m sure you’d rather be perceived as an educator than a student-fucker among your peers. Can you look at your classroom, day-in day-out, not knowing who is wise to your activities? Maybe someone will sing the first few bars of "Hot for Teacher" in your presence. Coincidence? Or does Eddie Van Halen’s opening riff toll for thee?
Ideally, this preemptive trip through the House of Shame will take the edge off your rise for this young man. While Shame often loses out to Lust, perhaps Shame will come back with a shocking victory like Rocky over Apollo Creed. Don’t make that reference around the boy, though. He might not get it. Use a Pokémon analogy or something.
Second place is Maggie, who likens inappropriate crushes to cupcake guzzling and extreme sports. She’ll score two admissions to the Museum of Sex, where she’ll hopefully score all the way from the gift shop to the bathroom.
Dear Dirty Young Woman,
We tend to become obsessed with something (or someone) new that comes into our lives when we’re looking for an escape. For many of us, it’s the daily rut, the boredom of our structured, responsible, planned, committed jobs and relationships. Let’s face it, not every day brings new and exciting possibilities that awaken the senses and set the imagination into overdrive. When we’re starving for pleasure (or pain), a flirty bat of the eye from a nubile sex-exuding youngster can be just that crumb that sets the whole binge in motion.
That’s right: think of this obsession as you would an abuse of food or alcohol. Something that gives you a false sense of reality and numbs the senses. He’s your escape, and when you delve into that fantasyland, your life is pure excitement, danger and rebellion. Who wouldn’t want to exist there? Who wouldn’t want to keep that magic alive by keeping it at the forefront of your thoughts whenever possible? Who wouldn’t want to take a chance and act on the fantasy by flirting with the subject or arranging an opportunity for an encounter?
But you wouldn’t. Trust me. Your job is in jeopardy if you do. I’m all for fantasy fodder, but when it becomes someone we know, have access to, and authority over, we’re on dangerous ground. Here’s what you need to do. Let the fantasy go. A therapist can help you figure out how to seek pleasure and purpose in your life and bring awareness to what you’re truly missing. Then the semester will end, you’ll give him a B for the blow-job you never got to give him and go skydiving or set up a spontaneous online date with a complete stranger. There are ways to take a walk on the wild side without burning the bridges behind you.
The bronze goes to Sam, whose propensity to make up words is probably not winning him any friends with the stodgy old farts at Merriam-Webster. Enjoy your Amourosity. . . That’s the Gypsy word for "horniness."
People spend billions of dollars on pills, lotions and strange Internet sites just to feel what you’re feeling naturally. Don’t ruin it by feeling bad, shameful or obsessive. You know what’s sexy? Walking around with Penthouse Forum letters running through your head. Next time you’re all wound up, instead of Internet stalking, go out and do something social. My bet is you’ll have no trouble finding someone more appropriate. Who knows? Maybe you do a little role-playing and discover a new "thing" you didn’t know you were hot for.
That’s something the Gypsies always used to tell me, "It’s better to have a thing, than not have a thing." In case you haven’t noticed. . . My thing is Gypsies. Those sexy, sexy Gypsies.
P.S. Miss Info again. Sam has assured me that the above was all in good fun and he means no disrespect towards gypsies, horny professors, Penthouse Forum readers, or any other awesome group of people.


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©2008 Erin Bradley and Nerve.com