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Kathy Belge

Hot for Teacher

By September 17, 2009

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Teachers having affairs with students. It's been in the news a lot lately. A favorite teacher in Canada can no longer teach and must register as a sex offender after having an affair with a student.

Then there was the story of the teacher in UK who had an affair with a 15-year-old student.

I recently received an email from a 17-year-old girl who's gym teacher is in jail because they had an affair when she was 15. She said a 44-year-old woman is pursuing her now.

And of course, there is the movie Loving Annabelle, that portrays the tragic story of a teacher's affair with her student.

There are some who might see these stories as a romantic forbidden love stories. I see them for what they are: exploitation of minors. God knows, LGBT kids have a hard enough time as it is, fitting in, meeting peers to date and hang out with. It pains me to see queer adults taking advantage of their vulnerability, loneliness and desire for affection.

These kinds of relationships are against the law for a reason. Even if the young person is a willing partner, most times they are not mature enough to deal with all the relationship issues that come with dating someone much older. As my 17-year-old emailer said, "Sometimes I can see that she controlled my whole life and it felt like a constant power struggle."

What may feel like love, is really the manipulation of one person using her power over another. It is especially egregious when the older person is in a position of authority, like a coach, school teacher or counselor.

If you are a young person who is in a relationship with someone older, I urge you to tell a parent, or some other trusted adult. If you're an adult and you're feeling tempted by a young person, please, don't go there. Take a cold shower instead and go to a lesbian bar or check out the lesbian personals. Talk to a counselor. Don't exploit a young person and don't ruin your own life. It will be a great year when I stop seeing headlines like "Teacher Admits Lesbian Affair with Schoolgirl."

© image from the movie Loving Annabelle, courtesy of Wolfe Video

Comments
September 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm
(1) eternityawaits says:

Totally agree, but I have to say that Loving Annabelle is one of my favorite movies!

September 17, 2009 at 6:12 pm
(2) Bossgirl says:

Loving Anabelle is a great movie and has nothing to do with molesting children, but a very touching lesbian story. Our stories. My partner is 12 years older than I and we met when I was 17 and have been together 24 years.

September 17, 2009 at 11:54 pm
(3) Student in Portland says:

I think the role of student & teacher is the issue, not necesarily just age difference. As a late teenager, i had no interest in anyone my own age, only those a fair bit older….

September 18, 2009 at 2:37 pm
(4) In Love says:

I disagree with what you are saying. I am a young female dating a woman that is 30 years older than me and she was at one point my teacher although we never saw each other like that when i was in school we started dating into the summer before i left for university. We have been together for a while now and i love her more than anything and she has never tried to manipulate me or use me or control me. she visits me every other weekend as i am attending school a few hours away from where she lives. I can honestly say i have never been happier. I would also like to say that i am not “messed up” and i have lead a fairly normal life. I have lots of friends my own age. I believe when you fall in love you fall in love and you cant help who you fall in love with. I can confide everything in her and she feels the same about me. How can you honestly judge a situation you have never been in? Have you ever been in love? And who is to say what is morally or ethically acceptable? I agree that 15 is too young, but i believe if you are 17 or older than you are capable of making decisions for yourself. I’m not however trying to tell young people to get with their teacher i am mearly saying that being in a relationship with someone a lot older isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I know in my case, my partner is always learning new things from me and i from her, but it is not by any means one sided. we are equals in the relationship. Even when it comes to money a lot of people looking in might say the young person only wants to be with their older lover because they can buy them nice things and what not, but that is not true in my case. My older gf makes a lot more than i do, but i still pay for her when we go out. i always buy for myself and if i know i cant afford it and she asks me for dinner i tell her i cant afford it right now, but if she wants i will cook her dinner or she can cook for me. We love each other dearly and would do anything for one another. I believe in life you have to take chances when they come along. Life is too short. I will admit i was weary about entering a relationship with my former teacher, but i am so happy i did because she manages to always put a smile on my face and be there for me and i do the same for her.
I just wanted to throw it out there that relationships with significant age difference can work. Not to say all of them will, but i know from experience that it is possible.
My partner is deathly afraid of telling her friends or family about me because i am much younger and she is afraid to be judged for loving me and im tired of seeing her be judged about people who know nothing us or how our relationship works or how we compliment one another in terms of personality. It hurts me see her so afraid to love me because of blogs like this. our relationship has been secret for the most part. i mean all of my friends know and have been extremely supportive of everything they know me and they know her and they see that we were meant to be together and looking back at the school year when she was my teacher it is obvious. we have always clicked and she has always been there for me professionally. she never overstepped her boundaries other than to be my friend because at the time that was what i needed. And she should not be judged as a bad person because she obeyed all the rules and never was there at hint of a relationship until the summer after my last year of highschool. we went out for coffee a few times and things took off suddenly we could have conversations that we couldnt or wouldnt have before and we could feel for one another and for me this is a true love story and no one will ever be able to tell me otherwise.

September 19, 2009 at 11:38 am
(5) Peace says:

Yes, lets all freak out and label every case of adult-minor stories as manipulative and demeaning. That is totally not an over swooping term at all.

My girlfriend, who is two years older than me, we’ll be 17 and 19 soon. We’ll have been together as a bi-national couple for one year on April 8th. We haven’t had the money or chance to see each other yet. You telling me that just because I am still labeled as a minor, I have no right to be dating her? That even if I am the minimum age for sexual conduct in both places, you will continue to classify her as something she isn’t? When we haven’t done anything? Even if I will be an adult next year? Seriously? Even my parents are fine with it, as fine as GOP parents can be, so I wonder how it is this is the first place I’ve heard resistance to my relationship. At lesbianlife no less… Yeah… I can see where you come from, but you sure did jump the gun trying to paint my relationship as this. You should of stuck to the not legal relationships instead of sticking minor-adult relationships in there as well when it is a broad term.

September 20, 2009 at 5:52 pm
(6) Seiryu says:

Well, I’ve been four years with my former German teacher. She is 22 years older than me and I cannot agree with what you are saying at all.
At this point in our lives, both our families know about each other and are OK with it.
Yes, it was harsh at the beginning but, we love each other dearly.
You cannot understand how difficult is to be in a relationship like this not because problems ourselves, but because blogs like this just settle a title on this types of relationships making the older one a pervert and the younger one an idiot.
I can say, my relationship with her has worked much better than many lesbians’ couples who are the same age.
I do not say “yes! go hunt your teacher/student!” but whom you fall in love with is not something you decide.
Maybe if you fell in love for someone younger than you, you will feel the same way a lesbian woman whose religious beliefs forbid her to be lesbian, how can you tell her she is right and fight for love when maybe the teacher student relationship can be as pure.
Maybe if an adult person is only seaking 17 year old gals, well, then tehre’s an issue, but if it’s just once but you really fall in love with this person and want to be together forever, how can you judge and say that that person is only a pevert.
I hope that I will stay with my gf till the day I die because I cherish her and love her and I know that’s not one sided.

September 22, 2009 at 3:40 pm
(7) A Heart dyed Red says:

Prejudice like this is the reason I lost the woman I loved. I don’t blame her, I blame this soceity of bubblewrap and health and safety regulations. I can’t imagine the social stigma she would have faced.

She was 30 years older than me. She was gorgeous, funny, sexy, and way fitter than even the P.E teachers. She had a gorgeous figure aswell. But above all, she was human, unlike everybody else I knew there. She always tried to act 20 years younger, it was sweet.

She always liked me best, and made loads of exceptions for me, whilst being so harsh towards everyone else. But nothing remotely sexual happened before I was at least 16. (I’m from the UK, and that is the legal age here) We never had a sexual relationship, just quite a few romantic moments. She’d hold my hand when nobody was looking and caress me and things. I suppose The furthest it ever went sexually was when she waited till we were alone and she stripped to her underwear and then finally after like 10 minutes of strutting around put a different set of clothes on. It was quite a performance she put on. She knew what she was doing, she also knew I was perfectly comfortable and enjoying a situation I was in control of.

But there nearly always had to be some sort of context, some excuse.

Looking back, I don’t feel used, a little frustrated though. Society’s position on the subject only created a wall between us, makes me wonder if she really did reciprocate my affections or was she merely curious. If she was curious I still don’t feel used. I feel a little messed around, lead on, but yet not resentful.

I think I scared her off in the end, I made her realise exactly how much she meant to me. It wasn’t foolish of me to want something more from my teacher, it was foolish to invest my heart in her.

It never “messed me up”, it wasn’t traumatising. My parents had already done a brilliant job of that. I’d always known I was gay, I never related as well as that to people my own age. To me they were, immature, easily pleased, irresponsible, and thick mainly. She was the only person who understood me.

I’m still in contact with her though. We text quite often. we’re just friends now. If you’ve ever seen the series Sugar Rush, She was my Sugar. Recently I’ve met another girl though, my own age actually. Things are going really well so far. She’s living proof that my teacher didn’t mess me up, she’s so lovely, for once my head and heart agree. I didn’t think I’d be able to love anyone again, but I really do see this going that way. I know she’ll never be my teacher. I know I’ll never Love anyone quite like I loved her. But she’s so much more to me than any other girl I’ve been attracted to apart from my teacher.

So there’s my experience of this topic. I don’t think that the opinion of somebody who’s never experienced this should carry so much weight. Yet, I do believe that sometimes it is wrong for a teacher to abuse their authorative position. But thats not always the case. Each case is individual and should not be assessed on prejudice. Very few relationships without age differences are equal either. And quite often, it is the student who is the seductive initiator of these relationships. I wasn’t like that because I wouldn’t have wanted my teacher to have to deal with the social stigma. I really was lucky in that it was equal for me. And still that it continues to be equal.

Although I’ve been trying to move on and haven’t written anything anywhere, even to myself about my teacher, I’m glad I came across this and was able to write now with a wiser perspective.

September 23, 2009 at 1:52 am
(8) Bonnie H. says:

Gosh, I wish I had a teacher that looked like that! Forget Annabelle–that Ms. Bradley is one foxy lady ;)

September 24, 2009 at 10:34 am
(9) Yvette says:

I’m a teacher and I agree that teacher-student relationships are an abuse of power, whatever the genders of the people comcerned. If there is a real feeling of love, then the couple can wait at least until the student has finished school to start their relationship. Young students have the right to have their independence respected and older teachers have the responsibility to remember that they are doing an important job. Those people who have had good relationships come out of the school romances are the lucky ones, but a lot of pain and harm can also come from abuse of power. To be honest, I feel sad for adults who relive their youth through “romantic” relationships with their students; I’ve seen it happen with male teachers and female students – perhaps it’s the teachers who need to grow up.

September 24, 2009 at 11:24 am
(10) liljenk@hotmail.com says:

I think that we should have the consenting age that england and wales have…16. It would allow for the teenager’s to get done and over with their sexual escapades, then, get back to real life. Even the Amish do that. The suppression of hormones and sexuality has cause suicide in teenagers as well as random acts of violence. When will we stop pressing our ideals on each other?

September 24, 2009 at 12:35 pm
(11) Betsy says:

This is not about love that crosses age gaps, it’s about a teacher (a person in a position of power and authority) being sexual with a minor, who, although they don’t believe so, have very little control over these situations. It is the same reason that bosses should not date employees, soliders with higher rank than their partners are not allowed to date, etc. The power schematic is in favor of the teacher, who makes the grades, and who has a tremendous amount more sexual and world experience than the teenager they are dating. Put those two things together and you have a situation ripe for manipulation and control, whether the teacher intends to or not. Congratulations to those couples who have transcended the age boundary and have made it work, that is fantastic! That being said, it is important to realize that this story is not about you.

September 24, 2009 at 12:35 pm
(12) Greedz says:

I have to say that I sort of came out with my love for a teacher of mine. Nothing ever happened between us, but there was a chemistry. We still keep in touch and I can honestly say up until I met my soul mate, given the chance, I would have entered into a relationship with her all this time later.

I think age of consent is being over looked in these cases as well… it’s different for the LGBT community (which I don’t agree with) in most areas and not all cases fit into this neat little ideal had about what the deal is.

September 24, 2009 at 1:41 pm
(13) Alex says:

Unfortunately is very common to see people being emotionally immature and in addiction with other personality characteristics, going for deviant sexual behaviors with their children or someone elseís. It is very sad to see how ill these people are and how normal they still say they are. It is an epidemic and we all have to fight it. Still, I canít ever forgive such behavior because I was there too when I was a child, and if they can be so good in manipulating everyone they are well enough to be accountable and pay for such horrible crimes.
Alex

September 24, 2009 at 1:49 pm
(14) Mewi says:

In my opinion all of these age requirements generally derive from a religious backround to value “virginity”. Why? Think about it, sex is only culturally set as a taboo, but really that “taboo” is manufactured all around the “guilt” and “slut” factor or preserving “virginity” which have little to any real natural value.

What is natural value? What I consider reality of nature. I will explain further

We sexually mature at a much younger age than what the law allows when having sex. So one would submise that it is obvious that what most would call “pedophilia” in reference to attraction toward people who are in that sexual maturity range and of a very young age are actually natural instincts. Fertility is a major attraction, so youth is as well.

However, of course I am not defending anyone who is doing these things with those who have not sexually matured. That is true pedophilia, as it does not follow the natural conduct. IE: Fertility = Ability to bare children. I know this also may not apply to lesbian/gay men but the instincts are still there.

So again, in ending, the real reason for most of this sex offender mumbo jumbo, is because we place sex in the “immoral” category which is clearly based on religious intent.

Sex is not as big a deal as people make it *sigh*

~Celeste~

September 24, 2009 at 2:05 pm
(15) angelpbj says:

I usually like your comments very much Kathy, but this time I disagree to some extent.
I agree with the majority here. Age is not so important, love is.
A girl of 17-18 yo is an adult already, young but adult, and there may be true love in a relationship with a young person.
Sometimes even more intense because purer and more passionate, and wilder.
I’ve been with my wife for 14 years now and when we first met she had just completed 18.
If there is true love there will also be patience and respect.
Teacher-student, IF there is true love and respect is OK.

September 24, 2009 at 2:35 pm
(16) Nicole says:

ok, speaking from experience (ive always dated older, my first “relationship” was when i was 14 and she was 33) its not generally the age difference…because this day and age, most ppl are learning to look outside of the box…now i’ll honestly say..now that im a little older (23 isnt a whole lot older) wut happened between me and the 33 yr old was definately wrong…not because of the age difference but b/c i was 2 young to know ANYTHING about life..i shouldnt have even been thinking about sex at that age….i know of a teacher here in tennessee (who i had a MAJOR crush on back in 10th and 11th grade) went to jail recently (within the last yr) because it was found out that she had had a few different relationships w/ her students….now some ppl freak out about that….but actually, she wasnt much more than a kid when she started teaching at that school..i think she was 20-22 when she started teaching…she wasnt even 5-6 yrs older then most of the students she taught…and i know for a fact that some of the ppl accusing her of rape did so willingly…because they bragged..now im not saying she didnt take advantage, because like they say in so many different movies….teachers have a responsibility..an obligation…and they should NEVER cross that line….no matter how bad we want them 2. lol…b/c omg after i heard about that..i was like WHY WASNT IT ME!!!! lol because me and almost every other non-hetero girl at that school was lusting after that teacher……but age differences….i hate that….age is just a number..it has nothing to do w/ the experience you have (sexually or just basic life experience) the intelligence you have to offer, the maturity, any of it….and i for one can tell you that not all older women are mature….ive dated a few that were 20+ yrs older then me and they’re maturity level was probably 5-10 yrs behind mine….so dont judge a book by its cover…JUST MAKE SURE ITS LEGAL

September 24, 2009 at 2:52 pm
(17) Nicole says:

ok i already posted a really long comment but i definately have alot to say on this topic..its been yrs since ive responded to one of the topics on here but this one hits home….i as one of the younger ones (who was in the students position not 2 long ago), dont think its ALWAYS the teachers fault…now, as an adult, yes they should practice more restraint, and i agreed w/ wut one person said in they’re comment “if the feelings and the love are real, then both should agree to wait til the student has graduated and/or of age” i agree w/ that…because if its meant 2 be..you can wait a year or 2…that way, (like in loving annabelle) you dont chance having that love ruined by ur partner having to go to jail…..i had a crush on my 6th grade teacher…i was..god…i think 12? that woman was the best thing since white bread in my book….and she never once tried anything….i didnt even know she’d watched me mature and learn and discover who i was until my graduation night…we were able to give a rose to the women in our lives who helped us become the ppl we are today, and i bought 6 for her….because thru her pushing me to make sure i succeed in life, i was able to make the decision that was of my own choosing, as an adult, to explore a relationship w/ her….and to also succeed in my professional life as well…and i can honestly say that no damage has been done b/c of her..i am a very mature (intellectually and mentally as well as emotionally) 23 year old..i have never responded well to women of my own age…the one i am w/ now is 14 yrs my senior..and she is probably the YOUNGEST i have ever dated…women my age, well, they annoy me….not all, but 99.9% do…i do not get along well with them romantically or even socially….so because of that ppl in general try to condemn me and the one i love because of that….hell even the one i love tries to condemn us because of it….age should not be the issue….mentality and emotional maturity should be the issue…society has messed w/ ppl so badly…once it was bad to be gay, and in my lil town of trenton tn it STILL is bad to be gay….but they have more issues w/ the age then the fact that i am w/ a woman..which shocks me…love is love….it should be blind to color/sex/race/disabilities…..we cant help who we love….or atleast i cant…and some days…i wish i could…but i love her…i dont care if by the time we get steady enuff to have kids she’ll b 40 and i’ll be 27….we will still love that child like no child has ever been loved….despite the age difference….ya know how they say “if ur old enuff to fight for our country then ur old enuff to drink”? (on military bases) i feel like if you are old enough to make a decision to put ur life on the line for an issue bigger then you, then you are old enough to know what love is and should be able to do what makes your heart and soul happy..and if someone 10, 15, even 20 years your senior does that for you? then go for it..be happy…because in this world….thats bout the only thing that is still worth it…is finding that happiness and cherishing it every day for the rest of your life…b/c one day, you’ll wake up and its gone..so dont let age be the issue…please…

September 24, 2009 at 3:40 pm
(18) Andi says:

To peace – im pretty sure that this article has nothing to do with your girlfriend being 2 years older than you. Your girlfriend isnt a ”queer adult” so this doesnt apply to you. If she is only 18 and you are 16 then she isnt much older than you and she is barely an adult herself. Also, turning 18 doesnt ”make you an adult”. Maturity, responsibility and intelligence are a few things that do.

September 24, 2009 at 10:40 pm
(19) Cristina says:

I agree with Andi.
My girlfriend just turned sixteen and I’ll be twenty soon; when I read the article I thought to myself “This isn’t so bad, at least I was never her teacher!” Being roughly four years apart has not been easy, I can only imagine how it is for lesbians that have a 10+ years age difference. I believe that while, maybe, there is a significant amount of adults (and not just ‘queer’ ones) that take advantage of the vulnerability of teenagers for their own sexual indulgence, we have to entertain the very reasonable possibility that there are teachers, coaches, and counselors who are human and capable of falling in love, notwithstanding their positions of authority. Human nature outweighs human “responsibility,” I think. It’s never okay to generalize, and I’m very disappointed with this article.

September 26, 2009 at 7:49 am
(20) liza clair - india says:

hi

you might have created a controversy, but facts are facts. teachers are supposed to guide immature girls, if the relationship happens after their legal ages, no problem. age is a factor in the present day world which we all respect as the law of the land applies.

liza clair

September 26, 2009 at 12:47 pm
(21) Wendy says:

I teach in a public school in NYC and I am an out lesbian, (to staff, not students, although the kids pretty much know). I don’t care what the circumstance, it is completely unacceptable for an adult woman to take advantage of a minor. I have many students that I’m very fond of, but I maintain very strong boundaries with them. Including keeping the hugging to a minimum – they are always trying to grab me and hug me.

They are children and need my protection and respect. Any teacher who would even consider a relationship with a minor, needs professional help. Teachers and especially gay teachers, are supposed to be role models and we are setting an example of what it means to be a decent human being. Shame on all of those gay (and straight) teachers who sleep with students. You’re giving the rest of us a bad rap.

A Very Gay and Very Annoyed Teacher

September 26, 2009 at 8:38 pm
(22) Retts says:

If you are a teacher dating a student please stop, especially if she is under 18. It could ruin your whole life and you could go to jail. Of course as the teacher you have more power. I don’t think Kathy is saying there can’t be love, but I remember having feeling for my gym teacher, because she was a role model and I looked up to her. I was not mature enough to handle something like that. Also I had a friend who was 18 and she started a relationship with a 40 yrs old coach. I feel like she never got to experience what it was like to date, hang out with peers and learn what life has to offer and young lesbian. You are always with older married couples and your life is planned for you. Hey I’m just saying..

September 28, 2009 at 10:15 am
(23) nono says:

hey i think my wrk colleaugue has feelings for me and yes i feel the same way about her i really like her tell me what should i do because she is my senior but she keeps on taunting me putting me under the spot that i could just grab her and kiss her please help

September 29, 2009 at 3:59 am
(24) Gee says:

Kathy I completely agree with you, Yvette and Wendy. And..no it’s not primarily an age issue here, although the majority of comments are written by the younger person who is in or experienced a relationship / love with an older person or teacher (who feels that perhaps their maturity or feelings are not recognised). The real issue is the teacher student relationship – student being the operative word here; generally younger and in a vulnerable position.

But… it’s not about age or the student being immature. It really is about the position of power and trust.

If this was about male teachers and female students or even female teachers and male students, I think the comments would be slightly more balanced.

Who hasn’t had a crush on a teacher (employer /doctor / someone in power) at some point – there’s nothing wrong with that, and good luck if those relationships that start then work out. But as a few people on here have said that’s how they should stay teacher / student etc.

March 31, 2011 at 2:37 am
(25) gwen says:

I am a lesbian and work in several schools as a counselor and school psychologist. I do understand the perspective that age should not being a barrier for love. However, that said, developmentally, during the teenage years we are at a much different stage emotionally and physiologically than we are when we are 30 or 40+ years old. A 20 year age difference between someone who is 17 and 37 is much different than one between someone who is 30 and 50. What I am trying to say is this: the gap between persons of different ages maturity-wise narrows as we get older. This isn’t just due to a lack of experience (although this is true also), but due to physical changes in brain development.
This is why we have the laws that we do….to protect adolescents from being taken advantage of, emotionally/physically exploited, etc. I know some of you will say “but they love each other….” The law is not perfect of course and I understand why a 17 year old might say, “But she is only 4 years older than me.” However, if we are still talking about a educator/student relationship, the educator is still in a position of authority in regard to the student, which as others have pointed out, is an abuse of power. Of course it is not very likely that an educator is going to be only 4 years (or less) older than the teen. To the teachers (or other school employees) out there who think that it is ok to become involved with their students I would like to ask, do you really think that the person you are with or might potentially be with are going to come away unaffected by your relationship? Even if you think the law is wrong, or maybe only wrong in certain cases, how do you think things are going to work out for that student emotionally when and if you end your relationship or if you get hauled away to jail? Think about it–even if you disagree–is it worth even the potential of harm?

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