Savage Love Letter of the Day: Kicking This One To You, Savage Love Commenters



There's no harm in asking.


There’s harm if the teacher asked, she should do the asking. But there may be friendship fallout.


I voted yes, but maybe we should also know what kind of community in Texas they live in.


Why would there be any harm if the teacher asked?
She's graduating from college, and he was her high school teacher.
There is no conflict of interest or power imbalance.


I say yes, but make it ABUNDANTLY clear that the offer extends to both of them, and not just him.


NOW, your itch is not that uncommon. Many of us crave/d our sexy-or-not high school teachers and beyond. (Confession: I also had some teen erections dedicated to my elementary school teacher.)
Please be aware that what you may be viewing as a current post-risk period of your life is not necessarily the same for your teacher and spouse. If they’re still teaching and it is found out he/they had sex with you than other parents may be freaking out, and school district may be forced to follow suit.
Another thing to consider is that a young, horny person conviction that an older person would love to fuck them may very sadly not always be the case.

So what do you do? You let the teacher decide. You show them in a semi-subtle way that if he/they will make a move then you are very likely to follow through.
But before you tell them about that sexy college professor you asked out on a casual date a day after graduation, and calmly mention as an aside that high school teachers may not be exempted, you should get some potential embarrassments out of the way.

Do you know for sure that there’s also an interest on their side?
Are they bi? Can they trust you not to tell anyone in your community, and have you demonstrated that in the past?

Hope all goes well regardless of the outcome.


Do not do this. Watch some fun teacher/student role play porn and chill the fuck out. Sure, it’s not illegal, but this is an atomic bomb of boundary violations and the real life fallout could be pretty fucking gnarly even if they were into fucking you.


As LW has not made it clear whether or not she has kept up with and befriended both husband and wife or just the former teacher, I doubt it will turn out well. The letter seemed to read as if LW had kept up with teacher but only found wife hot, without any particularly warm ongoing acquaintance. That would be a No, although one might find a subtle way to indicate that an advance from the other side would be accepted.


I voted no.

That the teacher (and his wife?) meet the LW for drinks on occasion seems a slight point in favor of going for it (in that they're willing to socialize as peers, friends, whatev).

However, she's been crushing on him since high school. It's very likely to be weird and disappointing compared to whatever fantasy shes' been building up for 5 or more years. And there's no indication that she knows they're open to threesomes. Just some vague "attraction may be mutual" sense which is what wishful thinking often comes disguised as.

She's young and moving out of the country. She's got plenty of time to fuck hot couples. I say let this relationship with teacher and wife remain an uncomplicated part of her transition into adulthood and a secret fantasy she gets off on sometimes.


When you felt your interest was reciprocated over drinks, was that his wife's interest as well as his? You were having drinks with both of them, right?

I guess you proceed gingerly. You let the conversation drift towards sex and are hyper-acute to any cues like, 'well, now [Marge] and I live the sheltered lives of fiftysomethings' or 'my attitude to young people now has become quite correctly avuncular and pastoral' (hmmm, I'm not sure your high school teacher speaks like this ... well, maybe he does). And then, if nothing is flashing red in your face, you proposition in a way that's fun and could be laughed at after--as CMD suggests. Good luck, and good luck with your trip post-graduation, too!


Understand that if you hit on your former teacher, you are probably just making life more difficult for him.

I used to know a high school teacher. She was young and quite beautiful. Her looks actually made it harder to be an effective teacher. It was a constant distraction, and her male students hit on her frequently. She ended up going to great lengths to make herself look drab: wore no makeup, left her hair askew, wore baggy unflattering clothes. This only made her look slightly less beautiful. She still got hit on all the time. She was forced to make the polite turndown into an art form to keep her students at bay.

Even if it is technically legal now (you're an adult and no longer his student), it could still cost him his job and reputation if word got out that he slept with a former student. Even more so if he's married (it would look like he cheated on his wife, even if you slept with both of them). Even more so if you live in a conservative community. He would have to be insane to say yes.


Am I the only one that read LW as a guy? I'll concede to consensus, however—sure, go ahead and ask. Wait wait wait, should we know more about the details of how you're going out to drinks with your former teacher?

Confidential to the teacher: If a former student inquires about sex with you and your wife, don't do it.



I wasn't certain as to the letter writers gender until I saw Dan's poll question:

Should she or shouldn't she.


I said yes because it is hot, but I can't help thinking...If it was I who was the teacher, and someone I taught 5 or 6 years ago propositioned me, what would I do? I'd probably say no because ethics and appearances matter to me. From her side there's not much to lose. From the teacher's side there probably is. I've certainly seen people get drummed out of a career for less.


“Dear attractive friend who used to be my teacher, I had a great time catching up over drinks recently. I just wanted to share with you that I identify as bisexual. This is relevant because I happen to notice that you and your lovely wife are quite an attractive couple with whom I enjoy spending time. If you both happen to be interested in spending some more quality time with me I would be flattered and interested. I don’t feel that there is a conflict of interest what with you being a former teacher of mine, due to my being an adult and university graduate. If you disagree and you are not interested in my proposal please know that I understand. I value our friendship over all else. Let’s talk soon, LW”

Sounds fine to me...


The LW (who I also thought was male — maybe Dan has insider info) is 23. That's more than old enough to proposition someone s/he regularly goes out for drinks with. No laws or regulations are in danger of being broken. If the teacher or his wife sees it as crossing a boundary, it's their prerogative to say so. If people outside of this threesome see it as crossing a boundary — well, it's none of their business. (If they live in a conservative community, one can assume that much sketchier things are going on behind the scenes than this.)

LW, it's your life, and your sex life, and if your teacher and his wife are indeed interested, nobody else's opinion matters. (You and they can decide how — and how much — you want to protect all of your privacy if this does indeed go down.) How do you find out if they're interested? I'd recommend leading with the question "so, do you have a monogamous marriage?" (phrased more elegantly, perhaps after talking about your own feelings about bisexuality, monogamy, etc). If your teacher's answer is "yes," then no need to continue. But otherwise, go for it.


Ah... proofreading. Please replace all instances of the word "teacher" in my above comment with "ex-teacher". I would agree that there was an issue if this was a current teacher/student relationship, but this is not, and hasn't been for five years. Five years is long enough.


OmarSanchezCat @ 15
No- don't put anything in writing. And don't force them to reply to you in that manner as well.


She should. The worst that could happen is they say no. Also, I went out hunting for a shag in London tonight, got precisely nowhere, and wish to live vicariously upon the sexual happiness of others.


Fair or not, the teacher (in Texas, mind you) is risking his reputation and his job. He shouldn't do it.

Now, for the ex-student, asking "hey, wanna consensually do this dumbass thing" isn't wrong, he can and should say no, but nah just don't.


Gosh I don't see at all why this would be a risk to his profession or a transgression in any way. I'd get it if she were 19 or still fraternizing with high school students- but this is a grown ass woman, presumably out of college. So what if he was her teacher 5 or 6 years ago?

I think she should proceed as she would if he were any older married friend. That doesn't mean that she should necessarily ask, but the fact that he used to be her teacher should have no bearing on the situation. I'm more curious about what makes her think his wife would be interested. She didn't say the wife is bi.

Speaking of which, until I got to the bottom of Dan's response, I just assumed the LW was a man. Hence his lack of comment on the wife's sexuality - we know the wife is interested in men since she's married to one and we know the LW thinks the former teacher is interested in the LW (a bi man by my reading). Did the LW mention gender or did I misread? Dan might be withholding.


Also all you people wringing your hands over Texas, please. The fact that it has an insane government doesn't mean it's some weirdo backwater. Several of the largest cities in the country are there, several major universities and industries, plenty of gay public figures- mayors, politicians, all the cities are blue. You'd think it was different from the rest of the country the way people respond. As if Washington state, where Dan lives, is some enlightened place outside of Seattle? C'mon.


Do it! You're moving far far away, so if it ends badly the friendship can fade with distance and little social awkwardness. Hit on the wife and let her take the lead, or have a very direct conversation with both of them. The fact that you're moving may be a bonus for them as well. It sounds like perfect timing for something like this!


Where on earth are you all living that 1) an entire community would have any reason/way to find out about a one-time or even series of casual hookups that the various teachers at your district's schools might be having and 2) would find it completely unacceptable that one of the consenting adults was a teacher of one of the other consenting adults years ago?

As far as I can tell, the most common way people's sexual relationships become public knowledge - they're seen out in public together - is no additional risk because NOW and her(?) former teacher (and maybe his wife?) are ALREADY meeting for drinks.

Are you all just paranoid because of media coverage of "sex scandals"? Remember, these are a handful of cases in a year in a country with a population of 350 million; the cases that blow up are almost certainly a tiny proportion of the hookups of this type that occur.


Also, I think tanvi rajvanshi's problems are mostly of zir own making; WTF porn is ze watching where teacher-student scenarios are "an outdated fantasy that inspires 99% of porn storylines"?


@14: "I'd probably say no because ethics and appearances matter to me."

WTF is the ethical problem? To whom are you worried about appearing untoward? Do your school board members or community's parents routinely spy through teachers' bedroom windows?


only if you don't care that they may be so skeeved out that they never want anything to do with you again. And perhaps retroactively feel skeevey about their past friendship, and question what they did to make you think they'd be open to such a thing.

or even if they're not skeeved out, they may feel obliged to cut future contact (or any references they might otherwise have given) because they have proper professional boundaries.

So basically, if the friendship and mentorship mean something to you, don't. If you've mostly been enjoying hanging out because they're hot, and you wouldn't mind losing them as friends, or you don't think they care about professional boundaries, then go ahead and risk jaundicing the friendship.


I'd want some pretty definite encouragement before I'd proceed - like going to a party and maybe, if the mood strikes, doing some kissy-face. Otherwise, you might loose their friendship forever, and a hot fantasy becomes something you'd rather not think about. On the other hand, if you are sure the encouragement is there, well, I'd ask something like, "I apologize in advance if I'm misreading certain signs here, but may I assume that we are all open to taking this relationship to another stage?" That gives you a backdoor from which you can exit politely.


EL, momsmom, J Horstman, and all others wondering why the teacher should be cautious:
Because they’re dealing with a 23 yo former student, a taboo to many regardless of legality. People her age as well as any other age like to share/brag, and such news will fly fast. Assuming many of her hometown friends are former classmates, news may hit some parents (possibly current students as well). Some of them may freak out even if they don’t have any younger children currently in Mr. Rogers’ class. They will tell other parents, and eventually someone will tell the school.
The school will be “very embarrassed” and will force Mr. Rogers out.
That’s why.


OSC @15 beat me to it. I think NOW should write a very nice note, saying how much she enjoys the company of this couple, and that she is excited about her upcoming move but she will miss their good times together. Second paragraph: she has always dreamed about the possibility of "taking our friendship to a new level," and she would be delighted if Teach and Mrs. Teach would join her for an out-of-town, NSA fling before she jets away to the other side of the world. But if they would prefer to remain platonic friends, NOW will be happy with that outcome too. "Please talk it over, and let me know what you think. Regardless of what you decide, you two are among my favorite people in Dullsville. I am glad we have been able to overcome the teacher-student dynamic and become good adult friends in the years since my graduation."

I get that teachers must avoid even the appearance of impropriety, but scheduling their tryst at least 30 miles from their home town should be sufficient insurance against possibly being spotted by the town busybody or any mutual acquaintances.


EL @ 22
“As if Washington state, where Dan lives, is some enlightened place outside of Seattle?”
Last republican governor in 1985.
State laws recognizing and protecting transgender folks enacted in the late 1980’s and early 90’s, years before the current Savage era.
Six years ago Washington became the first state to legalize same sex marriage and marijuana by state-wide popular votes.



Well said. I feel sorry for the LW’s teacher and all teachers in general.


@9 you nailed it. Leave it untarnished in fantasy world. You don't need the rejection OR the complications. Have threesomes with not your teachers (or bosses!). Former or otherwise.


No, for all of the reasons previously stated.
Side note - Dan, could you make it a rule for letter writers to include basic stats like gender, sexuality, and age? It seems so often people write in, maybe thinking it's obvious or doesn't matter. While it doesn't really matter to an extent it does provide the full picture and allows nuanced subtleties to come into play a bit more.


@31, if you go just a few miles outside of Seattle, you are in red country. The overwhelming majority of the state is red. It's also the home of plenty of white supremacist militias. It has a totally backwards tax system.

The only reason WA has those things you mention is because Seattle is the ratio of urban to rural populations. Just like everywhere else in the country, Washington state has blue cities with progressive local governments in a sea of red countryside. Texas is exactly the same, except that it's extremely ethnically diverse to the point that a lot of its rural areas are blue too. It's just a giant state so it skews red overall.

The LW could be in some backwards small town in Texas. My point is just that commenters here are asking about that, whereas if the the same person said they were in WA or OR (where it's equally as backwards outside of the cities) no one would be asking that. We have to get over this myth of red and blue states. It's urban vs rural.


Depends on the distance she's had in the intervening years. If their relationship has continued as mentor - mentee for 5 years, then no. If there's been distance and a reconnection with the LW as an adult, then sure... why not ask.

For myself, 23 year olds have much more in common with children than adults, and considering that I knew the LW as a kid, I doubt I'd be interested. But other people often look at 23 year olds differently.


Americans - “Don’t, very politely and despite being a grown adult by every possible measure, ask someone who happened to be your teacher 5+ years ago if they’d be interested in a private, no strings hook up. The SCANDAL! The CHILDREN! Fetch me my pearls and fainting couch!”

The French - “Hi. This is our president and his wife, his former high school English teacher. Pass the cheese, si vous plait.”


How does she intend to do the asking? If it's in some weird, too-strong, can't-back-out way, then the answer is no. If it's in some respectful, playful, not-weird way, then the answer is maybe.

Mostly my answer is about the variables. If NOW has been able to get hot sex elsewhere, I'd lean towards no. No sense potentially ruining a good friendship for something that's not that rare or special anyway. Also, how good has NOW been about reading "they're interested" signals in the past? When I was 23, I was terrible at it, but maybe that was just me. It's possible that NOW is allowing the strength of they're-hot cloud her thinking until she's certain they-want-me when really the they-want-me signal is weak. At least, that's what I used to do all the time. I was just certain that if I felt something strongly enough then the feeling was returned.

Mostly the question is how awful would it be if NOW asked, had it wrong, everything was weird between her and her teacher ever after, if others in the small town wondered why the friendship cooled, and speculative gossip followed forever ever after? Before y'all tell me that's unlikely, I'll fire back with it might also be not that bad.

Oh, and I'm tickled pink that NOW asked for official wisdom, and Dan gave the question to the commenters. That means WE'RE official now.


No mention that the wife is bi, are we to assume that's the story.


Next time all three are together socially, LW can just throw out a friendly "Damn, you're a sexy couple" and gauge response. If mutually enthusiastic, let the flirtation naturally escalate. If there's any sign one of the parties is not into it, back off. OTOH, if it's a case where the three never socialize together and LW only ever gets together with the former teacher, I vote no, unless the teacher has mentioned they are open or swing or has otherwise invited this type of conversation.


I’m in a similar situation myself, but I’m the ex-teacher. Former student (she’s 20) has made it abundantly clear—sexy texts, etc.—that she’s down for NSA fun, but, all questions of legality aside, I can’t stop thinking about the potential fallout for both of us if it actually went down. If you really care about this guy, keep your desire where it belongs: in your imagination. d


Hell. Yes.




EL @ 35
While I agree that it’s often urban vs. rural, it should be noted that larger Seattle wasn’t always that influential in terms of blue numbers.
A popular republican governor in the 70’s turned US senator in the 80’s couldn’t stop the national trend of the Reagan years, as the local party fell to the Christian right and often fields bizarre state-wide nominations ever since.
Yet even nowadays, when republicans come up with a decent-enough nominee, they stand a chance.

I would also argue that greater Seattle is way more internationally/ethnically diverse than what outsiders may think, and not all communities are necessarily on the left side of the political spectrum.

Still wondering about “plenty of white supremacist militias” and “totally backwards tax system.”


If NOW went to a public school, then her former teacher is in a union.
The union is not going to allow him to be fired for having sex with another consenting adult.

Anyway, if there are busy bodies who would want to cause this teacher problems, they're probably already doing it.
You see, busy bodies are prudes, and if NOW and her former High School teacher have been meeting for drinks then any prudish busybody who knows about it already thinks they're fucking.

As for destroying the friendship, that's always possible when someone attempts to turn a friendship into a relationship. NOW, says that she is moving to the other side of the world, that may not destroy the friendship, but it will certainly change the character of the friendship. In fact, part of the reason NOW is considering this at all is because she thinks she will never see these people again.

Finally, as an adult bisexual woman who is interested in sexual relationship with married couples, I would hope NOW understands the need for discretion and privacy.
If she doesn't, she's not going to have very much fun being a unicorn.


I'm leaning toward no. As @36 points out, the teacher knew her when she was a kid. Maybe that sort of thing can grow into an adult friendship, but turning it sexual just might be hella awkward for him, as @41 mentions. There could be a lot riding on the potential fallout. LW should keep this fantasy contained to her imagination.


Thistley @37, good one! Please note that #notallAmericans are clutching their pearls, though. We already know it's a fantasy for NOW, but think about it from the teacher's perspective. If Teach and his wife have ever fantasized about a threesome, having a brief NSA fling with a nubile 23-yo woman (at her invitation!) shortly before she leaves the country is about as close to a risk-free, consequence-free, purely recreational sexperiment as they are ever likely to have. And if they are not interested, she still leaves shortly - so there's not a whole lot of time for anyone involved to nurse feelings of embarrassment or impropriety.


Texas was also blue in the 70s and 80s. These are national trends.

While Seattle itself is pretty diverse, it is nothing near as diverse as Texan cities- a few of which are minority-majority, including Houston which is either the most diverse or the second most diverse city in the country (it runs neck and neck with NYC).

Backwards tax system meaning no state income tax nor capital gains tax, and the fact that Amazon pays nothing in taxes. I don't know much about this, having just learned about it from another Stranger article yesterday. Texas also has a backwards tax system as it is also one of the few states in the US that does not have state income tax- there is a reason both Seattle and Austin have become tech hubs in recent years. It's because of the regressive tax structure.

As for white supremacist militias- really? You didn't know that OR and WA are the choice for the white ethnostates? Have you ever looked at one of those maps that show how many white supremacist groups exist around the country? The rural areas of the PNW are teeming with them. While there are also plenty of backwards racists in Texas (including a couple cities in East Texas that were entirely white when I was a child), the countryside is far more diverse so you don't have the same concentration, unlike WA and OR where many rural areas are 90% white.

But this is getting into more detail than I intended as I'm sure you know more about WA than I do (I think you live there?), my point was just that if you look at a map of WA, it is almost entirely red outside of Seattle so this myth that it's some progressive place only exists because of how populated Seattle is in relation to the rest of the state. Just like every other state in the country, it is blue in the city and red in the countryside.

BTW I didn't mean to imply that a diverse population means that those communities do not vote Rep. Plenty do- even in Texas there are a lot of Latinx GOP. But it does mean you have fewer organized white supremacists & MAGA chuds.


@Adam 45

That's not correct. They are in Texas where there are no teacher unions, only teacher orgs, ranked 45 out of 50 in terms of the power they have to protect their workers (no collective bargaining, no tenure). Teachers in Texas are hired on year-by-year contracts. While you'd need a reason and must follow due process to fire a teacher mid-year, they can be non-renewed at the end of the school year for any reason. It's usually up to the principal. Some districts, as you stay for a while, extend it for a few years, but that's not the norm in cities.

BTW sort of a tangent, but it's a conservative myth that teachers unions correlate with school performance. Some of the best performing states in the country have teachers unions and some do not. Likewise, among the worst performing states, some have unions and some do not.



Wow, I have no idea that there were states without teachers unions. That just amazes me.

I did a quick Google search after I saw your post, and I see that there are five states that don't allow teachers unions.
I also saw that in 1999 they were the five states with the worst college entrance exam scores.

Teachers deserve to be well paid, and they deserve the protection of a union.

How does Texas even find people that are willing to put up with year by year contracts?


What else are teachers going to do, Adam? If you can figure out how to convince workers that their own best interest is served by organizing for power and not by trusting billionaires, then please tell me the secret! I don't know much about the stats, but in the districts I've worked with (I'm not a teacher nor a district employee but I did work for a while in state facilities that worked with schools), teachers didn't really have a problem with getting non-renewed too often because over half of them would just choose to quit. Most teachers leave the profession after a few years, so districts are usually strained in the other direction- they can't retain anyone. But things might be different in wealthier areas and also they might be different in today's economy- that was a few years ago.

Also there are more than five really as some states (like Texas) have teacher organizations. They are sometimes listed as unions by people who don't know the difference, but you'll see there is no collective bargaining, no tenure, no secure employment, etc. They do offer some legal aid if you get sued or if someone tries to fire you in the middle of the year without due process, but that's it.

Also while I agree teachers should be able to organize like any other workers, its not entirely true that teacher unions correlate in either way with state school performance. It's important also to look at how strong the unions are- some are really just on-paper unions. If you look at the ones that have actual power, some of them are in very high performing states, some are in low performing states. Likewise, there are states with no unions that perform very well just like there are states with no unions that have low performance. What makes the difference about school performance has more to do with neighborhood organizing, school demographics and classroom size. Most of it has very little to do with the teachers themselves. Also it depends on how you measure performance (testing? graduation rate? success of students post-HS?)


BTW I didn't mean that teachers themselves make no difference to students- obviously they are extremely important! I meant the extent to which they are organized (or where they get their degree or how much they are paid) makes no difference to the overall state's performance, at least on the measures that I know of (testing, grad rates, employment rate after graduating, college entrance / readiness) etc. There are amazing teachers in very low performing schools and terrible teachers in high performing schools and good/bad teachers in states with unions and not. It's not these things that make a difference since, in the end, the success/failures of our education system has more to do with the success/failures of wider society than it does of what individual schools/teachers can do.


My vote is no, given the info we have. We don't know if this is an open marriage and that the wife is bi. I'm not going to encourage random young women to hit on married men. Monogomany is still the expected norm unless a person tells us otherwise. Sorry LW, go meet some new people. Unmarried ones.


Lava @53, she says in her letter that she is thinking about propositioning "them," i.e. the former teacher AND his wife. Together, at the same time. I think that's very different than hitting on a married man without knowing if he is in an open marriage. If the wife is not bi, or the couple is monogamous, they can simply tell her "No thanks, we're not up for that" - and NOW should be prepared to receive that response gracefully. However, they might just say yes. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!


El- red dots generated by low-population counties can be misleading when you look at the big picture. Kids from Eastern Washington- rural, agricultural, often-but-not-always conservative- flock to greater Settle as opposed to the other way around.
W and Rick Perry would have never been reelected here.

The book I mentioned on the main thread is "Fast Time in Palestine” by Pamela Olson. An Oklahoma raised young woman who travelled in the Mid East some 15 years ago and accidentally ended up in the West Bank where she lived for few years. Among other things she writes about dating a man in a small Muslim town, how it could have materialized had they met in the relative liberal Christian-established city of Ramallah only few miles away, and the possible fate of flirty foreign male foreigners in the Muslim-dominated city of Nablus. All are 20 miles or so away fro each other, not to mention the near by ever-celebrating city of Tel-Aviv always on the western horizon.
Her other observations should be read by every Israeli and local AIPAC supporters who wonder what the occupation looks like to the other side.

More details and how I’m related to all this can be provided elsewhere. You and other interested commenters can reach me at cmd78014 at yeah who.


PS to my own comment @54 - Of course they can also say "no thanks" even if the wife IS bi and they DO enjoy multi-partnered sexual encounters, but because of the former teacher-student relationship or for any other reason that they needn't reveal to her, they simply don't feel like playing with NOW. And NOW isn't trying to coerce or cajole them into having sex with her, she just wants to know if they'd be interested. They are completely free to accept her offer or turn it down.


Capri: yes, I get she's thinking of hitting on both of them, the main target is the husband. And I disagree, if someone is married, unless you have knowledge they are open, you don't hit on them.


Lava @57, when NOW says she is bi and she finds Teach and Mrs. Teach equally hot, I interpret that to mean that she is bi and she finds Teach and Mrs. Teach equally hot. I seriously doubt she would be propositioning the two of them together, just so she can get to Teach. If she really does desire one half of this couple more than the other, I'd guess that her primary target is Mrs. Teach, since it's relatively easy for a 23-yo woman to find a man for NSA sex with minimal effort.

I also think there's a logical flaw in saying that a single person shouldn't hit on a married person, unless they know for sure that the marriage is open. How do you find out that information, unless you raise the subject - thus expressing your sexual interest in the married person, aka hitting on them? It's not like we all walk around wearing signs that say "I'M IN AN OPEN MARRIAGE."


Capri, what is the point of marriage, if those in it don't respect its boundaries, and we see they don't thru the letters, and those outside it don't respect its boundaries. And if someone has an open relationship and is interested in another, I'd say the info gets out.


NO, she shouldn't.

Folks that answered yes should probably cut back on their drinking at cocktail and dinner parties.

Thanks for link to the Keith Haring exhibit Dan.


It depends on: 1) how hot she is (I know it's shallow) 2) how old the couple is 3) do they have children 4) where do you/they live (conservative vs liberal/what is normative behavior) 5) could this jeopardize his teaching career (I know she is an adult now, but it could raise questions about his behavior towards his current female students)

She is going to be on the other side of the world and would not really have to worry about any negative consequences. Assuming the couple is amenable she should only proceed if it is a threesome or she has the explicit consent of the other spouse.

"We had a few drinks the other night and I got the sense that maybe the attraction is mutual" Was it just the three of them at the time in a private setting or were they with other people in a public setting. Only proceed if the former and not the latter and when they are alone together if she propositions them in person.

If she chooses to proceed. The next time they (3) are alone together she should dress to attract, but not blatantly (sexy or slutish) After a couple of drinks she should confess (to the wife) that like many female high school students she had a major league crush on her husband. Her focus should be on the wife not the husband, showing equal sexual interest in the wife. Her body language and clothes should be inviting.


Drain her drink before proceeding, indicating to the couple that is screwing up her courage to proceed


seatackled (3) How did you conclude that they live in Texas?


Lava @59, wow. So if I understand you correctly, it's OK for a married person to say to a single person: "Just so you know, I've always found you attractive. I love my spouse and we are fully committed to each other, but we have an open marriage, so if you're ever in the mood for a little NSA fun, count me in." Whereas it's not OK for a single person to say to a married person: "Just so you know, I've always found you attractive. I understand that you're happily married and you are fully committed to your spouse, but if your marriage rules allow it and you're ever in the mood for a little NSA fun, count me in."


I'm a middle school teacher. These situations are part of the job (both obvious crushes and inappropriate behavior from current students and propositions from ex-students). You get really good at politely explaining that you're their teacher and not going to be their boyfriend (to the current students) or explaining that you're flattered but not interested (to the ex-students). (Or some people take them up on it. Just not me. I've got a non-open marriage.) And you don't make a big deal about these things.

The teacher can handle being asked. Go for it. He'll know what to do. (Probably say, "No, thank you. We don't do that.")


Like many people, I'm sure, I'd need more information before plumping for either 'yes' or 'no".

Like 'how much is there to the LW's friendship with the couple?' Does she just have a crush on the teacher and is hanging with them, in a puppyish way, because she thinks they're hot? Does she have a genuine involvement intellectually with the civics or Spanish or physics he taught her? Of the kind that can sustain s (lifelong) friendship? Does she have the maturity to be able to stay in polite but distant contact after their get-together? Can all parties be sure this is going to be a private feast, not an occasion for awkward and potentially jeopardising juvenile tattle and boasting?

The LW has been thoughtful in asking for guidance. She is thinking of the repercussions; as far as she's concerned, there won't be any--she'll be on the other side of the world. She may have to allay her ex-teacher's concerns that he would be putting his neck on the line in terms of job security--and she should, if and only if it appears the plan might be a goer. Of course, it's for him and his wife to turn her down for whatever reason. But I don't feel it would be massively inappropriate or self-indulgent for her to put feelers out.


I don't know what she should do, but several people raise excellent points above, mostly in re: the wife's interest, but also the professional ethics of teachers.

But ... unicorn! So maybe yes.

If I had a dollar for every time some hot college-aged bi woman hit on me and my spouse, I'd have no money. Seems a shame to pass up on Jill & Fred's Excellent Adventure if they are interested.


Why is everyone convinced NOW is a she? And where are people getting Texas from?

Adam @4: Because he's significantly older than they are and used to be in a position of power over them. The creepy factor remains. Student should do the asking. And agree they should proposition them both at once.

Gh0stie @7: What real-life fallout? They're about to move to the other side of the world. Their paths will never cross. What fallout could there be, other than potentially a Facebook unfriending? Worth the risk!

Thistley @37: Gold star comment!

Lava @57: If you know someone is married, and you don't know whether the marriage is open, you don't hit on them unless you include their spouse, which is what NOW is proposing to do. I agree with Cap that "you two are such a hot couple" is unlikely to be read as "I'm after the man." That's a very hetero perspective. In the likely event the wife is straight and may react the way you did, NOW should absolutely hit on them together, or (presuming NOW is female) break the ice by saying "Wow, Mr Smith, you never told me your wife was so hot." If Mrs Smith is straight, Mr Smith will just take that as a compliment; if she's bi, and he fancies NOW, his will be the next move of mentioning NOW's interest to his wife.

Raindrop @60: One can be both sober and slutty, thanks very much.


BDF @68, everyone thinks she's a woman because Dan used feminine pronouns in the letter. Penultimate paragraph. Texas comes from seatackled @3 and I think it was a tongue-in-cheek reference to conversations on other threads about how Texas is more diverse than it looks from the outside, particularly to Seattleites.


Cap @64: My position on hitting on a partnered individual is somewhere between yours and Lava's. I would presume they were monogamous, and therefore off limits, unless I knew for a fact they weren't. But it is perfectly fine to find out by asking, "So is your relationship open at all?" If the answer is no, that will cause a lot less drama than picking off one partner and making them an "if you're available, so am I" offer. Because most monogamous people would feel duty bound to report that back to their spouse, who is then likely to see you as a threat.


Capricornius@64. Well, yes, because the expected default for a marriage is "not accepting additional applications." Accordingly, it's on the married couple to be the one to let others know that this is not the case. On the other hand, the expected default for a former teacher is "not getting sexually involved with students." Accordingly, it'd be on her to let them know that she'd waive this rule.

Personally, I wouldn't. I'd go get my unicorn kicks safely abroad with people I don't care about ever seeing again if it gets awkward. Older unicorn hunters are a dime a dozen when you're a girl in your 20's. Long-term friends and mentors are far rarer and much more valuable.


Cap @69 (congrats!): There is nothing in the letter that suggests the writer's gender. So the commenters are assuming she's female because Dan assumed she's female, but I include Dan in my question, "Why is everyone convinced NOW is a she?" Dan also, conflictingly, included some advice about "if you're a man making a pass at a woman." Not sure why he would do that if NOW's gender was known to him.

Traffic @71: Older unicorn hunters may be a dime a dozen. But couples where both partners are hot are not.


Oh my, now I wonder if I blew it!

At 33 I went back to school for a while at a community college to advance my career. My pretty teacher invited me to her house. She and her husband and had a good time, during which we mostly drank a lot, more than I was used to. They weren't interested in the weed I brought, so I stuck to alcohol.

None of us made a pass at anyone; I was anticipating more. I figured part of the reason we got together was that not only was I their age, but it didn't seem like there was a power imbalance because my performance in class was so stellar (I was a lock for an A+, light-years ahead of the other students).

I thought since they were the couple, I was supposed to let them make any 'move', but comments here make me wonder it I was supposed to? Aaargh.


@73: No, curious2, you did the right thing. Sometimes teachers take a liking to their (especially somewhat older) students and suggest a social relationship (I would have waited until the semester was over, but I've known people who didn't), and that's all they want--a social relationship.


Since they're friends and the letter writer is a full-fledged, independent adult, I assume that this friendship has been cultivated in good faith--that there is no chance the letter writer has been groomed by the older friend and there isn't an exiting pattern of such "friendships" that might suggest impropriety. If this is for sure the case, then I don't really see an ethical conflict. The friend and his wife can decide if they're interested and if the risk of offending those who would be offended exists/is worth it.


I'm really stunned by the hand wringing here over a 23 year old having sex with a teacher. I'm not sure where you guys live that this would be a big deal or that anyone at all would care about it. And despite the mentions above about how this could destroy his career or his reputation, I can't think of a single example of a similar such story. The stories that destroy teachers are usually ones where they are doing something illegal or unethical- fucking teenagers who are their students or who are young enough that they could be- not grown ups having affairs with grown ups who have not seen the inside of a school in over five years and who have their own careers, self-sufficient lives, etc. This one seems like a no-brainer to me, but I guess Dan knew something about it would be weird for people.


I assume Dan had some extra info that he did not share (like her name or whatever) that led him to conclude she is a woman. If he's just making that assumption himself, that'd be pretty bad advice columnisting. But without that, I agree the LW could be any gender, and in fact, I'd think the LW was a man - hence the lack of reference to the wife's bisexuality.

As for Texas, that's @3, repeated by Mtn Beaver @ 20 then I complicated the matter when Adam @45 said the man must be in a teachers union, and I responded @ 51 that TX has no teachers unions. Cap is correct, in retrospect, that @3 is probably making a tongue-in-cheek response to my conversation with CMD in another thread about how people who have never been to that state seem to think it's far more backwards than it is (or rather, that the United States is pretty damn backwards everywhere outside of the cities and that Texas is no different this way).


BDF- Oh no, wait, I don't know where I am. That conversation about Texas with CMD is here in this thread in response, so @3 is not making reference to that. @3 either gleaned some info that we don't see or they were just expressing the same stereotype that I later started railing against.


This whole Texas thing really proves the power of suggestion, because after reading a few of the comments that mentioned Texas I was certain that NOW mentioned Texas in the letter. After rereading it I can see that I was completely wrong.

As for the NOW being a woman, Dan uses a female pronoun to refer to her twice. Once in the poll question, and once in this quote:

"Should NOW hit on—in person or via text—her old high school teacher and his wife?"

@BDF I didn't say that the teacher hitting on his former student wouldn't be creepy, anytime anyone hits on anyone it can be creepy, I merely meant to say there was no harm in it.
I've been hit on a few times where it seemed creepy, and I didn't feel harmed by it.
Then again, I'm not a woman constantly having to deal with creepy people hitting on them. I suppose having to deal with that sort of thing on a regular basis could be harmful.
In fact, I'm curious.
Does anyone out there ( male or female) think creepy come ons are harmful?
Does it depend on the situation?


Creepy come ons can be harmful. I think there's a big difference between creepy and just awkward which might be annoying but not harmful. When things are creepy, they make your skin crawl- make you feel unsafe or degraded, might make you behave differently because you don't want the experience to escalate, might cause you to alter your behavior or feel insecure, insulted, and constantly swallowing your pride to prevent escalation can have a negative long-term effect. Is that what you mean?

I don't agree that it would necessarily be creepy for the man to hit on the LW- it would depend on how he went about it. He is older and used to be in a position of power, so just generally speaking, it would be best to proceed as if she had feelings towards him that were more mentoring elder or fatherly. When older guys who you think of as "uncles" or "mentors" make sexual comments at you, it can be really creepy. It's like a betrayal in some way.

But in this case, they have been flirting. They have drinks together. We don't get the impression that they sit around talking about her academic or professional future or whatever- he's clearly already in the sexy older friend role. There are plenty of non creepy ways for him to proceed, including simply asking her how she feels about their friendship.


I think the creepiness comes in when someone makes assumptions that show he feels entitled to you or that he doesn't care at all about how you feel about his attention. Sometimes this is a result of obliviousness combined with entitlement instead of intention combined with entitlement, but it's still creepy. It's when you suddenly become aware that the other person is just being super sexual about something despite the fact that there hasn't been any reciprocation or attempt to gauge the situation.

It's always possible to accidentally fuck up and do/say something creepy, I suppose, but I think that you are far less likely to do so if you simply show respect for the other person, and when in doubt, use your words to clarify. A "I've really enjoyed hanging out with you lately. How do you feel about our friendship?" or something along those lines will give the other person plenty of options about how to respond without feeling much more than social awkwardness and also gives them the space to express attraction or respond in a way that could shut it down fast without being rude.


I think that going out for drinks with an ex-student -- just the teacher, wife, and ex-student -- is not the norm for teachers (speaking as a former high school teacher.) So if the situation is that just the three of them meet for drinks, that leads me to think that this teacher is freer with his socialization with ex-students than most of my colleagues. He is already pushing the edge a little bit in terms of how some people would react to this fraternization even when the ex-student is no longer in his class. So asking about a three-some is not as creepy if there is a friendship which has already passed a more typical teacher-student connection. However, it is still important to be extremely careful in the ask, and to make it really easy for the teacher to say "no" without explanation or a scene. So maybe, "All you have to do is say "no" and I will never ask this again. But -- I don't know if you and your wife ever would be up for a three-some?"

However, if this ex-student just happens to see teacher and wife in an occasional social situation where everyone is having a drink, then I think it would be over the line to ask about a three-some. I would myself have hated to have an ex-student hit on me and my husband just because we happened to see each other at a few social events (we were active in community theater, for example). It would have been embarrassing, led me to wonder if I had myself done something out of line to draw this behavior, and made me start censoring any social interactions with ex-students.

And I do think that it would be potentially damaging for this teacher to be known to screw around with ex-students, and that in most communities, it would be damaging to his reputation if it were known that he and his wife were swingers. Parents (and school boards!) are conservative about the sexual component of teachers' behavior. "Hot"male teachers in particular have very pretty young girls in their classes who get crushes on them, and they have to be careful not to be alone with students to avoid problems. Most teachers are very discrete about their personal life, and do not screw around in the community where they teach! Gay teachers, for example, often do not live in the community where they teach because they don't want to be "outed." So if the letter writer wants to protect a valued friendship, don't ask! A no risk situation for her/him is not a no risk situation for the teacher.


Well that Texas folie à bunch was weird, my mistake for contributing. Whatever the state is, my opinion is the same in Seattle too.

I guess I'll walk back to, I doubt he should say yes, but you could ask, he knows his professional environment better than I do.


@74 nocutename:
Thank you very much for resolving my regret!


Don't have time or inclination to read all 80+ previous comments, so I'll just throw mine in without knowing if it echoes someone else's:

She should go for it, so that teacher & wife can know what a freakazoid they nearly became friends with (& be grateful they dodged that bullet). Also it will give them a hilarious story to share about her at work.


Curious @73: Your situation was different in that you were a CURRENT student of your teacher and her husband. That is unethical regardless of the grades you were getting. (Ever think that possibly she graded you so highly because she wanted in your pants? Hmm.) No, you did the right thing by resisting their temptation.

Adam @78: "anytime anyone hits on anyone it can be creepy" -- I disagree. I have definitely been hit on in non-creepy ways -- both by people I was interested in and people I wasn't, for those who allege the difference between creepy and not is whether the hitter is attractive. Factors that could make a proposal creepy include:
- Being significantly older than the person one is hitting on
- Being in a position of authority over the person one is hitting on, thus compromising their ability to freely say no
- The hitting-on happening in a non-accepted flirting environment, for instance a workplace
- The hitter going straight for sexual innuendo with no reason to believe it would be welcome
- Leering or touching
- Implying some sort of physical threat -- this is why female hitters are less often seen as creepy
- Persisting after either a hard or a soft no is communicated

Creepy come-ons are most often annoying but can be harmful. If the come-on is not just creepy but threatening, at least from the perspective of the hittee, that could leave her feeling unsafe not just then but in future similar situations. Imagine, for instance, you are a young woman waiting alone at a bus stop late at night. A man approaches and starts making unwelcome, persistent advances. The woman not only fears he might escalate to a physical level, against which she has little hope of defending herself, but this experience is likely to leave her afraid to take the bus late at night from now on -- which she might have little choice to do, for instance if she works late shifts. So yes, it depends on the situation.

Spokane @84: Nope, nobody else thought NOW was a "freakazoid" for wanting to realise one of the most common fantasies out there (a threesome). Congratulations, you win the Commentor Commentatus Sex-Negative Troll Award.


You'd probably be making this teachers dreams come true but in a more or less entirely ethical manner. If you're into it and they're in to it, it's a win-win-win. If they aren't into it, well, then you were probably never going to be life-long friends. I suppose the only risk would be giving the wife the impression that the two of you flirted while you were underage; so perhaps be ready to explain that away somehow.

But let's be real - they already had drinks. They're probably gonna bone.


Sporty @86: "But let's be real - they already had drinks. They're probably gonna bone."

From the same mind that jumped to the conclusion that seeing a movie with a friend means one "definitely" gave him a blowjob. I hope you are, and were, joking.


@85 BiDanFan
"possibly she graded you so highly because she wanted in your pants?"

Good point, and sorry, I thought perhaps I should have mentioned that it was a class in which the test scoring was not subjective, and that I was "light-years ahead of the other students" not just in terms of scored but in knowing the subject matter thoroughly. Yes I know this sounds conceited, I only mention it because I think greatly limited any power she had over the situation.


Curious2 @88: Didn't take it as conceited; older students with real-world experience are very likely to be light-years ahead in a relevant course. Regardless of your age or grades, though, getting involved sexually would have been a big no-no. Even getting involved alcoholically seems iffy. If you fancy a student, wait until the class is over! Seems simple.


@CMD 55

Sorry I don't know if you are still on this thread, but I only just saw this response. As for the email invitation, thank you but I'd have to set up another account to be private. I found that book though- 2.99 on Kindle and several topics that interest me, thank you. It will be fun trying to imagine how you fit in! I'll place you in all the scenarios, it's like a mystery.

As for WA never electing W or Perry, that is because of the rural:urban ratio. Remember that WA could fit inside Texas like three times- imagine if WA's countryside was so large. Has nothing to do with the fact that the most populated places in Texas are as progressive as Seattle and that the mostly sparsely populated places in WA are as backwards as in rural TX.

As for white supremacists, you have 2X more active nazi and white supremacist groups in WA (if you look at proportion of population) than Texas has. This surely correlates to demographics.

And kids flocking to the city isn't unique- they've been going to Austin and Houston and San Antonio, etc for all the same reasons for just as long.

And then there's the for-profit immigrant prisons and ICE aggressiveness to reach quotas- despite Seattle's progressive ordinance the state itself is a massive funnel - again I think this is because the regressive tax system attracts private companies and the red constituents of the country side allow for cooperation with ICE on bed quotas. Not surprising the same corporations also operate in Texas. It's not a coincidence either that Gates, Bezos, Musk, etc increasingly set up their projects in TX and WA instead of CA, as the two states have the most regressive tax systems in the country.

But as liberal as those urbanites are in Seattle and Austin think they are (because they aren't religious, like weed, believe in protecting LGBT people) both cities are buckling under a homelessness problem, lack of public transport, traffic, massive wealth inequality, soaring housing prices, and that causes a new breed of discontent. So with all these problems coming together, my guess is you're going to start seeing some of the same resentments there as the pendulum swings in response. If you like weed and LGBT people but are opposed to attempts to get billionaires to fund public infrastructure, that makes you a libertarian, not liberal, which is what I think has been the recent trend in tech cities around the country. It's particularly dangerous when it's combined with a countryside full of armed white supremacists & cops cooperating with ICE trying to fill quotas.


@87 I'm not joking. What the fuck business does a HS teacher and his former student (who had a massive crush on him) have getting drinks together unless there are already some level of sparks/flirtation? Having been a high school sports coach whose athletes still occasionally reach out to me, one thing that will never happen (even with the boys) is to reconnect for the first time AT A BAR OVER DRINKS. Want to discuss a recommendation for some program? Cool come to my office or the coffee shop. Want to catch up on things? Same answer. We're not friends - I was in a position of authority over them. I'm interested in finding out about your life, not socializing like a peer - unless you want something more (and for me, once under my authority, no dating / no fwb-ing / no partying; that's one of the sacrifices you gotta make if you want to be in those positions, and it's not hard, there are plenty of people to do all the things with that are age-appropriate).


Pix, or i won't vote for it to happen.



Well Sporty, most people have adult relationships that are not sexual. Weird that you can't imagine this. This sort of hardline- no I can't be friends with someone who was ever at any stage in my younger life in a position of authority over men even well after I'm also an adult- is really weird. Do you think this is normal? Do you still see yourself as a boy?

I suppose in giant anonymous cities, it might be weird to be friends with someone who used to be your teacher because you'd be unlikely to bump into them or have mutual friends. So just starting there, the most obvious reason is that a lot of times teachers and professors play an important role in a young person's life and they stay in touch over the years - sometimes in a mentorship way and sometimes in a sharing of interests way (sports, arts, whatever it was that sparked the connection) and why this means they would never have drinks is beyond me. I suppose they should never have movies either. Because drinks and movies cause blow jobs or whatever.

But anyway beyond that, teachers and coaches are also just people with social lives, and like most people who have friends or are involved in lots of things, they have adult friends of various ages. And if you live in the town where you went to school (as opposed to a bit city with millions of people) your adult path is likely to cross a path of your former teachers- this is totally normal.

Again I'm stunned by this big red line that many of you seem to have over teachers being social and/or sexual with other adults just because those adults were once children in their charge. It's bizarre. But one thing being on SL has taught me is how often the things that are totally normal to me and everyone I know seem outlandish to a lot of you (and vice versa I'm sure) - the internet is a wild place.

BTW just to get back to how bizarre this is- imagine being told that your job means you must vet all the adult friends and/or lovers you ever meet for drinks to make sure they were never once children in your class. Teachers would only exist in the major cities, and even then I'm pretty sure most would balk.


For me, it's because the onset of a relationship is a template. If the onset is me a 20 something male and you a 15 year old girl, that stays in place long after the power dynamic has dissolved. Once in a power dynamic over someone, always in a power dynamic over someone. To me, part of agreeing to those roles is also agreeing that there are people you can't have social relationships with. If I'm dating my now 23 year old ex student, what message is that sending to current students? In this case, the ex student clearly still respond to that former dynamic - I'm surprised a "grooming" discussion hasn't popped up. Like, your parents are always your parents, long after you moved out, became financially independent, and maybe have your own family - your parents still have a part relationship over you. This scenario is just a lightweight version by degree, not of kind.

I suppose if you've never been in charge of and leading and teaching and advising teenagers you won't understand. People who can't say no to themselves have no business around kids, imo.


First off, there are not 20 year old teachers. But letting that go, it's weird that you think power dynamics never change. That is weird- it's a thing that is stuck in your head for some reason, not a thing that exists in real life. The truth is that power dynamics change all the time.

Second, what message does it send your students if you are dating your 23 year old former student? No message at all because your current students shouldn't be aware of your personal life in the first place. If they are (for various reasons) then the message it should send is that adults can date whatever adults they wish to date- this is about adults, not kids. If some of them think to themselves "oh boy, maybe I'll get to date my teacher in five or six or ten years" so the fuck what? Kids think all sorts of stupid shit about their teachers. So long as you are appropriate while they are actually in your charge, it doesn't matter.

Third, really bizarre to equate being someone's teacher- a temporary position as a result of your job- with being a PARENT- a life long (usually biological) familial relationship.

As I've said several times, I spent part of my career working with children, especially teenagers, including working with teachers and social workers with kids who were institutionalized, and I have helped raise some myself though they were not my own. And your version of these relationships (plus those of other commenters) seem absolutely bonkers to me.