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Hey, Faggot:

I'm an honest, good-natured, down-to-earth, 25-year-old Cancer. A year ago I started my first job as a high school teacher. Now I know teachers are supposed to be role models and I know that student-teacher romances are just plain WRONG no matter what, so I braced myself not to fall for any girls. By mid-March, however, a crush was in full swing. She was very intelligent, interesting, cute, a junior, and 17. By June the flirtation was serious and I was completely infatuated.

To make a long story short, school ended for the summer; I thought about her constantly, sent her postcards, and dreaded the day I was to return for work. For an unrelated reason, I was fired right before school started. I looked her up where she works, stopped by, got her number, called a few times, and finally asked her out. She said she couldn't, as her parents were very strict and traditional (immigrants) and didn't let her go out at all. That was October. This girl just turned 18 last week (a Capricorn to boot!). So, what's preventing me from looking her up and trying again? Am I pathetic? Am I a pervert for having a crush on one of my former students? Why don't they talk about this in teacher training? And most importantly, is there some sort of AA-type club or something for teachers who have crushes on their students? This seems to happen a lot, and I think it's time this problem was brought out in public for discussion.

--Don't Use My Name

Hey, DUMN:

Where have you been, Cancer boy? This problem has been the subject of a lot of public discussion lately--thanks to Washington state's teacher of the year, Mary Kay LeTourneau. While she didn't generate the press a certain White House intern did, this former grade school teacher turned convicted sex offender was no media slouch during her tenure on the national stage last year. Mary Kay was caught last week sitting in a car with the student she fell in love with, raped (statutorily speaking), and had a child with, and has returned to our daily papers and evening news programs, relaunching a public discussion about teachers who fall in love with their students. As soon as Hard Copy can spare a camera, I'm sure they'll be bringing you some Mary Kay to offset all the Monica. And if my impression of the public discussion generated by Mary Kay is at all accurate, the general sentiment when it comes to folks in your shoes is this: TEACHERS WHO FUCK THEIR STUDENTS SHOULD BE BURNED ALIVE.

You might want to bear that in mind as you decide on your next move, Cancer boy. While the age spread in your case isn't nearly as troubling as that in Mary Kay's--she was 34, he was 13--I would nevertheless advise you to forget about this girl. Even if she's legal, even if you guys got married to satisfy her immigrant parents, schools are not gonna be thrilled to see "married former student" on your resume, and you might have a hard time landing another job. Also, that this 18-year-old could turn you down leads me to believe that she isn't nearly as obsessed with you as you are with her. Maybe her parents disapprove, but what 18-year-old in love has ever let that stop them? It could be that she lied about her parents in order to get rid of you.

And finally, I don't think teachers with crushes on students should start clubs or join support groups. While it's always nice to know you're not the only one out there--whatever your major damage--support groups for people like you and Mary Kay would be a very bad idea. Better you should walk into a police station and scream, "LOCK ME UP! I'M A SEX OFFENDER!" Between the astrology and this bonehead idea, I'm wonderin' how you got to be a teacher in the first place.

Hey, Faggot:

I'm a 35-year-old breeder male with at least three problems. First, during any kind of sexual experience, a wide range of triggering events can cause me to lose interest in sex, dissociate, become temporarily dysfunctional, or even become antagonistic toward my partner. These triggering events include sounds, smells, thoughts, or even conversation. Second, if I can achieve orgasm, I am forced to endure waves of my own self-hatred and guilt, and oftentimes a barely contained hatred for my partner. Third, I am unable to sustain "normal" relationships, and even "alternative" situations lose their appeal and become loathsome after a short period of time. The only fantasy that really gets me off is the idea of beating the shit out of a woman, and I don't want to go there for obvious reasons. I avoid the playful "slap and tickle" idea because I'm afraid of where that would lead.

I'm doing the counseling thing, and I am slowly coming to terms with a less-than-healthy childhood filled with violence and emotional abandonment. But these days, who the fuck cares about your shitty childhood? Right now I have a body that craves sex and companionship and a mind that continually fucks it up. Your advice?

--Confused

Hey, C:

Don't date, masturbate. If it's companionship you want, buy a dog. You need to get that wee wanna-beat-the-shit-out-of-women problem of yours under control before you even think about dating. Stick with the counseling thing, and tell your shrink to give you the all clear when he thinks you're ready to date. Until then, you're off the market.

Hey, Faggot:

I am a 29-year-old straight male who works in the air-travel industry. My office is strategically located over an entrance to our building, and I enjoy a view of young travel-agent trainees during their smoke breaks throughout the day. This was at first distracting but, needless to say, nice on the eyes. I enjoy watching the girls smoke, especially during those sunny tank-top/short-shorts summer days. Lately I've been taking advantage of my strategic location, locking my door, angling my window blinds so I can see them and they can't see me, and, well, masturbating. Am I a creep, or am I just a guy who's fortunate enough to be put in this situation?

--Concerned Masturbator

Hey, CM:

Last week I got a letter from a woman whose boss was jerking off all over the

office, and this week you're jerking off in your office. Questions do seem to come in spurts, so I guess I should brace myself for a few more work 'n' jerks before the month is out.

So, are you a creep? No. If you're alone, and no one can see, and you've taken steps to make sure you won't be seen, then masturbating is always OK, and you have nothing to feel creepy about. But if I were you, I'd set the shades and go down to that entrance and make damn sure no one can see into my office. If no one can see, and no one ever finds out, well, who's harmed?

Hey, Faggot:

Regarding that person who wrote in upset because you called Christ "X": X is the Greco-Roman sign for Christ! Shit like this is exactly why Evangelicals and fundamentalists are called ignorant! Christians' ignorance of their own tradition will be their downfall!

--Anonymous

Send questions to Savage Love, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611.

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