Be subtle, I feel like telling these male professors. The world is full of people you can sleep with; it is not full of students to whom you can make a difference.
One of the problems is that graduate students are vulnerable.
But I just don’t accept that they arise unless you are open to them, unless you foster them.
To maneuver within that crush, to manage and exploit it, is part of the trick of teaching.
To act on it in the crudest way is to crush the whole endeavor.
One can understand the cheap frisson—anything forbidden is newly interesting, provocative—but there is a cheap frisson to the incest taboo as well, yet most of us manage to resist it. They draw out your best work; they break through limits, challenge, transform.
The deepest problem for me lies in the perversion of mentorship. They are part of the thrill of academia at its best.