Saturday, December 17, 2022

PRETTY LITTLE LIARS: A Student Teacher Sexual Affair Triangle | Alison, Aria & Mr. Fitz

On Pretty Little Liars, Aria and Mr. Ezra Fitz’s age-gap sexual affair may be the most famous (fictional) student-teacher affair in popular culture; however, before Ezria there was Ezrison - the age-gap affair between Alison DiLaurentis and Ezra. And just like with Aria, Ezra met Alison in a bar where, just like Aria, 15-year-old Alison lied about her age; however, unlike Ezria, viewers didn’t learn of Ezrison until season 4.

In “Turn of the Shoe” (s04e02), Tippi, a parrot, parroted “Hey Board Shorts, miss me?", which Tippi learned from Alison. Consequently, the Pretty Little Liars (PLL) learned that Alison had an affair with someone named Board Shorts. 

Alison DiLaurentis

In “Now You See Me, Now You Don't” (s04e12), Aria discovered a letter that revealed that Alison met Board Shorts in Rosewood. In the letter, Alison told Board Shorts that she was planning to take him to her parents' place on the seaside resort of Cape May for her 18th birthday. (Intriguingly, Higbee was the name of Alison’s favorite beach on Cape May, which IRL is a nudist beach.)

Of Rosewood, Alison wrote in the letter to Board Shorts: “It’s best kept secret was you. But you’re my best kept secret now. My friends wouldn’t understand [our age difference].”

Source: Analyzing A\Tumblr

In “Love ShAck, Baby” (s04e15) a PLL noticed an entry in Alison’s journal\dairy titled “Hot for Teacher”, which is also the title of a 1984 Van Halen song that is about a student who is “hot for teacher” . Here’s the text of the letter where Alison expresses her attraction to older men:
Hot for Teacher

I saw a teacher interviewing today with the principal. He was quite sexy. High school boys are gross, college guys are only looking for one thing, but older men, now they know what they want and take it all. He looked kind of bookish but in a cute way. I will get to know him eventually and to have a teacher on my side [...]
In ‘Bite Your Tongue’ s04e17, we learned, via a flashback, that Board Shorts liked to take Alison to The Hart and The Huntsman bar where, after Alison asked Board Shorts, “So, you think I’m mature enough?”, she sensually kissed him.

Alison & Ezra

Eventually, via journal slash diary entries (i.e., Hot for Teacher and The Hart and The Huntsman) and some investigative work, the PLLs discovered that Board Shorts was actually ≈ 22-year-old Ezra.

In “A is for Answers” (s04e24), Alison revealed to Aria that she first met Ezra in a pub that she used to “hangout a lot” in and that she told Ezra that she was a [freshman] at UPenn. (Of course, Alison chose UPenn, an Ivy League school, over Drexel, which would have been just as geographically accurate.)

In a flashback, Alison spied Ezra in the pub, sat next to him, ordered a “gin and tonic”, and foretold Ezra, “Sometimes lies are more interesting than the truth.” Alison went on to share with Aria that Ezra told her that she reminded him of Breakfast at Tiffany’s Holly Golightly and that he wanted her to be the muse for his writing. 

As Ezra was an English teacher and writer, it’s safe to assume that he was referring to Truman Capote's novella and not the film adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Of the novella, I related in The Allure of Nymphets that Holly Golightly married a much older man at the age of 13, she lived with a college jock at the age of 15, and at the age of 18, she proclaimed, “I can’t get excited by a man until he’s at least forty-two.”

And Ezra’s Alison slash Holly connection is a double entendre, which will be explored when we discuss Emison. 

Back from the flashback, Ezra exclaimed to Alison, 

“You lied to me.” “Look, it is one thing to make up stories [...] but to lie to a guy and say that you’re 21, when you’re [15 and] still in high school!”

(Note: “you’re 21” may be a Pretty Little Liars continuity error as Alison lied in the letter that she was 18.)

Alison replied, “What’s the big deal? [...]” ''[...] what are you so freaked out about?”

Ezra, “God help me, Alison. I actually like you. I just don’t want to see you get hurt.” 

Allison softly kissed Ezra on the cheek and said, “You’re an alright guy. See you around”

Very interestingly, later in the episode, Alison checked into the Lost Woods Resort under the alias Vivian Darkbloom, which is an anagram of Vladimir Nabokov - the author of Lolita.

If you agree with novelist Robertson Davies' assessment of Lolita, Alison’s use of Vivian Darkbloom as an alias is fitting. We shared in Nymphalis carmen: Nympholepsy in Nabokov’s Oeuvre that Davies opined that Lolita was: “[...] not [about] the corruption of an innocent child by a cunning adult, but [about] the exploitation of a weak adult by a corrupt child.” And Donald Malcolm wrote in his New Yorker piece, “Lo, the Poor Nymphet”: “[...] it is Lolita who boldly, directly seduces him [i.e., Humbert]. 

In "EscApe From New York" (s05e01), Alison took the PLLs to the Fitzgerald Theater in Manhattan. Despite the theater’s “wow” factor, Alison told the PLLs that Ezra didn’t take Alison to the theater to impress her, but that the theater was his, “[...] kind of special place.”  

In a flashback at the theater, once again, Ezra reminded Alison that she was his Holly Golighty.

Upon the stage Alison said, “I could be an actress.”

Ezra, “Could be? Well, I hate to break it to you but you already are.” [...] “You really are my Holly Golighty.”

After Alison learned from Bill, the Fitzgerald Theater’s janitor, that Ezra was in fact a Fitzgerald, she shared with the PLLs that that was when she realized that Ezra was pretending to be poor. Consequently, Alison shared, “I actually like him more for that.” In addition, Alison confessed to the PLLs that she “stayed over a few times” at the theater. Rhetorical question: What was Alison and Ezra doing when she “stayed over a few times” at Ezra's “[...] kind of special place”?

In "Surfing the Aftershocks" s05e03, Alison briefly visited Ezra’s apartment  - only to return his manuscript, but Ezra wanted Alison to let Aria know that she had paid him a visit. One can confidently infer that that was not the only visit Alison made to Ezra’s place. 

Wait, but Ezra wasn’t Alison’s only age-gap affair. Remember when Alison said to Ezra, “What’s the big deal? [...]” ''[...]  what are you so freaked out about?” Well, I left out the part where Alison said, “We didn’t do anything.” That sentence was revealing, because it revealed that Ezra didn’t cause Alison’s teen pregnancy scare. It was Darren Wilden, a Rosewood police officer, who Alison referred to in her journal as Beach Hottie. That’s correct. 15-year-old Alison and 34-year-old Wilden had (unprotected) sex during Alison’s summer break on the romantic seaside resort of Cape May.

As a matter of fact, Alison shared in “Out of the Frying Pan, into the Inferno” (s03e17) that she and Beach Hottie had sex more than once. When asked, “You mean you weren’t using protection?” Alison replied, “We were. Just not all the time.”

Beach Hottie (Darren Wilden), Alison, & CeCe

The PLLs didn’t realize it, but during “Now You See Me, Now You Don't”, they saw a picture of Alison posing on a boat in Cape May with her hand around Beach Hottie’s waist. 

And when Alison was 14, she had an age-gap affair with (approximately) 25-year-old Ian Thomas. Some even considered it one of the hottest hookups in Pretty Little Liars history!

Shyla Watson wrote in her PopSugar post “39 of the Hottest Hookups in Pretty Little Liars History”: “Spencer [a PLL]  isn't the first younger girl who Ian dates in secret. While in a relationship with Melissa [Spencer’s older sister], Ian has a secret affair with a 14-year-old Alison.”

Intriguingly, some PLL fans theorized that Alison's Hot for Teacher journal entry was not written about Ezra but was written about Ian after Alison saw Ian interviewing for Rosewood High’s field hockey coaching position. After which, Alison had a sudden desire to learn how to play the sport. 

Lastly, let’s circle back to Ezra’s double entendre that Alison was his Holly Golightly. 

Rebecca Renner wrote in her The Paris Review post "Was Holly Golightly Bisexual?": "The name Holly Golightly is synonymous with sex and sophistication, but viewers may not know as much about her as they think." You can write that again. Renner then shared this relevant Holly quote from the novella:
“Of course people couldn’t help but think I must be a bit of a dyke myself. And of course I am [...] So what? That never discouraged a man yet, in fact it seems to goad them on.”

And this excerpt from a 1968 Truman Capote Playboy interview is revealing:

Playboy: “Was Holly a Lesbian?”

Capote: “Of course [...] but what intrigues me is the heterosexual male’s fascination with Lesbians.”
What does this have to do with Alison - you may ask? As often is the case with (fictional) teleiophiles, like, Holly, Alison was a lipstick lesbian too who gave Emily, her schoolmate and PLL, “practice kisses”. For example, in a “The Perfect Storm” (s01e09) flashback scene, after Alison read to Emily from Great Expectations, the nymphets kissed in Rosewood High’s library. Consequently, Alison wrote in her journal under the title Girl Crush:

So girl crush kissed me today. To be fair, I kissed her back and it was nice, but I definitely don’t have feelings for her in the way she has for me [...] I catch her staring at me in class [...]

In another flashback, in Rosewood’s locker room, Alison removed her towel, and while topless, she turned to face Emily before she asked Emily if she had seen her new French bra. “Do me a favor. Hook it for me, would you?” Emily obliged and hooked Alison’s French bra, rubbed Alison’s bare shoulder, and kissed Alison's damp neck, which prompted Alison to remind Emily, “Just because we kissed in the library Emily [...] A kiss is a kiss [...] if I’m kissing you it’s because it’s practice for the real thing.”

Alison & Emily

However, in “Miss Me × 100” (s05e05), Alison asked if she could stay in Emily’s bedroom, because her dad was working late, and she didn’t want to go home to an empty house. In addition, Alison informed Emily, “Those kisses just weren’t for practice.” After Emily confirmed with her mom that it was okay for Alison to spend the night, while in bed, Emily aked, “Ali? Are you asleep?” Subsequently, the teens kissed passionately. And fans assumed that they had lipstick lesbian sex! Interestingly, this teen lesbian sex scene was cut from to a student-teacher sex scene with a topless, and presumed bottomless, Aria in the cowgirl position astride Ezra.

There you have it, Alison was a teleiophile who had her first age-gap affair at 14 when she had unprotected sex, multiple times, with an over 30-year-old police officer, and she was a lipstick lesbian. Yet, this raises some questions: Why did the Pretty Little Liars writers make Alison have three age-gap relationships when she had zero in the novels? And why were there multiple references to nympholepsy in the series?  The allure of nymphets.

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