Monday, November 20, 2023

SNL's "Weekend Update" and Bumble: “Gen-Blend”/Age-Gap Relationships Are Rising

On Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" (s49e05), Michael Che reported, "The dating app Bumble says that next year, they expect to see a surge in relationships where one person dates someone considerably older." Then Che joked, "Because those student loans ain't gonna to pay for themselves."

Alexandra Klausner and Tracy Swartz elaborated on Che's reporting in their New York Post piece "Leo was right all along? Age-gap relationships to surge in 2024, Bumble says" (Nov. 16, 2023). Klausner and Swartz wrote that 63% of Bumble's 26,800 users shared that "age isn’t a defining factor in dating", and 35% confessed that they don't look down upon age-gap relationships. 

Cross-generational relationships — also known as “gen-blend” relationships — are expected to surge next year, Bumble reports as part of its annual dating trends forecast.

63% say age isn’t a defining factor in dating [...] according to a global survey of over 26,800 Bumble app members conducted in September.

35% of women confess they are less judgmental about age-gap relationships. 

Source: New York Post

The Mirror's Gemma Strong reported in the piece "Age-gap relationships are set to boom in 2024 - dating expert explains" (16 NOV 2023) that Toby Ingham, the psychotherapist and author, posited to there is no perfect relationship age-gap range.

"There used to be an idea that, as a rule of thumb, half your age plus seven was the guide to the younger age a partner should be," he said. "That may now be outdated [...] Now, the [societal] accent being on inclusivity and normalising difference might eradicate such ideas."

Lastly, Klausner and Swartz went on to write that "[a]ge-gap relationships aren’t new, of course." And they referenced "Leonardo DiCaprio, 49, and Vittoria Ceretti, 25"; thus, providing more evidence that it appears that DiCaprio does have an ideal age-gap range, which, is his case, is 25-years-old or less. 

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Salacious Schoolgirls vs Hot Teachers: Who Has The Power in Student Teacher Sexual Affairs?

On the “Hollywood Groomers [...] feat. Bekah Day” (Jul 24, 2023) episode of Shannon McNamara’s FluentlyForward podcast, McNamara read a definition of child grooming and some of its forms. She read:

Child grooming is the act of influencing children or young teenagers to befriend or trust an adult for the purpose of sexual manipulation later in the future. Forms: victim selection, gaining access, isolating the victim, developing trust, keeping secrets, and giving gifts [i.e., literally and/or emotionally (e.g., “attention”)]

Connectedly, Anne Barnard, in her New York Times piece “What does ‘grooming’ mean in sexual abuse cases?” (Dec. 2, 2021) related that grooming: 

[...] is a gradual process whereby an abuser wins the trust and cooperation of a potential victim, starting with interactions that seem normal and benign, like paying special attention or offering compliments and gifts.

Next the abuser acclimates the victim to physical touching and sexual references, breaking down ordinary boundaries. Gradually, the predator exposes the victim to sexual behaviors, like light touching, to desensitize them.

Then McNamara shared with Day that she had a high school history teacher whom had a number of affairs with his students. And that he “picked” well-developed students whom were raised by single-parents - thereby, implying, implausibly, that an under-developed student with two parents would not have an affair with a teacher. And McNamara implied, erroneously, that student-teacher affairs are always initiated by teachers; however, minutes later, Day and McNamara shared that student-teacher affairs can be initiated by students. 

For example, Day shared that when she was a 16-year-old high school student, she “loved [getting] attention from, like, older people - older men”. And based on McNamara’s question, it’s safe to infer that the “older men” Day was referring to were teachers. 

McNamara: Did you ever, like, have a creepy, like, teacher [...] that, like, everyone knew about? 

Day: [...] personally, when I was in my sixteens and seventeens, is when I started to, like, become more adult. You know what I mean? Start [to] become an older teenager. You know what I mean? And I started to feel like I was 16 going on 25. You know what I mean? And, like, loved attention from, like, older people - older men. You know what I mean? And looking back now, as an almost 26-year-old woman. I’m like, “Girl, what was going on?”

Interestingly, McNamara went on to take the blame for student-teacher affairs away from grooming teachers and placed that blame on Lana Del Rey. McNamara opined that Lana Del Rey “[...] made a lot of 16-year-olds be like, “Like, dating my teacher would be amazing?”” [Emphasis added] 

McNamara: Can I ask, were you listening to Lana Del Rey? ‘Cause, like, I feel, like, there needs to be an parental advisory on some of those albums, like, it made a lot of 16-year-olds be like, “Like dating my teacher would be amazing?”

McNamara was referring to the fact that Lana Del Rey referenced Lolita in a number of her songs. For example, “Little Girls (Put Me In A Movie)” is a song on Lana Del Ray (2010). Here is a (self-explanatory) excerpt from the lyrics:

Lights, camera, action

If he likes me, takes me home

Come on, you know you like little girls

Come on, you know you like little girls

You can be my daddy

You can be my daddy

Day added that in addition to being influenced by Lana Del Rey, the student-teacher affairs in Pretty Little Liars were influential as well. But most revealingly, Day confessed that she takes half the blame for having a (consensual) student-teacher affair

Day: Like, honestly, you got me there. And I was also watching Pretty Little Liars. [...] I found myself in some bad situations. As many of us did. And I think looking back there’s always, like, you, like, look at it and you’re like, “I shouldn't have done that.” But at the same time, I’m like, “They shouldn’t have done that.” You know what I mean? 

As for Pretty Little Liars, the ABC Family show had, not one, but two student-teacher affairs. The affair between Aria and Mr. Ezra Fitz (i.e.,  Ezria), Aria’s English teacher, is inarguably the most famous (fictional) student-teacher affair in popular culture; however, before Ezria there was Ezrison - the student-teacher 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.

On the podcast, Day went on to relate that, like McNamara’s high school, student-teachers affairs were prevalent in her high school as well.

Day: So I think, like, and I think there’s a lot of girls who had that [...] but a lot of people who have that experience don’t talk about it [...]

We're not surprised by Day's assertion that "there’s a lot of girls who had [student-teacher] affair. We've written extensively about how fictional and non-fictional student-teacher affairs are portrayed in popular culture. And on social media, from Tumblr to Twitter to TikTok, schoolgirls have posted about their attractions to teachers.

In the end, Day had a student-teacher affair, because she desired attention from older men, and she was influenced by Lana Del Rey’s lyrics and the student-teacher affairs portrayed on Pretty Little Liars; however, like Day said, her teacher should have had more power (over himself) to resist, which is were the power imbalance should have come in, but commonly, teachers do not have the power to resist a nymphet, which raises the question: Where is the power imbalance in student-teacher relationships? 

Alisson Wood wrote in her memoir Being Lolita that she had the power in her student-teacher affair with Mr. North - her English teacher.  Wood wrote that she was a beautiful 17-year-old who boys called a “Disney princess”. Yet it wasn’t until after she met Mr. North that she said: “I wasn’t suicidal anymore.” Alisson’s suicidal ideations stemmed from the fact that she felt that her body was her: “[...] only possible source of power.”, which she blamed on Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, MTV, Fiona Apple, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Victoria’s Secret. 

However, Alisson used the power of her body on her English teacher. Alisson related that she knew that she had power over Mr. North but that she wanted the power of sex and the safety of childhood: “[...] my breasts, all of the things that shifted the way men looked at me. If this was power [...] I wanted the safety of childhood and the power of sex. I wanted it all, in my life and in my body.” 

And Maggie shared in Lisa Taddeo’s (non-fiction) book Three Women, that she had the power in her student-teacher affair. Agmand that the source of her power was her age and the fact that her illegal lover was a teacher.

Lastly, artist and writer Betsy Karasik opined in the Washington Post op-ed "The unintended consequences of the law addressing sex between teachers and students" (August 30, 2013) that: [...] consensual sexual activity between teachers and students should not be criminalized."

Karasik went on to submit that schoolgirls don't have to be groomed to have affairs with teachers, because schoolgirls have "sex on the brain" a lot. Consequently, a number of Karasik's high school classmates had consensual sexual relations with teachers, which Karasik fully condoned - with consensual being the keyword.

"When it comes to having sex on the brain, teenage boys got nothin’ on us. When I was growing up in the 1960s and ’70s, the sexual boundaries between teachers and students were much fuzzier. Throughout high school, college and law school, I knew students who had sexual relations with teachers. To the best of my knowledge, these situations were all consensual in every honest meaning of the word..."

Despite, Karasik's Washington Post piece, the law addressing sex between teachers and students hasn't changed; therefore, teachers must use their power to resist the allure of salacious schoolgirls - and vice versa.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Times Square: School Girls and Teen Porn Galore

Jane Dickson's School Girls, 2023

We went to the Karma in Alphabet City slash the LES to see Jane Dickson's Promised Land, which we learned from the gallery's press release was inspired by photographs Dickson took from her Times Square apartment and/or from One Times Square. 

Specifically, we went to see Dickson's School Girls (2023), which is an oil stick on linen painting that profiles the Anco Theatre’s marquee where That’s My Daughter and Schoolgirls XXX were playing when both films took advantage of the allure of nymphets to sell tickets. 

The Rialto Theater | Anita: Swedish Nymphet (1973)

Of course, the Anco’s marquee wasn’t the only theater in Times Square that advertised nubile nymphets and/or salacious schoolgirls. For example, in Taxi Driver (1976), Travis (Robert De Niro), a New York City taxi driver, had a desire to save Iris (Jodie Foster), a pre-teen prostitute, from her abusive pimp. In one scene, while Travis was driving through Times Square, the marquee of the Rialto theater advertised Anita: Swedish Nymphet (1973) [Swedish: Anita – ur en tonårsflickas dagbok], which is about a 16-year-old nymphomaniac slash teleiophile

And the title made an appearance in the B-roll of Netflix’s Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer (2021). (The marquee of Rialto II advertised A Teenage Pajama Party (1977).)

The Rialto II | A Teenage Pajama Party (1977)

Lastly, we would imagine that Traci Lords was not the only underage teen to use a fake ID to break into the (early) porn industry. 

Monday, November 6, 2023

LOOK AWAY (2018): A Sexual Sinister Schoolgirl

Here's IMDb's (brief) synopsis for Look Away (2018):

Maria, an alienated high-school student, has her life turned upside down when she switches places with [Airam] her sinister mirror image.

Let’s begin by elaborating on the fact that 17-year-old Maria was masturbating in her luxurious bathroom when she discovered Airam.

Later in the film, which we saw on Netflix, Airam, in her schoolgirl uniform in her prep school’s classroom, wrote “Smell Me” on a piece of notebook paper, rubbed the note on her vagina, and passed the note to a schoolboy whom obediently followed her orders. 

Subsequently, Airam attempted to seduce Maria’s father. The first attempt happened after Airam showed up, unannounced, to her “father’s” plastic surgery office where she sat on her “father’s” desk, held his face and gave him a long sensuous kiss before she shared, “I missed you.”

Airam’s second attempt as a teen seductress happened when she returned to her “father’s” office and removed her schoolgirl uniform’s top. Despite her "father’s" protest, Airam removed her schoolgirl skirt, removed her panties, and asked her “father”, “Do you think I’m beautiful? 

The daughter-father seduction scenes are interesting - especially when one considers the fact that Airam informed Maria, “I know you. I know your secret desires. Your fears. Who you love. Who you hate. I understand you completely.”

Lastly, and talking about using the allure of [nude] nymphets for streams, 17-year-old Maria and Airam, who were played by India Eisley, a nymphet passing adult, appeared nude in Look Away several times. In addition to the nude daughter-father scene, Assaf Bernstein, the film’s writer and director, filmed Eisley nude while bathing and while having passionate teen sex.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

GLAMOROUS DISASTERS: A Fifth Avenue Teen “Porno Druggie Queen”

Here’s part of Amazon’s synopsis for Eliot Schrefer’s Glamorous Disasters (Simon & Schuster, 2006)

Noah rose from humble beginnings and [...] got himself through Princeton. Now staggering under the weight of massive student loans and dazzled by life in the big city, Noah enters the rarefied field of SAT tutoring in Manhattan, working one-on-one with the spoiled, gorgeous children of the American aristocracy.

He takes on the considerable academic challenges that are Dylan Thayer [...] and his waifish sister, Tuscany. [...] Tuscany is avidly pursuing her own downfall via drugs and relationships with men more than twice her age. 

[...] Glamorous Disasters is an incisive portrayal of a small and privileged world, a cautionary tale written by a Harvard grad who was once an SAT tutor himself -- an outsider who became a magnificently observant insider.

That’s correct. Schrefer’s a New York City based 2001 Harvard alumnus and former SAT tutor. Autofiction?

In terms of Tuscany’s drug use, the reader learned from Dylan that Tuscany used to steal pills from their mother - Dr.  Susan Thayer, the pediatrician. Dylan, “I mean, Tuscany and me [sic] used to go into my mom’s office and her bedroom all the time and steal her shit.” 17-year-old Dylan smiles crookedly. “She has all this crazy shit.” 

However, Dylan did not say exactly when 15-year-old Tuscany started stealing her mother’s (prescription) drugs.

Tuscany, “a fifteen-year-old beauty”, was expelled from Moore-Pike Girls Academy, which some referred to as “Whore-Like Girls Academy”. Why was Tuscany expelled? She sexted her teen nudes, and she was found with a number of tabs of Xanax. Consequently, Noah and his  “Hamptons-tan” was hired to prepare Tuscany for the ISEE boarding school exam. 

For their first tutoring session, Tuscany wore “tiny purple pants'' that didn’t “[...] quite make it to the top of her exposed hipbones.” “The majority of her shirts sit on only one shoulder, and her pants all require thong underwear.”

Tuscany beckoned Noah into her bedroom while she played with a strand of her “white-blond” hair - twisting “it around an orange, fake-baked finger.” (i.e., an indicator of interest).

In a bit of age-gap relationship foreshadowing, Tuscany displayed a poster of Josh Hartnett. The actor was over her bedroom desk and encased in an “ornately gilt eighteenth century frame”. Before the tutoring began, Tuscany shared with 25-year-old Noah that her boyfriend was “so much older”: 

“My boyfriend is so much older than you.”

“My mom thinks I should hang out with guys my own age.”

“[...] But guys my age are so dumb.”

And before offering Noah one, Tuscany placed a cigarette between her lips, which her mother allowed, because, as Tuscany stated, “[...] She knows I’d be eating if I wasn't smoking.” Connectedly, a pillow placed in the center of Tuscany's bed read: “Boys Like Girls Who Look Neat - When in Doubt, Just Don’t Eat!”

On the way to the next tutoring session, Noah spied Tuscany on 86th street. Tuscany and Monica,  Tuscany’s “Really tall, really skinny” friend, were observing a Victoria’s Secret “pink teddy on a waxy pale mannequin”. It appeared to Noah that Tuscany was: “[...] recounting something that recently happened to her, probably involving a boy, or [more likely] a man.”

An hour later, Noah entered Tuscany’s cigarette smoke filled bedroom where “at the sight of her swaying hips”, Noah was “overtaken by a sudden burst of nerves.” And Tuscany shared with Noah, “I’m grounded again.” Why? “This man,” she replies. “My mom is crazy.” Thus, it appears that Tuscany was grounded for participating in some salacious activity with a man whom Tuscany described as, “[...] pretty nice. And loaded.” Unsurprisingly, Tuscany opined that her mother was “crazy” for disciplining her for having an age-gap affair

And where did 15-year-old Tuscany meet men? “At a bar, a club.” “Sometimes” the men would buy Tuscany drinks, but she preferred to keep her options open.

During a subsequent tutoring session, Tuscany wore: “[...] denim shorts that have been cut so high that the white cotton pockets hang to midthigh.” And a “tiny pink “Wild Girls” T-shirt”. Noah surmised that Tuscany was: “[...] probably planning her next date with an older man [...]”

Noah described Tuscany as a “hot girl in tiny shorts” ; thus, it was his “[...] job to look at her as little as possible.” But admittedly, it took “[...] resolve to keep his gaze averted.”

During the tutoring session, Noah asked Tuscany about It’s All You - Tuscany’s glossy teen fashion magazine. Here’s the headline on page 8 with Tuscany Thayer’s byline: “Hewitt Hos and Nightingale Nymphos: The Sluttiest Manhattan Schools Exposed”

And what did Roberto, Noah’s Albanian roommate, exclaim when he saw Tuscany on the cover of It’s All You? 

“Wow,” Roberto says libidinously

“This bitch is hot,” Roberto adds. “Seriously, Noah, you have to let me meet her.”

“No,” Noah says, his eyes flashing. “Absolutely not.”

“You’ve got to be shittin’ me. Why not [...]?”

“She’s a kid. Stop it.”

However, that night Noah was “alarmed by his [own] flicker of attraction” to Tuscany whom reminded Noah of his age-gap tutor-tutee attraction to Monroe. 

After Monroe he promised himself never to be drawn to another student. He stuffs It’s All About You under his mattress.

He thought he had banished Monroe from his mind, thought he had healed, but suddenly he feels the shame and guilt afresh. The depth of his feelings for her was inappropriate, he knows. His intense affection led him to consider doing things he should never have done, for which he can’t forgive himself. He distrusts his own feelings toward Tuscany, second-guesses himself: surely he isn’t repeating history, allowing attraction to distort his sense of duty?

Do you remember Monica, Tuscany’s “really tall, [and] really skinny” friend? Well, Cameron, another tutee, shared with Noah, “Well, they’re totally not friends anymore.” Why? Tuscany disappeared with Monica’s “totally hot doorman”.

“Monica has this totally hot doorman. Like, a little like Colin Farrel. And this one night Tuscany goes to Monica’s but, well, the doormen call up from the desk to say that she arrived, but she never makes it to Monica’s apartment”

“Whatever, I’m not going to say what I think, I’m sure she’s totally nice, but my friends say she’s a slut.”

Eventually, instead of going to boarding school, Tuscany: “[...] got into Choate, began the spring semester, and was removed from classes three days in [...]” Consequently, Noah was upgraded from tutor to teacher with teaching being done between Tuscany’s riding, ballet and piano lessons. 

After Noah became Tuscany’s teacher, Roberto suggested that Noah have a student-teacher sexual affair with Tuscany, whom Roberto referred to as “the bitch from the magazine”. But Noah replied, “She’s my student, Rob. And she’s fifteen. That’s not going to happen.”

However, Roberto persisted, “Just do things, don’t worry about what’s gonna happen, you know?” And Roberto suggested that Noah stick his hands in Tuscany’s pants or as a last resort, Roberto suggested that Noah kiss his student. 

On the first (home) school day, Noah: “[...] was nervous about entering the bedroom of a sleeping hot fifteen-year-old.” However, Dr. Thayer had Agnès, Tuscany’s assistant, prepare the dining table as Dr. Thayer deemed that it was “improper” for Noah to spend all his time in Tuscany’s bedroom.

Tuscany attended their first class: “[...] wearing a clubbing shirt emblazoned with a sequined martini glass, the neckline dipping to the tops of her breasts.” And “skin-tight denim”. Why? Per the narrator, Tuscany “[...] draws focus to herself whenever she can.” Consequently, Noah reprimanded himself: “[...] stop looking at the slender fingers playing with her bra strap, the butterfly wings of her breastbone.”

Later, Noah learned from Dr. Thayer that Tuscany had dated “forty-year-olds”, but Dr. Thayer didn’t “think” that Tuscany was still dating older men; however, Dylan referred to his sister as the “porno druggie queen”.

At Pangaea’s, a Manhattan night club, while Noah was at the bar, Dylan entered with an entourage:

Two are long-haired and handsome [...] Upper East Side twentysomething aristocracy; the other is an eyebrow-pierced Asian kid about Dylan’s age.

Noah learned from an aristocrat that Tuscany patronized Pangaea “all the time” - with the aristocrat. And, to Dylan’s dismay, Noah learned that Tuscany was the aggressor in the age-gap affair with aristocracy. 

“Hey, Dylan,” Roberto asks, “where’s your sister tonight?”
“My sister? She’s like fifteen. She’s at home.”
“Come on, Dylan,” an aristocrat says. “You know she’s here all the time.”
“Yeah,” says the other aristocrat to the first. “Here with you!”
“That had better not happen ever again, asshole.” Dylan says darkly. “Don’t ever let me hear about you touching her.”
“Dylan, Dylan.” The aristocrat over enunciates, bathing the group in beer vapor. “Don’t you remember? Maybe you were too coked up. She was touching me.”

The Asian kid shared some more details about Tuscany, Pangaea and men. The Asian kid pointed out a man “thirty-five, one hand against his belly and the other holding an unlit cigar” whom Tuscany had been “with for a while”. 

Interestingly, the Asian kid opined that Tuscany was too hot, and he related that Tuscany knew that there was a positive correlation between being skinny, being hot and being the center of attention at Pangaea. Consequently, she got “eaten alive” before turning eighteen due to men offering her drinks and drugs in exchange for teen sex. 

And it was the Asian kid who revealed to Noah why Tuscany was expelled from prep school. 

Asian kid: “What were you tutoring her for, the SAT already?”

Noah: No, no, the ISEE. She wanted to go to boarding school.”

Asian kid: “Oh right. I forgot, she got busted for sending naked pictures to some guy and having like forty bajillion tabs of Xanax.”

Later in the novel, Noah chaperoned Tuscany and Octavia, Tuscany’s teen friend, on a field trip to France. Octavia carried herself with a “voluptuous sense of sexual possibility”. On the Air France flight, 15-year-old Tuscany imbibed a miniature bottle of wine. And after landing, Tuscany and Octavia “developed an instant crush on Benoît” - the French tour guide and father of two. 

After returning to Tuscany’s Fifth Avenue bedroom, for being such a credible chaperone, Tuscany gifted her teacher:

A pink oxford. The fabric is sail-thick, as if made from the very stuff of yachts. The sleeves can be rolled up when watching a regatta or worn down for cocktails on the lawn.

While changing into the pink oxford in Tuscany’s bathroom, Noah’s “thoughts leap to horrible places” like the “bliss he would feel should he have ducked into the bathroom after having slept with Tuscany.”

After emerging from the bathroom, Tuscany, braless and with her lips inches away from her teacher’s, seductively adjusted the pink oxford. Tuscany’s young fingers skated across her teacher’s pectorals and lingered on his chest. Ergo, Noah was tempted to embrace his student, but he opined that Tuscany did not need another man “holding her”. And Noah was not like Roberto whom did not fear the potential consequences of having an age-gap affair with a 15-year-old.  

Later, at a dinner party for Mr. Thayer, Tuscany was dressed “like a fairy-tale princess” in a “red silken dress, ribbed in a darker red” - crisscrossed in the front and tied low in the back. Consequently, a group of men in business suits with names like “Solomon X, X Lidden III, Powel X, Peter X Stockton, and a half dozen Andrews” formed an “admiring circle” around the nymphet where Tuscany received “admiring glances”. 

After Octavia arrived “wearing a very short dress” “with lips glossed and erotically parted”, the two nymphets faced “down unsuspecting thirty-year-old bachelors are in arm, giggling and laying their hands on the unwary men.”

In the end, Olena, Noah’s Albanian immigrant tutee, fittingly said, “Perhaps we have fallen into a type. Student and teacher fall in love. It happens all the time, no?”