Does Having Sex With A Yoga Student Make You A Pervert?

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About Joanna Schroeder

Joanna Schroeder is the type of working mom who opens her car door and junk spills out all over the ground. She serves as Executive Editor of The Good Men Project and is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on sites like xoJane,, and The Huffington Post. Joanna loves playing with her sons, skateboarding with her husband, and hanging out with friends. Her dream is to someday finish her almost-done novel and get some sleep. Follow her shenanigans on Twitter.


  1. Most likely the student is the pervert who enjoys the “illusion” of the instructors’ power. As you have outlined… no grades… etc

    How do I know this? A student who is also tutor has no real power over his female peers, but boy did I enjoy the perks of being seen as “powerful”.

  2. Copyleft says:

    There’s nothing deviant about adultery, and there’s nothing immoral about a teacher-student relationship unless conditions are attached or favoritism shown. Absent those abuses, it’s consenting adults and nobody else’s business.

  3. Nick, mostly says:

    See, I question that there truly is a definable power imbalance to this relationship. She isn’t required to take the course (as she would be at a university), she isn’t being graded, she can walk out of the room at any moment, and she can never return. She could even ask for her money back, and would most likely get it. She is not a child. She has agency, both sexually and with her spending dollars.

    Thank you for this, Joanna! This is precisely the problem I had with Tom’s piece: it completely denies the women of any agency and culpability in entering into these relationships. It presents the women as so emotionally fragile, so socially naïve, that they are helpless once under the spell of their mentor. These poor, gullible women need someone to protect them from the unscrupulous wolves hiding in lululemon clothing.

    I have found that charisma is the essence of a good leader, whether that be of the free world or your local Bikram studio. Take two parts charisma, one part other-centeredness, and add in a dash of a fit yoga body and I’m nearly ready to switch teams. But as intoxicating as charisma can be, someone had to make a decision to remove their yoga pants before entering that downward dog pose.

    And what discussion of yoga is complete without referencing Yoga Girl?

    • OMG NIck, I hadn’t seen Yoga Girl!!!

      It’s so about LA, too, as was Whole Foods. Killer. And I have taken Vinny’s class (he’s the most famously crowded instructor at YogaWorks, no coincidence to the reference, and it is so croweded.

      I’m always the one stuck next to Mr. DreadlocksPonytail, who smells like Patchouli and does a handstand before every chataraunga.

  4. Peter Houlihan says:

    “There is no such thing as consensual in a relationship predicated on a power inequity. Period. Whether it’s your boss, your shrink, your guru, political leader, your rabbi or your priest, each one has a sacred duty to say “Tom/Sally, put your clothes back on. Now.”

    I don’t agree, at all. My political leader/shrink/priest isn’t my parent. They fulfill a specific function in my life and have a degree of power, but its not their place to take responsibility for my sex life. If I’ve put them on so high a pedestal that I can’t say no to them… whose fault is that?

    Obviously the above doesn’t go for minors.

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      Actually, I’d make an exception in the case of boss if there was an element of genuine coercion (that I might get fired if I say no). But if the “coercion” is purely emotional (I really look up to them and want to please them) then the responsibility is mine.

  5. Janet Dell says:

    How can we (women) ever be considered equal until we are allowed to do stupid things that have real world results and that we (women) are held are fully responsibile. IMHO, that is the main difference between and adult and a child. We don’t hold children responsible for their actions and it seems that some don’t want to hold women responsibile for their actions either, iow, they are treating them like children. Maybe there really is something to this whole “Women and children” thing, some really do believe that women never grow up.

  6. Don’t put yourself in a situation you can’t control that’s a pretty good consensus in general.
    Saying this the first time I went to yoga I was hit on by my female intern teacher. I never forgot that moment. After that i consisently went with my girlfriend.
    So these things go both ways.

  7. Rowan Silverberg says:

    “I question that there truly is a definable power imbalance to this relationship. She isn’t required to take the course (as she would be at a university), she isn’t being graded, she can walk out of the room at any moment, and she can never return.” The same is true for a psychotherapist and patient, yet I doubt that you would view a sexual relationship in this context as ethical. There is a reason for a taboo on sex within a therapeutic relationship, which is true of the yoga teacher/student relationship.

  8. No, but a woman who sleeps with her older yoga instructor is definitely a pervert who has no respect for older men.

    She is a creep who gets off when she is instructed to bend in certain positions. I would never let my son become a yoga instructor and be taken advantage of by young lusty desperate babes out their to steal his man juice.

    *Shudders* yes its rapismm and objectifickasmm and abusism

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