We’re arguing about it in comments, so I’ll bring it up here to argue some more. (And watch: now no one will argue any more. That always happens.)
We’re arguing about this question of whether it’s ok for conference speakers to hook up with attendees, assuming mutual enthusiasm and availability.
I’m not on the side my haters* would expect.They would expect me to screek in horror and demand that everyone be taken away in chains. You know the drill – ugly old bitch, crazy bitter ugly angry old bitch jealous of all the hot young people having secks, wants to see them all boiled in oil.
But nah. I don’t see the problem. I agree that the bigger stars among the conference speakers shouldn’t be obnoxious about it; they shouldn’t blatantly leverage their status to get laid; but other than that, go for it. Why not? These things are social, and that’s why they’re fun. You meet people, you talk, it’s fun. Sometimes that leads to sex and/or romance, a happy weekend or an extended relationship. What’s wrong with that?
Conferences aren’t universities. Nobody’s grading anybody. Nobody has any real power over anybody. If people want to jump on each other, I can’t see any reason why they shouldn’t.
Conferences (of the kind we’re talking about) are like universities however in the sense that they’re meant to be intellectually stimulating, and often are. That’s erotic itself, as any fule kno. I was always getting crushes on the guys in the tweed jackets when I was at university – little crushes, big crushes, fun crushes, yearning crushes – alla crushes. This was 400 years ago, too, so there were far more men teaching than women; lots of scope for crushes. I never did anything about them though apart from trying to write really good papers. Sublimation, but then again, I wrote some good papers. Win-win if you ask me, but then I’m a nerd. But the point is: at conferences there’s not much reason not to act on attractions provided they are mutual. At least I can’t see any. You?
*They’re not just my haters. They all hate other people too. I don’t think I have any haters who focus on me alone. I don’t want to be boastful about them.