Sex After Termination: The Nature of Consensual Relations, the Residue of Power, and the Unresolved Issues
Earlier chapters discussed various reasons that sexual relationships between professionals and the individuals they serve can be exploitative and result in harmful and enduring consequences. This chapter considers whether, and to what extent, the same issues that create the potential for exploitation during the ongoing professional service phase of a relationship continue after that phase ends.
In some cases the professional relationship has an established course, and both parties clearly understand the beginning and the end. College professors and students, for example, both recognize from the beginning that a course, semester, or other period of academic training will, in a predictable and due course, end. A particular professor and particular student may not know whether another program will follow, but eventually the point comes when the teacher/student relationship ends. Once that phase is over, whether a subsequent intimate relationship between them is still inherently exploitative is a more problematic question.
The relationship between attorney and client, on the other hand, may or may not have an identifiable ending. For the most part, an attorney is engaged to handle a specific legal matter, and when that matter ends, the relationship terminates. There are, however, at least two exceptions to this general rule. One is when a particular legal matter may be ongo-