Sure, Jedi have sex, but there’s one space-faring franchise that’s had a half-alien main character from the jump: Star Trek! While it’s possible that Spock was delivered to Sarek and Amanda Grayson by some kind of Vulcan space stork, we just don’t think that’s very likely.
Over the years and series, Star Trek has never shied away from stories that center sex and procreation – going where no one has gone before isn’t just for outer space exploration, you know! And let’s face it: erotic experimentation can get pretty “out there” even when extraterrestrials aren’t involved.
If you want fan fiction, Kirk and Spock basically wrote the book on slash, but there is plenty of weird romance in the Star Trek canon as well. Here are some of the strangest sexual situations in all of Star Trek!
In the second season premiere of Star Trek, “Amok Time,” Spock begins displaying strange behavior. It turns out he’s being affected by his Pon Farr mating period: at seven-year intervals, the Vulcan urge to mate becomes overwhelming, and they must return to their home planet in order to do so.
But things get more complicated in the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Blood Fever” when Ensign Vorik undergoes his Pon Farr while on an away mission with Chief Engineer B’Elanna Torres. Because of the close proximity of their respective home worlds, their similar physiologies means Lieutenant Torres begins to display erratic emotional behavior, as well.
But if you do have Pon Farr-related issues while, say, stranded in the Delta Quadrant and unable to return to your lover on Vulcan, never fear: the holodeck has you covered! In the season seven Voyager episode “Body and Soul,” Chief of Security Tuvok begins to undergo his Pon Farr, and with the ship’s doctor away on a mission, it is impossible for him to control the situation with medication. Fortunately, Lieutenant Tom Paris helps him out with a somewhat unconventional solution: a holodeck simulation of Tuvok’s wife, T’Pel, to help him work out his Pon Farr.
“The hologram was adequate,” concludes Tuvok. “But no substitute for my wife.” Hey, any port in a storm, right?
But it isn’t just in the case of Pon Farr that holograms can serve as romantic partners… not by a long shot. In fact, in the Star Trek: Lower Decks episode “Moist Vessel,” which sees Captain Carol Freeman assigning Ensign Beckett Mariner the worst jobs on the Cerritos, we get an idea of just how often the holodeck is used for such ends when a task labeled “holodeck waste removal” shows Mariner being forced to clean [redacted] out of the holodeck’s [redacted] filter. “Ugh, people really use it for that,” gasps Freeman. “Oh yeah, it’s… mostly that,” replies Commander Jack Ransom.
In the Voyager episode “Alter Ego,” Ensign Harry Kim finds himself falling for a hologram. “You’re in love with a computer sub-routine,” Tuvok skeptically remarks at first. But even holographic love can get complicated, as Tuvok soon finds himself falling for the hologram as well! But the crew soon discovers that the hologram is not actually a hologram at all, but rather the avatar of Marayana, a humanoid alien that has hacked into the holodeck in order to interact with the crew.
Marayana subsequently developed feelings for Tuvok when she discovered that, like her, he was something of an outsider. However, Tuvok suggests she request a transfer to a less isolated post, where she might have a chance of finding someone to connect with.
Perhaps this discussion has you wondering about Hologram genitals? Well, there’re some explicit textual details that speak to that. And I do mean explicit!
In the Voyager episode “Message in a Bottle,” The Doctor is sent across several thousand light years to another Federation ship, where he meets his successor: the Emergency Medical Hologram Mark II! As the two EMHs get acquainted, The Doctor informs the Mark II that he has conducted several upgrades while in the Delta Quadrant… including taking part in sex. When the Mark II protests that they aren’t equipped, The Doctor replies, “Let’s just say I made some additions to my program,” prompting the Mark II to request the installation of those same subroutines in his database before The Doctor’s departure.
What happens when you fall in love with an inanimate object? Well, I can tell you one thing: it’s way more complicated when the inanimate object falls for you back! That’s what happens to Paris in the Voyager episode “Alice.” After acquiring a shuttlecraft from a Delta Quadrant junkyard, Paris becomes increasingly infatuated with the ship, which projects herself into a hologram in order to seduce him. Soon, she convinces him to pilot her directly into a Particle Fountain, a dangerous interstellar phenomena (which I guess is the starship version of “third base”).
And that isn’t the only time a humanoid becomes emotionally entangled with a starship. In the Star Treks: Short Treks episode “Calypso,” a wayward space traveler named Craft finds himself to be the only organic life form aboard the U.S.S. Discovery. But when he begins to interact with the ship’s lonely A.I. system, Zora, the pair soon find themselves connecting more than they expect. Hey, dancing with a holographic projection beats Betty Boop reruns! Plus: Taco Tuesday, the perfect date (especially on those Cali-class vessels).
Cupid’s Errant Arrow
In the Lower Decks episode “Cupid’s Errant Arrow,” Ensign Mariner becomes suspicious of Ensign Bradward Boimler’s new love interest, Lieutenant Barbra Brinson. Drawing on the many instances of Star Trek lovers turning out to be adversaries in disguise, Mariner sets about attempting to discern what’s actually going on with Boimler’s girlfriend, drawing on decades of bad lovers to create a truly hilarious conspiracy board.
And it turns out that Mariner wasn’t totally off the mark when it is revealed that there is a parasite involved in the relationship… just not where she initially thought it would be.
In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Sub Rosa,” the crew of the Enterprise-D visits the colony of Caldos, one of the Federation’s first terraforming colonies, which aims to replicate the feeling of being in the Scottish Highlands. They’re visiting in order to attend the funeral of Dr. Beverly Crusher’s grandmother.
But as Dr. Crusher reviews her late grandmother’s diaries, she discovers that the one-hundred-year-old woman had taken a lover, Ronin, who was in his thirties. Soon, however, Dr. Crusher finds herself being caressed in bed by a non-corporeal entity! Things get more Gothic still when one of the locals warns Dr. Crusher not to light her late grandmother’s candle, but that match has already been struck…
Soon, Dr. Crusher has confronted Ronin, who tells her he was born on Earth in 1647 and has spent the intervening years haunt-loving generation after generation of women. Can Dr. Crusher break Ronin’s spooky sexy spell? Bonus: like all great love stories, this one includes a scene where a corpse is exhumed!
The Loreli Signal
In the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode “The Loreli Signal,” the Enterprise is investigating an area of space where a starship has vanished every 27 years over the past 150 years.
However, when the men of the crew hear the siren song of the Loreli Signal, they are drawn to a planet where they are seduced by a species of beautiful aliens. When it becomes clear that the aliens are using the energy of the Enterprise men to fuel their eternal youth, it’s up to the women of the Enterprise to rescue the rest of the crew.
But after the rescue, the crewmembers are still aged-up! Fortunately, the profiles of the crew before they were beamed down to the parasitic alien race’s planet are still saved in the ship’s computer, and they are used to reprogram the transporter and restore the original versions of the space explorers. Hey, who doesn’t like having some weird transporter stuff in their weird sex stuff? (Answer: Tuvix.)
Do you seek jamaharon?
On Risa, the people have an open attitude about sex, and when visiting, displaying a statue known as a horga’hn can display one’s willingness to participate in the mysterious (and presumably very kinky) local practice of jamaharon!
The pleasure planet of Risa first appeared in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Captain’s Holiday.” The Enterprise-D crew conspires to convince Picard to take a week’s shore leave in order to alleviate his stress, and naturally, Riker suggests Risa. While he eventually concedes, Picard is ignorant of the underlying meaning attached to the horga’hn… which is precisely why Riker tells Picard to bring him one as a souvenir, knowing the comedic misunderstanding that will ensure.
Risa has long been a popular destination. In the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Two Days and Two Nights,” the crew of the first Enterprise visits Risa for shore leave. Commander Trip Tucker and Lieutenant Malcolm Reed head to the nightclubs, where they hope to find lovers. However, the pair of women who seduce them are actually alien thieves in disguise, who leave the two crewmembers stripped and hogtied in the basement after they discover the only profit to be had is from selling their victim’s clothing. While Tucker and Reed are able to make it back to the Enterprise by the time shore leave has ended, they are clad only in their underpants and bathrobes – which I’m pretty sure does not comport with Starfleet regulations concerning uniforms.
Not everyone in the Trek universe is sex-positive! In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Let He Who is Without Sin…”, several DS9 crewmembers visit Risa. However, relationship troubles between Jazdia Dax and Worf lead the Klingon to join forces with Pascal Fullerton, the chairman of the New Essentialists Movement, which seeks to restore the “moral traditions” of the Federation. Fullerton capitalizes on Worf’s technical acumen by having him create a device that puts the Risian artificial weather on the fritz, ruining a lot of people’s vacations.
And in the Lower Decks episode “Envoys,” it’s revealed that on some planets, there is a “Little Risa,” as on Tulgana IV, where the district is marked by a central fountain decorated with a large horga’hn.
Reaching my Threshold
In the Voyager episode “Threshold,” Tom Paris attempts to cross the transwarp threshold after discovering a new variety of dilithium. Unfortunately, moving beyond Warp 10 also comes with some really weird unexpected consequences.
First, Paris undergoes a sort of out-of-body experience, followed by the experience of existing everywhere in the universe. He only returns to his body because he can tell that the crew of the Voyager is searching for him. Soon, things get even stranger, as Paris begins to undergo mutation, transforming into a creature that no longer appears recognizably human.
And here’s where the freaky sex comes in: the mutated Paris, who has begun displaying an uncharacteristic personality, kidnaps Janeway and subjects her to the transwarp treatment, as well. While the crew of the Voyager soon tracks down Janeway and Paris, by the time they do so, both crewmembers have become giant amphibian-like creatures, mated, and reproduced, with the offspring being discovered nearby.
Janeway and Paris are transported back to Voyager, where The Doctor is able to restore their original forms. However, their offspring are left behind on the planet.
The Naked Time(s)
In the Star Trek episode “The Naked Time,” the Enterprise visits the collapsing planet Psi 2000 in order to pick up a science team. But when they arrive, they discover every member of the team to be dead. When Lieutenant Tormolen removes his biohazard suit’s glove during the away mission, the crew of the Enterprise becomes contaminated by a complex chain of molecules that causes humanoids to react as though they were intoxicated – which results in some messy situations on the ship. One example is Nurse Chapel taking Spock’s hands and declaring her love for him.
In TNG episode “The Naked Now,” the crew of the Enterprise-D investigates the Tslolkovsky, a ship whose crew was affected by the same chain of molecules. After an initial message that has a crewmember hoping there are plenty of “pretty boys” on board the Enterprise-D ends in the sound of the crew being blown out into space, they beam aboard to investigate, discovering what appears to be a frozen orgy in the crew quarters.
During the investigation, Lieutenant Geordi La Forge becomes infected by the intoxicating molecules, bringing them back to the Enterprise-D and leading to the kind of naked-time debauchery that Kirk’s crew could only dream about, with plenty of crewmembers succumbing to their hedonistic desires and making out in the passageways of the ship.
Do androids dream of getting it on? Maybe! One of the consequences of the aforementioned TNG episode “The Naked Now” is the coupling of Data and Security Chief Tasha Yar. When Yar inquires, Data ensures her that he is “fully functional” and programed in a wide variety of “techniques,” and the pair subsequently becomes intimate.
In the episode “In Theory,” Data accepts the advances of fellow Enterprise-D crewmember Lieutenant Jenna D’Sora. However, in the movie Star Trek: First Contact, dialogue suggests that Data and D’Sora never consummated their relationship.
Speaking of First Contact, in that movie, Data and the Borg Queen have something of a love connection when she begins replacing the android’s skin with organic tissue and then blows upon it provocatively. The Borg Queen offers Data a Faustian opportunity: to be made fully human, but after considering the proposition for less than a minute, he declines.
In the TOS episode “Mudd’s Women,” the crew of the Enterprise encounters Harcourt Fenton Mudd, along with three women who are so beautiful they mesmerize the crew. Eventually, it becomes evident that Harry has been giving the women “Venus,” a substance that is meant to bolster their femininity. However, in the climactic scene, Kirk tricks one of the women with a placebo, demonstrating that even in the future, the sexiest accessory of all is self-confidence.
But that isn’t the last time they run into the romance-themed long-cons of Mudd. In the TAS episode “Mudd’s Passion,” Harvey Mudd returns to the Enterprise, this time with a love potion. Naturally, the crew is skeptical, but incredibly, the potion actually proves effective… however, its effects are transient, and after they have passed, passion is replaced with animosity. Some potion, Mudd!
In the U.S., you can currently watch all of these episodes EXCEPT those from The Animated Series and Lower Decks on Netflix, and you can watch EVERY episode here on CBS All Access. Plus, there are plenty more weird Trek romances – share your favorites with The Beat in the comment section or on social media @comicsbeat.