True, he is a handsome fellow who is a magnet for the ladies. He is friendly, confident, and approachable, but Kirk does NOT do every woman in sight and he does NOT go for bimbos! He doesn't believe in using women: he's a romantic. He believes in love. The women he loved were respectable ladies. He's attracted to women who are Goddesslike: intelligent, beautiful, interesting and decent. He would only feel well-matched by a woman who is, in her own feminine way, as exemplary as himself.
Kirk is a hyperactive thrill seeker, which is why he loves his dangerous job. He's sensual, and allows himself to enjoy life's pleasures, but you are more likely to find him wearing himself out in some sporty activity than lounging around on pillows eating bon-bons.
He is very brainy with a sharp, shrewd, eccentric wit that's click-click-click! Fast! He can decide fast, and he can change his mind fast, too. He is mentally very nimble, but not thoughtless. He thinks things through; he just thinks fast.
Kirk is not superficial, he's deep. He's widely read and doesn't just take it in: he questions everything. Kirk often burns the midnight oil because he can't sleep. He is always thinking. He's a genius, but resists the urge to show off with big words, because he cares deeply about fostering understanding. He's got a lot on his mind and likes to talk it out. He loves to discuss and debate. He's gregarious, outgoing and exhibitionistic. He never likes to leave anyone out of the conversation: if someone is interested he'll include them in. He's an entertaining and welcoming guy, who loves being the center of attention, and that is why you often find him preaching away in the center of a small crowd, where he's right at home.
Kirk can always understand the other guy's point of view, and might even see merit in his opponent's arguments, without ever wavering in his own convictions. He has a rare gift for expressing complex ideas with simple language, and often uses this ability to convince his opponents to see things his way. He is broad minded, sympathetic and insightful, without being one bit wishy-washy about what he thinks is right and wrong. Kirk, despite his complete inability to ever sit still, is inwardly a grounded individual with a rock-solid core. He is mentally stable and emotionally secure, which is why he is not afraid to confront and possibly be changed by strange people and ideas. He finds fresh challenges stimulating, and if they don't present themselves he seeks them out.
Kirk has the common touch, but he is very capable of lofty intellectual flights, and he obviously enjoys the way Spock stimulates him mentally. The mental side of their relationship is without doubt one of the great strengths of their partnership.
Look at the incredible Mr. Spock, whom Kirk calls his best friend. He is a half-Vulcan super-genius oddball who lives in his mind. Spock, a touch-telepath, is a very unusual man of exquisite sensitivity with many additional astonishing mental abilities, including the ability to calculate astronomical sums instantly in his head. Spock can read at unimaginable speeds and he has a prodigious memory. He has tremendous technical skills, and he has great physical strength and endurance as well. He also is obviously a very moral person, who does not use his natural advantages abusively. He chose the career he did to slake his huge thirst for knowledge, to relive his chronic boredom with adventure, and also (no doubt) because he believes he is obliged to be helpful to people.
Spock, like Kirk, believes in lending his advantages and powers to people who are less fortunate. They both believe in tangling with bullies on behalf of the oppressed. Spock, however, has no love of fighting and avoids conflict when he can. He is by nature a quiet soul. His main motivation in battle is always to establish peace as efficiently as possible.
On a personal level Spock wants peace desperately. Within himself he is never at peace. One reason he enjoys serving under Kirk is because Kirk is a popular captain who inspires confidence in the crew. For the telepathic Spock, it must be a pleasure to bask daily in this rare, happy esprit de corps.
As admirable as Spock is, he doesn't inspire the crew. He knows this, and doesn't seem to worry about it very much. He takes pains to always be utterly respectable, but he's not likable to most people, and he doesn't seem to care. He doesn't have many friends, but he doesn't seem to crave them. In fact, Kirk seems at times to be his only friend, and for Spock that seems to be enough. If Kirk wasn't so avid to be Spock's friend, Spock could be content without it. People get on Spock's nerves. He likes being let alone. He's fiercely independent, and can keep himself amused without help.
Spock is no Bon Vivant like Kirk. No matter what the occasion, he is formal in his manner. Introverted, restrained, solemn, cultured, hyper-rational, and reflective by nature, he doesn't often hang out during leisure time doing the things that the humans like to do. He'd rather work than play. He's a workaholic who's always on duty. Like Kirk, he doesn't know how to relax. It's safe to assume he has some deep thoughts now and then! When he chooses to speak, he naturally can be expected to give voice to the most sophisticated, complicated, and peculiar ideas imaginable. If his utterances soar over everyone's heads, that is consistent with his character and is to be expected. When he doesn't do so, it's suspicious!
When Spock focuses his attention on himself he becomes painfully self-conscious. He enjoys little common fellow-feeling with others around him. He has to make an effort to lower himself to fit in, he can't maintain it long, and he often doesn't bother to try. Only when there is a crisis can he bring himself to be sympathetic, as if the shock startles him into his own body, and the reality of mortal flesh temporarily captures his attention. That's when we see him doing incredibly brave, unselfish, and compassionate things. Then it passes. Usually he lives high in his head: he's happiest there.
His body doesn't make him happy. He's a creature of mixed ancestry and confused instincts who is plainly at odds with himself. Spock can not be fully content unless he's either coping with a full-on crisis or sitting quietly, soaring high, high, high in the rare cerebral ether he alone has the wings for.
Kirk and Spock have a lot to think about and much to talk about. They themselves would find the chemistry that bonds them a marvelous thing, and you bet your butt they would discuss it. There ought to be a lot more of their mental and psychological relationship evident in your stories, my friends. A failure to show this is a failure to tell their story, period.
Why would Spock and Kirk become sexually intimate? IMHO, too many K/S writers fail to answer this question correctly. Many slash writers seem to think that sex desire would be reason enough, but neither Kirk nor Spock show a tendency to let lust lead. If they did have a sexual relationship I think it would be a convenience and a comfort for them, but not the foundation of their mutual admiration, nor at the heart of their love.
Kirk and Spock are unusual men, and if they have a sexual relationship it will be an unusual one. They will not have a simple romance and they will not simply fall into bed together impulsively, either. There is nothing simple about these guys or their situation. They also will not play Hamlet, going "Do it...don't do it?" indefinitely. These men are not timid. They are professional warriors, multi-decorated heroes, and are quite businesslike when dealing with difficulties.
How would it happen? Obviously I disagree with many of you. I derived my answer by studying them, I don't know how you got yours.
Kirk is a passionate idealist. For Kirk to take on Spock as a personal project he would have to be first firmly convinced of the value of the exercise. He would believe in what he was attempting, and also that he could and should be successful. Kirk would want what was best for all concerned, and if he thought that what Spock really needed was a girlfriend he'd just scare up a volunteer and delegate it. Kirk would risk much to do it himself only if he firmly believed he was the best person for the job. Maybe he'd be fooling himself, but that would be his conscious intention. Subconsciously, of course, he could have many motivations, maybe one or two purely selfish ones. Knowing him, ambition and love of power would be stronger attractors than sex. The sex would be a bonus!
Kirk wants to change the galaxy and he knows he needs help. He wants Spock right next to him, now and forever. He has no inner conflict about it. He'd see the difficulties coming and would bravely brace himself cope with them, each in their turn. Big deal! Business as usual!
He'd start by just trying to be Spock's friend, but one day would envision, in one awesome epiphany, that much more was possible for a truly intrepid soul. He'd wrangle within about whether or not his motives were pure. He'd weigh the pros and cons, agonizing for an hour or two about whether he was truly worthy. He'd talk it out, dictating to his personal log and playing it back to listen to and think about what he'd said. It'd be too God-damned tempting! He wouldn't be able to stop himself! He'd grab for the biggest, shiniest, scariest, and potentially more rewarding personal adventure life had ever dangled within his reach.
Then he would hang on like hell, no matter what, because that's the way he is. Once committed, Kirk becomes a bulldog. The only way to convince him to ease off is to satisfy him somehow. That's the only logic that's practical when it comes to Kirk, and Spock is, above all, a practical man who believes in doing whatever is within his power to establish peace and maintain order.
Kirk hugely amuses Spock, who probably hasn't had such active mental stimulation and earnest emotional encouragement since he was a boy in Amanda's lap! What a strange and wonderful sensation it would be to be reminded of his classy mother's love by this ballsy, witty warrior. Although they are of divergent temperaments, Spock has much in common with the rough-and-tumble Kirk. They are also comrades in arms, facing down death together daily. How could Spock remain indifferent to such a spectacular person, especially when that person is always cozying up, practically knocking him over in an obvious, anxious bid for his approval? Weird, but flattering!
While yet a child I think Kirk saw that people (including himself) needed a hero. He made himself into that hero because he couldn't find one (that met his standards) any other way. Now, Spock is a hero that exceeds even Kirk's own very high standards: a strong and sure superman that Kirk feels he can always count on. Someone who can see right through you who still respects you anyway! How refreshing! And he thought only God himself could love like that! Spock is Kirk's personal Jesus: someone to whom he can confess all and be understood, and forgiven. Someone who, when he hears your prayers, actually does something about it! A very palpable power in troubled times, that's Spock. What's not to love about that? The guy's beautiful!
One day Spock would throw down the gauntlet and show Kirk the sore spot in his heart, daring him to chicken out. Kirk wouldn't blink, proving he is a strong soul who can be trusted with this delicate information. But Kirk disagrees with Spock about shielding his sore spot from rough bumps. He regularly touches him in that sore spot because Spock needs somebody to toughen him up, and nobody else will dare to try. Spock would never allow anyone else to dare to dream of taking such liberties, but he genuinely admires Kirk. He tolerates Kirk's assaults, believing Kirk is sincere and may even be right, but he reserves the right to be a bad sport about it now and then.
Kirk permits this, even encourages it, because Kirk is frankly masochistic on top of everything else. Yes he is! It's not even subtle! He doesn't indulge that side of himself with just anybody, but he certainly trusts Spock to handle it. Good heavens, who'd be better!? There's another selfish motivation if you are still looking for one.
Metaphorically, Kirk is allowed to hurt Spock while he's taking the splinter out of his heart. Kirk allows Spock to punch and kick him periodically while this is going on, because he understands how hard it is for Spock to trust and submit, and he knows the guy needs an outlet. He doesn't care how difficult it is, how much Spock complains, or how long it takes: that metaphorical splinter is a goner! Kirk doesn't mind risking minor injuries. The joyful anticipation of his victory keeps him going. He loves being of service to Spock, but he also has a bratty side that gets a childish thrill from making the stuffy and severe Spock lose his composure now and then. He wants Spock to be more butch, not so prissy, fussy and inwardly frail. What's really cute is the way Spock is grateful for the attention, ~sort of~. He can get enough of it, and that's when he gives Kirk a pop in the chops, because sometimes that's all Jim understands.
Look at Spock's characteristic bi-polar ambivalence: usually coolly logical, then suddenly hotly ruthless, with stops on rare occasions at the jealously guarded, tender place between these extremes. Spock aspires to remain unemotional, but does he succeed? Not really. Does he give up trying? Never!
Look at the peculiar way Kirk pursues his noble goals with a bit too much (sometimes evil) enthusiasm. Kirk aspires to be a thoroughly decent man who resists base impulses, but does he succeed? Not often. Does he quit trying? Never!
These are the hallmarks of their personalities, and they would be the landmarks of their intimacy. Kirk would ride Spock's ups and downs like a roller-coaster, arms in the air, whooping all the way, and Spock would quite naturally have mixed feelings about this, and his reactions would vary, depending on whether the moon was full on Tuesday, and other variables. It's all laid out like a roadmap in TOS, people. LOOK.
In public they'd continue to mind their posture and watch each other's backs. Since they really love each other, they aren't going to do anything to threaten each other's careers and hopes for the future. They'd continue to compensate for each other's weaknesses and merge their strengths for their common benefit, and their stupendous synergy would benefit everyone associated with them.
And they'd prosper ever after, against all odds.
All site contents Copyright L. Goodwin 1990 - 2002
Back to details
Back to SSTO