I'd much rather believe that Kirk is heterosexual than believe, as some people seem to, that he's in love with his ship.
In Naked Time he said some poetic things about the ship, specifically he said:
"This vessel...I give, she takes. She won't let me live my life, I've got to live hers!"
That was a complaint, not a love song. He's bitching about not having time to pursue a relationship. It's more like the ship is a crying baby, not a loving wife. He spends so much time taking care of ship business he has no time for fun.
If he felt married to the ship, his life would be hers, it wouldn't be hers vs. mine. When you are married, you are one (ideally).
"Now I know why IT's called *she*!"
Indicating quite clearly that he knows that "she" is an _it_.
Harry Mudd said starship captains are married to their ships to Eve McHuron in Mudd's Women. Of course, we are given reason to question his wisdom. In Elaan of Troyius somebody says of Kirk that the Enterprise infected him before the Dolman did. Again, Kirk himself did not tell anyone that he considered himself to be married to the ship. It's pretty clear that he considers himself to be a single gentleman who simply has a demanding job that doesn't give him much free time.
Kirk loves women. He likes them as friends and comrades, and he likes them for sex. In TOS he's young, hot-blooded and virile. Obviously he feels sexual urges. The opposite sex is attractive to him, and he's plainly not afraid of women. He is often prevented by circumstances from following through, but it's never because he himself can't cope.
As he said in Naked Time:
"..(a) woman...to touch, to hold...beach to walk on, a few days...no braid on my shoulder!"
He needs conducive circumstances, and he wants a real flesh and blood person at his side, not (as Spock might say) "a mechanical contrivance" like the starship.
Kirk could have had his pick if hundreds of female androids in I, Mudd, but he quite unequivocally rejected ALL of them.
Captain Kirk is picky about women. He doesn't want some fancy city-lady painted glamour doll. He prefers women that are wholesome, naturally pretty, intelligent, and respectable like Miramanee and Edith Keeler.
Kirk is particular to choose a beautiful woman. He's old-fashioned about a lot of things, and one of his beliefs seems to be that the bride should be prettier than the groom. Maybe the real reason he hasn't married is it's hard to find a woman who is prettier than himself. ;)
When Kirk has his little beach-walking fantasy he imagines himself with a woman: not a harem. Kirk is solidly consistent in one thing: whenever he talks aloud about how he thinks things should be between a man and a woman, be clearly believes a relationship should be a mutually enjoyable and beneficial partnership. Kirk wants to take time to share things like walking and talking together. Walking on the beach, talking about the stars...sharing happy thoughts and wholesome activities is how he likes to court a woman. We've seen him do it, more than once.
Kirk's a romantic. Love is something that is sacred to him. He always talks of Love with a capital L as if it's what Life with a capital L is all about. He is certainly not a reckless and selfish playboy. In Charlie X, he gives Charlie some very mature advice about love. Here's the main part of their conversation:
Kirk: "Yeoman Rand is a woman..."
Charlie: "Oh, I won't hit her like that anymore!"
Kirk: "No, there's more to it than that."
Charlie: (Frustrated) "Everything I do or say is wrong! (etc.)"
Kirk: (Gently) "...There's nothing wrong with you that hasn't gone wrong with every human male since the model first came out."
Charlie: (desperately) "What if you care for someone? What do you do!?"
Kirk: (Sincerely) "You go slow. Give it a while. You be gentle. I mean, it's not a one-way street you know...how you feel and that's all. It's how the girl feels too! Don't press, Charlie. If the girl feels anything for you at all, you'll know it. You understand, Charlie?"
Charlie: "You don't think that Janice...you...she could love me!"
Kirk: "She's not the girl, Charlie. The years are wrong, for one thing. And there are other things."
Charlie: "She can."
Kirk: (Simply) "No, Charlie."
Charlie: (Freaking out) "What if I did what you said!? If I was gentle!?"
Kirk: (Firmly) "Charlie, there are a million things you can have in this universe and a million things that you can't have. It's no fun facing that, but that's the way things are!"
Charlie: (Miserably) "Then, what am I gonna do?"
Kirk: (Gently) "Hang on tight and survive. Everybody does."
Charlie: "You don't!"
Kirk: "Everybody, Charlie. Me too."
[NOTE: Get this! Kirk knows about going slow and gentle, about respecting a woman's wishes, about mutuality in love, about gracefully accepting rejection, about courage in the face of loneliness. Who knew?]
I have some very solid ideas about what kind of a lover Kirk would be to a woman, and he isn't the type who would just use a woman. He'd be a partner in bed. He'd do his best to make sure the woman had a good time. Whenever we've seen him playing Romeo, he's always tender, considerate, and playful. He seems to enjoy playing to the woman's fantasies. He shows curiosity about his ladyfriend's interests, and seems to like doing whatever pleases her. He makes the effort to find out what a woman wants, apparently so he can make an effective effort at giving her what she wants.
Generally, Kirk favors the idea of male/female equality. He agreed with Dr. Lester that sexist policies were wrong, and he assured Lt. Moreno that (as far as he was concerned) she could become anything that she wanted to be. Kirk respects women effortlessly, like it's second nature to him. He is absolutely not sexist.
We can tell a lot about what kind of lover Kirk is with women by looking at the two women in TOS who meant the most to him. He was infatuated with Edith Keeler, and he was certainly crazy nutty in love with his native wife, Miramanee. Those are two women he pretty clearly was serious about.
With Edith Keeler he bent over backwards to try to please her. She wanted a clean basement, she got one. She wanted to see a movie, they were on their way to a movie. When they talked, they talked about her favorite subjects. He did what she liked to do. He did not force himself upon her. He pulled the reins in tight on himself and let her set the pace.
Obviously if he's Gay he's in no rush to get into her pants. BUT if he's NOT GAY, if he's straight, then what does it say about him? I'll tell you what it says. It says he's very savvy about women, and he probably became savvy about them because he loves and respects them.
When he had amnesia and didn't know who or what he was, Miramanee came along and she guided him. He let her. He did not ever act uppity and superior with her. He was gentle and mild mannered with her. He did not force himself upon her. They married because she wanted to. They both wanted to. Kir-ock had ~no complaints~.
They apparently had a very satisfying married life. Miramanee was thrilled with Kir-ock as a husband. When we saw them together as a couple, their relationship was obviously tender, playful and mutually pleasing. He did not lord it over her, even though he was supposedly a "God". He treated her with respect and obvious affection. They seemed happy with their sexual relationship, and clearly it was a complete relationship, because she became pregnant.
Kirk always showed great respect to his women shipmates, and to the women he met on his travels. Love is a serious matter to him, he was not casual with women. He didn't like being treated in a casual manner himself, either. He wasn't thrilled to find Eve sluttishly waiting for him in his bed in Mudd's Women: He was glad to get rid of her. He didn't like that green chick pawing him in Whom Gods Destroy: he tolerated it because he was in captivity and had little choice. He needed a lot of encouragement from Drusilla in Bread And Circuses: he didn't just go, "Hoorah! You're my slave for the night! C'Mere wench!".
Kirk needs to feel wanted, and that means a woman has to encourage him a lot before he really will make a move. In most cases, it's the woman who makes the first move.
Kirk usually lets women take the lead and set the tone. Lenore Karidian (for example) was unequivocal about wanting him, and she was smart about how to seduce him. She appealed to his imagination, evoking the romance of legendary couples of history and fiction. That was obviously very appealing to the idealistic Jim Kirk. He liked the idea of playing Caesar and Cleopatra with her - which is a huge step above simply playing house.
Kirk's like that: he thinks big! He's got high ideals and lofty goals. The perfect partner for him would be a goddesslike woman who is exemplary in every way. Kirk craves the love of a woman who is beautiful, super-smart, and frankly, who IS somebody. Kirk is a bit of a star-fucker: if a woman is a queen, a high priestess, a social leader, a kickass lawyer, a kickass scientist, a kickass doctor, he likes that! He demands it, in fact. That's what he liked about Reyna Kepec: she was beautiful, super-smart, and was virtually the queen of her lonely world. Plus, she clearly singled him out, and urgently encouraged him. It would have been ungallant of him to refuse her!
In the second ST movie we met Carol Marcus, a brilliant genius of a woman who was also the mother of Kirk's son, David. She was a very strange woman who for reasons unknown prevented Kirk and David from having any relationship. Kirk was very hurt by this, but he respected her wishes. She wanted him to stay away, and he stayed away. What does this say about Kirk? It says he respects women's wishes, even when their wishes are nutty. That's what it says. She also fits the pattern: good-lookin' super-smart, a super-star in her field of endeavor. That's clearly what Kirk looks for in a woman.
He needs a woman to be respectable: someone whom he can admire; someone who inspires him. Women who measure up to Kirk's stringent standards are rare, which is a big reason why he stayed single. I'm sure if he'd found the right combination in the right woman under the right circumstances that he would have happily opted for marriage, and he probably would have made a fantastic husband.
What to say to people who insist that James Kirk was a love 'em and leave 'em guy? Say. "It's not so!" Kirk ("Kir-ock") did not leave Miramanee, she left him (was KILLED). Kirk loved Edith Keeler (City on the Edge of Forever), and she got KILLED. Reyna was really exquisite, too bad she was just an android. You can't really say he'd be leaving a woman behind in a case like that. Besides, he didn't leave her: She left him (DIED).
Drusilla (Bread and Circuses), a slave, was locked in a room with Jim while he was imprisoned, and he had no say about whether either one of them could come or go. She had no choice either: she had been ordered to entertain him. When he left the planet, he wasn't leaving her, he was escaping captivity and promised death. What else would you expect him to do? It wasn't like they had a relationship. It wasn't like he ever cared for her.
In Wink of an Eye, Queen Deela (Kirk's kidnapper) was an enemy, not a lover. Since he was there against his will she certainly had no right to hang on to him. That's not leaving, that's called escaping, and it's the right thing to do in a case like that.
The Dolman Elaas _left him_, because she had to. He had to let her.
We know of only *one* woman from his past who bore him any ill-will: Dr. Janice Lester, the one who stole his body in Turnabout Intruder. In any case, them breaking up seems to have been a mutual decision.
There is not one clear cut case of simple abandonment, unless you count Khan's girlfriend whom Kirk marooned with him after the traitorous woman helped Khan to rob Kirk of his command and almost cost the whole crew their lives. I'd say in her case, she asked for it! But she was never Kirk's girlfriend.
FWIW, it's established in Star Trek two: Wrath of Khan that he left Carol Marcus because she asked him to. Their careers came between them. I have known enough mothers who are single by choice that I think this is perfectly believable.
Most of the women from his past who turned up seemed to have fond feelings still for him, so obviously, no resentment. Dr. Wallace pretty urgently wanted to simply pick up where she and Jim had left off years before, but in her case he pretty clearly didn't want to. If he wanted an easy lay, he could have had one in that episode, but he opted not to.
There were many situations where women came on to Jim and offered him an easy lay, and he pretty much never actually went along with it. Eve got nowhere with Kirk in Mudd's Women, although she did everything she could think of to be attractive, to be convenient, to encourage him. Kirk wasn't having any.
Why *do* so many people think Kirk was a playboy? He used seductive methods on a limited number of enemy women - but it was not him honestly trying to get laid, it was him using his own sex-appeal as a weapon, to try to accomplish something that was duty-related. Two telepaths, Sylvia (Catspaw) and Dr. Jones (Is there in truth no beauty?) both realized he was doing that, and called him on it... so it didn't always work. In the case of Queen Deela (Wink of an eye) it totally played into her plan to use him for stud service, so, even though she knew for certain that he was being insincere, she didn't care.
In TOS we see Kirk love and lose two women: Edith Keeler, and Miramanee. In both cases it was literally until death did them part. What did these two women have in common?
Both were brunettes Both held leadership positions within their spheres of influence. Both were from primitive cultures. Both were very pretty. Both were ladies, not sluts.
It's been established as canon that Kirk likes antiques and has romantic ideas about times past. Is it possible he longs for the days when a guy could slice up his enemies with a sword, and not only would nobody say boo, but they might offer praise?
If Kirk is ever to be happily married, it's clear to me he'd marry not just the woman, but her whole way of life, preferably a more primitive one. She'd have to be in his eyes not only physically beautiful, but an exciting and utterly respectable woman.
He would have to *believe* in her. He would look for ways to impress her (and to drive away her other suitors). To win her love he would do anything, and the tougher the better. He would attempt to bowl her over with sheer audacity and the fervor of his passion, but if she's smart like Edith Keeler, she'll play it cool and keep him at arm's length as long as possible.
She would be his goddess of love incarnate, and he would be her knight. He would fiercely defend her and their children, *and* all their friends and neighbors from any threat of harm. In peacetime, there would have to be lots of contests and sporting events he could compete in so he could soothe his hyperactive masculine nerves, and also show off for her.
I also think Jim Kirk would make an involved and affectionate father, of the "benign despot" type. He'd play with the kids and teach them things. He'd love to tell them stories, and these would be moral tales intended to illustrate the importance of the virtues. He's no Mr. Rogers, though: he'd have to be in the mood for the little ones, and wouldn't mind leaving the primary childcare tasks to his wife. The kids would be expected to just succumb to his authority. Discipline, if needed, would occur instantly, and would leave a lasting impression. There would be a big fuss when the kids did well, with liberal hugs and kisses and lots of happy bragging about his offspring. Jim's an accomplished manipulator, and with quick forgiveness for mistakes and a long memory for points of pride would convince his brood to strive for excellence, and they'd probably break their hearts in half trying to please him and meet his idealistic expectations.
It's been shown that if Jim Kirk were to win the hand of a queen or high priestess of a primitive population, and if by marrying her he assumed responsibility over the whole tribe (like what happened in Paradise Syndrome), that *that* would be very much to his liking. Being progressive in spirit and large-minded, he would eventually lead his people into the twenty third century, but would be careful to preserve the rough elements of his adopted culture that he found most attractive.
All speculation aside, Kirk certainly is no sexist, selfish, horndog playboy who porked all of the chicks. That's for SURE. So-called fans who insist that James Kirk was a love 'em and leave 'em guy betray their ignorance.
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