So I have my male protagonist. Stubborn, honourable in his own way, very alpha-male and undeniably alien.
Then I have the leader of the human presence on the planet; she’s intelligent, ambitious, and driven to succeed. He’s agreed to follow her, for reasons that I won’t elaborate here.
And now sex rears its ugly head.
I’ll preface this next part by saying that this is not a romance novel, or an urban fantasy, or, in any way, targeted to an audience who enjoys reading sexy stories. The female in question does not stalk about the place in a slinky bodysuit with a strap-on phallic symbol (I meant the gun! Get your mind out of the gutter), and the male is not a tortured beta male in need of a strong woman to guide him.
So the question is, should they or shouldn’t they?
In the first version of the novel, they did, and the sex was hot, heavy and entirely too human. In the second version, they didn’t, but a critter has just pointed out that he is obviously attracted to her. Damn it.
Star Trek ruined it for most of us by allowing any race to get it on and, to my horror, breed successfully. They didn’t even think of the implications of this, and I don’t mean interspecies offspring. And Kirk wandered through the galaxy poking his apparatus at any alien that would stand still long enough. Need I mention the green-skinned Orion slave girl? Or Spock’s parentage? Worf’s half-human mate K’Ehleyr? My god, am I the most pathetic Star Trek geek ever?
I thought Galaxy Quest did it better. When Fred Kwan tangles with the alien Laliari in a most tentacular embrace, Guy Fleegman responds appropriately.
“Ohhh, that’s not right!”
Moving on to the biological side, the mechanics of this could be tricky. Earth species use two methods of genetic material transfer; internal and external. External transfer is simply sending your genetic material out into the world, to find the matching gamete and produce a zygote. It can be indirect; like coral, which simply release male and female gametes into the ocean, and let luck guide the result. Or it can be a little more precise, like spiders, where the male will package up his sperm in a little bundle and hand it to the female. Do-it-yourself fertilisation.
Now there’s a sex scene to write.
“I want you, I need you.”
“Right.” *slosh slosh* “Here you go.”
“What. The hell. Is that?”
“My sperm. Go make babies.”
Puts a bit of a damper on inter-species romance, doesn’t it?
Internal transfer is the norm in more advanced species. And if I have to explain what that means, then you are too young to be reading this blog.
But internal transfer doesn’t always utilise a vagina or equivalent. (Boy, can’t wait to see the spam I get on THIS post.) Snails, those horny hermaphrodites, slide up alongside one another, and shoot calcium harpoons into the skin. They then reel the other partner in, and pump them full of gametey goodness. Just anywhere. The sperm then oozes around the body looking for the ovaries.
But since I’m not writing horror, or some sort of creepy fetish lit, alien males with stabby calcium penii won’t work.
And that doesn’t even touch on the more technical aspects of anatomy. What if the shortest route to the alien version of a uterus is through the ear? Could be a little confusing for all parties.
I’m sure you can see my dilemma. I don’t believe that aliens and humans are sexually compatible. Which makes it hard to write a believable relationship.
So where do you stand? Are you pro- or anti- alien/human sex? Have you ever written a sex scene between two different species, and if so, how did you handle the fundamental differences in biology?