Aliens Made Them Do It

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Trope · Genre
Synonyms:
Related: Fuck or Die, Sex Pollen, Non-Con, Rapefic
See Also: Plot Coupon
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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Contents

And by 'it' we mean have sex. With each other. Sometimes the aliens are threatening them with death and/or violence, and sometimes the characters are trying for diplomatic or economic reasons to please the aliens or not to offend them. A frequent version has the characters accidentally or unwillingly taking part in a ritual as part of the aliens' religion.

Stories where this happens approach the sex with varying degrees of seriousness. Sometimes it's a major trauma and treated as a kind of rape for both parties; sometimes the situation is played for humor and the characters later get together of their own free will. (find examples)

While this plot device is distinct from Sex Pollen, there's a great deal of overlap. Generally, if Aliens Make Them Do It, the characters are not in an altered state and are both under duress, while Sex Pollen focuses on at least one character being drugged or otherwise influenced. However, several Aliens Make Them Do It stories involve the aliens drugging the characters, and several Sex Pollen stories involve aliens and/or alien cultures in some way.

Examples in Canon

The original Star Trek pilot, The Cage, had a basic AMTDI plot. Pike managed to escape without sex after it was pointed out that the woman involved was not, in fact, young and beautiful.

Also in Star Trek, one of the first interracial kisses on television, between Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura, was because of alien mind-control.

Isaac Asimov's short story "What Is This Thing Called Love?" (written for Playboy) involves single-sex aliens who have abducted a human couple to study their mating act. In an inversion of the trope, the aliens are unable to actually Make Them Do It, but after the aliens have left, the humans do it anyway.

In Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series, when dragons mate their human bondmates are compelled to mate as well. A similar arrangement occurs in Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear's A Companion to Wolves. This could be considered AMTDI or a variant of sex pollen.

Fandom Reaction

Versions of this story trope have been around since pon farr in Star Trek, with a noticable increase in popularity since the reboot movie was released.[1].

For some reason, the trope became incredibly common in Stargate Atlantis fic. In response to the increasingly clichéd use of this plot device, stories have been written where aliens pointedly don't make them do it[2], or wherein characters comment on the endless fertility rituals to which they're subjected, where the aliens force them to do other things instead[3][4], where the aliens theatrically show them how they could be doing it[5], or where the characters somehow make the aliens have sex instead[6].

While the trope remains popular, some fans object to a perceived racism in the unexamined use of generic "primitive tribes" and "fertility rituals" as plot devices. This is part of a larger issue with how science fiction and fantasy fandoms, in particular Stargate Atlantis, depict alien cultures in fanfic.[7] In SGA, the "Aliens" in question are nearly always humans in the Pegasus galaxy, who both canon and fandom often portray as othered from the main characters from Earth. (find examples of discussions)[citation needed]

Examples in Fanworks

Resources

References

  1. Delicious links for the LJ Kirk/Spock community show that that in the first year after Star Trek XI was released, 20 stories featuring the Aliens Made Them Do It trope were published on this one comm alone.
  2. Abstain, by Resonant
  3. Aliens made them commentfic challenge post by Resonant offering (multifandom) non-sex ideas and ficlets in comments, 8 Apr 2005. (Accessed 10 Feb 2012)
  4. SGA also came up with the AMT Hula Hoop subgenre: See Aliens Make Them ... Hula Hoop? by epiphanyx7, 9 Oct 2007, and one of the scenes in Monday to Friday, Saturday on Agreement by lavvyan, 30 Dec 2007. (Accessed 10 Feb 2012).
  5. (Part of) Intimacy of Man by Samdonne, 13 Apr 2007. (Accessed 10 Feb 2012)
  6. The Birds and the Bees and the Bats and the Robots by Bernice
  7. RatCreature. meta-ish sga fanfic thoughts. Posted 13 March 2007. (Accessed 12 November 2008)
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