|Trope · Genre|
|Related:||Aliens Made Them Do It|
|See Also:||dub con, Fuck or Die|
|Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Sex Pollen is a common fanfiction trope used to bring two characters together in a sexual encounter. It involves one or several characters becoming infected with a pollen of some alien or magical plant, or they might be influenced in some other way (magic, alien technology, mind control, etc.) that causes them to lose inhibitions and/or revs up libido, usually resulting in non-con sex, which may lead to dramatic guilt and misunderstandings, or a resolution of UST.
Sex pollen is related to, but distinct from Aliens Made Them Do It. Sex Pollen involves at least one character being under the influence of a substance or device, while the latter trope usually has both/all characters still in their right minds but compelled to have sex for external reasons. However, the division is not hard and fast.
The essay Writing Sex Pollen Stories by Jen_in_Japan offers several classic uses for sex pollen, among them marital aid, getting a "wtf" couple together, breaking taboos, non-con, and "romantic matchmaker:"
- One of the most common uses of sex pollen is to bring together two people who have wanted to be together (consciously or unconsciously) for some time. The iffy question of consent raised by sex pollen is dodged by having the two people realize at the end of the experience that they're actually in love with each other. Yes, it's a pretty lucky coincidence, we all know that, but in these cases sex pollen functions as a metaphor for sexual desire itself--irresistable, uncontrollable, and surprising. Sex pollen's function in these kinds of stories is usually to corner the characters and force them to face their own desire and embrace the frightening lack of control it brings. 
- The DC Comics character Poison Ivy is a villain who uses plants and botany to commit crimes, often by creating a plant or flower that can control people's minds. In some of her canonical incarnations, she possesses a substance that makes men fall in love with her instantly, or makes her irresistibly desirable. The term "sex pollen" originated from fic wherein characters are exposed to one of Poison Ivy's creations that causes an irresistible urge for sex in general, not specifically with her. The term is now used in many different fandoms for all kinds of fic that places characters in this situation, even when the object or substance causing the increase in libido is not plant-based.
- The 1967 Star Trek: TOS episode This Side of Paradise featured an alien plant whose spores lowered inhibition; under its influence, Spock was able to admit to and act on romantic feelings for Leila Kalomi.
- DC Comics. Popular choices for sex-pollen adventures include Tim Drake, Dick Grayson and also everyone (see Resources below), thanks in part to the canonical sex-pollen, but also because it's just that kind of fandom.
- Lois & Clark fandom has many stories featuring an aphrodisiac pheromone spray which appeared in the episode "Pheromone, My Lovely".
- Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis fandoms have many fics that feature sex pollen (apart from and in addition to Aliens Made Them Do It fic)
- The Sentinel fandom has many fics that feature sex induced by Jim's reaction to various medications and substances.
- 7A WF 83429 by musesfool, where S.H.I.E.L.D. has a form for when it happens, and Darcy Lewis jokingly put Captain America not knowing that he was still alive. Darcy/Steve.
- Dodge-town by Shrift. Dick is exposed to actual plant-based sex pollen and jumps Tim, because who wouldn't.
- Things You Get Used To by Te: Tim/kind of everyone.
- Pheromones by Sahar. Blair is a test subject for human pheromones; when he gets home, Jim jumps him. Or The Object of My Erections by Speranza: "Three conversations and then The Sex Scene That Simply Would Not End." (Jim finds Blair's pheromones irresistible. Hijinks ensue.)
- In Nectar Induced Haze by Jedi Luvr, Obi-Wan unknowingly ingests fruit nectar that is used as an aphrodisiac.
- Te's recs of sex pollen stories in DC Comics (last updated 2004)
- Te's original sex pollen challenge (January 2004)
- Stepps' masterlist of sex pollen stories in Bandom (last updated 2008)
- sd_recs list of "sex pollen & fuck or die Sam/Dean stories in Supernatural fandom (Sept. 2011)
- Sex Pollen tag on AO3
- Superhero Muses Workshop: Writing Sex Pollen Stories by Jen_in_Japan
- Superhero Muses Workshop: Writing Sex Pollen Stories, accessed February 13, 2012