"T'hy'la", Seriously

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Title: "T'hy'la", Seriously
Creator: Laura Goodwin
Date(s): July 12, 2002
Medium: online
Fandom: Star Trek
External Links: "T'hy'la", Seriously (scroll down)
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"T'hy'la", Seriously is a 2002 essay by Laura Goodwin.

It is embedded in a post at alt.startrek.creative.erotica.moderated.

Some Topics Discussed

From the Essay

"T'hy'la", Seriously:

Why did Roddenberry coin this "Vulcan" word? It's important to note that he created it as a label for Spock's relationship with James T. Kirk, in the ST: TMP novel. Why was this necessary? There already was a perfectly serviceable word in play, "friend". Apparently GR felt that the word "friend" was insufficient.

"T'hy'la" - A term applied to someone who is a friend/lover. If this is not a husband/wife, then what is it? This can't simply be an umbrella term for any fond relationship, as if Vulcans make no distinction between motherly love, friendship between children, and the love of two lovers. That makes no sense. Being scientific and logical, Vulcans must demand more precision than that in their language, IMHO.

I understand that the Vulcan word for husband is Adun, for a wife, Aduna. T'hy'la is a term to describe a love which is other than that between a husband and wife in a heterosexual marriage. If they are so unemotional, why a special word for impractical love relationships? How un-Vulcanlike: to acknowledge an emotional relationship with its own word, and a not very precise word too - *unless* applied only to a person who is exactly both of these things: friend/lover. THEN it becomes a very precise and narrowly defined term indeed. Then it becomes a word to describe a relationship which is as all encompassing as marriage, without being a marriage. It becomes the Vulcan word for "Longtime Companion", which is a Terran euphemism for Gay lovers. *Not* fudgepacking fuck-buddies, but _lovers_. Two people of the same sex who are ~in love~ with each other.

The question unanswered is, can t'hy'la be joined in kalifarr? I say, why not? Perhaps two men or two women can in a sense be married, under Vulcan common law. The Vulcan have one word for both mating and marriage, so to them, to mate is to be married. If two guys or two gals physically as well as psychically bond, I don't think the Vulcan really have a way to distinguish that bond from that which is achieved via a heterosexual marriage, except perhaps by designating such partners t'hy'la, instead of adun/aduna.

Some people have asserted that Spock can't be Gay because he is celibate, as if it would be illogical for Spock to have sex with *anyone*, but I disagree. Obviously, he would have a lot of perfectly logical reasons to want to have sex, that include _to father children_. That's not the only logical reason he might want to "do it". There are plenty of other logical reasons why he might want to, including:

1) Promotes social bonding. 2) For the experience of pleasure. 3) Relief from sexual tension. 4) As a soporific (helps you to sleep). 5) Health. Keeps the plumbin' workin'!

Heck, here's 14 logical reasons why Spock would like to have sex with Kirk:

1) Kirk has got what it takes. Spock is an ass man, and Kirk does have a cute butt.

2) Kirk loves Spock. It's logical to do it with someone who has positive feelings for you.

3) Kirk and Spock have a lot in common. It's logical to mate with someone who can share much with you.

4) Kirk is trustworthy. It's logical to choose a partner you can trust.

5) Kirk likes sex. It's logical to prefer a sex partner who's positive about sex.

6) Kirk is vigorously healthy. He could take anything the Vulcan could dish out, even if they are playing rough (which he actually would probably prefer).

7) All those adoring women can't be wrong! [Wait, maybe they *are* wrong! Not about whether he's adorable, just about whether he welcomes their adoration.]

8) Kirk is convenient. The guy is always right there. If you gotta go right now, who better to go with than someone who is readily available?

9) Kirk is his Captain, and on his way up the ladder. If Spock makes his Cappy happy, this could help his career!

10) Kirk sure as hell isn't getting pregnant! Let's face it, neither Kirk nor Spock want kids, so it's illogical for them to mess with women!

11) Kirk is a fun guy! Guy's a hoot and a half!

12) Aesthetically, Kirk is a good choice. Kirk is prettier than any of the women.

13) Plus, it feels good, and...

14) It keeps their plumbin' workin' ;)

Even if Spock (or Kirk) might want kids doesn't mean he has to give up guys. It just means he has to work something out with a lady. He could have it all. Lots of people do. I feel constrained to point out that we have no reason to believe Spock is fertile. He's a half-human biological oddity. Even if he could father offspring, maybe he shouldn't.

The procreative urge is an instinctual drive. What's love got to do with it? Birds do it, bees do it, even uneducated fleas do it. Vulcans do it even when they don't want to. Even when there is a complete lack of love, desire and volition, Vulcans do it. Spock did not love or want T'Pring, he went home to her only because he was driven to it by a biological imperative - in fact, we were given reason to believe he would die if he didn't go.

Those who say Spock would not have sex with Kirk because there is no proof that they did ignore the ton of circumstantial evidence that Kirk and Spock do indeed have a deeply intimate relationship. They also have to ignore the complete lack of evidence that Spock ever could really prefer a woman. We've seen Spock reject women several times, usually to be with Kirk.

The statement that Spock wouldn't behave emotionally is certainly easy to disprove. The statement that Spock is always motivated by logic is easy to disprove. The statement that Spock doesn't love anybody is easy to disprove. The statement that Spock doesn't show a marked preference for any one person's company is easy to disprove.

Because Spock has chosen of his own free will to live among humans and work along side them, I think it's self-evident that he doesn't actually reject his human side. He likes humans! He allows himself to me humanlike at times. Spock clearly does many things for pleasure's sake (he like to play his Vulcan lyre, and he sometimes entertains his shipmates with it) He's not anti-sex, or anti- pleasure. Spock is a serious fellow and his pleasures aren't silly ones, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't believe in having fun.

If he can enjoy looking (which he can) and touching and kissing (which he can), why wouldn't he enjoy going all the way? As we were shown more than once, he might.

OK, so Spock likes girls. BUT saying that Spock is not Gay because he likes girls is certainly wrong. Sure, he likes women, but he could be bisexual.

Spock is sometimes emotional and he obviously sometimes can feel sexual desire. Don't say he couldn't have tender feelings for Kirk, because he admits to shameful feelings for Kirk in Naked Time, rather explicitly. Don't say he wouldn't let Kirk touch him because he very plainly would/does let Kirk touch him. Kirk puts his hands all over Spock dozens of times, and Spock permits it. BTW, Spock touches him back, sometimes without being first invited to, like in Requiem For Methuselah. Those two have a *very* physical relationship. They also clearly are very fond of each other. Spock is closer to Kirk than other person in the whole ST universe is. Kirk explicitly states this to Spock in Turnabout Intruder, and Spock doesn't deny it. When Kirk says Spock is closer to his Captain than *anyone* in the *universe*, that includes all the ladies that either Kirk or Spock have supposedly been with. That is verifiable canon.

Spock confided in Kirk about his sex needs, then he invited Kirk to come with him to his wedding, then he gets in a big fight with Kirk, then after his fight with Kirk he suddenly comes to his senses, and his fiancée says _she had a feeling that neither Kirk nor Spock would want her_ (which is why she's glad that Stonn is there). Then Spock goes back to the ship, without mating with her, nor with anyone else. As far as we know, at that point he's still in mortal danger: in desperate need of a mate. When Spock discovers that Kirk is in fact alive, he grabs Kirk and gives Kirk a big smile, acting wildly emotional, which McCoy comments on. Then Kirk and Spock run off together...and that's the HAPPY ENDING, literally.

After that, they live (more or less) happily ever after, without either one of them ever marrying a woman. OK, they weren't always happy with each other, but they did stick together until death did them part. That's how the story ends. And death has to try to part them more than once before it finally wins, too. Talk about a couple of die-hards!

Gee, if only it wasn't two men. If it was a man and woman we were talking about, we could call it romantic. We could call it a Great Love Story. But people aren't ready for a great love story about two men, so I guess we have to settle for calling it a really great friendship.