Lessons (Star Trek: TOS story by Vivian Gates)
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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It was published in the print zine T'hy'la #4.
"Kirk is assigned to a mission he finds particularly annoying.., pose as his First Officer’s lover on a same-sex planet But neither he nor Spock suspected what they would learn there.."
Reactions and Reviews
These two stories [Lessons and Second Lesson together paint a portrait of a Spock who is in search of his sexuality. In Lessons, while K & S are on a diplomatic mission to a planet with many same-sex couples, Spock is determined to find out if he is, in fact, a homosexual. His meeting and sexual encounter with one of the males on the planet is handled in a totally believable and graphic manner. In the sequel Second Lessons which takes place several months later, Spock has realized his love for Kirk. He suffers through a trip to a gay club and an unsatisfying sexual act with a somewhat sleazy character. The sequences, in both stories, where Spock lies in bed beside Kirk and yearns for his body are very powerful and touching. Spock is, at first, a very lonely figure — even after discovering his sexual preference he knows that eventually he will have to return to Vulcan to take a mate not of his choosing. When he confronts Kirk with his dilemma he really doesn't expect anything positive to come from the captain but cannot be silent any longer. Having to lie beside him in bed is almost too much for his control to handle. I really enjoyed both stories a lot. Ms. Gates, always one of my favorite authors, shows her understanding of the characters and comes through with two very interesting and enjoyable stories. 
A rumor is flying around that Kirk and Spock are involved with each other. Because of that rumor, the Enterprise is ordered to L’Dessala, a planet colonized by same-sexers, to present the colors, so to speak. Kirk is very uncomfortable, which is a bit incongruous. He isn’t asked to perform sexually with Spock, just show their presence. By their presence, it shows that Starfleet and the Federation respect L’Dessala’s mores.
If Kirk is uncomfortable being thought of as gay, though it should be bisexual, it implies that he feels threatened in his masculinity. If you give it some further thought, Kirk can’t be that insecure. He must have a thorough knowledge of himself, including his sexuality, a very open mind and a high tolerance level to deal with all the unknowns in space and the different cultures he’d come into contact with.His reactions though, are consistent with the way Gates portrayed him and together with Spock’s lessons in gay sex, lays the basis for the sequel.