|Trope · Genre|
|Related:||Xeno, Robot Sex|
|See Also:||Monster Fucking|
|Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
How Transformers are intimate is a subject of interest in Transformers fandom, though it is generally not addressed in canon due to the franchise being largely aimed at a young audience. The Transformers fandom has invented many types of intimacy for Transformers, some entirely fanon and some based on canon, but expanded. These invented acts come with invented terminology.
Sticky, plug'n'play, and spark merging are the most popular types of intimacy, though there are less popular variations. Some fans choose to utilize a humanization trope, putting the robots into gendered and sexed human bodies. Transformers sex is explored in a wide variety of fanworks such as fanfiction, fanart, and roleplaying.
Sticky is the most popular; it is human-style sex with the human terms replaced by "spike" and "valve." It's been claimed that the idea was introduced by a fanfiction writer (citation needed) in the late 90's/ early 2000's, who described a literal, immobile spike instead of the penis-analog it became popularly known as. Despite this claim, if one searches Fanfanfiction.net's Transformers/Beast Wars category and filters by explicit, romance, and age, one will find no mention whatsoever of spikes as a sexual object from 2007 or older, though there are several cases of mpreg. The earliest mention of spikes and valves in a sexual context, and the first time a fanfic was tagged as sticky, is in the fanfic Size Doesn't Matter, Except When it Does, from 2010. A piece of meta from 2007 makes reference to human-based sex in fanon, however, the terms are not the same. Instead of "spike", they use "interface array," and instead of "valve", they use "recharge port." Thus, if one intends to find examples of the oldest sticky sex Transformer fanfics, one should not look for instances of the word spike.
The terms "valve" and "spike" may have been popularized around 2007 in the tfanonkink LiveJournal by user Antepathy (journal now deleted) in their Bayverse fics.
Spikes and valves are also frequently called an "interface array," with sex called "interfacing." It is common in the sticky fandom, especially in the slash fandom, to write all Transformers as having both a spike and a valve, regardless of the pronoun the Transformer uses, reflecting a contemporary split between 'sex' and 'gender' and allowing for a great deal of genderqueering of relationships.
Plug'n'play is an alternative to sticky in which the Transformers connect to each other via cables and send electric signals or downloads to each other. Sticky and plug'n'play rarely occur together. Playground Psychotic, a fanfiction writer, claims to have invented this method on their website explaining Transformers sexuality. There is no date on the website, however the site was linked via a 2007-2009 Dreamwidth post by Dunmurderin, so cannot be any younger than 2009. Playground Psychotic's claim is currently not backed up and needs citation.
Sparks & Spark-Merging
Sparks were introduced in Beast Wars as the literal, physical souls of the Transformers. Initially, fandom (and subsequently canon in IDW The Transformers 2005: cf sparkeaters) places the spark in a Transformer's chest, much like a heart. Spark-merging is a fandom creation where two or more Transformers open their chests and press their sparks together. In many fanfics, Transformers who spark merge can become "bonded", essentially married. This occasionally requires a rite or a set number of times of spark-merging. Bonded Transformers are often given a psychic connection to each other ranging from empathy to telepathy. A common trope is that if one of a bonded pair of Transformers dies, the other will also die. Spark-merging can occur in fanfiction together with sticky and plug'n'play.
Squishy is an older, mostly-obsolete arrangement that can be described as "metal humans in armor". The armor can be removed to reveal metallic but pliable human bodies, often including human-like hair under the helmet. Unlike in sticky/valveplug, sexual orifices are often referred to as "plugs" or "sockets". This trope may be classified as a subset of sticky.
Less popular variations include holomatter avatars and energy/electrical field play.
Another variation is humanization, which is not specific to Transformers fandom, being used for all manner of non-humanoid subjects.
All types of sexual contact in fandom, can be used as a device for pregnancy, which is often marked in fiction by common tropes such as food cravings and moodiness, as found in human pregnancies. There are two common types of Transformer pregnancy; spark pregnancy, and physical pregnancy. Though "mechpreg" is not yet canon, a recent storyline features an organic/Cybertronian fetus, carried within a nominally-male Transformer's body.
Baby Transformers are called a myriad of names, such as sparklings, sparklets, bitlets, protoforms, and, rarely, hatchlings.
Mpreg is explored in many fandoms, and appears in Transformer fanworks as well.
Spark pregnancy typically occurs only after two Transformers have spark merged. The two sparks will mix to form a smaller spark, which will then stay within one of the Transformer's chassis and feed off of their spark. This can sometimes cause pain and fatigue in the carrier. The couple is required to build a physical body for the child. Once the spark is strong enough, it may be removed and placed into the physical body and cared for. The physical body may be small, but is typically already armored, rather than being a protoform. A protoform is the thinner, less strong metal under the armor of a Transformer. Spark pregnancy is related to the Spark trope.
Physical pregnancy typically only occurs after two Transformers have had sticky sex, or 'interfaced.' Commonly with sticky, ejaculation results in 'transfluid,' which is full of nanites in some variations. In fanon where there are nanites, sometimes the carrier will require frequent doses of the transfluid in order for the embryo to remain healthy. Physical pregnancy may result in a very human-like pregnancy, where the carrier will grow a small protoform inside of their 'carrying chamber.' Eventually, the pregnant Transformer will give birth. The offspring will already have a spark and comes out relatively defenseless. Armor must either be built onto the protoform as it grows, or the armor may grow by itself.
Meta & Further Reading
- How Transformers Have Sex by dunmurderin (March 2007, updated January 2009)
- Examples of squishy fanfiction can be found at this archive: Phantom's Adult Transformers Archive