Treknobabble #40: Confessions of a Middle-Aged Trekkie

Treknobabble is a continuing series of columns written by uber-Trekkie Reed Farrington in anticipation of the upcoming J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie.

Note: The interview subject of this Treknobabble wished to remain anonymous. I have taken the literary liberty to not use a question and answer format, and instead I have chosen to write this as a confessional with his permission.

I am a 45-year-old heterosexual virgin Trekkie. And not by choice. The virgin part, I mean.

The thing is, I want to experience everything in life (with qualifications, of course) at least once. But I think that the sexual experience depends on the partner. So having a meaningless experience by paying for sex wouldn’t be satisfying, I don’t think, although I imagine it might be an enjoyable experience regardless. Our society frowns on the whole paid sex thing, so paying for sex isn’t an option for me. Besides, sexual diseases are another deterrent.

Getting married and having sex with one sexual partner for the rest of your life seems rather daunting. In the world of Star Trek, couples get marriage contracts. And after 5 years or so, they can decide whether or not to renew the contract. However, I don’t know how the children react to this arrangement.

I think if I knew that I was dying, then the ultimate experience for me would be to finally have sex while falling through the sky without a parachute. I imagine it might be difficult to find a partner for that. And in the end, whether I enjoyed the sex or not wouldn’t matter.

I have never had a girlfriend. I have kissed a girl on the lips. No tongue. She was pretty, too. It was part of a church game while I was a teenager. Religious people do seem to be the most promiscuous in my experience. That’s as far as I’ve ever gotten.

I have never lived in my parents’ basement. (There’s nothing wrong with that. My best friend lives in his parents’ basement. Ha-ha.)

I don’t think being a Trekkie has affected my lack of success with women. It’s not like I’ve brought women home, and have turned them off with my Star Trek bed sheets. (For the record, I don’t have Star Trek bed sheets. And if I did have them, I wouldn’t sleep on them.)

I will grant that the odds of finding a woman who gets turned on by a Trekkie is about the same odds as finding life in the universe. That’s why I never bring up Star Trek in polite conversation.

Women have generally been attracted to the male stars of Star Trek. And even an actor like Patrick Stewart who was cast because of his voice managed to become TV Guide’s Sexiest Man on TV in a readers’ poll in 1992, and Most Bodacious Man on TV the following year. He made being bald sexy. Ironically, Stewart’s baldness was the major reason why Roddenberry didn’t want Stewart as the Next Generation captain.

Even the alien Spock gathered a huge women following that I don’t think extended to the actor Leonard Nimoy. I think Star Trek was the first show on television to have a character’s mixed-racial heritage be an integral aspect of his character. Spock’s mother was a human and his father was a Vulcan. He was always struggling with and denying his emotional human heritage in favour of his unemotional Vulcan side.

That he chose to emulate his Vulcan side had something to do with trying to please his father, but I think his outward Vulcan appearance with the pointed ears was his main reason for trying to be Vulcan-like. His mother even said that he was teased by the other Vulcan children when he was growing up on Vulcan. Oh, I guess growing up on Vulcan had something to do with his trying to be Vulcan-like. I do think teasing seems rather unVulcan-like, so I don’t know why the parents of the other children didn’t intervene. I imagine cyber-bullying must be a problem on Vulcan.

Although I’m not of mixed parents, I grew up where my physical appearance was different from everyone else. Strangely enough, I was the only one of my type all the way through to high school. So I guess I could subconsciously identify with Spock.

Anyways you might hope that some of this Star Trek love for the actors ought to be extended to Trekkies by association. No such luck in my case.

I do realize that there are Trekkies who manage to get married and have children. Even if the next Star Trek movie is the last ever made, I do think that what has been created will stand the test of time. Trekkies will not become extinct even though people who misinterpret evolution might deem otherwise. Evolution will always create mutations, and that’s where Star Trek’s appeal will always come from.

I have never been arrested and I have no criminal record. I have neither gotten a speeding ticket nor a ticket for a parking violation. I have never made an insurance claim. I have never had surgery except for having my wisdom teeth pulled. I say these things not as a matter of pride or to boast. I guess I’m not a risk-taker. I guess I’m boring.

I have gone canoe camping and fished. I have tried water-skiing. I have cross-country and down-hill skied. I have ice-skated. I have gone mountain biking. I have gone go-carting. I have been up in a glider. I have tried archery. I think I’ve played 80% of all common sports.

I’ve never been in a fist-fight. I’ve never fired a gun except for a starter’s pistol. I’ve never killed an animal except for a mouse in a mouse trap.

I’ve smoked a regular cigarette once. I inhaled unsuccessfully. I’ve never tried any recreational drugs, but I wouldn’t mind trying under controlled conditions.

So in most respects, I think I’m normal. I’m lonely, but I also like being alone at times.

I think having children would be great. If they didn’t like Star Trek, then I would be fine with that. I realize that as offspring mature, they tend to stay away from all the things their parents like.

If you’re on the cusp of adulthood and my life serves as an example to make you want to renounce Star Trek, then I apologize because that’s not my intent. This wasn’t meant to serve as a cautionary tale. I don’t blame Star Trek for my inadequacies. I do have regrets, but I don’t think I would have made any different choices in life given the way I am.

I wonder how long Trekkies will need to endure ridicule. (I’m guessing this Treknobabble won’t be helping.) Is the problem that the majority of Trekkies are socially awkward? Has media coverage of Star Trek conventions been enough to stigmatize the entire fan base? Will J.J. Abrams make Star Trek cool? I think Star Trek is cool, but the people who like it will always be geeks by definition.

  • “why Roddenberry didn’t want Stewart as the Next Generation captain.”

    INITIALLY. why Roddenberry INITIALLY didn’t want Stewart as the Next Generation captain.

    It doesn’t count when you’re being anonymous. Confessions? More like “I wish I could about this with people, but I’m too scared so I’ll write an anonymous webpage about it”. You should not be scared of being exposed, it is what life is about. Accept everything about yourself, all things good and all things evil, expose them accurately along with the goods and evils of the rest of your known world, and you will be an artist. But it all starts with your own. Deliver unto your audience yourself, no holds barred.

  • Henrik, if they had found any other suitable candidate, Stewart would have been out. It took considerable convincing from Bob Justman for Roddenberry to go with Stewart. I’ve never read anything where Roddenberry has praised Stewart after he was hired. Perhaps Roddenberry did grow to like Stewart before Roddenberry died, but I am not aware of any evidence.

    Henrik, if you need to know who my anonymous interview subject was, then I’ll tell you. It was Tom Cruise.

  • Henrik

    Reed Farrington, I assume nothing, yet know everything.