Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
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This may seem like a weird question, but I was thinking about Orion pheromones and wondering what effect they would have on gay and lesbian individuals. Obviously this was never discussed in the series, which is no surprise given Trek's extreme reluctance to make any reference to homosexuality.

I can see two ways of arguing how the pheromones would work with homosexuals:

1) Orion pheromones are clearly indicated to have an effect on male physiology. Therefore, men would all be affected by developing accelerated metabolism, heightened adrenaline, etc. However, it's more or less indicated that the control of Orion women has something to do with sexual attraction. Therefore, a homosexual man would be affected like all other men, but might instead be attracted to Orion men? Women, whether homo or heterosexual would get headaches, etc.

2) The other option would be that Orion pheromones affect physiology, but key based on sexual attraction. In that case, both men and lesbians would fall under the control of Orion women, meanwhile women and gay men would both get headaches, but not fall under their sway.

Personally, I'd lean more toward explanation #1. I think it makes more sense that it would affect male and physiology differently, and a man is still a man whether gay or straight, and likewise for a woman. What do you guys think?
Lt. Commander
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# 2
12-19-2011, 04:31 AM
I think you're over analyzing the whole fictional concept of sexuality, but thats my opinion.

Here is my take: I opt for option #1 but I think it has an affect towards the male composition and controls them to the point that they find the Orion female a target of affection. Its more of a weapon and regardless of sexual orientation, its aim is to affect both sexes in general.

There is a thrid option, since these pheromones tend to make women more aggressive. So, in any case it may have the opposite effect on males with a different sexual orientation, meaning it elevates their aggression.

Keep in mind that these pheromones is more of a weapon that exploits the sexuality of both males and females.

I believe there is an episode of Enterprise that briefly explore this.

[NOTE: Orion sexuality involves both sexes, thus Orions in general have no preference when in engaging in sex - This means that members of the same sex do engage in intimate moments]

The real question is, can Orions manipulate these pheromones to specifically target an individual and gain its desired effect? I believe they can, to a point (I may be wrong - have to check the Star Trek pedia)
Lt. Commander
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# 3
12-19-2011, 05:39 AM
Answering this would require us to know if homosexual individuals actually respond differently to pheromones than hetereosexual individuals.

Pheromones tend to unconciously affect us, but that doesn't mean they determine our entire (sexual) behavior.
Lt. Commander
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# 4
12-19-2011, 05:42 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackV7
I believe there is an episode of Enterprise that briefly explore this.
There is, though there are a couple inconsistencies between "Bound" and how Orion pheromones in STO work:

In "Bound," human females were somewhat incompacitated, usually complaining of a headache (it was theorized that Orion pheromones did this to "eliminate the competetion"). In game, as far as I can see, females are affected the same as males.

Also in "Bound," Vulcans were apparently immune (whether they all are or it was just a function of T'Pol and Tucker's relationship, I forget). In game, Vulcans seem just as affected by the pheromones as most other aliens.
Lt. Commander
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# 5
12-19-2011, 05:48 AM
i'd say it would affect the person just as anyone else. whatever the preference. pheromones only 'increase' (alot) the desires and natural instincts to, well, 'reproduce'.
Lt. Commander
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# 6
12-19-2011, 05:56 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MustrumRidcully View Post
Answering this would require us to know if homosexual individuals actually respond differently to pheromones than hetereosexual individuals.

Pheromones tend to unconciously affect us, but that doesn't mean they determine our entire (sexual) behavior.
You may have a point, BUT, we're dealing with alien pheromones. Orion's take on sexuality surely differs on how we Terrans perceive it. Since the Female Orion is a matriarch, they tend to rule and dominate the males in their realm, not saying that Orion males don't have pheromones that can't be intentionally manipulated, but the female usually tend to influence tehir pheromones on various species for advantageous purposes.
Lt. Commander
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# 7
12-20-2011, 01:41 AM
Based off of how things worked in Enterprise, I think it probably makes the most sense that the pheromones would not cause women to become enthralled by the Orions, while men would be (regardless of sexual orientation). It's still debatable simply because we know the ST series almost went out of its way to avoid the homosexual issue, but that's neither here nor there.

Also, while it's true that in-game there's no distinction in terms of whether male or female character are affected, I think we can chalk that up to limitations in game logic/mechanics.

You could be right, BlackV7 that they would still cause a homosexual male to respond more sympathetically to the Orion females, despite not having any sexual attraction. The sexual attraction aspect may not even be particularly relevant.
Lt. Commander
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# 8
12-20-2011, 02:51 PM
STO isn't the best example as I think canon has established some races are immune to Orion pheromones, but for game balance reasons the Orion's Seduce works on all races, and both men and women. Also I don't think the men have pheromones, but for game reasons, they still get the same traits.

I had a big discussion about the pheromones with some friends before, mainly if they're something the Orion actually has any control over - we reasoned they don't and Orions serving in KDF or the Federation likely have to take some kind of drug to prevent the release of these pheromones. Or you'll have a very unruly male crew, and a bunch of women needing meds for headaches.
Lt. Commander
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# 9
12-20-2011, 06:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archanubis
There is, though there are a couple inconsistencies between "Bound" and how Orion pheromones in STO work:

In "Bound," human females were somewhat incompacitated, usually complaining of a headache (it was theorized that Orion pheromones did this to "eliminate the competetion"). In game, as far as I can see, females are affected the same as males.

Also in "Bound," Vulcans were apparently immune (whether they all are or it was just a function of T'Pol and Tucker's relationship, I forget). In game, Vulcans seem just as affected by the pheromones as most other aliens.
Spock was also immune to Orion and Deltan influence, without the benefit of a relationship. It may not just be Vulcans in general being immune, though, but a product of their emotional control. Vulcans have powerful emotions, but keep them in check enough that outsiders often think they don't have them at all. That takes some epic self control, which would come in handy keeping your head around an Orion.
Lt. Commander
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# 10
12-23-2011, 12:51 PM
Ultimately one of the most basic instincts of every living being is hetrosexual, I.E procreation.
As such I don't believe homosexuality truly exists, but only Hetro and Bisexuality with the Homo being an element of choice on either a concious or subconcious level.

That said, I think the pheremones would most likely have the same effect regardless of sexual preference as they act on a much more primal level.
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