The myth of James T Kirk as a reckless horndog.

This is what we know of Jim Kirk from TOS.

Has a brother George whose death he wasn’t exactly broken up over.
One of the youngest to ever make Captain
Survived the Kodos incident and was there at a young age.
Was a “Book with legs” at the Academy. In his class you either think or sink.
Nearly married a blonde at the Academy (Probably Carol Marcus)
Won diplomatic awards.

Never mentions his parents. This all tells me he was a self-made man driven by himself to always win.

Yes, he will seduce women to get information (See Catspaw and Conscience of the King)…and not terribly convincing since in both of those incidents the women saw through his ploy. A horndog who will sleep with anything that moves? On the contrary he’s poor at relationships. His Indian wife dies. Joan Collins dies. That android he fell in love with (WTF writers…i’ll fanboy that away as the effects of the virus and Flints adeptness at making androids) died. His marriage seen in Generations wasn’t succesfull. Carol told him to stay away and so he did.

The failures aren’t really his fault, but are plot contrivances. Same with any woman that Hoss, Little Joe, Adam, or Ben ever fell for. Since the actor wasn’t going to be returning in the role, the character had to go away. Far too often, that’s handled by a dramatic death.

Kirk does go into a lip-clench with damn near anything female. (“No open-mouth kissing. No showing the underside of breasts.”) He also is an ogler, leering lecherously at his Yeoman. (Not as bad as Napoleon Solo, who had anti-aircraft searchlights for eyes.)

“I’m not a horn-dog; I’m just written that way.”

We discussed this a few years ago.

Now now…“I’ve been trying to get you to look at my legs! Look at my legs now Captain!”

Kirk: “Ewwwww. They’re covered with green lesions!”

Maybe thats the real reason Rand left. Kirk…who managed to not hurl when he saw what he was making out with in Catspaw…just couldn’t shake that image from “Miri”.

Let’s face the facts: he may have fooled around with all those women but Spock was his one true love.

Well, to be fair, in Catspaw she read his mind with magic alien technology, and in COTK she was bat shit crazy.

Thread relocated to Cafe Society from IMHO.

We should also remember that the characterization of Kirk as being very interested in and successful with women was quite typical of the time period. We might look askance at that sort of behavior now, and use words like “horndog” to describe it. But Kirk actually represents a very well-known leading man type.

As the hero of an action-adventure drama, Kirk would be expected to be very attractive to women, and to act on that attraction when it was useful to do so. We see exactly the same behavior in other heroes of the period: Napoleon Solo in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Jim West in The Wild, Wild West, and of course the grand-daddy (or maybe I should say mack-daddy!) of them all, James Bond. Kirk fits right into that mold, and almost nobody at the time would have thought anything of it. Given the stand-alone nature of each episode, we weren’t really supposed to think too much about all those other women when Kirk started snuggling up to this week’s beautiful guest actress. It’s only in retrospect that we start to regard that kind of thing as somewhat questionable.

Captain Kirk may have been a horndog, but the hottest women in the galaxy fell for Mr Spock.

I’ve always wondered who the bigger horndog is: Kirk? Or Riker?

The OP is all about pointing out that he wasn’t very successful, but it’s not the success that makes one a horndog. It’s the attempts. And whenever there was a female guest star appearing on Star Trek, you could count on Kirk trying to get into her pants.

Do we? Kirk’s single, avaialable and definitely on the macho side of masculine. I’d think that if he didn’t get the girl, it would be viewed by TV/movie audiences with at least a :dubious:.

Hell, even Robert Langdon, a propeller-headed academic, gets the girl at the end of every Dan Brown novel.

The same. TNG was just able to be more explicit about it.

I suppose I mean “somewhat questionable” when we consider the character over the entirety of his existence. Sure, in any single episode, it’s natural that the hero gets the girl. As I said, that’s just a normal part of being “the hero” in a fictional narrative, particularly a light-hearted adventure story.

It’s when you put all those episodes together and see him romancing a different woman week after week after week, that at least some of the viewing audience might start to regard him as a serial womanizer, which is not always considered an admirable trait.

That’s what happens in ongoing fiction like a TV series. What works well in the context of a single episode might give a completely different impression when looking at the series as a whole.

You mean, like, the Romulan Commander? :dubious:

Also Droxine from “The Cloud Minders”

Droxine: I have never before met a Vulcan, sir.
Mr. Spock: Nor I a work of art, Madam.

Real smooth.

That’s exactly right, but I don’t think things are all that different today.

First season Kirk was a lot different from 2nd and 3rd season Kirks. With the exception of Joan Collins, most of the women he was interested in was for ulterior motives. He says that he’s married to the Enterprise, in the second pilot he got set up with a woman (not something a horndog needs) and he almost doesn’t go off with his ex-gf in Shore Leave.
When he fell for Joan Collins it was during a time he had no real responsibilities, and he didn’t get anywhere. It was not a horndog situation at all.

As for Spock, I was thinking of Mariette Hartley in her Fredericks of 1 million BC fur lingerie. Yum.

I always got the impression that Kirk made a conscious decision to be a Starship Captain: he wants the challenge of independent command in deep space, exploration, and shooting the snot out of scary aliens. Pushing himself (and his crew) to be the best of the best the Federation has to offer.

But he is smart enough to realize that this comes with some personal sacrifice. He can’t devote the time and attention a woman deserves for/in a long term relationship. (Carol Marcus says as much in ST:II.) So he ends up with pangs of loneliness and/or regret. (He admits this to Bones, I think, on at least one occasion.) He realizes he would become unhappy in a job staying at some Starfleet shipyard, even while married to a wonderful woman. He realizes this would impact his relationship, and may hurt the woman emotionally.

I never got the impression that he was a dick to the woman that he engages in short term relationships. (Women he is trying to “trick”, in order to save his ship or mission don’t count. He’s not trying to get into a “real” relationship with them.)

Does this make him a “horn dog”? I thought that both men and woman are free to enter into short term “flings”, as long as everyone was clear on what the situation is going to be, before hand. Is he a dick for picking career over long term relationships?

In one episode, Kirk gets hit with a love-potion chemical that has no known cure; by the time Bones comes up with a cure, Kirk doesn’t need it, because single-minded devotion to the ship and its crew has already won out, like it invariably does.