The original Star Trek made the Enterprise’s captain James T. Kirk into fiction’s greatest ladies’ man. Women found him so irresistible that, at times, his sheer animal magnetism was enough to get them to betray their people and jump on his side.
Captain Kirk’s ability to attract the opposite sex often seemed like a superpower, but precisely what it was about him that women found themselves so utterly and irresistibly drawn to was never explained until now.
In episode 9 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2, Lieutenant Commander La’an Noonien-Singh, having previously fallen in love with a Jim Kirk from another universe, encountered prime timeline Kirk (currently a Lieutenant aboard the USS Farragut) and confessed her feelings for him. She also explained why she felt that way.
“You see me.” That was La’an’s confession, her root explanation for why she is so drawn to him. What she meant there, as explained by the context of her entire monologue, was that James T. Kirk has a way of seeing women (and perhaps everyone) as the person they want to be.
When someone says, “You see me,” it generally means they feel understood, acknowledged, and accepted by the person they’re speaking to. They feel the person recognizes their true self, including their strengths, weaknesses, and unique qualities.
What’s amazing about Kirk is his ability to do this so quickly. He looks at a person and, in five minutes or less, fully understands them. From there on out, he acts accordingly.
So “you see me” is in the way Kirk looks at people both physically and metaphorically. It’s conveyed by his body language and his literal gaze, but also in how he treats the people he’s with.
The way Kirk looked at La’an made her fall in love with him, and there’s no doubt it’s that same way of looking at someone which made so many women want to make out with him on alien planets.
I’d argue that this is also part of Kirk’s genius as a leader. It’s how he inspires the people around him; it’s how he makes people want to follow him, whether out of friendship, respect or in some cases romantic love.
When James T. Kirk looks at someone, he sees inside them what they can be at their best. In doing so, he inspires that person to want to be their best.
Perhaps it’s also why James Kirk rarely reciprocates women’s feelings for him. To him, this reaction from nearly everyone around him is commonplace. To her, it’s something special. It’s special because, like any pivotal famous or influential figure, in the context of the Star Trek universe James T. Kirk is uniquely special.
So just how irresistible is James T. Kirk? The following list puts it in context.
Captain Kirk’s Kiss List
Below is a list of the women Captain Kirk made out with, just in the three seasons of the original Star Trek series alone…
- Andrea (Sherry Jackson) in “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” – Episode 7, Season 1.
- Lenore Karidian (Barbara Anderson) in “The Conscience of the King” – Episode 13, Season 1.
- Dr. Helen Noel (Marianna Hill) in “Dagger of the Mind” – Episode 9, Season 1.
- Janice Lester (Sandra Smith) in “Turnabout Intruder” – Episode 24, Season 3.
- Deela (Kathie Browne) in “Wink of an Eye” – Episode 11, Season 3.
- Shahna (Angelique Pettyjohn) in “The Gamesters of Triskelion” – Episode 16, Season 2.
- Edith Keeler (Joan Collins) in “The City on the Edge of Forever” – Episode 28, Season 1.
- Elaan (France Nuyen) in “Elaan of Troyius” – Episode 13, Season 3.
- Drusilla (Louise Sorel) in “Bread and Circuses” – Episode 25, Season 2.
- Marta (Yvonne Craig) in “Whom Gods Destroy” – Episode 14, Season 3.
- Sylvia (Antoinette Bower) in “Catspaw” – Episode 7, Season 2.
- Marlena Moreau (Barbara Luna) in “Mirror, Mirror” – Episode 10, Season 2.
- Rayna Kapec (Louise Sorel) in “Requiem for Methuselah” – Episode 19, Season 3.
- Kelinda (Barbara Bouchet) in “By Any Other Name” – Episode 22, Season 2.
- Odona (Sharon Acker) in “The Mark of Gideon” – Episode 16, Season 3.