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Five Reasons Your STAR TREK Tattoo Will (Predictably*) Not Get You Laid


Gather ‘round my steed, Nerd Army, heroes and red-shirts alike, for while it is not St. Crispin’s day, Admiral Chris has been kind (and gentle) enough to offer this space for a public service.

The idea hit you somewhere in the middle of the TNG boxed set. It was perfect. All those hours as a child with a TV tray over your lap, eyes glued to reruns of the original series. The countless times you brought a worn VHS copy of Wrath of Kahn to the babysitter’s. Arguing at film school in defense of Shatner.

So you made an appointment, you Photoshopped the hell out of a graphic pulled from the internet – or maybe scanned from a Halloween costume you never threw away – and you did it. You goddamn bled for Star Trek. And there it is now on your shoulder/back/forehead. About as subtle as piloting a Galaxy Class starship in the geek pride parade.

You joked with the guy giving it to you, and he suggested you refer to it when questioned as simply “a pussy magnet.” But you were still caught unprepared the first time a lady noticed and asked for an explanation. Bound by the Klingon code of honorable combat, like George Washington standing over that cherry tree stump with a Bat’leth, you can’t help but mumble something about “Starfl- Enterpr- Nothing, nothing, no no no” while frantically scanning the room for an escape route. Alas, like the Kobayashi Maru or those “Sexy Singles in YOUR Town” ads, it’s a trap. You can’t win. You can’t escape. Your back to the wall, charisma set to “repel,” you gotsta comes clean.

An impermeable ode to a sci-fi franchise is not exactly a tractor beam for ladies. And browsing Memory-Alpha with OK Computer on repeat may not seem strange or repelling to you – quite the contrary – but the 3.5 squillion women who made Ryan Gosling famous probably find it a bit off-putting. In fact, your Star Trek tattoo will never, ever, ever get you laid. But you can survive, prosper even, if you keep your gravity boots on the steel hull of reality and face facts. To aid you on this particular away mission, you will find below five damn fine reasons (collected via personal experience, mind you) that you can expect your killer new ink to take down your ego faster than a photon torpedo, leaving you to die horribly alone and unfulfilled in the cold vacuum of sad.

Your Star Trek tattoo means you probably accessorize like a motherfucker without even realizing it.  Aside from having in your home a kickass Tricorder universal remote, the USS Reliant pepper grinder (jammed nigh on six years), a 1:10 scale Botany Bay coffee table covered in empty Vanilla Coke cans and broken dreams, and a gen-u-ine Original Series Communicator™  corded telephone that never rings – circa 1992, bitches – you probably carry on your goddamned person such gems as, oh, say, that stainless steel Jurassic Park keyring, the Weyland/Yutani-branded flash drive, and a ticket stub from a midnight screening of They Live. Are you also wearing an NPR baseball cap? We won’t even mention the plush tribbles. These little lovelies might make you feel warmer than a gutted Tauntaun carcass (franchise cross-pollination; you’re allowed to be offended), but always remember: What Would Hudson Say? At this point probably, “Game over, man. Game over.”

Your Star Trek tattoo all but guarantees that you are prone to rants and/or incessant whining the likes of which only your kind are capable, about which class of cruiser is better suited for staging an offensive in the demilitarized zone or the canonicity of Wesley Crusher’s Starfleet uniform in Nemesis. Your temper is presumably shorter than Worf’s with a battle-regalia rash, and the truth is that no one sexually active would like to hear your thoughts on the casting of Zach Quinto. Your average coffee shop girl would rather argue about The Shins, not whether Scotty created a time paradox by handing over the formula for transparent aluminum to that balding engineer in 1988. Yes, for all we know, the guy invented it. Time to check your finger for a ring; in this girl’s eyes, you’re married to Loser. Unless you can summon the transporter or make a quick slingshot around the sun, target set for ten minutes earlier, you’re probably going to want to admit defeat, take a few deep breaths, excuse yourself, and weep your pale pasty body to sleep in the harsh glow of your Firefly screensaver.

Your Star Trek tattoo is forever. Like Seven-of-Nine’s ocular implant, McCoy’s hemorrhoids, or the painful memory of that kid jumping up and down on your chest during recess in 3rd grade shouting “X-Men is gay,” it will never go away. While women do look for and value commitment in a partner, they do rarely look for downright creepy commitment, like your near-religious mania when Firefox informs you of a new RSS post; or commitment to things that are silly.

Your Star Trek tattoo is not ironic. You know these kids today and their irony.

You are fighting natural selection. Darwin will always win because Baby Jesus wants him to. This is precisely why you didn’t get laid in high school. Or college. And if you think things have changed just because you’re old enough to drown your loneliness in Monty Python Holy (Gr)Ale and White Romulans whilst yearning for the sweet release of a speedy death without being dragged to sick bay, hail Halford: you’ve got another thing coming.

Don’t get me wrong, kids. There are plenty of girls who like Star Trek. They’re smart as Ferengi energy whips, of course, and have a deep-seated respect for the power of speculative fiction to speak to a higher truth about the human condition, our past, future and possibilities. They exist. I’ve met some. Your friends might even date them. But mind-meld reality, son: you don’t get to. If at any point you feel yourself slipping into connection-you’ve-never-felt land, rest assured: they are married. Or lesbians. Or way into cosplay. Or inexorably out your league. Don’t ask why. There is no why. Respect them. Admire them from a distance. But do not engage. A beautiful moment can all too quickly turn into a battle for your very life and the lives of your crew, stranded in orbit because your dick got in the way of retrieving whatever precious resource found on no other planet in this sector was needed to reactivate the warp drive. Way to go. Some poor ensign is going to have to die with a shout and a whimper while you discover she just wanted to suck out your liver and feed it to the pulsing gelatinous mass she worships as a god.

All that said, you’ve got some pretty sweet ink. And you didn’t get it for the broads anyway. You got it because it means something to you. Because it represents a time in your life where the future was bright, where the air was sweet with innocence; because maybe Roddenberry was onto something; maybe you want to believe that people are capable of so much more than just what we see on the news every day; maybe it’s possible for us to build a better society, to work together and advance as a culture and a species.

Also, it looks fucking wicked and Nimoy will totally want to be your friend.

*Hearty thanks to Zack at iMoose for pressing the significance of “predictably” upon me. Dick.

Photo credit: Johnny Bishop

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  1. Lea Jones says:

    I’m going out and getting my very own Trek tat just because of all these women commenting and disproving your bullshit. FYI, I’m married, getting laid every day to a fine woman, who dosn’t like Star Trek. LOL at you faggot.
    Ps. WTF is aluminum? Don’t you have a spell checker? It’s aluminium, dick head.

    • Matt says:

      Not sure why I feel the need to comment two years later, but Aluminium is the UK spelling and Aluminum is the US spelling.  They are pronounced differently as well.

  2. mimi says:

    hmm, i’m curious. i’m a hot girl and i’m getting a star trek tattoo. does this article pertain to me, as well?

  3. Adora Parker says:

    a star trek tattoo will totally get you laid in my book πŸ˜‰
    just fyi..

  4. Rachel says:

    Hilarious rant, dude. It made me laugh. A lot. πŸ™‚

    Personally, I’m considering getting a Trek tattoo. Kinda like the one in the pic above but simpler and smaller and hidden. I know I probably won’t love Star Trek, as much as I do now, in the future, and I know it’s forever, but I reckon it’s a cool way to advertise what a geek I am, have been and always shall be. And I seriously don’t mind that.

    By the way, does it make a difference that I’m a chick not a guy? Lol. I hope so. Cos I do enjoy getting laid. Maybe I’ll put it somewhere where they won’t find it until it’s too late…

  5. amanda says:

    you sounds like a HUGE next gen ( oops i mean NG) fan. thats the funniest part of all this waste of words…..

  6. Vivian says:

    I have the feeling that those guys who are worried that their Trek tats are going to betray them in the bedroom are looking outside their field. But all geeks should realize that there are plenty of gorgeous and brilliant Trekkie girls who would promptly get down and dirty with a Star-tatted man. I myself am considering the chest badge – super sexy, and when a man knows his Trek, it is nothing less than a turn on.

  7. Chrisfromiowa says:

    I’ve always been kind of anti tat, my deceased dad was the proud owner of a large collection of non ironic tat’s, including a heart that said Mom and several other classics. And I’m old (49), Anywhoo my comment is that most trekkies and nerds in general spend too much time living in there own heads. While the rest of the world is out “Just getting laid” we are looking for that perfect female. In the late 70’s a bunch of people mistook a friend and I for Devo at a bar in Omaha (they were playing across town and we had driven in to see them). I met Devo a couple of years later and told them the story, Gerry’s first question was “Did you get laid?”, The really strange thing was we had women all over us and people buying us drinks and asking for autographs but we never thought about taking any of the women back to the Ramada in off I-80. We were so thrilled to have a bar full of people talking about us and smiling when they came up we didn’t want to screw it up. Great post though, and it was cool seeing you on Chelsea Lately.

  8. SuperLottoCA says:

    98% of the girls do not like Star Trek

  9. laylaness says:

    Ryan Gosling is alright. He’s no Simon “Scotty” Pegg. I can’t help it, I’m into nerds and musicians. Even better when the two converge in a synchronistic package.

    Also, my shoes can be very uncomfortable.

  10. Laura says:

    I have to admit, the ticket stub to They Live was what got me.

    WTF with the pterodactyl in the background, though?? (Notice I didn’t mention crazy skull on smoky joe? I like to think I’ve learned my lesson…)


  11. laur says:

    ha, I just had a conversation with an ex-soldier who really wanted a super nerdy tattoo (won’t point out how nerdy it was by describing it). I strongly had advised against it while he argued that as a girl I just wouldn’t understand.

    This was hilarious. I think I should print this out for him.

  12. Sappho says:

    As one geeky female who appreciates any ink on the skin (and who would swoon at something sci-fi related) I was feeling a little indignant while reading this.

    I felt my ire come up, and I was planning my rebuttal, imagining myself typing angrily about how awesome tattoos of the sci-fi kind are, right here in this little box.

    And then I come to the part where you say, “rest assured: they are married.”

    Yup, I’m married. To my very own tattooed, Klingon-speaking Star Trek nerd.

    Nice rant. πŸ˜‰

  13. JPyke says:

    If only I could’ve read this before getting my Star Wars tatts…

  14. @Sam Swanson…yes, it does help.

  15. I would rather see a dude with a Star Trek tattoo over a dude with an NBA tattoo, wearing oversized pants and a stupid douche hat cocked slightly to the left or right, saying “Dog” over and over for no reason.

    As a lady, I’ve been mulling over getting myself a BSG tattoo for like 4 years.


  16. Uli always knows better says:

    Oh people… people, don’t you get it ? That is the very method of getting the utmost amount of pussy.
    Let’s just assume Jake is handsome and gifted, interesting and accomplished… yet not mainstream, that we can see as an edge.
    What you want to do is appear brooding and after sufficient brooding time , talk about how you’re not getting laid.
    I can feel my pant’s drop while we speak !
    Luckily I’m such a good girl who can control her carnal instincts : )
    No, no, no take it from me Nerd- Community… there is nothing to worry about !
    The problem seems to be that there is a part of the female population ( the former mentioned Coldplay discussing variety native in large groups to both coasts of the United States ) who are very appealing in their outer sexual markers yet have an unfortunate lack of imagination and education.
    If we would be at a “Nerds Anonymous” meeting right now we would hear things like ” going to the empty well for water” or ” making the same mistake over and over expecting a different outcome”.
    The problem seems to be that the right kind of pussy hasn’t surrendered yet.
    In closing I’d like to say : despair not, oh young and nerdest men… they too will mature a bit and by then you have turned from wide eyed with dreams into bitter assholes… then you will qualify for the girls you’re pining for right now !

  17. SinCity says:

    I resemble that remark! I have a tribal butterfly on my shoulder blade, and I’m saving up to have a dragon done. I just don’t know where to put that one yet… Or what I want it to look like, though I do have a few sketches done up already.

  18. Jaz says:

    HAHAHA! Nice post. My husband has a Hellboy tattoo, the BPRD symbol, on his upper left shoulder. SUCH a nerd thing but it suits him and my tattoos are so much cooler that it works itself out.

  19. Chris Hardwick says:

    …What misspellings? I don’t see any misspellings…

  20. Camille says:

    Neglecting the lady geeks here. I can’t help but think that such a tatoo is lovely. And it’s still better than a cheesy tribal sign. Or a dragon.

  21. Sam Swanson says:

    What if I have an MST3K tattoo, does that help at all? Well??

  22. un-bride says:

    Are you saying that I missed your tatt(s)?!?

  23. The thing to remember about what are perceived as bi-curious shoes is that the shoes themselves are comfortable; but then you realize that you’ve done scammed a ride home with a confused lesbian and then _the situation_ is uncomfortable*.

    *Or awesome, if you’re into that.
    …I was kind of uncomfortable though.

  24. Jacob says:

    SNAP! Good call on Worf; completely missed that. Kobayashi, however, was one of those things you notice out of the corner of your eye at the exact moment it’s too late to fix it. But then I figured I’d leave it and play a fun game of “how long ’til I’m crucified by my own kind.” Because I’d be at the front of the line with the snark harpoon. PS: Hells yes – any shoe that’s less than comfortable is no shoe of mine.

  25. The kind of girl who might get moist britches checking out the solid predator skull and well done ink, and noting the sweet sweet use of geek-jargon above, (and we aren’t all married/ cosplaying/lesbians; some of us are just awkwardly homely and wear comfortable shoes,) might also be the kind who would close her eyes and sigh in frustration that someone dedicated enough to such things to fairly permanently modify their person would also misspell things like Kobayashi Maru or Worf.

  26. RandomKansas says:

    I have the same tattoo that Buffalo Bill has, the one on the right side of his torso signifying where jesus was stuck with the spear (feel free to fact check, I was told that’s what it was. I’m ok being proven wrong). Same spot and same crappy look to it, I’m Atheist so it is not a religious thing. I just love Silence of the Lambs! And people LOVE it, no weird looks. More weird looks at my Star Wars tattoo. So get what you like, don’t let others influence your choices. NEXT: The map to dry land(YES: Waterworld. Love it!), same spot. Anybody know where I can get a pic of it?

  27. Shatner Incarnate says:

    I would totally sleep with a Star Trek tattoo-having gent. However, I am a nerdy bloke; so I suppose that doesn’t count.

  28. shaun says:

    I have seen many a fine lookin’ nerd girl. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting a fine Trekkie chick though. All I’ve come across are not the type of ladies you would be proud to call your own. And kudos about chicks who are “way into cosplay”. Kinda creepy. Just kinda.

  29. TonyWasRight says:

    I guess this goes for every fan based tattoo. Either way i would totally get a Bioshock tattoo………just for the irony >_> .

  30. Mama Gaea says:

    I have to disagree with this rant. There are PLENTY of female Trekkers out there. Personally, I want the Star Trek Corset that was recently shown @wilw ‘s blog. Perhaps those of us with the Star Trek Corsets will draw the hot guys with the Star Trek tattoos and the world will be a better place! πŸ˜€

  31. Ranielle says:

    I read that whole rant with a chuckle, thought to myself “how brill,” then scrolled back up and saw … Holy crap, Jacob wrote it! Of course it’s brill! Nicely done, Mr. Strunk.

  32. Fucking beautiful man. I almost wept. I didn’t, but for a moment a tear started to escape my eye; like when Kirk holds his hand up to the plexi-wall in Wrath of Kahn and Spock dies. It was nearly that precious of a moment for me. I loved it all. Spock passed the Kobayashi Maru test and so did you my friend. Well done.

    I would get a communicator tattoo (TNG model) on my left breast so I could tap it during sex and ask to be beamed out. That would be cool. Oh yeah I forgot, if I had one of those tattoos I wouldn’t be getting laid. I could at least tap my chest when I was masturbating thinking about Kate Beckinsale.

    Enough said.


  33. AllanPinkerton says:

    Wow. Nice rant, dude.