captain kirk

Xenophilia [zen-uh-fil-ee-uh] means an affection for unknown objects or peoples. It is the opposite of xenophobia. Xenophilia is a theme found in science fiction, primarily the space opera sub-genre, in which one explores the consequences of love and sexual intercourse between humans and extraterrestrials, particularly humanoid ones. A satirical example is ‘XXXenophile,’ an X-rated comic book written by Phil Foglio. A more somber example is the relationship of Sarek and Amanda Grayson (Spock’s parents) in ‘Star Trek.’

The 1970 film ‘Watermelon Man’ centers in part around a white man trying to have sex with a white woman he works with. His efforts fail until he is magically turned into an African American, at which point she is more than willing to sleep with him. It is only the following day that the protagonist realizes, to his horror, that the woman is a xenophile and only had sex with him because of his race; she had no interest in him as a person. George Washington, in his 1796 Farewell Address, described the influence of xenophilia in politics, which he saw as negative: ‘Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.’

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