Set Phasers To Bone: Star Trek Shows, Ranked By Sexiness

Anyone who's ever watched an episode of "Star Trek" knows that space wasn't the only frontier they were exploring. The franchise is wonderfully horny, from its hormone-driven Captain Kirk (William Shatner) in the early days all the way to Spock (Ethan Peck) having a passionate (by Vulcan standards) love affair with his fiancée on "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds." In celebration of the debut of "Strange New Worlds" and its proper appreciation for keeping "Star Trek" sexy, I've put together a ranking of all of the "Star Trek" shows, from least sexy to sexiest. "Strange New Worlds" hasn't been out long enough to make the list, but if the five episodes made available to critics are any indicator, it'll be close to the top. 

Sexiness is relative and subjective, so this list is ranked by judging overall cast sex appeal, diversity and quality of romantic story-lines, and how frequently the series shows its characters getting down. While each of the "Star Trek" series is sexy in its own way, some are just better at the salaciousness, balancing camp and some silly sexuality with the franchise's heavier, allegory-driven output. Series creator Gene Roddenberry included sexuality from the beginning, but every iteration since has taken its own path. 

So, which series is sexiest? See how your favorites pan out below.

9. Enterprise

How can "Enterprise" be the least sexy, you say, when it was the show that tried the most desperately to be sexy? Well, just that. "Enterprise" is chock-full of naked flesh and see-through shirts, but it all feels so weirdly exploitative that it's never actually very hot. The hotties of "Enterprise" are all lovely to look at, but their sexual exploits never really seem like much fun. T'Pol (Jolene Blalock) is the focus of most of the series' sexual escapades, including an episode where she goes into an uncontrollable sex-craze due to Pon-Farr, the Vulcan mating cycle. (Think of it like a cat in heat.) The costumes are also all skin-tight, the crew gets naked pretty regularly, and the camera follows people's most sexually appealing parts more than you see in other "Star Trek" series. I don't even think of it as the male gaze so much as the Rick Berman gaze, objectifying every woman onscreen and the occasional man for good measure. Berman has a long history of treating the women of "Trek" like objects and he co-created "Enterprise," so there's not too much surprise that it's as voyeuristic as it is. It's really too bad, too, because series captain/hot dad Scott Bakula looked pretty good in a Starfleet uniform.

Sexiest moment: In the season 3 episode "Damage," T'Pol has a wet and wild shower sex scene with Chief Engineer Tucker (Connor Trinneer), though it is eventually revealed to only be a hallucination as a result of her withdrawal from a Trelium-D treatment. 

8. Voyager

While it's impossible to deny the incredible hotness of Jeri Ryan, who plays the former Borg Seven of Nine, "Star Trek: Voyager" just really isn't all that sexy. Perhaps in an effort to stand apart from the character-driven "Deep Space Nine," "Voyager" didn't really give its crew many romances or even opportunities for casual hookups. Sure, Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) slept with the enemy in season 5 and there was an annoying "will-they/won't they" situation with Chakotay (Robert Beltran) and Seven of Nine, but beyond the simple ogling of women in spandex that always comes with '90s "Trek," there just isn't much to get the engines going.

Sexiest moment: Chakotay and Seven of Nine had one deliciously spicy moment, but unfortunately, much like T'Pol's shower scene on "Enterprise," this one also didn't actually happen. While trying to reconcile her romantic feelings for Chakotay, Seven of Nine recreates him on the holodeck and they end up getting hot and heavy. This complicates things in the real world for poor Seven of Nine, whose feelings for Chakotay are so strong that her brain shuts itself down as a protective mechanism left over from her Borg programming. Then again, if his smoldering eyes ever gazed my way, my brain might shut off, too. 

7. Picard

Once more, the sexiest thing about the series is Jeri Ryan, though her season 2 romantic subplot is chaste to the point of being non-existent. She's also not stuck in the awkward "Voyager-era uniform, either, and seems more comfortable in her own skin. "Star Trek: Picard" isn't all that focused on sex or sexuality, though the eternally simmering hotness of Sir Patrick Stewart cannot go without being mentioned. A man who enjoys good wine and understands the nuances of time travel? Meooww. Season 3 is bringing back the rest of the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" cast, too, which means there will be even more silver-haired hotness to enjoy. 

Sexiest moment: The existence of Seven of Nine and Picard, basically. 

6. Lower Decks

"Lower Decks" is an animated comedy series, so it's not exactly trying to be all that sexy. There are some fun flirtations and a few sex jokes here and there among the crew that work the lower decks on a mostly forgotten starship, but overall, things are relatively chaste or are played for laughs. Ensign Rutherford (Eugene Cordero) even misses out on the chance to bone down with his date because he's too interested in weird technical minutiae. The crew of the Cerritos are voiced by plenty of sexy people, but their animated counterparts are hindered by the show's animation style, which simplifies everyone's features and highlights silliness. That is, except for one very special guest appearance. 

Sexiest moment: I don't know if it's just that Johnathan Frakes is attractive across all mediums or if they did something special while designing cartoon Will Riker, but yum. Utilizing only a handful of hard lines and a very limited color palette, they somehow managed to make the man who can never sit correctly a total hottie in two dimensions. Well done. 

5. The Animated Series

Like "Lower Decks," "Star Trek: The Animated Series" is animated and not really trying to be all that sexual, at least most of the time. There are two notable exceptions, however, and one of those is sexy enough to get a leg up on "Lower Decks." In an episode called "Mudd's Passion," Nurse Chapel tries to use love crystals on Spock in order to get some Vulcan lovin', which is a pretty gross attempt to basically space-roofie the poor man. Thanks, 1970s. Thankfully, there's also an episode called "The Lorelei Signal" where the male away-team members end up entranced by hot alien sirens and Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) has to save their sex-stupefied behinds. 

Sexiest moment: The men falling under the spell of the beautiful, Barbie-esque sirens is pretty great. It's the kind of thing that would go on to be spoofed in other shows, like the "Futurama" episode "Amazon Women in the Mood."  

4. Discovery

"Star Trek: Discovery" is a mixed bag of sexiness. On the good side of things, there's an incredibly diverse cast of hotties that are getting between the sheets in all kinds of ways. There's an actual romantic relationship between two men, after all, and the series was the first to depict a same-sex masculine kiss in the franchises' long history. There's trans and non-binary characters! Perhaps most importantly, the mirror universe version of Michelle Yeoh's character, Philippa Georgiou, is a pansexual who has a threesome with a man and a woman in season 1. If "pansexual Michelle Yeoh" doesn't get your heart racing, I'm not sure what will. Unfortunately, points have to be removed for the episode "Into the Forest I Go," which depicts sexual assault in a bizarrely "titillating" way.  

Sexiest moment: Most of the sex on "Discovery" is only hinted at, or is just a bit of love between romantic partners, but again: evil mirror universe threesome.

3. The Next Generation

Alright, now we're getting into truly sexy "Star Trek" territory. "Star Trek: The Next Generation" gave the crew of the Enterprise under Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) plenty of chances to bone down with each another, aliens, and even a ghost. Unfortunately there really isn't much LGBTQ+ representation, and the one chance the series had to really explore a character's potential bisexuality was frustratingly not taken, but otherwise there's plenty of wild interstellar interspecies action. "The Next Generation" taught us about the intricacies of Klingon mating rituals when Q tried to give Worf a female mate, advocated for polyandry in certain situations in "Up the Long Ladder," and introduced us to the character of Lwaxana Troi (Majel Barrett, who played the original Nurse Chapel in "The Original Series"), who might be the horniest character in all of "Star Trek." Seriously, this woman is thirsty, and has no qualms stroking a Ferengi's lobes or hitting on Odo (Rene Auberjonois) on "Deep Space Nine" until he wants to stay a puddle forever. Instead of punishing her or chastising her for her sexuality, however, "Star Trek" made her into everyone's favorite horny space aunt and let her be herself. (The fact that she was married to Gene Roddenberry, who cast her as the demure Nurse Chapel, honestly makes her onscreen flirtations that much funnier.) 

One of the series' wildest sexy moments happened in season 7 with the infamous episode "Sub Rosa." In that episode, Gates McFadden's Dr. Beverly Crusher attends the funeral of her grandmother only to discover that the women in her family have been haunted by a hot ghost for generations. It turns out that there's a special candle that can wake the ghost, and Crusher lights it. She and the ghost then get it on, and it turns out that he's some kind of alien ghost who uses the candle as an energy source to survive on. Their romantic entanglement is a funhouse mirror to the scene in "Ghostbusters" where Dan Aykroyd similarly tangles with the erotic undead, though it's not played for laughs.

Sexiest moment: In season 1, episode 3, "The Naked Now," there's an infection that lowers the crew's inhibitions and is spread by physical contact. The episode was an expansion of the events from an Original Series episode called "The Naked Time," though "The Next Generation" got decidedly more naked in its episode. Under the effects of the infection, Tasha Yar (Denise Crosby) starts looking for someone to have sex with on the ship, though she eventually sets her sights on Data (Brent Spiner), the ship's android crew member. She asks him how "functional" he is sexually and he replies that not only is he "fully functional" but he's programmed with a variety of pleasurable techniques. The two do the horizontal tango, inspiring android fetishes everywhere. Data's sexuality would be further explored in the movie "Star Trek: First Contact," where he has a complicated affair with the Borg Queen (Alice Krige). Is it weird? Yes. Is it hot? Undoubtedly. 

2. The Original Series

"Star Trek," now known as "Star Trek: The Original Series," is the one that started it all. The series debuted in 1966 and starred a whole bunch of hotties in skintight costumes, gallivanting about space and meeting even more space hotties. While the original series was never allowed to get as explicit as some of the later shows, there's still plenty of sex appeal and references to sexuality peppered throughout. In fact, Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) has such a habit of sleeping with women who pop up throughout his adventures that Dr. "Bones" McCoy laments it by the time we reach the movie "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. When Kirk hooks up with a shapeshifter on the prison planet Rura Penthe, Bones grumbles "What is it with you, anyway?"

Because it's a series from the 1960s, there are plenty of skimpy skirts and shirtless men to gaze upon, and the series did break ground for showing an interracial kiss in primetime between Kirk and Lt. Uhura, only a year after interracial marriage was deemed legal by the United States Supreme Court. "Star Trek" has always been about progressive ideals and pushing boundaries, and the show pushed for more progressive love and sexuality from the very start. While there aren't any explicitly queer characters on the original series, many fans felt that the relationship between Kirk and Spock (Leonard Nimoy) was more than just a deep friendship. They were a true odd couple, the passionate human and the logical half-Vulcan, and even though the series never made them officially romantic, Roddenberry famously had no problem with the stacks of fan-fiction written to make it so. 

Sexiest moment: In the episode "Amok Time," we're first introduced to the idea of Pon-Farr, where Vulcans must mate or they go mad. Spock starts acting really strangely and Kirk tries to help, but the two end up forced to battle with bladed weapons. There's homoeroticism, Spock being wildly horny, and it's hinted that Spock and Nurse Chapel hooked up off screen. It's a perfect mix of all things horny in Trek, and it's a lot of fun, too. 

1. Deep Space Nine

Here we are at last, at the sexiest "Star Trek" series of all time: "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine." While I am admittedly biased towards this series because it helped me process my own sexuality and gave me queer role models, "Deep Space Nine" is just ridiculously sexy. The series focused on the interpersonal dynamics of the crew much more than previous series, which made some fans feel like it was a "soap opera in space," but that attention to character relationships was what really made the series sing. Every character was given a chance to explore their identities, and that almost always included their sexuality. "Deep Space Nine" explored a number of relationships, each of them with their own unique twist. Captain Sisko (Avery Brooks) and Kasidy Yates (Penny Johnson Jerald) had to learn how to balance their careers with their romance. Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor) and Odo (René Auberjonois) had to figure out love between a former terrorist with PTSD and a shapeshifter exiled from his people. Worf (Michael Dorn) and Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell) have perhaps the most loving, healthy, hot relationship in the series, despite being a joined Trill and a Klingon raised by Russians. There are multiple lesbian makeout sessions, and Garak (Andrew Robinson) and Dr. Julian Bashir (Alexander Siddig) have a homoerotic friendship to put Kirk and Spock to shame. Everyone's hot, everyone's humping, and it all plays into their complex relationships.

Sexiest moment: "Deep Space Nine" really goes wild with the mirror universe, letting the actors who play some of the more repressed characters unleash their inner campy horny selves in their doppelgänger counterparts. The alternate version of Kira is an oversexed villainess who slinks around and tries to seduce the other version of herself because, hey, why not? When Sisko ends up in the mirror universe, he not only hooks up with the dominatrix-esque Mirror Kira, he also bones Mirror Dax. It's more than a little ethically fuzzy because both of them think he's Mirror Sisko and not Prime Sisko undercover, though both women are totally unphased when they discover that they slept with a different Sisko. 

Watching Mirror Kira strut her stuff and act like a Bond villainess turned up to 11 is not only an incredible amount of fun, it's also pretty darn sexy. Visitor seems to be having a blast acting the part, and the other actors similarly lean in to being deliciously devilish villains. If the crew of "Deep Space 9" are among the hottest in all of Trek, their mirror counterparts blow everyone else out of the competition.