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Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old March 23 2013, 01:23 PM   #1
Dal Rassak
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Location: Terok Nor
nature of the link?

When Odo links with the Female Founder, they're clearly having some kind of a sexual relationship. However he also links with another changeling who's taken a male shape, and in that instance it's equally clear that the communion is of a different nature; simply the relief of existing for a few moments in the state that you're meant to exist.

I find it quite confusing. In their natural state, they don't really have different sexes, they do not even distinguish individuals, they're an amorphous mass.
So how come they don't all appear as sexless "neutral" shapes when they take humanoid form?
Plus the process of linking cannot really have sexual overtones most of the time, or else the entire race would exist in a permanent state of group sex, with the Great Link just being one big orgy...
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Old March 23 2013, 01:42 PM   #2
DalekJim
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Re: nature of the link?

I saw joining as more of an enlightened moment of clarity and beauty rather than two Changelings fucking. I think the sexual angle was mainly metaphor.
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Old March 23 2013, 01:47 PM   #3
Tosk
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Re: nature of the link?

I don't see the Link as being sexual in any way. It's a merging that we have no real point of reference for to understand fully.
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Old March 23 2013, 05:15 PM   #4
Timo
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Re: nature of the link?

Indeed, we don't know if Changelings even engage in sexual procreation, or indeed in procreation of any sort... Odo and the Hundred have been characterized as "children" or "infants" on occasion, but not really as "offspring". Perhaps they are more analogous to jobs than kids: the Link engages in a job here, another there, devoting a few liters of goo for the purpose, and those liters grow to meet the demands of the job but are later reabsorbed. Linking after a hard day's work may feel like sex, but without the functionality...

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Old March 23 2013, 09:24 PM   #5
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Re: nature of the link?

It may seem sexual to us because we see sex as a mutual joining of two bodies. Perhaps in some instances it IS sexual, and in others it's not. It's all based on context. I have no doubts that it might feel intensely pleasurable.

When he links with the Female, they clasp hands, and Odo starts closing his eyes like it feels good. When he linked with Laas, the gesture was more like a handshake, and Odo's expression remained neutral.

I know I mentioned this before, but when I rewatch "The Adversary" where the Changeling tries to force a link on Odo--if linking is seen as sexual, then wouldn't forcing it on another Changeling be akin to rape?
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Old March 24 2013, 05:22 PM   #6
Timo
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Re: nature of the link?

Anything can be, and is, seen as rape if it serves the purpose of titillating or agitating. Sometimes it's deliberate even when nothing obviously sexual is involved - say, the android Ash in Alien trying to suffocate Ripley with a rolled-up magazine in an oral rape analogy, or certain instances of a male looming over a female and applying violence, force or coercion (the mind meld in ST6 is often seen from this angle). Sometimes it's just in the dirty minds of the audience, though...

Considering the above examples, we could simply be witnessing a pattern of decreasing novelty. In accordance with the way Auberjonois plays it out, the experience is the most intense in "The Adversary" when it's new to Odo; quite a feeling in "Homefront" where Odo exposes the Leyton Changeling; still somewhat intense in the "second occupation" episodes with the Female Founder; but has lost all its shock value by the time Odo shakes hands with Laas.

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Old March 24 2013, 07:34 PM   #7
Shawnster
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Re: nature of the link?

Timo wrote: View Post
Anything can be, and is, seen as rape if it serves the purpose of titillating or agitating. Sometimes it's deliberate even when nothing obviously sexual is involved - say, the android Ash in Alien trying to suffocate Ripley with a rolled-up magazine in an oral rape analogy, or certain instances of a male looming over a female and applying violence, force or coercion (the mind meld in ST6 is often seen from this angle). Sometimes it's just in the dirty minds of the audience, though...

Considering the above examples, we could simply be witnessing a pattern of decreasing novelty. In accordance with the way Auberjonois plays it out, the experience is the most intense in "The Adversary" when it's new to Odo; quite a feeling in "Homefront" where Odo exposes the Leyton Changeling; still somewhat intense in the "second occupation" episodes with the Female Founder; but has lost all its shock value by the time Odo shakes hands with Laas.

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I see the Great Link as a composite being. The individual "beings" are really just parts of the greater whole. It's a colony creature similar to BEM from TAS
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Old March 25 2013, 07:04 PM   #8
Worf'sParmach
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Re: nature of the link?

The link is not "clearly sexual" it's intimate. Solids would of course confuse the two, but linking is not sexual intercourse.

I don't know if this is addressed in canon, but I don't think Changelings have genders. I think they just appear that way to solids to make it easier for us to interact (and, more specificallt, because Human actors have gender.) I also don't think procreation was specifically addressed either.
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Old March 25 2013, 07:09 PM   #9
Worf'sParmach
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Re: nature of the link?

_C_ wrote: View Post
It may seem sexual to us because we see sex as a mutual joining of two bodies. Perhaps in some instances it IS sexual, and in others it's not. It's all based on context. I have no doubts that it might feel intensely pleasurable.

When he links with the Female, they clasp hands, and Odo starts closing his eyes like it feels good. When he linked with Laas, the gesture was more like a handshake, and Odo's expression remained neutral.

I know I mentioned this before, but when I rewatch "The Adversary" where the Changeling tries to force a link on Odo--if linking is seen as sexual, then wouldn't forcing it on another Changeling be akin to rape?
I think that has a lot to do with the limitations of the viewing audience, especially 15-ish years ago. The first time we see Odo link, it's with a "female" and to show us how intimate a thing it is they make it look like Odo is having a quasi-orgasm. But then when he links with Laas, that kind of reaction would be too much for us simple minded solids to process so they make it more "friendly"

Things like rape, murder, theft, etc. are socially defined behaviors designed to maintain order within a society. So what counts as rape amongst humans/humanoids may not be defined the same way amongst a species that is so different. Just like how amongst our cultures things like murder and theft can have different meanings depending on the situation.
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