At some point during Data's captivity and interrogation by the Borg Queen in Star Trek: First Contact her tries to convince him go into a more instinctual direction:

Borg: Are you familiar with physical forms of pleasure?
Data: If you are referring to sexuality, I am fully functional, programmed in multiple techniques.
Borg: How long has it been since you've used them?
Data: 8 years, 7 months, 16 days, 4 minutes, 22...

Now I was surprised to hear that Data not only is programmed in "multiple techniques", but has even used them before. I might not be the biggest Star Trek expert but I think to have seen a great deal of The Next Generation and the addition of a romantic, let alone sexual, level to Data's character seemed like a very new development in this film, contributing to his ongoing further humanization.

But with that explicit mention of him using those techniques before, I wondered if that is actually a reference to a specific TNG episode where Data had some kind of romantic or sexual encounter before. So has Data explored his own sexuality in any previous TNG episode that this line of dialogue in First Contact references or is that just some arbitrary time period without significance?

  • 8
    So apparently the name of the movie is a misnomer. It should be "Star Trek: Second Contact"
    – Sidney
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 18:09

1 Answer 1


Data and Tasha Yar had a drug fueled liaison during season 1 of TNG, The Naked Now. It was never spoken of again, but referenced in Season 2 Measure of a Man.

Season 1 was 2364-2365, First Contact was 2373. Roughly 8 and a half years later. Ergo, he's taking about Natasha.

If Data wasn't incapable of being robotically precise, his keeping to the second track of how long ago it was would be creepy. Instead, it's touching.

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    In addition, he explored but did not consummate (based on the time reference) a romantic relationship with Jenna D'Sora in Episode 4x25: "In Theory".
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 4:38
  • 7
    "If Data wasn't incapable of being robotically precise" - but he isn't incapable of being robotically precise. Should that have been a single or triple negative? Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 11:27
  • 6
    Should be "If Data wasn't not un-incapable of not being robotically un-imprecise". Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 11:46
  • 5
    @GrimmTheOpiner It is not impossible that your grammar is not incorrect.
    – Philipp
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 13:50
  • 5
    Okay, does anyone else have problems parsing that 3rd paragraph? For a moment I thought I understood what @cde meant, but then my understanding slipped away again. being robotically precise probably pertained to timestamped logs he keeps as part of normal operation. being incapable of that means not having those logs. Not being incapable of that means... having those logs again? I think that wasn't shouldn't have been a negative.
    – Nzall
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 14:31

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