Is It Ethical To Date A Pokemon?

The internet has made me look at Pokemon not as a fun JRPG for children, but as a game for perverts. (You know who you are.)

Look at how much fan art exists of Gardevoir, Blaziken, Gothitelle, and countless other humanoid Pokemon. Hell, take a look at how many people apparently want to bang Pikachu. It’s easy to laugh at this, of course – “he said he’d fuck a sheep, etc.” – but where there’s an opportunity to dig a little deeper instead of going for the cheap joke, I try to do it.

Instead of trying figure out the “most dateable” Pokemon, like I’ve done with Sword and Shield gym leaders in the past, I decided to ask a broader question: should you date a Pokemon? Is that okay, even if it looks like a pretty green woman with plant skin? Or does it traipse into morally questionable, ethically gross, sexually deviant territory?

First off, it’s important to point out the obvious: there are certain cases where the appeal is pretty obvious. Who among us hasn’t looked at Lopunny’s giant fuzzy ears and strange rabbit butt, then thought, “wow, I’d sure like to take her out for nice time”? Very few, I’d wager. Point being, certain Pokemon designs feel almost tailor made for lewd fan art, and feel oddly informed by hegemonic Western beauty standards. Is it strange that an artist for a children’s game would give a rabbit feminine curves and long legs? I dunno – ask Lola Bunny, I guess.

However, the aesthetic appeal is almost irrelevant because of one key component: consent. In lore, Pokemon are wild animals. They frolic in grass, bathe in rivers, and soar through the sky. When caught, they’re used for unregulated street fights or indentured servitude, with their labor acting as a vital cornerstone of the world’s economy. People also just keep them as pets or friends – or cut their tails off for food, I guess. Point being, Pokemon are seen as “lesser than” humans, and are seemingly less sentient.

As such, it’s hard to imagine any scenario where dating a Pokemon would be even remotely okay. That Gardevoir can’t actually tell you she wants to make out, and that Salazzle’s tongue is definitely not licking you there on purpose. It doesn’t actually matter if they’re your ultimate fantasy (really?) or not – they can’t tell you yes or no, so you just have to assume no. Honestly, it’s best to just think of them like you would a dog, or a cat, or a bunny, or some other animal that you wouldn’t

That hasn’t stopped people, though – according to the original Japanese translation of Diamond & Pearl, people used to actually marry Pokemon. Of course, as time went on, that custom faded away… but when? What changed? How did this custom grow to be taboo? Were there Pokemon wedding ceremonies? Did people actually just have sex with Pokemon and not get thrown in a prison for perverts? The mind boggles, truly.

Still, that was then, and this is now. Just like you wouldn’t wine and dine that stray you’ve been feeding for a year, it’s probably best to not commit fantasy bestiality. Officer Jenny will find you, and she will throw you in PokePrison.

Now… could somebody tell Ash’s mom?

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Bella Blondeau is a lovable miscreant with a heart of gold… or so she says.

She likes long walks in dingy arcades, loves horror good and bad, and has a passion for anime girls of any and all varieties. Her favorite game is Nier: Automata, because she loves both robots and being sad.

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