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Mental Affair

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Cheating on a telepath with another telepath?
Bad move, Scott.
When two (or more) people have psychic sex, from beaming sensual pleasures to each other, to copulating in a dreamscape of their minds' creation.

This rarely leads to physical consequences as it would in the real world, since it happens in the Astral Plane, unless Your Mind Makes It Real. Emotional matters are a different story, since it is otherwise no different from a physical affair.

Some forms of Mind Control and Mental Fusion might eerily feel like this.

Gives Jedi Mind Trick an entirely different ring, doesn't it?

On the less sci-fi side: yes, most people are guilty of the one-sided version of this at some time in their life. Also, some religions consider it to be a sin.

Of course, not to be confused with Mind Screw or Mind Rape, though there's a strong possibility of overlap with the latter.

A sister trope of the less sexual Dream Walker and Talking in Your Dreams.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • This is the basis behind the Hentai Manga Ne.To.Ge (Lovers in a Cyber World) by Tamaki Nozomu. A couple of teenagers meet in a virtual reality MMORPG realistic enough for them to have sex. They later discover that they are classmates, with an already Belligerent Sexual Tension dynamic. Although this does led to romance (and marriage), unusually for a hentai title the girl insists on "no sex before the wedding"... in the real world, at least.
  • At the end of Psychic Academy, Mew offers this to Ai when they meet in the Paradream for the third time. He declines. Then he wakes up and learns that she died in the night.

    Comic Books 
  • X-Men:
    • One of the most (in)famous examples happens in New X-Men when Cyclops has an affair with Emma Frost, who is his therapist after a spectacularly traumatizing incident in which he spent several months sharing a body and mind with Apocalypse, one of the most spectacularly evil beings in history. Emma takes advantage and manipulates Scott into a relationship. Deserves a special mention because they get walked in on by his wife (another telepath). Whoops!
    • Scott's brother has this too in Uncanny X-Men (Chuck Austen) when he starts dating the school's nurse while in a coma, thanks to the latter's telepathic son. The less we talk about this, the better.
  • Mindf██k and Sistah Spooky in Empowered. Notable in that they have to do it this way as Mindf██k has no tongue. Also, Mindf██k is often on a space station while Spooky is on Earth. It's as good a way as any to make a Long-Distance Relationship work out.
  • XXXenophile: In "Net Dreams", two psychics start sharing incredibly detailed and elaborate Erotic Dreams involving each other.

    Fan Works 
  • Played with in No Hidden Contracts, Taxes, or Fees. Spouxls catches Spamton and Rouxls flirting in his Mental World at one point, and they then begin to melt into each other. When Spouxls mentions it later, Spamton calls him a peeping Tom, implying that the incident was some form of this trope.
  • In Sensate Focus, a good Star Trek Slash Fic, Spock states that using their telepathic bond "is an intimacy on par with human marital sexual relations." Later on in the fic, this happens.
    Spock let the link swing open between them. Jim felt himself falling, falling into some endless ocean. Then Spock was there, around him, through him, in him. He reached out — no, he reached within himself — and embraced the essence that was there and the two were one, then two again.
  • The Tin Man fanfic ''Stand My Ground'' has "sex in the mindscape" variety DG is recovering from an assassination attempt, and creates a dreamscape to recover in. She manages to pull Cain inside to let him know she's okay.
  • Quoted from the Pokégirls Pokedex entry for Bakuchan (a ghost-type):
    Bakuchan are often employed as starters for Tamers with physical disabilities or debilitating Blood Curses that would make it difficult for them to Tame Pokégirls otherwise. The reason for this is simple: Bakuchan can get Tamed in their master's dreams, where such restrictions would not affect a Taming session. Fans of the Bakuchan praise her ability to mold their dreams into their greatest fantasies for their satisfaction as well as hers, down to taking the appearance of a more-beloved harem-sister if necessary.
  • This is very popular in Doctor Who fanfiction, especially Doctor/Master slash.
  • Also occurs frequently in X-Men fanfiction featuring Professor X (typically paired with his friend-turned-enemy-turned-frenemy Magneto), because, of course, Professor X has certain powers.
  • Occasionally happens in Star Fox fanfics involving Krystal. Sometimes goes into the weird territory, as mentioned with this scene from the defunct Generations trilogy:
    Fox: Your mother's done some fucked-up things to me while I was sleeping.
    Marcus: Is she really that sadistic?
    Fox: No, it's not mean really, just a way of allowing her to get what she wants.
    Marcus: Huh?
    Fox: Sex, c'mon, you're eighteen, I thought you would have figured this out by now.
    Marcus: That's just what I wanted to hear, now I've got the image in my head...
  • A common Ho Yay pairing in Stand Still, Stay Silent fanfiction is between Reynir and Onni, two mages that are physically very far away from each other, but both have access to a Talking in Your Dreams system thanks to their powers. This trope tends to be the answer to how they manage the sexual aspect of their relationship.
  • "Sharing dreams" among the Psyches is implied to be this in Empath: The Luckiest Smurf. Also Empath and Smurfette develop a telepathic bond with each other after their first time together (physically) in "Empath's Honeymoon".
  • The purely emotional version of this is implied in Lost in Camelot; after Merlin starts to realize that he has romantic feelings for Morgana, he feels as though he is cheating on Bo by spending time with her, wondering if he is ‘using’ Morgana to satisfy his emotional needs (although, to his credit, he does his best to amend this by opening up more to Bo); Kenzi recognizes the attraction, but leaves it alone at first as she knows that Merlin wouldn’t actively cheat on Bo.
  • Another example of the purely emotional version of this features in "The Beginning of Uncertainty", an AU aftermath of The Flash (2023) where Barry's actions create a new timeline. While Barry is dating Iris West in this new timeline, after Barry discovers that Kara Zor-El exists in this timeline and retains her memory of their meeting in the new history, the two swiftly become close, to the extent that Iris soon realises that Barry is thinking more about another woman than he is about her. Iris assures Barry that she doesn't believe he's actively cheating on her, but encourages him to go after the woman he's really thinking about, which leads to Barry asking Kara out on a date in their next meeting.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Barbarella. The title character is surprised when Mark Hand wants to have Rescue Sex on a bed, because no-one's done it that way in centuries. On Earth you take an Exaltation Transference Pill and touch hands for one minute until "full rapport is achieved". Hand insists on doing it the old fashioned way, and Barbarella finds herself quite liking it; she's a bit disappointed when Dildano insists on showing his sophistication by doing it "the Earth way", whereupon Hilarity Ensues.
  • Spartan (Sylvester Stallone) and Huxley (Sandra Bullock) in Demolition Man, until Spartan realizes that's all there is to it and immediately takes off his headgear. In the squeaky-clean futuristic city of San Angeles, this is all the sex anyone gets: "the old-fashioned way" has been made illegal.
  • In Dreamscape, a psychic who can enter other people's dreams consummates his relationship with a scientist inside one of her dreams. When she wakes she's furious because he invaded her mental privacy.
  • In X-Men: First Class, Emma Frost uses a Jedi Mind Trick on a Russian General to make him think he's having sex with her while she's actually sitting on his couch watching him make love to empty air on the bed. Charles thought that was a nice trick.

  • Arrivals from the Dark books: This is how the Lo'ona Aeo reproduce. They have four sexes, three of which participate in conception, although no physical contact takes place (the fourth sex, half-female, is sterile, and an immature individual can be "encouraged" by the clan leaders to become one, if they deem that this particular genetic branch needs to become a dead end). The full-male and half-male join their minds with the full-female in a process called "mental contamination", which leaves the full-female pregnant. The child has the personality characteristics of all its parents. A plot point in the Fighters of Danwait book is that a Lo'ona Aeo named Zantu went against the clan leaders' wishes and became a full-female instead of a half-female. As punishment, she was exiled to travel aboard a merchant ship normally crewed by Servs until she passed her reproductive period (due to their long lives, this can last centuries). She ends up meeting a human named Sergey Valdez, a descendant of a human/Faata hybrid, and helps him discover his latent Psychic Powers. Their Mind Melds accidentally result in Zantu becoming pregnant. She goes back to her clan, as her exile is now over, and Sergey marries a human woman instead. Two novels later, Sergey's son meets his Lo'ona Aeo "half-brother", who has inherited some of Sergey's adventurism (the Lo'ona Aeo are xenophobic and prefer to stay with their clans).
  • In Mercedes Lackey's By the Sword, after Kerowyn meets, falls in love with, and is forced to leave Herald Eldan, he continues their love affair in their dreams. Kero is under the impression that they're just vivid dreams she can't shake, and is rather shocked when they finally meet in person again years later, and he knows things she never told him (while awake). They get past it, though. To clarify, they've both been sharing the dreams, and are both shocked to discover the fact when they reconnect. This is because they share similar Gifts, and make a mental connection that never quite breaks. That is, they both continued the affair in the dreams, both thinking it was just dreams.
  • Chronicles of the Kencyrath: Magic shared dreams are fairly common in these books. Sometimes it's just Talking in Your Dreams, and other times things take a sexual turn. The dreamer can't necessarily tell what's this (a dream the two of them created together) and what's a more standard Erotic Dream of their own concoction. Which makes it difficult to know if the other person is actually into you, of if it's just your own wistful thinking.
  • The Dreamblood Duology: One order of Hananja's priesthood, the Sisters, use Dream Weaving magic to create intensely erotic dreams for their clients, because they generate "dreamseed" that fuels the priesthood's Healing magic. One Sister notes that she's not technically an active participant in the dreams, but from the perspective of her clients, it's an academic distinction at most.
  • From Fortress of the Pearl, part of The Elric Saga. While exploring the dream worlds for the Pearl at the Heart of the World, Elric of Melnibone and Oone (the beautiful psychic seer who helped him enter this realm) have an affair. It's another case where Your Mind Makes It Real, since at the end of the story Oone announces she's pregnant (with twins — yes, she is a seer); she keeps this a secret from Elric, though.
  • In The End of Mr. Y the protagonist ends up having sex with someone in an imaginary place called the troposphere (complicated, but it's kind of a part of her mind), to which they have both traveled in spirit.
  • The Ghosts of Sleath: David Ash and Grace Lockwood, both of whom tend to psychic insights; during lovemaking, mentally emulate their current exchange.
  • A brief episode near the climax (no pun intended) of Otherland has Renie and !Xabbu meeting in a virtual world as pure avatars, without bodies. Their mental union is compared to sex in terms of its intensity and significance. Later, they do it in virtual bodies, and then again "for real".
  • Happens a few times in The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. The character in question is referred to as a "prostitute of the mind".
  • In A Wizard in Rhyme, a Near-Death Experience lets the main character and his Cute Ghost Girl love interest share a... melding of souls before he gets yanked back into his body. It's described as an impossibly ecstatic experience, being a taste of what Heaven itself has to offer, and his friends have to cut it short before it can kill him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Black Mirror: In Striking Vipers two college friends reconnect over a fighting game that now has full virtual reality through a Brain/Computer Interface. It doesn't take long for them to stop fighting and start using it to have an affair in the bodies of the characters they're controlling.
  • Sense8: The cluster has sex together due to their psychic link. Kala also has mental sex with Wolfgang, while at the moment physically she was actually with her husband.
  • One episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine referenced the concept of technologically-mediated psychic prostitution, although it wasn't a significant element of the story.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise:
    • T'Pol experienced a Mind Rape that started out as a consensual Mental Affair (the other guy refused to get out of her mind when she'd had enough). She ends up getting a fictional analogue to AIDS as a result.
    • Trip also participated in a mating ritual that involved reading his partner's mind and her reading his, which caused a male pregnancy.

  • Duran Duran's "U.M.F." with its line "making love to the ultimate mind" seems to suggest this.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Changeling: The Lost, this is well within changelings' power and can in fact be a valuable industry, since they can gain a lot of Glamour by making a Pledge to use their Dream Weaving powers for a mortal's benefit. It's not uncommon for Spring Court changelings, who gain extra glamour from Desire, to make their marks' dreams extra-pleasant for a bonus.
  • This is perfectly possible in the Astral Realm in Shadowrun.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/hollow ataraxia: Rider enters Shirou's dream and tries to entice him into a threesome with her and an image of Sakura. This time, Shirou figures out what is going on and stops her.
  • Fate/stay night: In the Heaven's Feel route, Rider enters Shirou's dream and takes on Rin's form to seduce him, stealing his energy in the process. In the Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel adaptation, "Rin" briefly turns into Sakura while they are getting intimate.

    Web Comics 
  • Cyanide and Happiness: Subverted in #2065. Copulating mentally is his power, but only he can get off it, in order to maintain his secret. The bystander points out that this essentially means ejaculating every time he sees a woman.
  • Gene Catlow: In the "Sight of the Soul" is like a global, psychic internet... and, as two of the main characters learn the hard way, fooling around there can actually lead to pregnancy — even if their bodies aren't touching, their life-forces are, and that's enough. In fact, it is apparently MORE likely, because the end result is one character getting pregnant who was, otherwise, sterile.

    Western Animation 
  • The 2017 DuckTales series features a child-friendly example with Fenton and Gandra using a VR program they've been building to meet covertly. There's even a shot of them kissing shown from the perspective of someone outside of the program, and it looks just as ridiculous as you'd imagine.

Alternative Title(s): Mental Sex, Psychic Sex, Psychic Affair