Every geek has their ‘number one’ hottie/favorite character in geek culture. Mine happens to be Commander Riker (played by Jonathan Frakes). Here’s why.
Risa

Hey Riker–Remember that time in Risa? Photo: Anna Cervova, publicdomainpictures.net
Responsible Riker. Despite the fact that Riker has a bit of a bad boy reputation, he’s overall a rather responsible person.
When I first started watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, I was going through some difficult times in my life.
The military-based structure of life on the Enterprise and the fatherly guidance of Captain Picard really appealed to me. And then there was Riker–he always led away missions, kept an open mind, and defended those who needed defending.
Poker face. Riker’s a gamer and gamers are hot. His game is poker and he’s good at it. Also, he’s not intimidated by Data, who is an android and probably counts cards, or Deanna, an empath. Or Worf, who kills people.
Into local culture. Ever notice how Riker always gets into the local culture? Whether he samples the local ladies (or even genderless beings) or wears their clothing (think ‘Angel One’), he’s always willing to get immersive. This helps with diplomacy, and a kiss from Riker never hurt negotiations.

Role model. Everyone on the ship looks up to Riker and respects his authority. While the father-figuring goes to Picard, Riker represents the man that most other men would like to become. If only Wesley could grow a beard.
Rumpled clothing. I remember it well. Before I was a Trekker/Trekkie, I participated in a Star Trek: The Next Generation murder mystery game. No one wanted to play Ro Laren, so I played Ro. A real-life college couple came to the party and portrayed Riker and Troi–but at one point in the game, Riker and Ro emerge from someone’s quarters with RUMPLED CLOTHING! We all know what that means! Seriously, though–Riker’s a lover, and probably pretty good at it. I guess that’s why he’s usually in a good mood.
Beard or no beard? The debate goes on and on–but one thing is clear: Riker looks good with or without a beard. I also think he looks pretty good with or without the extra weight.
Chest hair. Author Peter David wrote an amazing book called Imzadi. This amazing work of fiction details Troi and Riker’s blossoming relationship, pre-Enterprise. When Riker and Troi are together in the forests of Betazed, they get naked–and Deanna asks him why his human chest has hair. Riker replies: “Traction.” Use your imagination, ladies.
Do you have other reasons to love Riker? Leave your comments below…and just call me ‘the counselor.’
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