...plus some he almost f*cked... So - I know lists have been slightly tinged recently, but I don’t think I’ve ever written one. I solemnly promise not to have written it for any other reason than my own entertainment and that of my fellow ODeckers. I also promise it comes mainly from my own memory and brain, only supported with facts and details from Memory Alpha. I assume I’m not the first one writing a thing like this, but this one I wrote myself. ;)
Disclaimer - given the delicate topic of sex in American day time TV, it’s not always easy to figure out if Riker’s relationships actually went to the finish line. I did my best from memory and Memory (Alpha) to extrapolate which Alien actually gets the honor of a regular place in Number One’s trophy collection and who just deserves an honorary mention below by letting him get to one of the first three bases. I do not claim 100% correctness with those. Correct me if you think I’m wrong.
1 - Deanna Troi
First things first. The love of Riker’s life probably needs not much of an explanation. Daughter of a human man and a Betazoid woman, Deanna Troi met Riker shortly after his early career positioning on her home planet Betazed. Most definitely the closest bond in Riker’s life (possible the only one lasting long enough to be called a solid relationship), it went deep enough to allow the two Imzadi to communicate telepathically in the first episodes of the show - a skill they lost pretty soon in the course of the show. Trying to keep it professional, Riker maintained a friendship with Deanna through most of their service on Enterprise, even resisting her seduction attempts during the polywater intoxication that allowed Data and Tasha to - bond.
However, possibly triggered by Worf’s courtship of Deanna (that lead to marriage in a parallel universe), enhanced by the Youth Radiation of Ba’Ku in Insurrection, the first relationship on this list is also his last (hopefully), as it eventually leads into the marriage that brought Wesley Crusher back!
2 - Minuet
After a temporary upgrade of the holodeck by the Bynars, attempting to take over the ship, the Virtual Reality Machine of Enterprise managed to create the perfect mate for its first officer. Described as “sultry” and with a notable likeness to Deanna IMO, she was deleted when the Bynars’ upgrade was taken back and was not re-creatable.
While it is not fully revealed if Riker and Minuet actually had HoloSex (do we doubt it?), the holographic lady in red left enough of an impression on Number One that when being stranded on Alpha Onias III years later, the young alien Barash, attempting to keep Riker there by creating his perfect illusionary world, took Min from his memory and build him the perfect little happy family with her. Making the hologram the only woman except for Deanna that we know of Riker even considered settling for.
3 - Ro Laren
While Commander Riker manages to maintain a professional relationship with most of the senior officers most of the time (notwithstanding many, many dates with lower ranking crew members in uniform), there’s is always the possible SciFi excuse for stepping over the regulations now and then... On one such occasion, the temporary wiping of the memory of everyone of the crew of Enterprise by the Sattarrans in order to use the ship to destroy their long time enemies the Lysians, sexual tension between the first officer and the short time Bajoran bridge officer lead to the inevitable... Which is never mentioned again after regaining their memories. But then Ro didn’t stay on board for very long after it..... Maybe Deanna had a hand in her transferral... ;)
4 - Lanel
Probably the most - unfortunate of Riker’s Alien liaisons, as it was the only one explicitly taking place against his will. When an undercover mission on planet Malcor III goes awry, Riker finds himself in an Alien hospital at the mercy of doctors not buying his cover up story for more than a second and planing to go full Area 51 on him. Riker’s way out is helped by his talents, when the doctor in charge reveals that she “always wanted to make love with an alien.” Giving in to the coercion, Riker escapes the planet, in a way that would have been much more than just a throwaway plot point had one of the female crew members found herself in a similar situation.
EDIT: Ulgar the Frostclad refreshed my memory a little - Riker was actually re-captured after being freed by Lanel, so the scene wasn’t even plot relevant but actually pointless.
5 - Etana Jol
The biggest danger Riker’s hobby ever posed to the safety of his ship probably showed up in the form of Etana Jorel. Meeting and seducing our first officer on Risa, she proofs that Space Herpes is not the worst thing one can bring from the Planet of Jamaharon. In this case, her parting gift was The Game, a mind control device turning everyone playing it into game junkies, neglecting their duties. To add insult to injury, the only one being able to save the ship from being taken over by Riker’s holiday fling is Wesley Crusher (with the help of Ashley Judd, which kinda makes it better...)
6 - Mistress Beata
Showing his diplomatic talent on Planet Angel 1, a society so matriarchally organized that the males’ position in society is very close to that of slaves, our brave First Officer keeps the Leader of the planet busy while the rest of the crew entertains a search and rescue mission for a crashed Federation ship on the planet.
Another not exactly fortunate example of gender politics on TNG - being a first season episode, it brings Riker into a situation one can hardly imagine for one of the female crew members under reversed conditions.... Troi making out with a male Head of Planet while her crewmates are out there looking for the crashed ship?
Honorary mentions - non-humans that actually didn’t have sex with Riker, but were pretty close...
This empathic metamorph’s raison d’etre is basically to form a telepathic bond with the first man she sees and become his Perfect Mate (capitalized, as it is the name of the episode she shows up in). Naturally, as all women, she attempts to - bond with our First Officer first, who, being in one of his “following the rules” phases, declines. (Only to spend the rest of the epsiode in
his bunk the holodeck...... :) Thanks to pitchblende for the reminder) Leaving Famke Jansen to form a bond with the much better suited Captain Picard, that would not only outlast her marriage with the man she was being delivered to but stretch out into a totally different franchise.
Being the last survirvor of the genocide of the clan Tralest more than 100 years ago, Yuta has genetically altered herself not to age for the sole purpose of revenge on the Clan responsible for the mass murder. When her path to her goal leads her to Enterprise shortly before its completion, she starts feeling attracted to Riker. As you do. Riker does not feel compelled to her attitude, though - having lived as a servant/slave for the last hundred years, she is not the free, strong woman he is attracted to, so he rejects her advances. In the end, after discovering her assassination plan, he has no choice but to to kill her, marking a pretty dark chapter in Riker’s list of broken hearts.
Taking a special place on this list, as Soren is the only biologically non-female character Riker ever shows interest in. Soren was Star Trek’s attempt to make a queer-themed episode. (Generally considered not very well executed). Belonging to a species that once had two genders that have evolved into one, Riker - of course - brings the woman out in Soren, confessing to him her identifying herself as female and her attraction for the commander, who, after an amazingly short period of hesitation, reciprocates her feelings, tries to help her overcome her society’s gender norms and come out as female. The attempt fails, Soren is brainwashed back into gender-conformity and quoting the Prime Directive, Trek’s first attempt in for a queer relationship fails.
Well. Who knows. Lal’s interest in the commander seems pretty one sided, but given his interest in Holograms, Data’s worries about the commander and his self build Offspring might have been justified, had she survived more than one episode... ;)