Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild” tells of the powerful Tlic, who protect Earthly Terrans in exchange for the use of Terran’s as host animals for their parasitic young. Butler describes her short story as “a love story between two very different beings” — I would call it provocative and disturbing. Gan, a Terran, is supposed to be impregnated with the eggs of T’Gatoi, a powerful Tlic. After seeing a bloody Tlic birth gone wrong, Gan is repulsed. Although he doesn’t want to, he still chooses to let T’Gatoi implant her Tlic eggs into him.
Butler claims that “Bloodchild” is “a dramatic story of a man becoming pregnant as an act of love—choosing pregnancy in spite of as well as because of surrounding difficulties.” But those surrounding difficulties include a system in which Tlic are entitled to the use of Terran bodies. If Gan chose not to be implanted, it would mean that T’Gatoi would use his sister instead.
Gan had little real choice. His decision to be implanted was of reluctant acceptance to a system that stripped him of his bodily autonomy and personal agency, making him a tool for the Tlic.
I believe that loving relationships are healthy and consensual — I’m not sure that I would classify “Bloodchild” as a love story.