So I've discovered that there's a whole genre now of romance sci-fi. The typical deal is that through some mischance a plucky young Earthwoman either gets abducted by a handsome alien stranger, or nurses him back to health when he crash-lands on our planet. Proximity leads to hijinks, and next thing you know it's wedding klaxons.
Very well. I fully support inter-galactic relationships. Here's my problem... Even if our alien beaus are humanoid, wouldn't the differences be enough to send their intended human fiancees edging nervously toward the airlock?
I'm not talking about nightmare-fuel aliens, or cthulhoid horrors. I'm positing we've hit the genetic jackpot and we get as close to human-looking aliens as possible. But wouldn't even those small differences be too much? Examples:
Alien beau has full-black eyes and transparent nictitating membrane eyelids. It looks like he's staring at you. With dead, doll eyes. Forever.
Alien beau has sharp, sharklike teeth. Scary.
Alien beau is perfect in all respects, except he's purple and smells like barely-overripe bananas. Or elderberries.
So, to summarize the question: Is the uncanny-valley effect too strong to allow humans falling for aliens?
Edit: There's been a lot of constructive thought here, for which I thank you all. The notions of Rule-34 vs uncanny valley; power as aphrodisiac; emotional ties overcoming the valley over time; gender-fluidity narrowing the valley; "reverse mermaids" ... these are all valuable insights. I think Green has hit the nail on the slightly-unnerving head:
Never under-estimate a human's ability to fall in love with something
Final note: reverse mermaids? Really? Really? I just don't know what to say...