- "We Klingons often tout our prowess in battle, our desire for glory and honor above all else... but how hollow is the sound of victory without someone to share it with? Honor gives little comfort to a man alone in his home... and in his heart."
- - Martok
Klingon mating rituals were a series of courting traditions held by the Klingons. Klingon mating rituals included combative foreplay. (TNG: "The Emissary"; VOY: "Blood Fever") They were notoriously complex. (DS9: "The House of Quark") The ritual began with each participant sniffing the other's right arm/hand. Then each gripped the other's right hand as to cause bleeding.
Klingons traditionally mated for life, and it was not uncommon for them to take commitment oaths after only one encounter. (TNG: "The Emissary") While a full Klingon marriage ceremony involved many witnesses and an elaborate re-enactment of the Klingon creation myth, (DS9: "You Are Cordially Invited") the much briefer oath of marriage required no officiant or witnesses and was accepted legally and socially as constituting marriage by mutual consent. (TNG: "Reunion") K'Ehleyr did not recite her half of the oath when Worf invoked it following their mating, fearing the damage it would cause to their respective careers, but that did not stop Worf from calling her his mate and claiming the Right of Vengeance after Duras killed her. (TNG: "The Emissary", "Reunion")
The mating ritual as described above was not always carried out when mating occurred between a Klingon and a member of another race, (DS9: "Penumbra") and it should be noted that Klingons often did not like non-Klingons mating with members of their houses.
It was not uncommon to break multiple bones during Klingon amorous play. In fact, fracturing a clavicle on the wedding night was even considered a blessing on the marriage. Jadzia Dax described the Klingon mating ritual as the participants "jumping on each other like a pair of crazed voles." While some, such as Dax, found this exciting, others, such as Quark, found it particularly intimidating. (DS9: "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places"; VOY: "Blood Fever") Speaking about Klingon courtship and marriage, Martok once noted that no one could be in control of who they fell in love with. (DS9: "You Are Cordially Invited")
Due to his traditional Klingon values, Worf, in general, took mating much more seriously than his partners did, much to his chagrin and theirs. (TNG: "The Emissary", "Hide and Q"; DS9: "Penumbra"). Worf once described Klingon mating to Wesley Crusher as involving the male reading love poetry while ducking the furniture thrown by the female. (TNG: "The Dauphin") Tom Paris also made a reference to this, when B'Elanna Torres attempted to seduce him while mentally bonded to Vorik during his pon farr, saying, "so this is the part where you throw heavy objects at me?" (VOY: "Blood Fever") It is unclear if this was just a common joke or an older tradition that was no longer strictly adhered to, although Klingon poetry was important to their culture, as Katherine Pulaski asked Worf to read some to her after he shared the Klingon tea ceremony with her. (TNG: "Up The Long Ladder")