Vulcan-Romulan relations

Vulcan finger-touching between Spock and a Romulan Commander

Vulcan marriage ceremony

Finger-touching at a Vulcan marriage ceremony


Saavik assisting the regenerated Spock to endure pon farr

Vulcan finger-touching was a ritualistic form of affection among Vulcans involving the index and middle fingers. It was used throughout their culture, including in public, at wedding ceremonies, and during the pon farr. Contact ranged from a simple two-fingertip touch to tracing around another's hand.

If a Vulcan mated with a member of another species, the non-Vulcan would adopt the practice. The Romulans also had knowledge of the ritual. (TOS: "Journey to Babel", TOS: "The Enterprise Incident", Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, ENT: "Home")

Notable occurrencesEdit

The instances in which Vulcan finger-touching was used included the following examples:

T'Pol and Koss during their wedding on Vulcan in 2154. (ENT: "Home")

T'Pol and Koss upon greeting each other later that year. (ENT: "The Forge")

Sarek of Vulcan and Amanda Grayson of Earth on a diplomatic mission aboard the USS Enterprise in 2268. (TOS: "Journey to Babel")

Spock and a female Romulan commander on a Romulan battle cruiser later in 2268. (TOS: "The Enterprise Incident")

A young, revived Spock, who was entering pon farr, with Saavik on the Genesis Planet in 2285. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

Background information Edit

Regarding the origins of the Vulcan gesture involving touching of two fingers with two fingers, Leonard Nimoy explained in his book I Am Spock that the gesture was not meant to be the Vulcan equivalent of a human kiss, but rather the Vulcan equivalent of holding hands in public:

"The question came up as to what public sign of affection, if any, Sarek and his human wife would display. Handholding was clearly out, but perhaps finger-to-finger contact of a ceremonial, dignified nature might work. Mark [Lenard] and Jane [Wyatt] took my comments to heart, and came up with the wonderful gesture where Amanda rests her first two fingers lightly upon Sarek’s two fingers. It worked beautifully, and added to the texture of [the episode]."

A scene in the script of unmade movie Star Trek: The First Adventure involved Spock, as a cadet, teaching a stripper how to do Vulcan finger-touching. The script's stage directions identified this gesture as actually being pon farr.

The writers of the film Star Trek debated, amongst themselves, about the possibility of having Spock and Uhura finger-touching in a turbolift scene from that movie. Ultimately, J.J. Abrams pointed out that such behavior would be unfamiliar and consequently puzzling to a new audience, so the pair of characters instead kiss in the same scene. In a Q&A, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman agreed with this conclusion. [1]