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