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Feigning normality since 1973

Vulcans and Masturbation

Filed in: TV & Movies.

If you were offended by the title of this post, that's probably a sign you won't like the rest of this post. :)

Random picture of T'PolRecently I saw the Star Trek Enterprise episode "Fusion", in which Enterprise encountered a ship full of Vulcans who had embraced their emotions rather than suppressing them. The Vulcan ship had been in space for eight years. (Also, one of the Vulcans mind-raped T'Pol and gave her Vulcan AIDS, but that's irrelevant to this post).

I was also introduced to First TV Drama's Enterprise reviews, which point out the many inconsistencies in the episodes. I'm going to make specific reference to one bit of their review for "Fusion".

As Richard Whettestone points out about 2/3 of the way down that page, the ship has been out in space for 8 years. As we learned in the original series, male Vulcans get extremely horny every seven years, and it makes them go a wee bit insane. In the original series, this leads Spock to have a fight to the death with his best mate, Kirk. "If the Pon Farr makes a logical Vulcan go whacky, imagine what it does to emotional ones," says Richard.

It's my contention that Pon Farr would actually affect an overtly emotional Vulcan a lot less than the normal emotion-suppressing Vulcans.

Your normal everyday male Vulcan suppresses his emotions and is entirely logical. This means that logically he does not masturbate or have any sex as that would be illogical and a display of emotion. This leads to a gradual build up of sexual frustration, which the Vulcan routinely suppresses. When their seven years are up, the biologically-triggered Pon Farr causes a simultaneous release of all this pent-up sexual frustration, driving the poor fellow mad.

On the other hand, a Vulcan who has embraced his emotions would tend to have sex in his biological off-hours, as they were, or masturbate should he not be able to find a suitable partner. This means (a) no pent-up sexual tension, and (b) a better-adjusted Vulcan. Thus when they reach Pon Farr, the biological changes don't make as much difference to them.

In summary, Vulcans are not screwed up because they are wankers, but precisely because they are not.

Posted December 18, 2005 12:26 PM


I would like to see T'Pol masturbate. For scientific purposes, of course.

Posted by: Bash Hardcastle | December 21, 2005 9:20 PM

While not directly related to Vulcans and masturbation, since you mentioned Richard Whettestone's website, I thought I'd throw in my two cents. It should be noted that in spite of the occasional justified gripe, Whettestone's commentary is often as mindless as he accuses Enterprise of being. One gets the impression that he didn't want to find anything good with the show. So, when it suits his purposes, he'll ignore explanations offered for something in an episode or misrepresent the storyline or presuppositions, to 'demonstrate' how awful the show was. When not setting up such 'straw men', Whettestone occasionally dismisses some real-life aspects of storytelling, screenwriting, television production and the non-linear evolution of Trek lore in order to facilitate his rants. And often his arguments can be summarised: "Enterprise isn't Babylon 5/Columbo/24/Scooby Doo/Andromeda/X-Files/G.I. Joe/Transformers/take your pick, therefore it sucks." The strangest aspect of his commentary is his vitrolic attacks against Rick Berman and Brannon Braga. They move him well beyond the role of a 'critic', and one suspects (since Whettestone fancies himself a science-fiction screenwriter) that he must have at one time submitted a screenplay to Berman and Braga which (like hundreds of others I'm sure) was politely rejected. Whettestone's bitter ad hominem attacks don't bode well for his aspirations either to work with others in the production of science fiction on television or even to engage in professional criticism. Looks like he'll have to keep his day job at an Illinois public access station.

Posted by: fan of Star Trek | April 4, 2006 9:36 AM

Since the Vulcans on Fusion were on the ship for 8 consecutive years, it makes me wonder if there are any gay Vulcans or if Vulcans are more like animals than humans in that they simply mate by instict with the opposite sex rather than by love, regardless of gender.

Posted by: Jean | April 20, 2006 1:20 PM

Regular Vulcans seem to be sticklers for tradition, even when tradition goes against logic. We've only traditionally seen male/female pairings (and when Vorik has his Pon Farr on Voyager, he goes for the nearest available female) but absence of a counter example doesn't rule one out from existing. There's the hypothetical situation where a male undergoing pon farr only has other males available, but I don't think that's ever happened on the show.

The only examples I can think of where a Vulcan undergoing Pon Farr doesn't mate with a female are: a) Spock in Amok Time, who ISTR shakes it off after he kills Kirk, and b) Tuvok who cheated by mating with a hologram.

The Vulcans in Fusion are atypical, however, and I think it's entirely possible that some of them might be gay. It may even be possible that, as they're openly emotional, they never undergo Pon Farr.

Posted by: Alden Bates | April 20, 2006 2:02 PM

If they don't undergo ponfar does that make them any less than normal vulcans I wonder...

Posted by: korwynn | January 20, 2007 11:25 PM

There are many things to understand about Vulcan culture and behaviors. One thing I would like to say is if Vulcans were to embrace emotion then they would be more like romulans, or even humans.

Also Vulcans rely on logic under conditioning not biology. They are trained and educated to be logical. As far as vulncans being gay it would be possible, but not traditional.. Vulcans have gone against the grain by not following tradition such as Spock joining Starfleet and not the Vulcan Science Academy ( Journey To Bable, TOS).

One thing we can not forget is that Vulcans however are not emotionless ( being void of emotion) but just choose not to express emotion because it is not logical. One Vulcan may fin another vulcan of the same sex attractive but dismiss the idea only because it is not logical.

So it is possible that a vulcan who is gay would have sex during Pon Far with someone of the same sex. Pon far is not about procreation but just the fact that the vulcan needs to act in a sexual way and it does not matter with who.

It has been shown that vulcans show emotion subtley, but this could be because they are only portrayed by humans... In "journey to Bable" one can see Sarek is frustrated with Spock for going against tradition, and in "The Conscience of the King" it is obvious that Spock is frustrated with McCoy when asked to share a drink, Spock lets out a sigh just as if he were annoyed... Annoyance is a human emotion as Spock would say... So logically why would he Sigh?

As said Vulcans have emotion, just not expressed. So it would be Logical that Vulcans could be Gay. The only problem with this is there is no evidence of it, but it is possible. So far in the Star Trek lore there has not been an openly Gay Character, thought it has been hinted in some shows and movies Such as Nemisis.

Until they create another Show or put a gay character, even a Gay vulcan in a new show or in Star Trek XI we can only speculate.

Posted by: Jake | June 7, 2007 6:41 PM

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