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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old April 7 2014, 04:07 AM   #1
Enterprise1701
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Do all half-Vulcans go through pon farr?

I'm assuming that we all have seen or heard about The Original Series episode "Amok Time" which introduced the concept of pon farr and that it even affected half-Vulcans. My question is this: does every half-Vulcan go through pon farr? In the novelverse anyway? Because I can't recall ANY instance of Soleta or T'Ryssa Chen going through pon farr despite what was established by Spock and later continued with Saavik. Is there something I'm missing?
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Old April 7 2014, 04:47 AM   #2
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Re: Do all half-Vulcans go through pon farr?

I think that if you tell T'Ryssa Chen that she's entering a metabolic cycle wherein she must mate or die, she'll just go out on the town, find herself a willing partner or two, and the problem will solve itself. "You call it pon farr, I call it a wild weekend."
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Old April 7 2014, 01:33 PM   #3
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Re: Do all half-Vulcans go through pon farr?

Maybe pon farr is strictly related to the logic and suppressing all emotions. Once every 7 years those emotions have to erupt. T'Ryssa isn't exactly an example of Vulcan stoicism, so she doesn't have to vent.
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Old April 7 2014, 02:02 PM   #4
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Re: Do all half-Vulcans go through pon farr?

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
Maybe pon farr is strictly related to the logic and suppressing all emotions. Once every 7 years those emotions have to erupt.
That's how it was implied to work in "Amok Time," but I'm not sure that makes biological/evolutionary sense. If it were purely a behavioral artifact, there'd be no reason for it to operate on such a predictable schedule.

It might be a mix of nature and nurture, though. The septennial hormonal surge and mating imperative might be a natural part of the biology, but in freely emotive beings, it might not manifest as much more than a mood swing compared to one's normal behavior, and wouldn't carry the stigma it does among modern Vulcans who consider emotion shameful. After all, if the condition can be cured by sex or fighting, then it would be a fairly minor problem for Vulcanoids who are sexually active, openly aggressive, or both. Maybe that's why we never hear about it occurring in Romulans -- they're an aggressive and emotional enough people that maybe they just don't consider it a big deal when it happens. They feel an urge, they go satisfy it, and the urge goes away. Only Vulcans have a problem with it because they resist the urges long enough to let them build up to a dangerous level.

Or rather, it might be a minor (though embarrassing) problem for Vulcans who live with their spouses or near their bondmates and thus have an easy recourse to a solution when it occurs, but a more major problem for Vulcans who, like Spock or Tuvok, are away from home and embarrassed to show emotion in front of their alien crewmates.
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Old April 7 2014, 08:36 PM   #5
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Re: Do all half-Vulcans go through pon farr?

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
Maybe pon farr is strictly related to the logic and suppressing all emotions. Once every 7 years those emotions have to erupt. T'Ryssa isn't exactly an example of Vulcan stoicism, so she doesn't have to vent.
Maybe. But like Christopher said, how can something that occurs regularly every seven years not be genetically predetermined?

Something else I thought of: Soleta was raised in Vulcan society but was never mentioned to be betrothed. So maybe she was determined from an early age to not experience pon farr? Plus, the mirror Soleta was raised in Romulan society and no one ever figured out her half-Vulcan nature for decades.
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Old April 7 2014, 10:06 PM   #6
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Re: Do all half-Vulcans go through pon farr?

Not even all full-blooded Vulcans go through pon farr. Peter David's New Frontier: Excalibur: Renaissance states that homosexual Vulcans to not experience pon farr, and as a restult, do not procreate.
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Old April 7 2014, 10:53 PM   #7
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Re: Do all half-Vulcans go through pon farr?

Enterprise1701 wrote: View Post
Something else I thought of: Soleta was raised in Vulcan society but was never mentioned to be betrothed. So maybe she was determined from an early age to not experience pon farr? Plus, the mirror Soleta was raised in Romulan society and no one ever figured out her half-Vulcan nature for decades.
Well, it makes sense that no one would realize that Soleta is "half-Vulcan," since Vulcans and Romulans cannot plausibly be separate species yet. Less than 2,000 years of separation is just not enough time to speciate.

As for why Soleta was not betrothed -- perhaps she comes from a Vulcan culture that doesn't practice betrothal? Honestly, I'm kind of surprised that a Federation that values individual liberty would tolerate forced marriages.

Markonian wrote: View Post
Not even all full-blooded Vulcans go through pon farr. Peter David's New Frontier: Excalibur: Renaissance states that homosexual Vulcans to not experience pon farr, and as a restult, do not procreate.
Fascinating! One would imagine that Vulcan has its sexual minorities, too.
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Old April 8 2014, 02:05 AM   #8
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Re: Do all half-Vulcans go through pon farr?

Markonian wrote: View Post
Not even all full-blooded Vulcans go through pon farr. Peter David's New Frontier: Excalibur: Renaissance states that homosexual Vulcans to not experience pon farr, and as a restult, do not procreate.
Really? T'Prynn in Vanguard seemed to experience pon farr.
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Old April 8 2014, 02:57 AM   #9
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Re: Do all half-Vulcans go through pon farr?

Enterprise1701 wrote: View Post
Markonian wrote: View Post
Not even all full-blooded Vulcans go through pon farr. Peter David's New Frontier: Excalibur: Renaissance states that homosexual Vulcans to not experience pon farr, and as a restult, do not procreate.
Really? T'Prynn in Vanguard seemed to experience pon farr.
Was T'Prynn experiencing pon farr, or was her unwanted betrothed experiencing pon farr?
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Old April 9 2014, 01:17 PM   #10
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Re: Do all half-Vulcans go through pon farr?

Sci wrote: View Post
Enterprise1701 wrote: View Post
Markonian wrote: View Post
Not even all full-blooded Vulcans go through pon farr. Peter David's New Frontier: Excalibur: Renaissance states that homosexual Vulcans do not experience pon farr, and as a result, do not procreate.
Really? T'Prynn in Vanguard seemed to experience pon farr.
Was T'Prynn experiencing pon farr, or was her unwanted betrothed experiencing pon farr?
Maybe pon farr doesn't affect every Vulcan the same way. Or, only male homoxesuals don't experience it. Or the newer continuity trumps the old one, and we may ignore the notion of non-pon farring homosexuals.

Honestly, Vulcans being spared from pon farr and having no wish to procreate simply by being homosexual leaves a bad aftertaste.
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Old April 9 2014, 01:19 PM   #11
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Re: Do all half-Vulcans go through pon farr?

The idea of homosexual Vulcans not being able to procreate could indeed be interpreted very negatively against Peter David.
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Old April 9 2014, 01:57 PM   #12
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Re: Do all half-Vulcans go through pon farr?

I don't recall the details, but does it say that Vulcan homosexuals don't reproduce or (as I thought it was) simply that they are not driven to pon farr, the mating drive that is orientated to the other sex? Meaning that there is little chance of their procreating unless they choose to produce biological offspring with a member of the opposite sex for that express purpose (since their normal sexual activity is same-sex - and, yes, I know scientific advancement means there's no reason why biological offspring can't be produced artificially for same-sex couples in Trek, which sort of defeats the point, but still). I recall the Vulcan character in question saying that his family were disappointed that he would not be passing on his genes, but was that a statement that "homosexuals don't reproduce" or merely that he had no intent or desire to do so, and since he didn't undergo pon farr he wouldn't be compelled to mate and do so? It was explicitly the "waste" of good genes that his family considered illogical, I believe.
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Old April 9 2014, 11:02 PM   #13
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Re: Do all half-Vulcans go through pon farr?

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
I don't recall the details, but does it say that Vulcan homosexuals don't reproduce or (as I thought it was) simply that they are not driven to pon farr, the mating drive that is orientated to the other sex? Meaning that there is little chance of their procreating unless they choose to produce biological offspring with a member of the opposite sex for that express purpose (since their normal sexual activity is same-sex - and, yes, I know scientific advancement means there's no reason why biological offspring can't be produced artificially for same-sex couples in Trek, which sort of defeats the point, but still). I recall the Vulcan character in question saying that his family were disappointed that he would not be passing on his genes, but was that a statement that "homosexuals don't reproduce" or merely that he had no intent or desire to do so, and since he didn't undergo pon farr he wouldn't be compelled to mate and do so? It was explicitly the "waste" of good genes that his family considered illogical, I believe.
Yeah, I thought so too that the book said homosexual Vulcans don't naturally have children, not that they don't go through pon farr.
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Old April 9 2014, 11:04 PM   #14
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Re: Do all half-Vulcans go through pon farr?

Enterprise1701 wrote: View Post
I thought so too that the book said homosexual Vulcans don't naturally have children
But is that, like, something special to Vulcans? I mean, homosexual humans don't naturally have children, because it takes a female and a male to have children the natural way.
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Old April 9 2014, 11:57 PM   #15
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Re: Do all half-Vulcans go through pon farr?

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Enterprise1701 wrote: View Post
I thought so too that the book said homosexual Vulcans don't naturally have children
But is that, like, something special to Vulcans? I mean, homosexual humans don't naturally have children, because it takes a female and a male to have children the natural way.
It's not special I guess since Vulcan physiology is generally similar to human physiology.
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