In the Star Trek: Enterprise episode, "Bounty", we hear the following exchange between T'Pol and Phlox:

PHLOX: You know what's wrong with you?

T'POL: It's not something we discuss with others.

PHLOX: I believe it's time for you to amend that policy. You have my assurance it will remain between us.

T'POL: We call it the pon farr, the cycle of mating.

PHLOX: Have you gone through this before?

T'POL: (shakes head) It's not time.

PHLOX: It's possible the infection acted as a catalyst.

T'POL: What caused it doesn't matter. If I don't mate with a male, Vulcan or otherwise, I'll die.

Script for Star Trek: Enterprise episode, "Bounty"

You can interpret this in one of two ways: she literally needs a male (no matter her orientation), or she's heterosexual.


1 Answer 1


Pon Farr is, at least according to one source, a natural urge to procreate felt by heterosexual Vulcans. We see at least one instance in the EU where a gay male Vulcan is stated not to feel that urge.

"That reminds me... how is your 'friend,' Sotok? Are you and he still together?"

"On and off... at the moment, off, but eventually, on, I would suspect. He is well... much to the annoyance of Father. He still believes that, were it not for my involvement with Sotok, my 'true' nature would have presented itself, and the pon farr urges would have swept me up in their inevitable tide of reproductive drive."

Star Trek - New Frontier 10: Excalibur: Renaissance


"And do you, Slon, have a mate to whom you were driven by pon farr?"
"No." Slon looked down at his empty hands, and it was the first time Burgoyne realized that he wasn't holding a drink. "No ... I do not."
"Well... shouldn't you be due for that?"
"That is ... apparently not going to occur in my case."
"Really? Why not?"
Slon looked at hir steadily. "I have a lack of interest in reproduction that no amount of genetic tradition can overcome."

It stands to reason that this instinctual reproductive urge can only be quelled (at least in any normal manner) by mating repeatedly with someone of the opposite sex. That being said, this being Star Trek we can presumably add the usual caveats about female-looking gender-neutrals, female-looking holograms, etc.

We also don't know whether a lesbian Vulcan would feel the urge to mate with a male. One assumes that if they were interested in having a child, their urge would be to procreate (with a male), regardless of their normally asserted sexual preference.

It follows that a heterosexual Vulcan mating with someone of the same sex would not result in the pon farr being sated, in the same way that Vorik's pon farr was not satisfied with mating with a mate that he found unsuitable. The issue would not apply to a homosexual Vulcan as they wouldn't feel the pon farr in the first place.

  • 7
    There goes my dream of being with T'pol during her Pon farr, in this universe anyway. Whose to say in one of the parallel universes from TNG's Parallel it isn't possible to cure her pon farr that way. +1.
    – user144649
    Commented Sep 4, 2021 at 12:41
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    @QueenSvetlana - "Do not confuse the concept of Vulcan romance with breeding. The pon farr exists to guarantee the perpetuation of our species. But there is no mandate that requires we live in celibacy during the intervening times" - So you and her can go at it like knives in a drawer until her pon farr, then immediately afterwards again.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 4, 2021 at 12:47
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    I literally thought I would have been flagged for my comment! Up vote.
    – user144649
    Commented Sep 4, 2021 at 14:01
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    An alternative explanation, and the one endorsed by "Father," seems to be that involvement with Sotok was sufficient to quell the urge. That would suggest that maybe even homosexual Vulcans could have the pon farr urge to mate, but that finding a satisfying partner sated it before it became apparent.
    – trlkly
    Commented Sep 4, 2021 at 14:11
  • 1
    @trikly - Both characters agree that his father is being illogical though.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 4, 2021 at 15:26

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