In the episode “The Search For Spock,” Lt. Saavik has to ease Spock through his accelerated growth which includes at least one Pon Farr segment. Taking place every seven years after maturity, Pon Farr is the time during a Vulcan’s mating cycle when the individual is biologically required to either mate or die (watch “Amok Time” for more information). They have eight days in which to solve their problems, and during that time they are uncharacteristically violent and illogical. On occasion, certain Vulcans, like Spock, have been able to participate in the ritual of Kal-If-Fee instead of taking a mate, solving their imminent death problem, or, on rarer occasions, intensive meditation have staved off the symptoms of NOT mating. Generally, death is a possibility for any Vulcan during Pon Faar. That’s what has sparked the conversation on multiple internet platforms: “How did Saavik help Spock through accelerated Pon Farr if they did not participate in any of the above three options?
Let’s break it down. Spock did not exactly meditate, so that’s probably not the answer. He seemed to be in a slightly trance-like state, however it lacked the element of intentionality that is the hallmark of Vulcan meditation. There was no Kal-If-Fee, BELIEVE ME. You would have known. That leaves the third and most obvious cure for Pon Farr: mating. Most of the audience agrees Spock and Saavik did not have intercourse during their time on the Genesis planet, although that has been argued. How, if they did not mate, did Saavik keep Spock from dying when all they did was touch fingers? There is some discussion as to whether he could have died while he was linked to the planet’s ecological regrowth/maturity. I lean toward the idea that death at that time, even from a common cause among Vulcans, was not available to Spock during regeneration, since any maladies would have been fixed by the regenesis of the planet - - just as death from his blast of radiation in the previous episode had no effect when he reached the planet’s surface.
Another factor to consider is that Saavik and Spock are both half-Vulcan. What if Pon Farr for them is less dangerous than for a full-breed? That is very doubtful. The half-Vulcan’s Vulcan characteristics are not a percentage of their being. They are joint owners with the other breed, exercising an entire interest over the Vulcan equally with the other breed. Spock displays fully Vulcan characteristics while he is paradoxically capable of acting fully human if he so chose (except during Pon Farr... or are humans in a constant state of Farr?). The genetic traits are not percents of his being; they are equal and entire parts of himself. I believe it has nothing to do with their half-breed status.
So, WAS there an intercourse sequence that the cameras missed? Is it really possible that the steamy finger touching was enough? That would be most unusual, but not impossible. You see, the agonies of Pon Farr are what kill the Vulcan, not the Pon Farr itself. Pon Farr is not a death sentence, even if the three common cures are not available. Anyone familiar with Spock can attest to his unusual moral and physical endurance. If any Vulcan were able to survive Pon Farr without aide, it would be him. Toss in a chick with great finger skills and it’s completely conceivable that he made it through without any off-screen spicy action, and no adverse effects.