Awkward Sex with the Animal Kingdom


Here at A Fantastic Nightmare, we like to keep things educational. Sure, I like to discuss all sorts of fetishes and strange sexual behavior. And you might deem some of these actions as unnatural or perverted. But, have you looked at our fellow four-legged friends in the animals kingdom? Mammals, lizards, insects – they all have sexual lives. While humans continue to differentiate the normal from the depraved, for these critters, it’s just another sexy day in the jungle… or forest… or wherever they roam.

Even domesticated animals heed to pleasure when they feel it, as evident in my previous cat, Muschi.

I don’t remember  if she was spayed at just 1 year old; so I don’t think it was ever an issue. She mostly was discovered sluggishly lying on some soft, plush surface. She loved the dirty couch in the corner of our apartment. It made a wonderful scratching post. Anyway, at the time I was reviewing sex products for Carlin Ross’s website, NewCherryBomb. I received a “pink curl” vibrator. The “pink curl” was about 12 inches long, pink (obviously), and knobbed at the top. When I first tried it, the vibrations took a while to reach the head of the toy; I had to push down hard against my clit just to feel anything remotely sensational, which is frustrating, to say the least. (In retrospect, the battery power was low) Somehow, my roommate and I were in the living room with the “pink curl” and my cat was meandering in the space between me (sitting at the table) and my roommate (who sat on the couch facing the t.v.). Suddenly, my vibrating curl was solidly secured to the base of Muschi’s tail. She tip-toed on her back paws, as posterior had risen into the air. Her tail, too, sprung upward , exposing her little kitty bits. Muschi stayed that way for a few seconds. But, suddenly Muschi turned around, and her blissful demeanor was disrupted by the strange object sitting on her butt. She quickly scurried away, and thus the magic was broken.

It’s not questionable that animals can have sex for pleasure, and can perform pleasurable acts on themselves and on each other. Do they have it better? While they do have breeding habits, they can still enjoy their bodies with great zest. Some of us still have hangups about our sexual exploits. We try desperately to define and analyze our sexual pleasures for the sake of understanding, and for the pursuit of gratification (Of course). For animals, it simply comes naturally. They can only “feel” their desires, rather than define them.

As pointed out by this article from Helium, there is a term coined for the pervasiveness of heterosexuality and its correlation with societal and sexual “normalcy.” Heteronormative thinking can be applied to the animal kingdom as well; because a “large majority” of animals are heterosexual (mostly for reproduction’s sake), the homosexual activity of animals is considered “unique” or “weird.” However, under this context, one must assume that “heterosexuality” in these terms seem correlative to monogamy, and, for many species – including ours – we know that isn’t true. As both the human and animal kingdom may prove, monogamy, polyamory, and the myriad of sexual advances therein are natural responses to social intercourse. But, in the animal kingdom, neither monogamy, polyamory, and the myriad of sexual advances therein are considered normal. Monogamous animal partnerships are not “normal” in comparison to same-sex play or asexuality.

I say this because as we embark on the many sexual classifications in the animal kingdom, the assumption that one is conventional or acceptable over the others is irrelevant. Monogamy is monogamy, asexuality is asexuality, neither of which is presumably “normal.”

Homosexuality

Over 1,500 species indulge in homosexual practices, according to this article by The Medical News. There are various forms of courtship that take place between animals. Some do partake in long-term (but not necessarily lifelong) relationships with one partner at a time. The most famous of this pairing is Roy and Silo, a pair of male chinstrap penguins that were observed hatching a rock. It was evident to observers that they assumed the rock was an egg. So, zookeepers provided the couple with one. Tango, a healthy girl penguin, emerged and Roy and Silo raised her together. Eventually, during their breeding stage, the couple departed and went their separate ways. Such partnerships can also be seen in several types of birds, including ducks. Other species enjoy the fluid nature of their sexuality, pairing both with opposite-sex and same-sex partners.

Male walruses enjoy sexual encounters together during the off-breeding season. But, when the breeding period begins, they return to the female walruses for procreative attempts. Other animals, like the bottle-nosed dolphins, form stronger relationships with partners of the same sex. But, the American bison, and other species, form “bachelor groups”, ones in which male bison form sexual relationships with other males, which includes affectionate nuzzling, mounting, and even penetration.

Asexual

So often do we mention sex (you’d think I’m a freak or something!) that we forget about asexuality. There are species who are asexual and, moreover, the human species has a few of our own. There’s so little we’ve learned about asexuals, as everything we know, love, and hate about sex occupies our minds. For asexual people that are accepting of their identity, they acknowledge that they have a different perception about sexuality. And the waxing and waning of desires could be healthy. asexuality.org has a Q & A section that is fruitful in insightful questions and honest answers.

Certain animals, too, are asexual. In the context of asexuality in this regard, the purpose of sex is purely for reproduction, which will extend their seed for future generations. Mycocepurus smithii gets an A+ for being the first all-female ant species. They have long cloned their own female ants (some of which go on to become Queens), and find sex for reproduction no longer necessary. In fact, when the male ant has somehow captured the fancy of a female, the feminine genitals become interlocked with the male’s sex organ and, as they copulate, the female genitals deteriorate, as described in this article by PopSci.Com.

Sexual Exchange

This may seem natural in the animal kingdom, but, human principality dictates that it is unnatural and, thus, illegal for humans to exchange their sexual goods for cash or compensation. There are some of us who believe that only certain individuals can do that sort of thing, and assumptions can be made that these people do it out of necessity or because “they don’t know any better”. But, where does this inclination come from? Surely, there are religious guilt-trips that catalyze and continue to churn the notion of social and moral consequences that come from being a whore. Patriarchal mores also perpetuate the wrongfulness of prostitution, as the (alleged) majority of sex workers are women. However, this resourceful article from Primates.com reveals that natural selection may be key in establishing habits of harlotry, as they may exchange sex for companionship. In this way, a woman can select a compatible mate for romance (sometimes) and procreation. What the animal kingdom may teach us is that the females in many different species, particularly amongst primates, prove to hold the most power in their group. And they can secure provisions by using the power of sex.

Bonobo chimps, a close relative to homo sapiens, also use their sexuality to receive sustenance from mates. This usually occurs when the female is lower ranked in the group. Primates.com notes a couple of examples of this transaction being made, including one that takes place in the San Diego Zoo.

These primates are particularly known for the their highly significant sexual behavior. The females use sex to form bonds with other females. GG-rubbing involves two or more females rubbing their highly prominent clitorises together, often times to the point of orgasm (Some females ejaculate). Mating also offers variety; to further prove the female the most dominant of the species, she will sometimes mount the male chimp.

About a Duck

The various sexual identities that each animal embodies is endless. I’ve yet to discuss inter-species pairings (I give you… the Liger!) or sexual cannibalism (headless mantises can still mate). But, one particular story still makes my jaw drop every single time I hear it.

In 1995, Kees Moeliker heard a large bang on the glass window of his office building. When the researcher went outside to investigate the abrupt sound, he discovered the common practice of necrophilic rape.

A mallard duck had crashed into his window and plummeted to the snowy ground. Some moments later, another male mallard duck had landed on the corpse’s body and copulated, for an impressive 75 minutes. Kess had hypothesized that the duck flew into his window after trying to escape from a “flight rape” attempt. Unfortunately, his getaway was in vain.

As it states in the article, at least 1 in 10 ducks are homosexual. And the sexual activity in these types of birds are particularly high. Flight rape occurs as a mating strategy for ducks left out of the mating pool without a partner. They peck and bite at a female until she submits. But, sometimes, this aggressive male behavior also occurs mid-flight, when they chase after another male duck.

I understand that rape occurs between a male and female duck in order to secure the birth of his offspring, but why do they assault ducks of the same sex? I have yet to find an answer for this.

So, are our natural responses to sex and pleasure embedded in our DNA, a common thread that is shared amongst all species? Should prostitution (sexual exchange) be as organic for us than it is for the primates? If one were to say yes, then one might take into consideration the “Rape Flight” scenario. Is rape a natural part of human existence, as it is with ducks and birds? Taking all of this into consideration, the only difference between our species and theirs is judgment, an original human characteristic. Male ducks aren’t excluded from the pack after having sex with a corpse; American bison are excluded once they mounted a male counterpart; and female chimps aren’t penalized for selling themselves for sugar cane.

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