Animal instincts

The birds and the bees about doing it how they do on the Discovery Channel

The story of the birds and the bees never gets old and doesn’t look to outlive us any time soon. But what is it about sex that makes people so animalistic? It seems that, as humans, sex is most pleasurable when we embrace our wild side. From “sex kittens” to “Playboy bunnies,” animals have made their way as objects in the bedroom. The following examples of animal sexual behaviors may be extremely uncomfortable to read, but they just may be beneficial to releasing your animal instincts in the bedroom. Why should the birds and the bees get to have all the fun?

Imagine having a penis that’s about eight times the size of your body. The barnacle is a very fortunate crustacean. It attaches itself to any surface it chooses — oftentimes, a rock or whale. However, because of its stationary lifestyle, in order to reproduce, it must have a penis long enough to reach out to a nearby mate. So, every time you hear SpongeBob SquarePants curse out “barnacles,” just remember that this is no animal to belittle.

Did an angry violent woman who might strangle you to death and then eat you ever turn you on? According to the New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research article, “First encounter with a live male blanket octopus: the world’s most sexually size-dimorphic large animal,” a variety of male octopi have a third arm called the hectocotylus, which is actually the male’s penis. During sex with the female, the male will pass the hectocotylus into the female’s cavity. In order to do this, the arm must first be severed, and the male does not generally survive. The hectocotylus is left in the female’s cavity to be used for reproduction.

Thinking about BDSM yet? According to biologist Carin Bondar in the 16th episode of her web show, “Wild Sex,” appropriately titled “Fifty Shades of BDSM,” the Golden Orb Spider will actually “bind up his female mate after sex.” Bondar also discusses that tigers enjoy pain in sex in her video, “F*&# Like Rabbits.” The male tiger’s penis is extremely sharp and spikey, and it stabs the female’s vagina during sex in order to kick-start ovulation, in addition to scraping out semen from previous partners. However, this painful method isn’t necessarily forced upon the female cat. When a female goes into heat, she will continue to want sex until her heating period is over, even after mating once. In the meantime, she will have multiple partners, who may all end up as fathers for the same litter. Humans clearly aren’t the only species who enjoy getting a bit risqué with their partners.

So, why do humans enjoy pain during lovemaking at all? Some claim it’s foreplay. However, like other animals, some people prefer another famous type of foreplay: oral sex. According to the 2009 study, “Fellatio by Fruit Bats Prolongs Copulation Time,” scientists found that fruit bats engaged in oral sex and that by doing this, the bats ended up having sex for longer periods of time.

Dolphins and monkeys are actually known to be few of the mammals other than humans that engage in sex on a regular basis, instead of just for reproduction. Several months ago, the BBC explained ethologist Jonathan Balcombe’s theory in an article, “Do Animals Have Sex for Pleasure?”: Reproduction is essential to an animal’s purpose, and reproducing has evolved to be more pleasurable as an activity.

Sexual virtue tends to be a touchy subject among humans. Some dictate that sex is ultimately founded in love. Though science has yet to prove whether animals actually love, the ability to mate for life has been observed only in humans and very few other species. Wolves, however, not only mate for life, but they also keep their offspring in their packs. Some even suggest that monogamous swans created the popular heart-shaped symbol by leaning their foreheads together.

Whether for reproduction, love or pleasure, the animal kingdom has given humanity an interesting perspective on sexual activity.

Bloodhound Gang’s lyrics say it best: “You and me baby ain’t nothin’ but mammals. So, let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.”

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