Mating Habits

When bees mate, several males fly after the queen.  They fuck her until their tiny bee-dicks drop off inside of her, and then they die.

Meanwhile, the queen flies off with eight or nine semen-pumping penises embedded in her hoo-hah, filling her up to lay thousands of eggs.


Bonobos hang upside down and fence with their penises.  Sometimes, to reconcile after a fight, they stand back-to-back and smoosh ballsacks.


Female giraffes in estrus pee in their suitors’ mouths.  The suitors swig the urine around like wine, determining if this is a fresh and fuckable beast, and if that works for them then they hump the shit out of her.


Male bowerbirds attract mates by obsessively making large art-like things out of colored pebbles and feathers and sticks, and go apeshit if you move a pebble.  The only time they move away from their hipster art project is to go knock over a couple of pebbles in their rivals’ etchings.


Bedbugs don’t have a vagina; instead, the males punch a hole straight through the carapace in their stomach to ejaculate directly into their lovers’ body cavity….

Okay, you’re probably getting a little sick of the animal kingdom here.  But my point is this:

Is being gay natural?

Is being polyamorous natural?

Who gives a flying whoopdoodle?

Frankly, the animal kingdom is full of freaky bugs doing freaky things, and I could give a crap if a bunch of penguins happen to share my bedbound tendencies.  The very point of being a human is that we get to do all sorts of things that animals don’t do – I know of no animals that start franchises, for example.   There are very few animals that direct films.  Only a precious handful of Golden Retrievers have built a spaceship to fly to the moon.

What matters most is, “Is this hurting anyone against their will?”  Which is why I’m down on, say, nonconsensual sex – which there is a lot of in the animal kingdom, by the way, and if Donald Duck were portrayed even slightly accurately he’d be a quacking rapist – or trying to have sex with living things that can’t say “yes” in a well-thought-out manner, such as drunk people or children or ducks.

I do not get the idea that if we can find evidence of this in nature, then it’s gotta be okay for us.  Nature doesn’t give a crap, guys.  Nature is where you run in the woods until you get weak enough that something eats you.  If anything, if we can find evidence that our freaky sex isn’t in nature, then maybe that’s better.

In the meantime, sure, there’s probably a gay cockatiel or a polyamorous woodlouse or a cross-dressing zebra out there.  That’s great. Don’t cite them as evidence, unless you feel like running out into the backyard to have a penis-war with your neighbor and then bump your girlfriend’s flank until she pees on you.  The main benefit of being a homo sapiens is that we occasionally get to short-circuit all of our hard-wired instincts and do something amazingly different.

3 Comments

  1. Chad Miller
    Mar 25, 2014

    I agree with you completely. That said, here is why I think this argument is so popular:

    A lot of the arguments against various behaviors, particularly those regarding consensual sex, is that they are “sins” according to some set of religious beliefs. Implicitly tied up in that idea is that it’s okay to punish or prohibit sins because such behaviors are an undesirable, avoidable property of the sinner.

    The attempt to classify such behaviors as “natural” acts as a way to trigger cognitive dissonance in such people. If you think homosexuality is a sin, and simultaneously believe that it’s genetically driven, then you must believe that God condemns people for having impulses God programmed them to have. This is so unpalatable to most people that something has to give.

    Incidentally, I recently read an interesting article about bisexual people and the frictions they sometimes encounter with the gay community at large. One source of said friction was this exact argument:

    Rieger’s suggestion did throw me for a momentary loop. Might I actually be bisexual? Have I been so wedded to my gay identity — one I adopted in college and announced with great fanfare to family and friends — that I haven’t allowed myself to experience another part of myself? In some ways, even asking those questions is anathema to many gays and lesbians. That kind of publicly shared uncertainty is catnip to the Christian Right and to the scientifically dubious, psychologically damaging ex-gay movement it helped spawn. As out gay men and lesbians, after all, we’re supposed to be sure — we’re supposed to be “born this way.” It’s a politically important position (one that’s helping us achieve marriage equality and other rights), but it leaves little space for out gay men to muddy the waters with talk of Kinsey 4s and 5s.

  2. CodeofScience
    Apr 1, 2014

    Nature can inform our understanding of human sexuality because we are part of the natural world. For example, scientists have discovered a correlation between testicle size and the degree of sperm competition in a species. We can use that information to draw conclusions about the degree of sperm competition during human evolution and potentially say something about our own behavior.

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