Friday, March 6, 2009

Making whoopee in the animal kingdom

Sex is good. Every one should be having it. If done correctly -- if it lasts for more than 3 minutes -- it can be quite addicting. Of course, technically, you should be doing it only with members of your species -- males, females, transexuals, transgendereds, and what have you. Dendrophilia (dry humping on trees) isn't sex; you just can't expect the tree to achieve an orgasm just because someone is rubbing himself on its bark. Also, the assumption here is that you do it with living members of the species. Necrophilia is so not cool. No one should be doing it.

Now, if you think our sex lives and habits are totally amazing and worth writing about, you may be surprised to find out that our sexual behavior can be quite conservative compared with that in animal kingdom. We shouldn't really boast about how we can keep it up for 3 hours straight; that doesn't stand up to stick insects, which can do the dirty deed for 10 days straight. This fascinating info can be found in Olivia Judson's brilliant book, Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation.

This very interesting and engaging book is in the form of letters written by animals and sent to Dr. Tatiana, who posts replies that are very fun to read as much as they're truly informative. Judson's take on some of the peculiar sexual habits of selected animals are no-nonsense. You find yourself unconsciously nodding and laughing as you read. Who would've ever thought that some female insects can literally hop from one male to another, collecting sperm and then finally choosing the batch of insect male-juice that she likes?

There's just so many things to learn and ideas to take in when you read this book. Certainly, some of these can be conversational pieces the next time you attend a party and you find yourself in a group that discusses foreplay. Except among humans, foreplay is practically nonexistent in the animal kingdom. It's such a total waste of time and energy. It's either you want to boink someone or not, period. And what about the cuddling and the obligatory cigarette after sex? Bah! Some monkeys would just rather move on to their next mate than stay around and talk about when they'll be seeing each other again. It's the perfect NSA thing -- meet, mate, then meet and mate others. How European. (For the clueless and those who're pretending not to know, NSA means "no strings attached" or, umm, "never say ahloveyou.")

Insect sex (insex?)

Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation debunks certain myths about sex. One of the prevailing ideas that Judson has issues with is the Bateman's principle -- "men are cads, women are saints." Judson finds this thinking wrong for several reasons. Certainly, this principle isn't worth its salt when scientists observe frogs that seem to copulate as if there were no tomorrow. A significant number of female animal species definitely stand a better chance of producing better offspring if they mate with several males of their species. Who says promiscuity is restricted to males? Definitely not some female rabbits who just can't seem to have enough " throbbing carrots" of male rabbits.

Judson does make references to our sexual habits as well. In primates, for instance, the bigger the balls of the male species are, the more promiscuous the females. It's biology pure and simple. If your females are particularly fond of the "bananas that stiffen upon contact," then you should make sure that you can deliver as much of your "banana cream." Compared with other primates, the balls of human males are just average. So, yes, human females are less promiscuous than other primates. The operative word here is "less."

Why you should read this book:
  1. Olivia Judson is a hottie. She has a picture at the title page.
  2. You're way too preoccupied with sex that you just have to read something about it.
  3. You're not getting any.