The 6 Sleaziest Ways Animals Are Mimicking Human Sexuality
We've told you about the creepy ways in which animals are thinking like us, organizing like us and even driving vehicles like us ... but we know what you've been really wondering all along: Are there also disturbing ways in which their sex lives resemble ours?
The answer is yes, unfortunately. Also, you're a pervert.
Spiders Give Back Rubs
The back rub is a strategic tool that allows you to initiate a sexual encounter with your partner without actually having to say the words "Hey, let's bone" (like dogs do, we assume). It's a win-win situation for everyone involved: The girl gets a scientifically proven relaxing treatment that can even cure some actual medical problems, while the dude greatly increases his chances of touching boobie later that night.
Thankfully the incidence rate of a female human devouring her lover is fairly low.
But it's only because we're so evolved and civilized that we've arrived at this ritual, right? Nope -- spiders do it, too. According to researchers, there are a few species of spider that have been observed massaging the backs of their partners before mating. Here's some footage of it, presumably taken from a hidden camera placed by the male spider himself.
If you feel this little guy crawling up your neck, don't worry, it just wants to fuck you.
One of the species that does this is the golden orb-weaver spider, where the male is so small compared to the female that he can actually climb all the way on top of her before putting silk on her back and spreading it around in massage motions. This might sound extremely romantic to you, but it has nothing to do with romance: It's all about survival.
Like we said, the female is way bigger than the male -- this means he has a lot to grab on to, but it also means that if she isn't in the mood for playing around or simply doesn't like the way he's doing it, she will eat him. Um, literally.
We can't tell if he's being eaten or if she just pooped him. Either way, ouch.
So the massages are the male spider's way to make sure the female is as relaxed as possible before even attempting to bump uglies. Sex is dangerous business for these little dudes, but they don't even consider not doing it because, you know ... sex, you guys.
Birds Scare Their Mates to Get Them All Hot and Bothered
The moment scary movies started being played was the moment a teenager brought a date to the theater in the hopes of scaring the shit out of her and making out. From Frankenstein to The Human Centipede, the same basic principle holds true: If you wait until she's all afraid and vulnerable, your chances of getting some action go up considerably. Everyone knows that, and that's the only reason Nightmare on Elm Street movies are still being made.
The latest one was just a series of audio cues on a blank screen, but nobody noticed.
But humans aren't the only ones that take advantage of this effect: Birds are doing the same thing. The splendid fairy-wren, a species from Australia, has basically figured out how to mount the equivalent of a horror movie show in the middle of the forest.
You see, when the male wren hears the call of its predator, the butcherbird (we assume the food chain order is determined exclusively by how badass their names are), they use a special call that, until recently, researchers couldn't figure out the purpose of. Why would the wren intentionally risk giving up its position when its predator is around? The answer, of course, is to get laid.
With a name like "splendid fairy-wren," it needs all the help it can get.
A group of investigators from the University of Chicago proved that female wrens are much more attentive to the male's song when it comes right after the predator's call, as opposed to when there's no danger around. It's like yelling "FIRE" in a crowded theater and taking advantage of the fact that everyone's paying attention to cut in and quickly say what you have to say (in this case, "I'll be right here if anyone wants some sex"). Or actually, since the predators that the birds are dealing with are real, it's like starting an actual fire in a theater and then pointing at your crotch as people run for the exit.
It doesn't work. Just take our word for it.
There's more. The researchers also found that the age or health of the bird made no difference whatsoever: All male wrens were as likely to use the special call, even if they stood absolutely no chances against the butcherbird. According to the experts, this could mean that the wren only places the call when it knows that the butcherbird is not out hunting, just strolling about. Nobody's in any real danger, but just the fact that a predator is close presumably gets the female wrens' blood pumping ... and that's when the male nonchalantly stretches his arm over to her seat and tries to grope some sideboob.
Animals Can Have Fetishes and Sex Toys
There are few things in the world that man has not, at some point, managed to use for sexual pleasure -- but that's only a testament to our endless creativity. It's our inventiveness that makes us human, after all, and the long list of sometimes hilariously impractical fetishes we've accumulated over the ages are a prime example of that.
If that's the case, then some animals may be more human than we think. Turns out apes and dolphins aren't just some of the smartest species in the animal kingdom, they're also the nastiest.
Not with each other, though (as far as we know).
Chimpanzees are known for being pretty good at making and using tools, and it just so happens that some of those tools are for wanking. Female orangutans, for example, actually make their own instruments of sexual pleasure: As Petter Boeckman of the Norwegian Natural History Museum delicately put it, they "make dildos out of wood and bark."
They're also capable of having fetishes, apparently. Take Gabriel, a chimp at the Southwest National Research Center, who has developed an unusual attraction for shoes. According to witnesses, Gabriel masturbated "obsessively by rubbing his caretaker's leather boot."
Gorillas, in contrast, have a thing for latex.
But when it comes to fetishistic and humanlike freaky behavior, nothing beats the dolphin. These aquatic nymphomaniacs may look pretty wholesome, but they're actually prone to engaging in such activities as orgies and oral sex. Blow jobs are pretty common among many species, but dolphins turn it into an art form. A dolphin will get close to another's nether regions and make "low-pitched buzzing clicks" in a way that researchers say the dolphins find pleasurable. He's basically acting like a giant vibrator.
Even among dolphins, there are perverts who stand out: The Amazonian river dolphin seemingly fetishizes every hole and body part, including the nostrils. It's not that they can't figure out what hole to stick it in -- it's that they definitely enjoy fucking around like this as an alternative to traditional sex. What could be more human than that?
This dolphin is fucking peeing on itself to get off. Just like humans.
Birds Pimp Their Bachelor Pads
A pimped-out bachelor pad is basically an expensive way of saying "I enjoy sex with ladies." Red furniture, purple curtains, a mirror above the bed -- these items are all intended to convey the message that the guy who owns the apartment is open to the possibility of intercourse with a lady. Because, you know, men usually aren't.
Most animals aren't this sophisticated. Hell, most animals just piss on the ground and call it their home. We said "most," however, because there's one notable exception: the male bowerbird, a bird that specializes in turning its nest into a funky sex shrine.
There's actually a hot tub in there.
First, the bowerbirds will take weeks gathering stuff to decorate their new bower: Anything from rocks, berries and leaves to Coke cans, potato chip bags and discarded CDs can work. But they don't just randomly throw that shit together -- they actually take their sweet time arranging the various elements in the way most likely to attract lady bowerbirds. They are experts at turning any empty patch of dirt into a pussy magnet.
Sometimes they're not very subtle.
Bowerbirds clearly have a knack for interior decoration, but that doesn't mean they're pansies: They're highly competitive and will engage in some serious cockblocking by messing up their competitors' nests or stealing their decorations. They are also unusually intelligent, as evidenced by the fact that they actually arrange their bowers in such a way that they make themselves appear bigger (a technique every bachelor with a shaved crotch is familiar with). Bowerbirds will also kill small critters such as beetles to use them as bling, making them the only animal besides pretentious humans who will kill another animal solely for decorative purposes.
You'd think that after going through all that trouble to build these nests they'd actually live there, but nope, they use them exclusively for boning -- that's how devoted they are to their bachelor lifestyle. Not only that, once the place has fulfilled its purpose, they'll bail out on their one-night stand and leave her to raise their chicks alone.
Phil? ... Phil?
Lots of Animals Can Be Homosexual (Not Just Penguins)
A few years ago, two male penguins from the Central Park Zoo made headlines by showing no interest whatsoever in mating with females and showing a lot of interest in mating with each other (also, doing just that). We learned, in what must have been the slowest news week in history, that the couple had become inseparable and that they even adopted a young penguin and raised it together. But then again, if this was news, that's because animals being gay isn't something that happens every day, right?
Gay sex may be a controversial topic for humans, but for the animal kingdom it's pretty much old hat. Homosexual activity has been observed in 1,500 species and is likely present in many, many more. These species range from turtles to bears to dogs to whales -- bonobo apes, for example, are largely bisexual. For once, heterosexuals are the ones who have trouble fitting in.
But animals are pretty dumb, you might say -- are they intentionally choosing partners of the same sex, or simply humping the closest thing they can find?
Nope, they definitely know what they like. For example, in one experiment in sheep sexuality, scientists placed a male ram in the vicinity of male and female sheep that had been deprived of sex (read: extremely horny). The ram had a ready and willing female standing right there ... and in 8 percent of the cases, he chose the sexual partner with a dong. That's right: According to this study, sheep are homosexual in at least as large a percentage as humans (about 8 percent for the animals, versus 8 percent of Americans who admit they've at least experimented).
Most sheep said it was just that one time in college.
But what if it's just a case of a species not having enough females to go around and the males turning prison gay until more show up? There's at least one species that proves that theory wrong: giraffes. You see, male giraffes have been observed having sex with other males even though 60 percent of giraffes are female. If a giraffe can't find a female to mate with it's probably because, like the gay penguins, they're simply not interested.
And speaking of the penguins, they're also not the only species that practices gay adoption. Plenty of animals do, though they're much more dickish about it. Some male black swans, for example, will woo and impregnate a female, secretly hating it all the way, then chase her away as soon as she lays the egg and hatch it with their gay lover. So that's another thing animals have in common with humans: Sometimes they can be real assholes, too.
Male Spiders Use Deception to Get Laid
Common sense tells us that man is unique in nature in that he's the only animal who occasionally has to pretend to have a better job/a better car/no sexually transmitted diseases in order to mate. We've never seen a horse at a party pretending to be Bono's nephew so he can get laid. In fact, we've never seen a horse at a party.
However, it turns out douchebaggery isn't a human-exclusive trait. Apparently, spiders lie for sex, too.
"Oh, yeah, I'm totally not a spider. Yep, a human being, that's me, I have a 401(k) and eat gross human food. Let's do it."
More specifically, the nursery web spider does. A group of scientists who apparently watch horrifying creatures fucking for a living noticed that the sex lives of this type of spider were a little too humanlike for our comfort, starting with the fact that the males actually seduce the females by giving them gifts. When it feels like getting some, the male will take a dead fly or some other tasty treat, wrap it in silk and present it to the female as a gift. While the female is unwrapping her food, the male, wasting no time, will climb on top of her for some adult fun time.
But that's not the disturbing part. The scientists also found out that some of the male spiders would wrap up some garbage in their silk, then present it to a female as if it were a real gift. At this point the male has to try to get his business done as fast possible, because as soon as the female unwraps her (possibly literal) shit sandwich, she'll realize she's been duped and kick him out.
Spiders are also the second species to invent the roofie.
Mind you, all of this was observed in a laboratory under controlled conditions, but it still proves that spiders can be just as manipulative as us -- not to mention cheap. Seriously, was a dead fly really that expensive, buddy?
Many thanks to Kristi Harrison for contributing her uncommon knowledge of spider sex. You can visit Eddie's website here and watch his newest short film here.
For more ways animal shame humans, check out The 9 Most Mind-blowing Disguises in the Animal Kingdom and 6 Modern Technologies Animals Invented Millions of Years Ago/a>.