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Sex in the Animal Kingdom or Are Humans the Sexiest of All Species?


Let me be honest. I see no option but to turn to the subject of sex (what else?) to increase readership. Previous attempts at humour, religion, politics, birding, nature and what have you, have met with little success. So as politics is to the scoundrel, sex is to the writer–the last refuge. My research shows that there are many more experts on human sexuality than animal sexuality. As we all know, animals do not write about their sex lives (or anything else for that matter), so let me try to help.

Well now that you know the raison d’être for this piece, let’s start with the obvious. What exactly does being the sexiest mean? Quantity, quality, sexual prowess, technique, chemistry? Perhaps a combination of them all?

The progress of scientific research has always posed a challenge to conventional wisdom. For example, we have believed forever and a day, that animals have sex just for the sake of species propagation. New research shows that animals engage in sexual behaviour that at the very least rivals that of human beings.

Courtesy Nathan Myhrvold

Courtesy Nathan Myhrvold

How Often Do You Do It?

When the lioness is ovulating, the king of beasts may respond by having sex around 200 times in 2 to 3 days. That is an average of one orgasm every 15 to 20 minutes. All quickies, as he lasts just a minute. A serial premature ejaculator, one could say. But who am I to pass judgment ? The lioness seems quite happy. Certainly seems a case of quantity over quality, though. During this period, they do not eat or hunt. They do have to slake their thirst however, the lion having to keep one eye on the lioness, just to ensure a competitor doesn't lap her up while he’s lapping up the water.


Are You Compelled to Engage in Death-defying Sex?

I recall a Marcello Mastroianni movie in which he feels aroused only in dangerous situations. With the result we see him balancing precariously on balcony ledges and doing other death-defying feats before being able to consummate his love.


Marcello Mastroianni - one of World Cinema's Great Lovers

In the animal world, some of the species that defy death in order to mate are dragon lizards, toads, and sometimes black widow spiders.

The Lake Eyre Dragon Lizard

At the website, you will find a delightful article (delightful that is, unless you happen to be a female dragon lizard, in which case you may beg to differ) on the sexual antics of the male. It seems he gets this insurmountable urge to bite her neck before indulging in sex. He has to be careful not to get over-excited as he can pierce her spinal cord, possibly causing her death in flagrante delicto. Sure human beings exchange love bites around the sensitive neck area, but I doubt whether any bites, including those of Dracula, have ever caused spinal damage.

Madam Lizard - Bright Side Up

Images courtesy Devi Melan Stuart-Fox

Images courtesy Devi Melan Stuart-Fox

Interestingly, the female can feign a headache and evade unwanted sex by simply flipping over onto her back whereby she cannot be violated. The only risk being that her bright-orange belly may attract predators. Screwed if she does, screwed if she does'nt.


Toad trying amplexus on finger



Toadying Up

Like many animal species, male toads mount from behind–the rear entry position. In some situations, several males may climb on together, possibly mistaking the proceedings for a mountaineering expedition. This, in scientific terminology, is called multiple amplexus. I’m not too sure the female is impressed by the jargon, though because this sometimes results in her being drowned. How many unhappy, widower toads would that leave? No wonder male toads croak so much. If she survives, the young tadpole offspring would be from several fathers. Wonder who they wish on Father’s Day.

Multiple Amplexus in Common Indian Toad



Little Miss Muffet’s Spider

Everyone has heard of the black widow spider and how the male risks his life to pass on his genes. But there is good news for the male. Research shows the female will mate, then kill and eat the male, only occasionally. No idea what the odds are like. Perhaps it is the poor performers who cop it. Who knows? It could also be a case of if you can't make her come, you're gone.

If you want the gory details, the female turns her former lover into liquid by injecting digestive enzymes into the dead male and then sucking the goo. Gooood Lord!

More Than One

This fact may surprise you as it did me, but there are animals with multiple penises. Our friend the Lake Eyre dragon lizard is quite a star performer in this drama. As if being a potential sexual killer isn't enough, he also has two penises to make a double whammy. Sharks have two, too. Flatworms have them in dozens with the result they often bite each others’ off with very little ill-feeling. What’s a penis or two between friends?

The jury is still out though, on whether having more than one penis is good news or not.

The Long and Short of It

Ever since Adam discovered his appendage thanks to the naughty things he did with Eve, the penis has fascinated men (and hopefully women). In the animal kingdom, the biggest penis belongs to the Blue Whale, the current champion being an 8-foot long one. No wonder Captain Ahab behaved the way he did. It is now clear that Moby's Dick was responsible for all the harpoons being flung around! Females are believed to convey by whale song, “I’m having a whale of a time”, while cavorting with males in the ocean.

In relation to body size however, the humble barnacle (a relative of the crab and such like) is the clear winner with a penis that grows eight times its body size. No reason for him to be crabby, I guess. At the other end of the scale is the common shrew, whose penis measures just 0.2 inches--when erect that is. No wonder then that their behaviour is shrewish all the time.

Another interesting fact is that most birds do not have penises. But there is one bird that has a penis shaped like a corkscrew, the longest recorded being a 17 inch whopper. This is the Argentine lake duck. So the next time you can’t find the wine bottle opener, you know where to go–South America.

Deer Me

To Bonobo or not to Bonobo



New York, New York

There is an exhibition at the Museum of Sex in New York, which has sculptures of animals engaging in group sex, masturbation, prostitution and other sexual behaviours. The purpose of the exhibition is to show that animals also enjoy sex for pleasure.

Some recorded observations:

• Red-sided garter snakes engage in orgies.

• More than 470 animal species indulge in homosexual behavior.

• Female bean weevils mate just so that they can drink the male ejaculate to wet their parched throats. Cheers to that.

• The Bonobo chimpanzee is known to be the closest relative of the human sharing more than 98% of the genetic profile. Bonobos engage in sex acts so often and with such variety and partner combinations, that Casanova would have been happy taking lessons from the Bonobos. In fact, Bonobos have sex with virtually all group members except perhaps close relatives, though some reports speak of sex among mothers and mature sons (shades of Oedipus).

So Who Wins?

In order to decide whether humans win or animals, here is a set of questions:

Do you know of anyone who has had 200 orgasms in 2 days?

Has anyone you know turned into liquid after sex?

Ever seen a man with a penis shaped like a corkscrew?

Ever seen a six-foot tall man with a 48 foot long penis?

Ever met a woman who refused intercourse from the rear, then turned over to reveal an orange belly?

If your answer to all five is no, I’m afraid the animals win. Hands down or belly up.

In Gratitude

With grateful thanks to Sally's Trove for lending her critical eye and considerable knowledge to improve this hub.


Hariom from INDIA (Haryana) SAMPLA on May 07, 2013:

Good hub. deep study. AlasI have the power of lion.I feel jealous with lion.

I personally see monkey.They enjoy a lot.

sabu singh (author) on February 19, 2011:

Thank you Peter. As to why I am being penalised with no adverts (not that it matters though), let's just put it down to one of life's many mysteries LOL.

Peter Dickinson from South East Asia on February 18, 2011:

I came to this article via a video on Bonobo's. I am glad I did. Light hearted and fun. Much enjoyed. For the life of me I don't know why you are penalised by having no adverts.

sabu singh (author) on February 17, 2011:

Glad I managed to tickle your funny bone Deepa. Thank you for reading.

Deepa Mohan on February 17, 2011:

When erudition is laced with humour, the result is very enjoyable (perhaps bad choice of words?)... Thank you.

sabu singh (author) on November 08, 2010:

Thanks Baileybear. Perhaps the solution lies in crossing the Giant Panda with the Blue Whale lol.

Baileybear on November 07, 2010:

Apparently the Giant Panda isn't very well endowed - a penis that is only around 6cm long, so my husband tells me (after watching a documentary). The Panda is only in heat for 2 days a year - no wonder they are on the verge of extinction!

sabu singh (author) on November 07, 2010:

Thank you for your comments Baileybear and for adding to my knowledge. look forward to reading your Hub on Evolution.

Baileybear on November 07, 2010:

cleverly written - will link to my hub about evolution (I mentioned about bonobos)

sabu singh (author) on January 10, 2010:

Thank you Jackysingh. Glad you liked it.

sabu singh (author) on January 10, 2010:

Thank you Jackysingh. Glad you liked it.

jackysingh on December 18, 2009:

Great hub. i like

Jyoti Kothari from Jaipur on October 18, 2009:

Excelent hub.

Chosen for Hubbers India.


Jyoti Kothari

sabu singh (author) on August 10, 2009:

Thanks Simplyjo. Glad you enjoyed it. You may like Flirtations ____ also, should you find the time to read it.

simplyjo on August 10, 2009:

Great hub. Fun to read - You were right about readership going up just at the mere mention of the 3 letter word = SEX ;) Well done !

sabu singh (author) on July 23, 2009:

Thank you sbeakr. Glad you liked the hub.

sbeakr on July 23, 2009:

Fantastic and fun, and a good reference when I get to tell someone 'ha! told you so!'....Loved it!

sabu singh (author) on July 22, 2009:

I am glad you both enjoyed the Hub, Sharing Insight and Mike. I thoroughly enjoyed putting it together. I am grateful for your comments.

mike on July 22, 2009:

nice article, i enjoy it when i read.

Sharing Insight on July 22, 2009:

Great Read...fascinating, witty, as an animal lover made me smile really big :)) Thanks!!

P.S. I think you were spot on to have resorted to a sexual topic. Brilliantly done.


sabu singh (author) on July 21, 2009:

I guess turning into liquid for a while is quite ok Cindy, just as long as one reverts back to solid state and no digestive enzymes are being injected. LOL.

Thanks for reading

sabu singh (author) on July 21, 2009:

Thank you for your kind words, Connie. I'm glad you enjoyed this piece.

Cindy Vine from Cape Town on July 21, 2009:

I'm afraid that after very good sex I do feel like I am melting. Does that mean I'm turning into a liquid?

Connie Smith from Tampa Bay, Florida on July 21, 2009:

Thank you for sending me the link to this page, Sabu. I enjoyed the article, but what I noticed more than anything is how well it was written and researched. Very nice work! I look forward to reading more.

sabu singh (author) on July 15, 2009:

Well titillation is part of the deal, isn't it?

Glad you enjoyed it.

Have you joined hubpages yet Jaya?

Jaya on July 15, 2009:

You are so clever! You made me read through some real serious stuff by just appending a tittilating title. You should write school books Sabu Sir. You may get a noble prize for getting our children hooked to their book...look fwd to your hubs now...

sabu singh (author) on July 13, 2009:

Thanks Ravi. The girth vs depth one is definitely on in a future hub. Glad you enjoyed it.

Ravi on July 13, 2009:

Great read--comforting as well. Size matters but I guess those less well endowed can take comfort from knowing that with some imagination and dexterity the outcome for the partner may be equally satisfying.The animal world seems to suggest, the sky is the limit as far as options go, to truly achieve nirvana.

Perhaps for your piece you could research on the eternal question of girth versus depth.

Thanks for some elevating moments---in more ways than one.

sabu singh (author) on July 06, 2009:

Thanks for reading Mark

mark gallarde on July 05, 2009:

it's funny and i like it.

sabu singh (author) on July 03, 2009:

Thank you for the comments. Glad you enjoyed this hub lovemyself

lovemyself on July 03, 2009:

Very interesting!

Your research is relatively rare in this area.

sabu singh (author) on July 03, 2009:

Glad you enjoyed this hub, L Robbins. Perhaps you will find the time to read some other hubs of mine on nature - Mimicking Nature and What I Have Learnt From Birds. You may also find Flirtations with the _____ a bit funny

Thanks for reading

Laurel from Germany on July 02, 2009:

Great article! Well researched and entertaining. I guess you're right, sex sells, it certainly caught my attention.

Josh Hardspace from US on July 02, 2009:

I haven't turned into a liquid, but I've certainly been gooey.

Josh Hardspace from US on July 01, 2009:

I haven't turned into a liquid, but I've certainly been gooey.

sabu singh (author) on July 01, 2009:

Thanks for reading Keep walking and Josh. As I mentioned in the hub, gooood lord if you are gooey Haha

Josh Hardspace from US on July 01, 2009:

I haven't turned into a liquid, but I've certainly been gooey.

keep walking from ChangChun on July 01, 2009:

Your hub is interesting!

sabu singh (author) on June 29, 2009:

Guess I would agree with you. And if you read Taoism, the orgasm is nothing to write home about. The subject of a future hub

trish1048 on June 29, 2009:

Hmmm, no, not in my lifetime LOL.

sabu singh (author) on June 29, 2009:

Or orgasmus, if it a is huge orgasm or orgasmus maximus - this gets funnier and funnier.

And is the ultimate pleasure something worth dying for?

trish1048 on June 29, 2009:

LOL, no, I don't think so. Perhaps orgasmi? Really, I have no idea! :)

sabu singh (author) on June 29, 2009:

Thanks for your nice comment Trish. I am so glad you enjoyed it. I certainly did researching and writing it.

If multiple penises are peni, can multiple orgasms become multipli?

trish1048 on June 29, 2009:

Sabu! This was wonderful! You had me laughing here with my first cup of coffee (which I almost choked on) LOL. Plenty of food for thought here,,multiple penises, or, is that peni? multiple orgasms? It's a shame that a lot of these creatures have to give up their lives for the ultimate pleasure :)

Thanks for sharing this very informative story!

sabu singh (author) on June 26, 2009:

Thank you so much ST for your help and encouragement. It means a lot to have you appreciate the final outcome. Glad you enjoyed it

Sherri from Southeastern Pennsylvania on June 26, 2009:

Way to go, Sabu! Great research on a fascinating topic, and funny to boot. Thanks for the nice mention. I'm glad I could be of help. Thumbs up!

sabu singh (author) on June 26, 2009:

I guess what you say is the most important thing Jaspal. Thanks for reading

Jaspal from New Delhi, India on June 26, 2009:

Good one Sabu! Never mind the result of your quiz, my partner(s) and I have been quite happy with the God given equipment and performance. More opportunity, of course, would help .... maybe that could be the subject of your next hub! :p

sabu singh (author) on June 25, 2009:

Thanks FP and Shalini. Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed researching and writing it

Shalini Kagal from India on June 25, 2009:

Absolutely! You're right - the animals win hands down!

Feline Prophet on June 25, 2009:

With a title like that, you could have got away with a less well researched piece! :P

Well done Sabu!

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