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A question of sexual activity in animals.
Posted: 27 August 2008 09:40 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Can anyone tell me, if animals other than humans ,have sex soley for pleasure?I believe that at least mammals have the pleasure response,associated with intercourse,but do animals have intercourse just for the fun of it?
Or,are humans always having sex to reproduce,but we have pyschologically figured out a way to beat the consequences with birth control methods?Have we mentally figured out how to cheat the system.

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Posted: 27 August 2008 11:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I could be wrong, I’m no expert in this area, but I believe that human females are unique among most other species in that fertility occurs with few (if any) external indicators.  I think there is still some debate raging in this area.  Human females also become fertile throughout the year and aren’t tied to seasonal changes, which is something I think is also relatively unique.  So we’ve got a situation where a woman could be fertile at any time throughout the year and the man is probably unable to detect it.

This suggests to me that sexual pleasure for humans is probably the same kind of natural drive animals feel, though I would think human responses would be significantly more complex given our more complex emotional configuration.  The only difference then would be the when, which in the case of a human is all year round vs. many other species that go into heat seasonally.  In this light, it makes sense to have sex “for pleasure” all year round if the goal is reproduction.  Since this “goal” manifests itself in natural urges, it stands to reason that we would feel a sexual drive frequently and perhaps interpret this as an urge to have sex “for pleasure.”

This makes sense to me, but take this with a grain of salt, since I’m only vaguely remembering some articles I read a while back.  It also depends on how we define ‘pleasure’.

On the other hand, I have heard a few myths that dolphins and bonobos are the only other species that have sex “for pleasure,” but as far as I know science hasn’t come through with a solid answer so they remain myths in my book.

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Posted: 28 August 2008 12:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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VYAZMA - 27 August 2008 09:40 PM

Can anyone tell me, if animals other than humans ,have sex soley for pleasure?I believe that at least mammals have the pleasure response,associated with intercourse,but do animals have intercourse just for the fun of it?
Or,are humans always having sex to reproduce,but we have pyschologically figured out a way to beat the consequences with birth control methods?Have we mentally figured out how to cheat the system.

Dolphins and bonobos have sex for enjoyment.

In my opinion the activity among bonobos is the most fascinating.  They are a matriarchial primate and resolve conflict through sex rather than fighting.  They also display homosexuality which dolphins do as well along with many avian species.  They are the species most similar to humans besides Chimpanzees. 

Some paleoanthropologists believe when humans were in female controlled clans, prior to agriculture, that we may have behaved in this fashion.

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Posted: 28 August 2008 05:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Animal sexual behavior for pleasure

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PC

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Posted: 28 August 2008 05:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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VYAZMA - 27 August 2008 09:40 PM

Can anyone tell me, if animals other than humans ,have sex soley for pleasure?I believe that at least mammals have the pleasure response,associated with intercourse,but do animals have intercourse just for the fun of it?
Or,are humans always having sex to reproduce,but we have pyschologically figured out a way to beat the consequences with birth control methods?Have we mentally figured out how to cheat the system.

someone already named the bonobos, and those fools are freaks.

there is also a lizard, the whiptail, here in Texas that reproduces through a form of emaculate conception; its all females, no males. and the females have sex. its believed that the act of sex helps their fertility

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Posted: 28 August 2008 07:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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VYAZMA - 27 August 2008 09:40 PM

Can anyone tell me, if animals other than humans ,have sex soley for pleasure?I believe that at least mammals have the pleasure response,associated with intercourse,but do animals have intercourse just for the fun of it?
Or,are humans always having sex to reproduce,but we have pyschologically figured out a way to beat the consequences with birth control methods?Have we mentally figured out how to cheat the system.

As I recall, a primate species called bonobo has sex quite frequently, apparently just for pleasure. Many people believe this contributes to the relative absence of conflict among this species.

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Posted: 28 August 2008 10:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Clearly, the bonobo’s reputation is well-known. And well-earned!

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Posted: 28 August 2008 10:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I hear that bonobos have no “wars” like chimps do.

While chimps are known to kill each other in attacks against neighboring troops, bonobos settle all disputes (territory, rank, food) through sex. Even the females go at it with each other.

Maybe the hippies had it right - make love, not war!

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Posted: 28 August 2008 10:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Not against each other, but they are VERY hostile to outsiders. They ambush and kill. Then they go back to the sex.

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Posted: 28 August 2008 11:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Oh dear, I was mistaken. I’ll have to revamp my Animal Planet viewing schedule! My ape facts are slipping.

(Although due to my seven-year-old, my dinosaur facts have never been more accurate.)

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Posted: 28 August 2008 03:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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The first problem is using human-defined words for other species, that is, anthropomorphising them.  We have no way of knowing whether they have “pleasure”.  We have to recognize that orgasms/copulation don’t satisfy the other apparent needs of the animal - food (not counting black widows and praying mantises), safety, water, oxygen.  However, procreation is necessary for a species to survive, so it would seem reasonable that a drive to have orgasms and/or to copulate would be built into those who do survive as a species.  And one very effective way of having an orgasm is to copulate. 

Both males and females of those species which are able have been seen to masturbate.  And, has been mentioned many types of orgasmic behavior that doesn’t result in impregnation occur. 

So, although I don’t think we are really justified in saying that animals derive “pleasure” from this activity, I’d be willing to guess that they are getting some equivalent satisfaction.

Brennen could probably offer a much more precise and accurate (albeit verbose) explication. smile

Occam

{How’s that for nitpicking?}

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Posted: 28 August 2008 05:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Well I think Choco is on the right track.The pleasure response,(both intimate contact,ie.petting,kissing and orgasm)I think is built in.
Mating ritual as well is obviously built in.This is for humans and mammals.(obviously other types of animals have sexual behavior,but I’m narrowing it down for simplicity).
Humans,and other mammals find it pleasurable to have sex,or to dance,flirt etc..!The pleasure response is built in to keep the species mating.
So,I think,that every step of the way,while animals and us,are setting up a sexual episode,the sole purpose is to reproduce.For people who dont want the offspring,they use birth control.They have cheated the system built in to them,to reproduce.
I think truth addict stated about the asexual lizards,and there are amphibians who can change there gender,to keep the local population of that species in harmony with their environment,and their own mating needs.Many species kill their offspring after birth for various reasons.
Now,above I stated “cheated”.Don’t take that literally!I think it is really just a rare opportunity to view evolution at work!
I stated some ways above,that animals override that mating/reproduction system.Homosexuality I believe,is viewing evolution at work.
Can homo-sapiens internally sense an overpopulation.Instinctually,deep within that ticking meter of natural selection?
Is it the case that sometimes The “natural selection” is “NO selection” I think so.

[ Edited: 28 August 2008 05:53 PM by VYAZMA ]
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Posted: 28 August 2008 06:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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VYAZMA, that sure is a sensitive subject - and difficult hypothesis to test!

I’ve thought about your idea, and at first guess, I’d say that homosexuality goes back at least thousands of years, long before overpopulation was imminent. I think it’s just more open and accepted these days.

Also, if people were attracted to the same sex for the sole reason of birth control, that would leave us wondering why so many gay couples adopt children, or have their own children through artificial insemination or surrogate mothers.

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Posted: 28 August 2008 06:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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VYAZMA - 27 August 2008 09:40 PM

Can anyone tell me, if animals other than humans ,have sex soley for pleasure?

We refer you to Olivia Judson who does a blog column for the NYT, author of

[ Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation]

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Posted: 28 August 2008 06:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Jules - 28 August 2008 06:08 PM

VYAZMA, that sure is a sensitive subject - and difficult hypothesis to test!

I’ve thought about your idea, and at first guess, I’d say that homosexuality goes back at least thousands of years, long before overpopulation was imminent. I think it’s just more open and accepted these days.

Also, if people were attracted to the same sex for the sole reason of birth control, that would leave us wondering why so many gay couples adopt children, or have their own children through artificial insemination or surrogate mothers.

Jules,it is a sensitive subject.Definitely.I’m refering to over-population on scales smaller than global.I’m glad to see that you thought about it too.It just seems to fit for me.I could be wrong,and will probably be proven so.
In the animal (and human) examples I gave,these were on a set population/square mile type area.(that figure is purely arbitrary)
In other bio-areas the given species might be more in balance,concerning gender ratio,available recources and roaming grounds.
So even thousands of years ago,these criteria could have been met.And remember this is not just a post on human homosexuality,but a bigger picture on these shown behaviors which result in the absence of life,while still having went through the process of reproduction.
Also,surrogate mothers and adoption do not follow the process of natural selection,but rather the process of premeditated selection.

[ Edited: 28 August 2008 07:00 PM by VYAZMA ]
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Posted: 28 August 2008 06:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Jackson - 28 August 2008 06:39 PM
VYAZMA - 27 August 2008 09:40 PM

Can anyone tell me, if animals other than humans ,have sex soley for pleasure?

We refer you to Olivia Judson who does a blog column for the NYT, author of

[url=http://www.readforpleasure.com/2007/07/olivia-judson-dr-tatianas-sex-advice-to.html][ Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All

A quick glance at your link revealed a ribald site festooned with all manner of sexual topics.Seemed like a quasi Dr.Ruth Westheimer site.

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