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Surprising Dolphin Sex Facts

by Benjamin Wareing 6 years ago
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Just when you thought you knew it all, we bring you surprising dolphin sex facts.

In the past, I touched on an article about weird animal sex habits within the animal kingdom. Amongst those freaky, odd and downright dirty facts huddled the sexually liberated dolphins – namely the fact that the funky grey sea creatures actually enjoy sex for pleasure, not just for reproduction. Just like us.

Odd, huh? Well, things get weirder when exploring the sexuality of a dolphin. Whilst they maintain one of the highest intellects of any creature in relativity to humans, dolphins maintain their self-expression through many avenues – plenty of which happen to be sexual.

To make this article make slightly more sense (you’ll get what I mean later), here’s some basic dolphin relationship facts:

  • Male dolphins mate at around 9-14 years old, whereas females mate at around 5-13 years old.
  • Sexual intercourse between dolphins enforces emotional bonds, and when stressed or upset, dolphins often reject having sex.
  • Once a male finds a mate, they can be incredibly aggressive about the possession of her. In fact, they are willing to fight to the death and if another dolphin challenges them, the male dolphin will stand-off until one of them leaves due to exhaustion or is defeated.
  • Female dolphins are attracted to the male that is strongest and most dominant within the gang, which often leads to a lot of internal conflicts between the male dolphins.
As dolphins hit the news across the world (for being recorded talking to each other), I feel there’s no better time than to join me as I explore some of the weird and wacky sexual facts that set dolphins apart from any other creature.

A Shared Sexual History

Firstly, as gross as it sounds (trust me, I’m pretty surprised and I’m the dude writing this) humans and dolphins have had a long sexual history. The American author Malcolm Brenner wrote a controversial book titled Wet Goddess based on his sexual relationship whilst living in the Floridaland Park during the 1970s. You heard that one right. Brenner had a sexual relationship with a dolphin in Floridaland, and really wasn’t afraid to write about it for the world to see.

Recent research by Nottingham Trent University, spearheaded by Dr Mark Griffiths, coined the term ‘delphinophiles’ – humans that are sexually attracted to dolphins. Nope, you’re really not imagining this. Yes, there is a scientific word for it. In fact, through their varying studies, the university found that 7 percent of those who identify as zoophiles (humans who are sexually attracted to animals in general) named dolphins as their preferred and ideal choice of mate.

In an equally odd research made, some studies have found evidence that male dolphins could be sexually attracted to female humans as they release similar pheromones to female dolphins. Sorry, ladies!

Great (Gay and Straight) Lovers

Photo by Ron Watkins

Secondly, dolphins are immaculate lovers. So much so that they’ve mastered the art of intercourse. You see, a common human issue is "how long is too long?", or in this case, "how long is too short?" Well, for dolphins, 10 seconds seems just about right. Whilst this quick come-and-go tactic appears pretty timid, especially when considering dolphins can gain pleasure through intercourse, researchers have found a work-around; dolphins can repeat it dozens of times in less than an hour. As the Brazilian university who discovered this noted, “Their love-making can be short-lived.” No shit.

Next on this unique list that is making my search history look shadier than ever, dolphins often use gay sex as a way to find "wingmen." So instead of the human equivalent of bonding over a pint at the local pub, or a game of football, dolphins fuck each other…so they can find someone to fuck. It’s certainly an odd mentality and habit to have, one kindly discovered by Janet Mann, a professor of biology and psychology at Georgetown University. Within her discoveries, she found male bottleneck dolphins were most likely to engage in “same-sex relations” early in life and use these newfound bonds to hunt for females together as they both grow old. That ending is sure romantic, ignoring the copious amounts of gay dolphin sex going on in the same oceans we swim in.

Master Masturbators

What could be next? Well, they have some innovative ways of seeking sexual pleasure. Professor of neuroscience at John Hopkins University, Baltimore, David Linden found that male bottleneck dolphins (go figure) had found, as he put it, “the most creative form of animal masturbation.” Are you ready for this?

Wrapping a live, wriggling eel around its penis. Until it cums. All over the eel.

He proudly published these details in a 2011 book titled Pleasure, which explores creatures’ reactions to different types of “stimulation.” Seriously though, what?! To make this factor all the more nightmarish, recent video has emerged of another dolphin masturbating with a decapitated dead fish. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, the creepily inventive dolphin finds a way.

Dolphins Adopt Gang Culture

Photo by Zefram

Finally, dolphins have a serious gang culture surrounding their finding of, and keeping, sexual partners. Dolphins actually become bisexual during their later life (seriously, is any of this even still surprising anymore?) and as a result, dolphins work in packs, or groups, to restrict the females movements as they await her to become sexually receptive.

How does this work? Well, the "friendly" gang protects the female from being taken by other gangs and this often leads to violent fights, sometimes even sexual in nature, between rivaling groups. If that isn’t true love, I really don’t know what is.

All jokes and weirdly captivating facts aside, most scientists can agree that dolphins are deeply social creatures and actually depend on these constant interactions for everything from hunting and mating to defending themselves and defending the young within their groups. They usually travel in groups of two to 40 dolphins, however some cases have noted over 300 dolphins sharing the same gang. When taking into account all the sexual facts of dolphins given above, that makes for a pretty gross mental image. Please, don’t think about it for that long.

About the author

Benjamin Wareing

Journalist and photographer. News, opinions and politics are my forte. Futuristic dystopian is my kink.

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