This week on Reddit's IAMA ("I am a __") section — a place for people who decide it might be fun to throw themselves to a pit of internet commenters — a woman came out as a lady-who-is-attracted-to-animals. She writes: "I am a female, and find myself sexually attracted to animals." The woman describes herself physically: asian with medium build, 19 and even included a photo. She neatly summed up that whole attraction to animals thing with some bullet points.
- I prefer horned mammals, bison especially, but also goats, ibex, etc.
- My preferred fantasy animal would be a dragon.
- I'm not a furry and don't dress up, but I do find anthros to be attractive.
- I'm still a virgin.
Despite her clear preference for horns, the conversation quickly turned to copulating with dogs — out of "necessity". A commenter asked if she were dog-sitting for a friend, would she try anything? The IAMA initially responded that she would, if the dog showed any interest. You know like "general dog stuff," humping or whatever. "Really, I'd probably just stroke his genital region and see whether he responds ‘positively' to the attention."
She later took this back, but her next thought "And on a somewhat random note, I'm really curious as to what a turtle penis would feel like," remains.
Zoophilia (or bestiality if you're nasty?) is — I think safe to say — considered an act of sexual deviance. Just, you know, one of the worst things human being can do sexually. No big deal. But we have solid reasoning. Animals can't consent, and sex positivity worships at the altar of consent; consent is our idea of what healthy sexuality looks like.
We do know that bestiality has been practiced throughout time. There is Kinsey's droll reporting about farm boys and goats which adds up to basically: Y'know, it happens. And newer studies have started to look at zoophilia as an orientation rather than something the 4-H set do in place of a human female or a warm hot dog bun or whatever.
One case study conducted by psychologists Christoper Earls of University of Montreal and Martin Lalumière of the University of Lethbridge looked at a man who claimed he was only attracted to mares. And sure enough a when hooked up to a penile plethysmograph, it was only horses that excited him sexually. All those other sexy images of humans, chickens, dogs and cows? Nothing. (Jesse Bering wrote this among many other studies with similar findings in a pretty epic story for Scientific American.)
And on an isn't-it-interesting-that-the-IAMA-is-a-lady sidenote, Nancy Friday's infamous 1973 collection of women's sexual fantasies, My Secret Garden, had 23 fantasies that included animals. Out of 190. All of this might ignite a new way of looking at zoophilia, but certainly does not suddenly make sex with animals non-deviant in our culture.
So, it is sort of interesting that back at Reddit, the thread has devolved into warning the woman about copulating with a dog: 1. Because getting into "receiving position" would be hard ("A dog would most likely require doggie-style but a human's rather large butt would seem to get in the way...") and 2. Dog penises (known as the "baby penis of satan") are known to get stuck inside their dog partners.
I agree that toddler-Satan would totally sport a red-rocket...but seriously, is that the only reason she shouldn't do it?
The IAMA Reddit is a space where you can ask questions to people like the guy who grew up in carnival, or woman who used to be a sex worker. And the responses are often pretty harsh. The site has even publicly been called out for its culture of sexism.
And yet strangely, the female bestisexual seems pretty accepted by the Redditors. One commenter says, "I just want to say you have my support. Rock on, freaky girl. We need more people like you." Not to get all Pervy Carrie Bradshaw on you guys, but reading the thread, I couldn't help but wonder: What would the response have been if she were a guy?
Maybe it's because the IAMA poster is a woman that her sexual deviancy is somehow seen as non-threatening. Like one of those tiny soulful-looking chihuahuas — their little barks are just so cute! (Sorry, can't stop with the dog stuff.) If it were a man posting it, my guess is that he would have immediately been seen as a predator and rapist. But which response is right?
Some people will argue that animals don't consent to be hunted or eaten, so having sex with them is okay. But is there is one thing we know about sex, it is that consent, consent, consent is paramount.
Image via kvinoz/Shutterstock.