Well, it’s April 14, and you know what that means: banks are closed and parade routes are being blocked off across America in honor of National Dolphin Day, a holiday that was of course dreamed up by Big Dolphin but a great opportunity to spend some time thinking about Malcolm Brenner nonetheless. Who’s Malcolm Brenner? Well, I can tell you all about that.
In February of last year, I interviewed Brenner, who is most famous for writing the book Wet Goddess, which is about the relationship he had in the ‘70s with a theme park dolphin named Dolly. The relationship on one occasion became sexual, in an encounter that Brenner sees as dolphin-initiated, fully consensual, and magnificently, sincerely erotic.
Brenner has lots of thoughts about zoophilia and the way his preferences are rooted in his childhood history of abuse; in talking to him it was obvious that his love for this dolphin was still paralyzing, and he told me he thought about her every day. Here’s one excerpt from our talk:
How did it feel after [Dolly] touched you? Did you immediately start thinking about initiating a sexual relationship with her?
I felt very embarrassed. I was not comfortable with my own zoosexuality—I didn’t want to be a zoophile. I was trying to do everything I could to avoid this animal, who seemed to know what my secret was. It took her literally about 3 or 4 months to begin to win me over and convince me that she was intellectually pretty much my equal.
And at that point, I had to start asking myself—well, if I have this high of a regard for her, and if this was a woman who was being so forward with me, would I hold out on her? The answer I came up with was, no I wouldn’t. And so I felt my sort of inhibitions just eroding.
Dolly actually changed her courtship tactics through the course of the relationship. At first she was gentle and forward, as you noted, but after that she became very aggressive. She would throw herself on me and rub her vulva against my knees. Any protruding part of my body was fair game for her. She would masturbate on me, essentially. I had to watch out that no one was around to witness this.
What was it like when you were finally had sex with her?
It felt like I was making love with the ocean itself. It felt like, first of all, that I had forgiven myself—gotten over my hesitations about finally giving her what she wanted. When I had that realization, then it just seemed there was this energy surging between us, growing more intense, bringing us both to orgasm. Some scientists say that female animals don’t have orgasms, but I know she did. She vocalized it.
Would you describe this as the greatest intimacy you’ve ever felt with anyone?
Yeah, it stepped right over the species line. The dolphin, I know, was just as aware. She’d had to elude a male dolphin to get to me.
Does it feel lonely to you now that this height of intimacy in your life happened so long ago, and with a dolphin?
Yeah, it does.
If this case interests you, Brenner goes into more detail in the short documentary Dolphin Lover, directed by Joey Daoud and Kareem Tabsch; it’s what prompted last year’s interview, where the CGI rendering at the top of the post came from, and it’s available online in full for the first time now.