Saturday, March 26, 2011
Petulism: Boudicca's Thought For The Day #4 - why so hung up about SEX?
Now, onto the vexed issue of sexuality – this is another instance of humans using terminology referring to us that has a rather judgmental edge – ‘animal passions’, ‘dogging’, ‘doggy-style’, ‘ at it like rabbits’, ‘hung like a horse’, etc etc.
This judgment is also displayed in your approach to animal sexuality itself – scared by our free-wheelin’ approach to making the lurrrve, and with, as ever, one eye to the economic impact, you impose controls on our chances of gettin’ it on.
This is not restricted to owned animals – even those animals happily kicking around in the wild can find themselves whatever-napped by various paramilitary organisations and rendered incapable. But for owned animals it is undoubtedly worse, and economics does seem to be the driver – the systematic snipping of those of us whose offspring won’t make you a mint and could end up being drowned in a sack to save you a few quid on kibble, versus the shameless pimping out of those whose offspring will – ref: stud farms and those crazy dog-breeder people.
In the former case one can draw parallels with the fear particularly of female sexuality that has lead to all manner of unpleasantness in human history, and continues in some frankly horrific practices in certain cultures. In the latter, you’ve got the historical marriage market, particularly at the royal level, and continuing stress on fecundity being a necessary aspect of being a woman, leading to all manner of misery – repudiation, endless IVF cycles (when there are loads of pups and kits available for adoption to a good home).
In broader societal terms, I would just note that while complaints about the noises made by foxy foxes and kinky kitties when they’re just bloody enjoying themselves can get the council involved, such troubles pale in comparison with the experience of trying to get a good night’s sleep when staying in Nottingham town centre of a Friday night. Just saying.
The judgmental thing comes up again in the common argument that homosexuality doesn’t exist ‘in nature’; while this is not directly judgment against animals, it is pretty annoying so I’d just point out three fairly significant errors –
Firstly, that by excluding humanity from ‘nature’ you might be thinking a bit too much of your powers of invention. You still ‘natural’, peeps, even with your clothes on.
Secondly, conversely but not contradictorily, by seeking parallels for human sexuality in animal sexuality you cause yourselves a lot of problems in the argument extrapolation area – let’s face it, does human heterosexuality bear any resemblance to sexuality ‘in nature’? OK, we have ‘displays’, and occasionally a fight breaks out, but I am yet to see two pandas necking a dozen bottles of WKD and then just jumping on each other before finishing the evening propping each other up to the strains of ‘You’re Beautiful’ and then getting kicked out of an illegal minicab for vomming on the upholstery. Come to think of it, given how well pandas normally manage this side of things, they might as well try it, it couldn’t hurt. Anyway.
Thirdly, you’re just plain wrong, there are gay animals all over the place and scientific studies to back it up. Just think of those two penguins at New York zoo who came over all Elton and David and tried to adopt a rock; OK, possibly not the sharpest tools in the box, but they sound like lovely blokes. The penguins, that is. I think.
The basic problem that het humans have with anything different, sex-wise, whether that is getting all offended at their own gay community or frankly a bit too interested in the porny bits in wildlife documentaries, is simple – it’s jealousy. Jealousy based on the fact that human beings can’t lick their own bits. Get over it.