Stupid Sex Tricks: In which Christine O’Donnell comes out the loser, AGAIN

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Surprise! Forcing God to kill kittens is good for you. And, if scientists say true, it’s also good for evolution–a concept in which certain devout teabags don’t believe, even as the evidence just keeps piling up that it is real…

The science is straightforward. Whenever a behavior is common in the animal kingdom, biologists suspect it has an adaptive function. That is, the behavior enabled individual animals to survive better and leave more offspring than animals that did not engage in the behavior. As a result, genes for the behavior spread throughout that population until it became essentially ubiquitous. And so it is with autoeroticism, which is common–really common. As the Science in Seconds blog noted this week, what with “spanking the monkey,” “charming the snake,” and “freeing willy,” a remarkable number of the slang terms for pleasuring oneself refer to animals. That reflects reality: the practice has been documented in Japanese macaques, gibbons, baboons, chimps, elephants, dogs, cats, horses, lions, donkeys, “and walruses that manage to flog the bishop with their fins.”

So what’s so evolutionarily adaptive–i.e., good–about playing with oneself? Admittedly, the scientists only looked at males from various species (hey, what are we females–chopped liver? Ugh, don’t answer that.) But their theories are as follows:

  1. Masturbation increases the healthy-sperm count by clearing old, broken wigglers from the male reproductive tract and stimulating the production of fresh young ones;
  2. Masturbation might be a form of advertising (“Hey, ladies, my equipment works!”);
  3. Masturbation might be a form of victory lap (“Woohoo, I just got lucky! Hey, who wants to be next?”);
  4. Masturbation can serve a hygienic function (“I was cleaning my gun when it went off”).

Personally, I rather hope that reasons #2 and 3 don’t apply to humans. I think–no, I know from experience that I’d be creeped out by a guy advertising his services that way. And I think that #4 really just harks back to #1. So, ultimately, this rather sexist list is just two purposes long.

Solitary sex may also serve several other purposes, not mentioned in the article: to prepare a growing adolescent for later sexual activity, helping him/her get acquainted in a safe way with the body and its routes to pleasure. These preferences can later be shared with a partner, improving the experience for both.

And in the case of girls, it can spare them the risk of an unwanted pregnancy or a fertility-killing STD, and increase their sense of autonomy. (“Who needs your bullshit, Jack, I can do this for myself!” Of course, that’s just why Christine was railing about wanking guys. Someone should have told her that sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose!)

Of course, this doesn’t take into account the main reasons why males and females of all species do it most–because they can, and because it feels good. Solo sex is not only as safe as it gets (assuming you’re not into autoerotic asphyxia, of course)–it’s also the most likely to get you off.

And, assuming that there is a God who has a purpose for everything, the question invariably arises: Why would God make a “bad” thing feel so darn good? Unless, of course, that thing isn’t bad after all–in which case, why did God make it so rewarding–and give us arms long enough to reach easily down to there?

Uh oh, I think I just heard someone’s head exploding. Christine, was that you?

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1 Response to Stupid Sex Tricks: In which Christine O’Donnell comes out the loser, AGAIN

  1. Manaat says:

    There’s an old Italian feminist slogan: “Dito, dito, orgasmo guarantito!” (I’ll leave it to you to guess what it means)

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