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Spanking the Monkey

October 4, 2010

Torah Kachur

Charming the Snake.  Choking the Chicken.  Freeing Willy.  The amount of slang for masturbation with animal references should be seriously disconcerting.  Except that a wide-range of animals including dogs, cats, horses, all apes, lions, bears... and the list goes on...  have been found to Jack off.  Included on the list are elephants, donkeys and walruses that manage to flog the bishop with their fins.  Even birds have been shown to rub their cloaca against pretty much anything.

 

        Torah Kachur masturbation animal elephant

 

This phenomenon isn't restricted to males either - female organgutans were observed exhibiting inspiring creativity by fashioning home-made dildos from lianas.  Female horses during breeding season will rub up against fence posts, barn doors and seemingly anything made of wood.

 

Discovering that a species can milk the moose is fun and entertaining and often awe-inspiring.  You have to respect a macaque for committing 1-6% of its daily metabolism to producing ejaculate and the ability for 'self-directed oral sex' in a variety of mammals.  But the bigger question is why?  If masturbation is so widespread among all animals then it must provide an evolutionary advantage. 

 

ResearchBlogging.org

A new study  has found ground squirrels can be added to the list of those that shake hands with the devil.  Previous explanations to this blatant waste of sperm in and around a females oestrus period were that masturbation provided a way to display fertility to potential mates or as a deterrant to rivals. 

 

In contrast, it was also thought that masturbation could provide a sexual release or as a way to refresh sperm.  Studies done on the ground squirrles of Namibia concluded that masturbation was likely used as a method of cleansing the genitalia.   This is likely species dependent when genitalia are more accessible to the environment and likely to be dirtier.  In other words, they kept clean by getting down and dirty.

 

For most animals, the more likely reason for whacking off is that sperm quality improves the more a man pleasures his loins - a recent study suggests that daily masturbation and ejaculation can reduce the amount of accumulated DNA damage in sperm by 12%.  Therefore wasting sperm into a sock can actually improve the mobility of sperm and increase fertility.  A continuation of this theory is the idea of sperm competition. This is when sperm from multiple males have a race to the egg and undergo various forms of chemical competition to see who gets to be the lucky shizz.  Most women likely don't have sex with multiple males during their ovulatory phase... we aren't like the chimpanzee, where a single female chimp was observed to have sex with 50 male partners in a single day (ouch). 

 

One consequence of shining the pole so often is that the testis enlarges to accomodate the demand for sperm.   It's personal preference if this is desirable but there may be an evolutionary significance to larger balls.  And that is the biggest balls gets the worm.  There is precendent amongst several different species, including our ape cousins, that larger testes actually attract mates. Though it is unlikely that larger ball size relates to the desirability of a human male as most men don't go around showing off their packages. 

 

           Torah Kachur masturbation blue balls evolution sperm competition

 

The idea of refreshing sperm seems to account for the evolution of masturbation from turtles to donkeys.  It is unclear if these species have hairy palms.

 

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Waterman, J. (2010). The Adaptive Function of Masturbation in a Promiscuous African Ground Squirrel PLoS ONE, 5 (9) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013060

YOUR COMMENTS

Jack on October 08, 2010
I am not alone. Yes, I enjoy playing with my erector set, but slowly stroke my main vein, to calm the urge to ejaculate. Thank you for an article that stamps normal on my forehead.
Nick van Nes on October 08, 2010
Ahhhh, Sweet redemption.
Not only does it feel good, it's good for ya.
Gandalf on October 09, 2010
Let him (or her) with the free hand cast the first stone
L on October 11, 2010
that elephant appears to be smiling
bruce cockburn on October 12, 2010
So why do females then masturbate? Besides the obvious.
Torah Kachur on October 12, 2010
It appears that females masturbate only for the obvious. Pleasure. Or because we know we can't get it elsewhere ;)
Moe on October 12, 2010
I've been seperated for 2 years and was wondering if my relationship with Rosie Palm
was something I shoud be ashamed of. Your article has convinced me that it's in my next mate's best interest to keep Rosie handy so I'll be able please her when we consumate our affection for one another.
ebmh on October 14, 2010
Women masturbate (besides the obvious, which btw I agree is plenty) because the practice tones, exercises and develops understanding and familiarity with, and control of, the organs responsible for childbirth. Orgasm literally exercises these muscles. Stimulation of the sex organs generally makes them more sensitive to erotic stimuli and less sensitive per se to sexual touch including penetration by partners that might otherwise feel uncomfortable or painful, especially at the outset. I'm not a scientist (if it's not obvious), but this has become obvious to me. Why isn't is obvious to everyone?! I would like to know whether anyone has researched complications in childbirth in relation to amount of sexual activity (sex, masturbation, orgasm) in women.
jay on October 15, 2010
No, EBMH. My wife says she has never masterbated and I believe her. We have seven children, all natural birth and without undue stress. She is now 80 and I am 84 next week. She is not interested in sex and I cannot maintain an errection.
rezsia on October 22, 2010
I wonder if it could increase blood flow to the uterus and aid in conception.
snowdesert on October 26, 2010
Judgement, label, definition all product of thinking. Clear light awareness may allow another perception of the experience that may support an enlightened point of view?
Tom on October 26, 2010
jay, happy 85th birthday bro!
beat-it on November 15, 2010
To the older guy (I was nice to him, I added the "-er"):

My first thought is, perhaps you can try a can of spinach (i.e., Viagra or one of its equivalents), and HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) for your wife. But, then on second though, perhaps not. Really old people boinking is simply not natural. There is a reason they waste youth on the young.
Manual Transmission on November 17, 2010
My elderly mother and her 88 year old boyfriend got married eleven years ago and it soon became obvious that sex was the objective for both of them. He is dead now, but his later years were fulfilled by a need that would seem to be in all of us throughout all of our life. Their combined offspring with other spouses of 9 children might have been the result of their earlier beliefs about their carnal urges but their marriage that late in life was only necessary because their beliefs required that legal union to fulfill urges they were unwilling to continue to satisfy by themselves.
Bryon on November 18, 2010
Jay if you folks Materbated more in youth you may have increased your odds of it all working better in your older years.
lb on December 13, 2010
snowdesert: right on! After more than fifty years of contemplation of this, on a personal level as well as study of ancient texts from around the world, I have relaxed into the higher consciousness paradigm. Perhaps some shifting of that is in order for others?
Richard on December 21, 2010
Does anyone else find it odd or interesting that we seek to justify human behavior, based on the behavior of lesser evolved life forms?

If we can only find monkeys who throw themselves off bridges, we'll be able to suggest that suicide has some deep biological pinning and purpose. Yippee!

Torah Kachur on December 21, 2010
@ Richard - the idea that humans are some 'lesser' life form is ridiculous. Sure we have the capacity for complex thought and language, but that doesn't automatically mean we are 'better'. The Great White Shark is a perfect example of an organism that is so well evolved for its niche that it doesn't need super IQ or dexterity or masturbation (at least no one has ever observed a shark masturbating).

On a side note - if you are comparing suicide to masturbation....you're doing it wrong.
EmCee on January 03, 2011
Free at last, free at last.. thank God almighty free at last. This should be a legal exhibit in most divorces and family courts where women love to through the accusation of pervert and sex addict around based on masturbatory behavior or observation. Lighten up America and let the boys do what is completely, obviously 100% natural, regardless of any benefits.
Lea Orange on January 08, 2011
Seems like self-stimulation in both males and females would also serve to shorten the "learning curve" - as well provide ongoing reinforcement for the physical reward - keeping folks interested! especially when and where interpersonal sex tends to give isolated individuals or beginners fairly "uneven" results
Torah Kachur on January 09, 2011
@Lea Orange - interesting idea! I haven't seen any research on this at all. Maybe they could train pandas to masturbate to increase mating success.

We couldn't do this study in humans though because groups of people who think masturbation is a sin or wrong or whatever are usually driven to not 'waste' sperm to procreate more. And it could just makes sex maniacs out of all of us.
Bravo on January 10, 2011
I have masturbated since I was very young, love it, do it and it keeps me young - I have had 2 husbands and countless lovers and never not experienced excellent orgasms – I have counselled many women, young and old(er) to explore their bodies, enjoy the freedom of masturbating and find out WHAT YOU LIKE. Teach your partner about what you like – what brings you to a powerful orgasm perhaps ever three or four..... LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE GIRLS!!!!!!!!!!
Michael on January 11, 2011
I agree...it's one of the most enjoyable things you can do by yourself...and fun to do with others too!
RB on January 13, 2011
Great learning all the slang! Here's another one. Canadians will "pull their goalies" whenever they need to.
MacAllezzy Max on January 14, 2011
ethernal fight of five against one. Hilarious but what can we do?
T elizabeth on January 15, 2011
I'm 60 and masturbate about 3 times a week and have a lover, too. My sex drive is good, my muscles in excellent condition and I don't pee on myself. We are best being the animals that we are and the healthiest. Get over it.
Ian S on January 18, 2011
"most men don't go around showing off their packages."

Meh, works for me ;)
Leoncefalo on January 20, 2011
The evolutionary saying holds true - "Use it - or lose it."
I am a very happy male of 69, (oops!!!) who has had two
wives, four children and several lovers in between.
"Spanking my monkey" is what keeps the prostate happy, (and
you and your partner). It is the most natural of all sexual behaviors, because it is the rehearsal for the 'opening' night!
Stop all this nonsense about guilt and adultery. And guess what ? you can still be agood Christian. Fancy that!!!!
Babu Appat on January 23, 2011
A sexual urge is quite common in most organisms. Orgasm refreshes. I have done it on a moody day and found myself refreshed. Your article helped me do away with a cast of a sin conscience which lay gnawing behind whenever I have sopanked the monkey. Now onwards I'll polish my bayonette of flesh more happily. Than you very much.
GD on January 29, 2011
At 60, with my third wife for 16 years,and have had many lovers (and one love child)during the course of life as well, I still enjoy the benefits of polishing the pole a couple times a week. Ever since my 14 year old was born, my wife's sexual interest has diminished. However my MD's Rx for Cialis (3-day, not the daily pill) has benefited both the times my wife and I are together and the times I do all the 'work' myself. Regaining the size, firmness and 'staying power' I had in my 20's is truly amazing (and brings back memories). And the grand finale is definitely worth the price of admission. No man need complain of "unable to maintain an erection' again.
And 100% agreement with the comment above on 'prostate happiness'. Every year when I get my physical my doctor comments that my prostate is in great shape, while at work colleagues complain about their problems with enlarged prostates. If I just had the courage to come up with a clever way to give a testimonial on the many values of masturbation...
denim on January 29, 2011
take your s:tick in your hand and enjoy the ride....
scott1047 on January 30, 2011
What CRAP, a surfeit of self justification, an attempt to feel good about a selfish behavior, observed rarely in animals. Simple justification, an attempt to deny innate guilt, but in our debased, feel guilty for nothing culture what could be more normal?
Satch on January 30, 2011
All of these animalistic metaphors for masturbation gave me a herd-on.
jrd0022 on January 31, 2011
I have always been with the "PRO" MASTURBATIONISTS BUT i HAVE TO ADMIT TO SOME UNEASINESS FROM THE EXTREMISTS (please excuse the Caps-lock key)among us, who brag about their addiction on www.onania.org/asm and variants, saying that they are addicts to several hours of delayed orgasm almost every day with only one ejaculation. How they stay financially solvent and socially useful, I wonder.
I have to concede that a pleasant pastime can be carried to an unhealthy extreme. Too bad!
js on February 01, 2011
Turned 70 yesterday, and until my prostate was removed due to cancer (and I dont blame self indulgence for the cancer, as it seems to be prevalent in all men) I averaged at least once per day for 55 years! As a teen, it was an excellent stress reliever and 'sleeping pill' and I didn't have to go around imposing on girls. It lets you fantasize ANYTHING safely and without having to justify it to a partner. It is good for the heart, which is usually pounding hard by the finish. I am not blind; I do not have hair on my palms; my face and skin are still as smooth as a young adult; and people say I look 20 years younger than I am. So I've seen NO side effects, other than a bit of a bend!
RJG on February 03, 2011
THIS IS UTTERLY SINFUL.....I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF SUCH THINGS.....TOUCHING YOURSELF.......TERRIBLE ACTS FOR THOSE OF CHRISTIAN FAITH.......PEOPLE SHOULD NEVER DO THESE KINDS OF THINGS.............................HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH...NOT..........
john on February 05, 2011
I have Tennis Elbow, Big Balls, and am going blind
Torah Kachur on February 06, 2011
Addicted to masturbation... I wonder where the recovery center for that is. "The Shuck Shack" maybe, I don't think the Betty Ford clinic will accept those 'suffering' from such an 'illness'. Love the link @jrd0022, fantastic learning experience.

For all those who think masturbation is sinful or something to feel guilty about..ask yourselves this.. "Why do you think that?". We can compare ourselves to other animals because after all, we are animals too. The fact that masturbation occurs in so many different species and not just those that share similarities to us (like the apes) means there is possibly something to it. Evolution doesn't just occur for fun.

@RB - As a fellow canuck 'pulling the goalie' made me seriously laugh. A great analogy because it only happens when there is still hope...
Alexander MatthewJohnson on February 06, 2011
If I understand the 'scientific case for masturbation' in the article, then I think it might just be a bit of horse s...! Why not have more sex especially if the object is to enhance the quality of the sperm, after all, the end result in both scenarios is ejaculation. Anyhow as we can see the 'scientific case' is at best interesting speculation. Until we have a conference of the species with in-depth questions and answers based on thoroughly researched scientific proofs then we can be sure if it is a good thing or not such a 'healthy thing'
David on February 12, 2011
Torah,
What sort of visual stimuli would you suggest for pandas?
:)
Patriot on February 16, 2011
If those antediuvian holy men had come to the correct conclusion I expect that our Holy books would be filled
with curses against the abstainers who were not doing their
bit to be as fertile as possible, e.g., 'cast thy seed upon the ground or else'.
z on February 19, 2011
Just to be clear on the casting of seed - it is evident to the careful reader that this verse is widely misapplied for it does not condemn masturbation in general but to one person who was specifically AVOIDING coitus when it was his duty to fulfill. Thus, it is wrong to avoid sex when called upon to do so! And his casting (whether JO or pulling out) was well understood to be common.
Dan on February 21, 2011
Yanking my crank was always fun. You can fantasize about women and it really does boost your imagination. It's almost like they were on top doing it for you. I'm starting to get a woody just thinking about the tree outside.
Tony on February 27, 2011
I was given to understand that too much 'wheeling' can reduce sperm count and actually cause impotence in the long run. But this is contrary to what all others are saying here.
anonymous on March 14, 2011
Are you sure that masturbation isn't harmful? I did it for the third time today and there was barely any white sperm in the semen! I think I've gone and made myself sterile!!!
The Dondini on March 14, 2011
Do it, do it, do it 'till yer satisfied...Oh Baby
Guest on March 15, 2011
As to female masturbation, I remember reading in a fertility book (when I was trying to conceive) that chances of conception are increased when the woman is turned on. So maybe that is one benefit of female masturbation--if your partner can't or won't get you to that point, you can help yourself along. And since most behaviors seem to have some root in procreation, the behaviors that promote conception will be promoted within the species. Just a thought.

I also remember from my fertility readings that most researchers in fertility do believe that frequent male orgasm lessens sperm count. But maybe it's better from a procreation standpoint to go for quality over quantity. And when you are talking about a 10% decrease in the millions (fact check?) of sperm being released per ejaculation, that's a quality control measure we all can support, I think?
PhlankSpeed on March 18, 2011
61 years old, a regular bishop buffer for many years, it's always been good for body and soul. Not necessarily the prostate however, as despite my regular autoerotic and heterosexual sessions I did contract prostate cancer, which required brachytherapy. But the tool still works fine, albeit with occasional pharmacological assistance, both for myself and wife. Spank it baby!
Ben Dover on March 18, 2011
I knew that playing pocket pool would eventually be justified by science, its just sad how most people deny themselves a pleasure that feels soooooo good!!!

Saludos Cesar.
Native Angeleno on March 21, 2011
In response to Patriot on Feb 16, organized crime i mean religion almost always devolves into sexual regulation, not sexual encouragement. Hence their perverse followings. Not surprising the more conservative, the less interested in bodily, sheer animalistic ecstatic experience, and the greater desire to stop and control it in others, usually through the perversion of guilt as virtue. Sick fucks!
Garrett on March 21, 2011
You hit it on the head, Native. Religion? It's all about control,
baby. They know everything and you're bad bad man with
one foot in hell. Control is best attained by brainwashing
at an early age. When kids don't quite yet have the ability
to challenge the senseless, pontifical Controllers. Half of whom
are unnatural perverts, or the hiders and apologists for
slimy creeps in black. Happy to hear the animals are sane.
Hope a few of these hairy whackers are around after Man
has half obliterated his planet. Thanks for the great read.
on March 25, 2011
Why would someone even ask why women masturbate? Are you really that stupid?
valeriel on April 01, 2011
I had a female chahuahua that humped washrags that fell of the cloths line. A friends male parakeet humped the couch. I found water sports when I was 16 and was hideing the cleaning hose in our pool down my bathing suit. I had to show my hands to someone to prove I wasn't holding the hose, when the water hit my girlie spot I almost drowned. I've been doing it ever since, (though in order to not drown, I use the hose from the shower now), and I'm 54.
I guess it depends on your reasons for sex, Gods reason is procreation, Mans reason is recreation.
Steven on April 09, 2011
Reading all these comments has me laughing so hard I almost wet my pants. I have a ten year old daughter who is perplexed as to why our female (spayed) dog insists on humping legs, arms, chairs, pillows, you name it it's been humped in this house. I tell me daughter, as delicately and clinically as possible, what is happening but she still looks confused. As a father I worry about the possible consequences of sex for the young woman my daughter is becoming but I also know it is a joy.
Attitude on Steroids on April 19, 2011
Not only is that elephant smiling, but look closely at his eyes!

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