• Question: why do we enjoy sex, and why are dolphins the only other mammal that have sex for pleasure?

    Asked by sophiecorteville to Arttu, Ceri, James_M, Monica, Philip on 16 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: James M Monk

      James M Monk answered on 13 Jun 2011:

      If it wasn’t enjoyable then people probably wouldn’t bother with it, and before long there wouldn’t be any people. So there’s a pretty strong evolutionary reason.

      I don’t think it’s possible to know if animals get pleasure from sex. You can hardly ask your dog “how was it for you?” I’ve certainly heard that bonobos do it for fun. The idea of pleasure for animals is a bit different than pleasure for humans, really.

      Interesting alleged fact about dolphins and other cetaceans: they have prehensile penises (only the male ones, obv.)

    • Photo: Philip Dolan

      Philip Dolan answered on 14 Jun 2011:

      Wow. I did not know that about dolphins!

    • Photo: Arttu Rajantie

      Arttu Rajantie answered on 16 Jun 2011:

      I cannot claim to be an expert on the sex life of animals, but I think James is right. I guess most animals just do what their instincts tell them, but the more intelligent ones (humans, dolphins, bonobos) could decide not to bother if it was not fun.