Spanking the Monkey
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.
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.
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.
Read the rest on Science in Seconds. Also see:
The Scientific Case for Masturbation
Why O’Donnell gets it wrong: being ‘master of your domain’ does not help procreation.
Since Christine “I’m Not a Witch” O’Donnell is campaigning for the U.S. Senate and not the directorship of the Kinsey Institute, maybe we should give her a pass when it comes to her views on sex and, specifically, masturbation. But that would be a mistake: the stakes are simply too high, going all the way up the very survival of our species. For while O’Donnell crusaded against masturbation in the mid-1990s, denouncing it as “toying” with the organs of procreation and generally undermining baby making, the facts are to the contrary. Evidence from elephants to rodents to humans shows that masturbating is—counterintuitively—an excellent way to make healthy babies, and lots of them. No one who believes in the “family” part of family values can let her claims stand.
Read the rest on Newsweek.
Maybe they're Americanisms.
As far as using euphimisms, that's pretty common. Unfortunately, we don't have normal words for genitals that aren't either scientific, or childish, or obscene.
In French we most commonly use pénis, vagin, masturbation, and menstruations. Pénis does have a couple of equivalents (bitte, queue) but they are in fact less common than the proper words. Menstruations have other words less in use, such as règles, but also quite rare, though it is often shortened to menstrues.
As far as euphemisms go, in French we don't "have sex" but we do "faire l'amour" (make love) and/or "baiser" (fuck) which is conjugated differently from "baiser" in the sense of 'to hug'. A couple of other words are of course in circulation, but they have very low usage in comparison.
For me, whenever I hear reproductive euphemisms, it seems extremely puritanical and childish. In fact, I could not date a person who did not use proper terminology, it would drive me up the wall! :)
IMHO this comes down to cultural sensitivities. Sexual intimacy and its relevant organs I've always felt received much more respect in French cultures. Having had sex with people of many different nationalities, when it comes to sex not for reproduction, I've experienced that attitudes/respect/adultness vary considerably from country to country.
That's why it kinda makes sense for the French in France to cuss with sex words instead of religion. As the point of cussing is to "disrespect the most respectable", in North America people cuss to gods/religion, demonstrating how sex is less respectable than religion.
Now if only human males could give themselves their own fellations!
Now if only human males could give themselves their own fellations!
Uhh, that's like, possible, you know! Get the right porn.
hi hi :)
Yea I've heard there are rare males who are able... but they're of no assistance to me if they're not in my bed! :p
As far as euphemisms go, in French we don't "have sex" but we do "faire l'amour" (make love) and/or "baiser" (fuck) which is conjugated differently from "baiser" in the sense of 'to hug'.
Sounds like that's for the better. The term 'sex' in English stopped making sense ages ago.
Most of the pee pee/poo poo words got nixed from English in the Victorian Era - total bullshit. It does, however, make a big cultural difference. I've gotten used to stating plainly that I'm going to the toilette but I still have a hell of a time cheering that I'm so glad to be heading home for a nice hot douche. I've tried to explain to a few people here that we use the word for vaginal douche and in English we just don't say such things but people just can't get it at all; I guess I better evolve.
On a side note, it drives me up the wall when people ask me, every single day, how it's going - especially when they couch the response with 'Ca va bien!?' For me, growing up in the west, you don't ask a person how it's going unless you haven't seen them for at least a weekend and then you stop and wait for a much more thorough response than 'Oui twaaay?' I am, however, adapting.
Fucking Victorians. They really set us back. Any ideas on how can I get my hands on some of these lost words? I like to use scientific and obscene words rather than their childish equivalent, but if there's a happy medium...
It's not that the words are 'lost', it's just that they became taboo. Non-English speakers find it odd that our most vile words (fuck, cunt) refer to sexual intercourse and female genitalia. Essentially the Victorians wouldn't say 'shit' if their mouth was full of it - although shit (merde) is a profanity is French. As near as I've heard, the Quebecois just refer to a penis or vagina as a penis or vagina (very similar words) without hangups. They also ask where the toilette is when they are looking to use a toilette, rather than asking for a bathroom, restroom, or washroom, which are rooms they would only seek if they intended to bathe, rest, or wash, respectively.
The curse words in Quebecois are all church words, which I find hilarious and completely appropriate. Essentially the little wafer that we call the host, they call the 'osti' (please realize I can't spell worth beans in French), and the cup for the wine is the calisse (chalice) and these things are stored in a box called the tabernacle, which is pronounced tabernak, sort of. Therefore, if you really want to curse like a sailor in Quebecois you say, "Calisse de tabernak, OSTI!"
Here is a clip from a Quebecois movie in which a true blue Quebecker teaches an Ontario cop how to swear in Quebecois...
Toilette is a euphemism. it refers to a small towling bag with change of clothes or washing implements, the toilet room effectively means changing room or washroom. maybe given time the terms "washroom", "restroom" or "bathroom" might evolve into words one avoids in polite society.
this is one of my hangups with taboo in language. if you use a euphemism that euphemism eventually takes on the same meaning so as not to be a euphemism any more
case in point. the 70's UK sitcom "are you being served..?" had a character called Mrs Slocombe who would often use an anecdote about her pussy for being late for work etc. as one comedian pointed out, back then the word "pussy" meant cat with slight suggestion of vagina, nowadays it simply means vagina (with a slight suggestion of cat).
you wouldn't get that past the censors today
Indeed. I had meant toilet but failed to switch back to the English spelling for the second usage.
In any event, thanks for a very astute observation. Of what use is a euphemism once it has become a synonym? I'll toss that up there with Orwell's observation that figures of speech, that have become so cliché as to fail to evoke relevant imagery, should be retired.
Maybe instead of resorting to euphemisms about abusing animals we should grow up and use people's names?
Now if you'll excuse me I'm just going off to "annoy Christine"...
If Jack helped you off a horse, would you help jack off a horse?
I watched a movie just recently about a young teenage boy who, after being raised in relative isolation with his very liberal parents, experiences integration into a public school. In one scene, the boy experiences a wet dream, which his mother figures out instantly (and congratulates him). The boy's father asks him if he's masturbating regularly, then explains that it will help reduce the wet dreams. The boy responds that he likes the dreams. To this the father responds that it's not good for the environment to wash the sheets so often.
So please, if you can't bring yourself to masturbate for yourself, do it for the planet!