Wednesday Wonderings: Top 10 Ways Bugs are Having Weirder Sex than You

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Caution: Most of this blog is reasonably family- and kid-friendly. However, this one entry may be the exception. If your kids are homestead kids, they probably already know a little about animal-kingdom procreation and courtship. Nevertheless, questions like “what’s B&D,” “how do you penis-fence,” and “what does ‘having sex with a cucumber’ mean?” may not be on your agenda for today. You’ve been warned. Here we go:

Bugs are freaky. I mean, some of them are really bad-*ss when it comes to sex. B&D, S&M, zombie fetishes, penis fencing, and inter-species orgies, humans seriously have nothing on bugs.

I got my first glance into this bizarre world recently when I interviewed an exterminator. He told me how bed bugs do it (yes, I talk about sex with the exterminator. Don’t you?). Bed bug style sex is a form of “traumatic insemination” because, well, because it’s traumatic. The male literally uses his penis to stab a hole in the girl’s abdomen. She has a vagina, y’all. He just chooses not to use it. And you thought your high school boyfriend was a jerk.

So I got to wondering what any red-blooded American girl would wonder: Just how weird can it get? And the answer, it turns out, is “Very.”

Top 10 Ways Bugs Are Having Better Sex than You

(Or At Least Weirder)

10. Long-term commitment. The male stick bug is considerably smaller than the female. That’s because he doesn’t want to weigh her down for the several months during which he will be attached to her back. Having sex. Without stopping. And you thought you had stamina.

Photo courtesy Te Ara

9. Double the pleasure. The male earwig has two fully functional separate penises, capable of being operated simultaneously and independently. Presumably, this is in order to better service the female’s two fully functional vaginas and uteruses. Independently operable, y’all.

Photo courtesy ABC Australia

8. Underage Advances. Male mayflies stake out their mating claims well in advance. The adult male seeks out a larval female and attaches himself to her, awaiting the exact moment when she reaches sexual maturity and becomes receptive to his advances.

Photo credit Johan Put

7. If your boyfriend does this please call an abuse hotline. Many insects have developed elaborate courtship rituals. Often, the male will offer the female gifts of food, or perform complicated dances to impress her, or gently stroke her appendages to assure her of his honorable intent. The water strider has a rather more sinister approach. When he finds an eligible young lady, he deliberately threatens her by tapping the surface of the water to attract predators from below. Because he will be on her back, this is a much more dangerous proposition for her than for him. The sooner she consents, the less danger she will be in.

Photo credit University of Arizona

6. Deadly orgies. Lest you leave with the impression that guys get all the breaks in the insect world, consider the honeybee. The fertile female (the queen bee) only gets to have sex during about 48 hours of her entire 3 to 6 year lifespan. Still, she’s better off than the male (the drone) who gets to have sex exactly once, and only if he’s very very lucky, and then immediately dies a gruesome death (otherwise he dies a cold and lonely death at the end of summer when his sisters kick him out). Every spring, scores of drones head out each morning to bachelor gathering-grounds, awaiting the occasional young queen to enter their midst. When she does, the lucky few will take turns with her. And they’re not picky–unless he’s first, each one will be having sex with the girl AND the trailing guts that the former lover left behind when he withdrew. Sexy.

Photo courtesy FlipSide

5. Inter-kingdom sex. You’ve heard of creatures having sex with other animals. But what about with plants? (And no, cucumbers and bananas don’t count… and I don’t want to know about it, thank you.) Meet the orchid dupe wasp. The male of this species is so attracted to a certain species of orchid that the females have had to learn to reproduce without them. Go ahead, boys–enjoy your flowers. We’ll take care of ourselves thankyouverymuch.

Photo courtesy 1-888-orchids

4. Decapitation fetish. Like many insects, the male preying mantis climbs aboard his girl’s back to do the deed, which can last several hours to several days. During which time he had better hope she doesn’t get hungry and decide to eat his head. Or maybe he hopes she will because, apparently, upon decapitation his body thrusts faster and more vigorously than before. Good for the girl, good for the guy. I guess.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia

3. Loogy-hocking hotties. Some girls are attracted by the smell of Old Spice. Others like the glistening look of sweat-moistened skin after a work-out. Some even like the smell of fresh sweat. You know, whatever. Then there are those who are attracted to a man who hocks loogies at her feet. For her to eat. Like the scorpion fly, among whom the male repeatedly offers gifts of spit for his girlfriend who eagerly consumes it in exchange for sex. Yummy.

http://goose.ycp.edu/~kkleiner/fieldnaturalhistory/Mateselection.htm

Photo courtesy Karl Kleiner

2. Penis-fencing transsexual hermaphroditic sex. In case you ever wondered whether motherhood or fatherhood is the tougher gig, flatworms have your answer. Each individual is born with both male and female equipment. But when a mature flatworm meets that special someone, the two engage in a contest to determine who will play which role. The contest? They pull out their penises and fence with them. Loser has to be the mom.

Photo courtesy Sharon taxonomy

Aaaand now, NUMBER ONE on the list of weirdest wildest bug sex ever:

1. Infantile inter-species zombie sex. Yup. You heard that right. To be fair, everything about the life of the Strepsiptera group of insects is bizarre. They spend their idyllic childhood living on the hospitality of another creature. And I don’t mean their moms & dads. No, they form their childhood home inside the walls of another species’s hard outer shell. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner consists of the host’s organ tissue and guts. Gross, right? But their sex lives beat all. The males, when they reach maturity, slice open their host’s abdomen (killing it in the process), and hit the road. The females remain in a larval-like state inside the body of their still-living host (more undead than alive, really, as it often has lost control of its body and probably wishes it were dead). Like a precocious pre-pubescent girl, the Strepsiptera’s sex organs mature inside her infantile body, and when they’re ready, she protrudes them through the abdomen of her (yup, still living) host. Which apparently, the male finds irresistible. Charming.

Photo courtesy cueFlash

And that, y’all, is weirder than the weirdest sex I’ve personally ever had. You?

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11 responses to “Wednesday Wonderings: Top 10 Ways Bugs are Having Weirder Sex than You

  1. I was eating lunch when I started to read this, then I got grossed out. At first I thought it was the sex, but then I realized it was just… the pictures of the bugs. Ew. Bugs are gross even when they’re interesting.

    My favorite is 5.

  2. Pingback: I Promise To Stop Talking About Sex… Eventually « Curiosity Cat·

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