Animals do some pretty freaky stuff to keep making more of themselves, like tricking their partners into having sex or even killing them and eating them after doing it for an extra boost of baby-making energy. But dolphins, surely, wouldn’t engage in such disgusting behavior, right? Look at their little faces! How do dolphins have sex, anyway? Magical rainbows beaming back and forth between them? If only.
Despite their cute exterior, dolphins are total freaks when it comes to sex, and the males in particular are pretty reprehensible, at least by human standards. Incest? Disgusting masturbation? Bestiality? Check, check, and check. But dolphins are also surprisingly fluid in their choice of partners, living bisexual or even exclusively homosexual lives. They also have sex for pleasure unlike most animals. Here are some dolphin sex facts that will definitely change the way you think about these amazing, tool-wielding weirdos.
Male bottlenose dolphins get pretty creative - and incredibly disgusting - with their self-pleasure. They’ve been observed wrapping live, wriggling eels around their penises to masturbate. They’ve also been filmed using a decapitated fish head for the same purpose. Makes you rethink all those hours you spent playing Ecco the Dolphin on the Sega Genesis, right?
Dolphin penises are quite remarkable: they're retractable, they can swivel, and they can grab around and feel things, much like a hand. Dolphins have a prehensile penis, which means it's able to actually grab onto things. Dolphins share this trait with some whales, who are said to have an erotic endurance all their own.
In a bizarre, deeply unsettling twist on Jaws, a 400 lb. bottlenose dolphin named Georges briefly terrorized the beachside community of Weymouth, England in 2002. No, Georges wasn’t trying to snack on the locals - he was trying to mate with them. "When dolphins get sexually excited, they try to isolate a [human] swimmer, normally female. They do this by circling around the individual and gradually move them away from the beach, boat, or crowd of people," said dolphin trainer Ric O’Barry, famous for training TV’s Flipper. O’Barry warned Georges’s monstrous, interspecial horniness posed “a real threat to the thousands of swimmers who will be descending on Weymouth over the summer” because the unwanted attention could easily cause people to drown. Fortunately, Georges didn’t hump anyone to death.
A 2004 study proved that dolphins - everyone’s favorite Lisa Frank trapper keeper animal - occasionally practice incest. A male known as “BJA” reproduced with his own 15-year-old daughter in 1993. The crew BJA ran with also had males “herd” their own mothers, meaning they violently tried to copulate with them. Could it just be chance? All those dolphins do look alike, after all. Unfortunately, no: a 2010 study showed the rate of incest in BJA’s little corner of the world was “higher than expected by chance alone.”