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  #1  
Old 05-11-2009, 11:46 AM
Revtim Revtim is offline
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Did sailors have sex with dugongs/manatees? (Siren/mermaid myth)

I've always heard that manatees and dugongs were the source of the siren and mermaid myths. Now I just heard on TV (the Spike show "MANswers, not the most reliable of sources, perhaps) that the female dugong has genitals most similar to the human female, and they either implied or said outright that sailors would doink them.

My question is, where would this happen? Would they haul the animal up onto the ship? Would they jump into the water with the animal? Did they do it the shallows?
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  #2  
Old 05-11-2009, 11:52 AM
Kimmy_Gibbler Kimmy_Gibbler is offline
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Originally Posted by Revtim View Post
I've always heard that manatees and dugongs were the source of the siren and mermaid myths. Now I just heard on TV (the Spike show "MANswers, not the most reliable of sources, perhaps) that the female dugong has genitals most similar to the human female, and they either implied or said outright that sailors would doink them.

My question is, where would this happen? Would they haul the animal up onto the ship? Would they jump into the water with the animal? Did they do it the shallows?
In the course of humanity's maritime history, it probably has happened (call it the Ecclesiastes 1:9 rule). I would suppose that hot-and-bothered swabbies would sooner repair to more traditional methods of sexual gratification either by themselves or with their shipmates.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:20 PM
Arkcon Arkcon is offline
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What I recall is, and it may be in the writings of Sir Richard Burton, that if an Arab fisherman caught a dugong in a net, tradition required he have intercourse with it, to appease evil spirits, or something like that. The implication from this story is, you've got a large, dead, sea-cow -- and now the whole crew wants to watch you ... appease spirits. Ew.

I'm not desperate enough to go searching for an image, but other sea mammals don't have very typical, land mammal genitalia. They just don't work, underwater, as well. Male dolphins, for example, have streamlined slits, to hold their genitalia in a pocket, and the females are modified. I'd heard that manatees nurse their pups, floating upright, cradling their pup in a bent flipper. Now that looks like a human behavior. So you can project the image, of dugong as being, in the right position for it, as it were. But I don't think the plumbing necesicarily lines up.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:53 PM
ultrafilter ultrafilter is offline
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There's an image of a female dolphin's genitalia at http://img2.moonbuggy.org/imgstore/dolphin-vagina.jpg (not technically porn, but let's play it safe here). It's hard to see too much detail from the picture, but it doesn't look all that different from a human vulva at first glance. FYI, searching for "dolphin vagina" actually doesn't turn up that much porn, but I think I have to clear my history anyway.
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:05 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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I saw a female dolphin close-up once (through glass, at Sea World or some similar place), and the vulva, at least, looked pretty similar to a human vulva. I can't say whether there are any internal differences, though. Where's a marine gynecologist when you need one?

And I can't imagine that it was very common for the sailors to do anything with manatees in the water. Human perversion knows no limits, but it's my understanding that most sailors in the Age of Sail couldn't swim.
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:43 PM
Dr. Drake Dr. Drake is offline
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Originally Posted by Revtim View Post
I've always heard that manatees and dugongs were the source of the siren and mermaid myths. Now I just heard on TV (the Spike show "MANswers, not the most reliable of sources, perhaps) that the female dugong has genitals most similar to the human female, and they either implied or said outright that sailors would doink them.

My question is, where would this happen? Would they haul the animal up onto the ship? Would they jump into the water with the animal? Did they do it the shallows?
You say "I've always heard," but you don't say why you believe this. It is not true. Although the faces of marine mammals (including seals, much more common) no doubt contributed to the mermaid complex, they're not the sole underlying explanation. Think of the distinguishing feature of mermaids: long hair. What was that, kelp? Fish tail. What, you think people who made their living at sea didn't know the difference between a fish and a mammal?

The explanation is repeated ad nauseam because it satisfies our current culture's need for a rational basis for the irrational. We love these single-origin ideas for mythic and legendary creatures: it allows them a modicum of reality, which means we're not completely wasting our time for thinking about them, and it also allows us to feel superior to people of the past. But they're all either ridiculously oversimplified or outright nonsense.

My suggestion is that the "genitals resembling human genitals" idea is either false or, if factual, irrelevant, something used as "evidence" to support the theory in the absence of actual evidence. With an abundance of human women, other sailors, masturbation, and more tractable land animals available, why would a sailor seek out a large, potential dangerous marine mammal to sate his needs?
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:53 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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I'm suspicious myself. This sounds like an invitation to drowning at worst, extreme grossness at best. Sailors did do odd things -- look at the "Crossing the Line" ritual, or the chapter on making a smock out of a whale penis in Moby Dick (The Chapter entitled "The Cassock"), but screwing manatees and dugongs sounds pretty far-out.


I've never heard that they had sex with them, in any case -- it's always been presented to me that they saw dugongs and manatees and imagined that they were mermaids. Some people claim that it's because they had human-like breasts. I call unlikely on this, too. I've seen dugongs and manatees in captivity, and looked at puictures and illustrations, and have yet to see a human-like boob on one.



As fr the Sir Richard Burton thing, I haven't come across it in my wide reading of Burton. On the other hand, there's an awful lot of his Arabian Nights I still haven't read, so I can't be categorical about it.
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Old 05-11-2009, 03:29 PM
AskNott AskNott is offline
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It sounds nearly plausible to me. As the OP says, the mythological mermaid may have been manatees spotted from a distance. As dictionaries and textbooks say, manatees are widely known as sea cows. Now, squirm if you will, but men have been boinking cows for a long, long, time.

Dr. Drake refers to "potentially dangerous" marine mammals, but manatees are gentle, docile creatures. That's part of the reason they're a threatened species.

On the farm, three or four lads will restrain a cow while a another has his way with her. When those lads become sailors, would they treat a sea cow with any more respect? Lust is lust, and a warm, wet hole is a warm, wet hole.
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Old 05-11-2009, 03:40 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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OK, I won't comment on the docility of manatees, but land cows can be downright dangerous (remember, cows and bulls are the same species). Sheep I can believe, but a horny farmboy who screws a cow is aiming for a Darwin award.
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Old 05-11-2009, 03:41 PM
Dr. Drake Dr. Drake is offline
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Originally Posted by AskNott View Post
Dr. Drake refers to "potentially dangerous" marine mammals, but manatees are gentle, docile creatures. That's part of the reason they're a threatened species.
They're not aggressive, but they still weigh around a thousand pounds. Tell me that frolicking with a thousand-pound something in the open ocean, something that has a different agenda from your own, is not potentially dangerous.
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Old 05-11-2009, 04:05 PM
Rhythmdvl Rhythmdvl is offline
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Arrrgh, it be yer turn in the manatee suit.
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Old 05-11-2009, 04:43 PM
psychonaut psychonaut is offline
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Originally Posted by AskNott View Post
Dr. Drake refers to "potentially dangerous" marine mammals, but manatees are gentle, docile creatures.
So are most humans, but most of us don't take too kindly to being raped. No matter how gentle and docile a manatee may be, you can bet it's not going to just float there and let you have its way with it. If it doesn't fight back, it would at least swim away.
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Old 05-11-2009, 06:08 PM
carnivorousplant carnivorousplant is offline
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Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
Some people claim that it's because they had human-like breasts.
Manatees and elephants have two breasts between their front limbs, like human females. Elephant breasts look like human breasts save for being gray, wrinkled and enormous.
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Old 05-11-2009, 06:10 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Manatees and elephants have two breasts between their front limbs, like human females. Elephant breasts look like human breasts save for being gray, wrinkled and enormous.
Do you have pictures to back this up? I've been looking at elephants, manatees, and dugongs for years, searching for the supposed similarity, and have never seen it.
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Old 05-11-2009, 06:24 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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I believe it was Nipsey Russell who said:

Sailors sing songs about mermaids:
I'm still not sure I know why.
Not enough woman to make love to,
and too much fish to fry.
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  #16  
Old 05-11-2009, 06:27 PM
carnivorousplant carnivorousplant is offline
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Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
Do you have pictures to back this up?
I have watched elephants nurse. Elephants and manatees are evolutionarily related in that they have breasts like that, I am told by folks who work with elephants.

I'll have to give it to you with sea cows. These babies seem to know what they are doing, but I don't see any breasts. They are, according to the calves, in the same place, however. Perhaps sailors saw they nursing their calves.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/deadmike/88319170/

http://www.jasonhahn.com/gallery/dis...lbum=84&pos=32

This elephant, though, sure looks like the real thing.
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:06 PM
Peanut Gallery Peanut Gallery is offline
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Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
I've seen dugongs and manatees in captivity, and looked at pictures and illustrations, and have yet to see a human-like boob on one.
But how much rum had you consumed? And how long since your last contact with a female human?
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:17 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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I don't even think it's true that dogongs and manatees are the origins of the myth of the mermaid. This is just a theory, and in my opinion it's not a very good one.

Think of all the human-animal hybrids that are part of mythology. Satyrs, nymphs, minotaurs, harpies, centaurs, ape-men, to name a few. The fusion of human and animal bodies to create fictional creatures seems to be a tradition practically as old as humanity.

Why is the legend of the mermaid any different? It's just something that was creatively made up for the purposes of legends; it doesn't have to have been inspired by something real. I agree with Dr. Drake's assessment: "The explanation is repeated ad nauseam because it satisfies our current culture's need for a rational basis for the irrational."
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:02 AM
Toxylon Toxylon is offline
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Cows have been exploited by horny farm boys allright. In my (academic) forays into the subject matter I've found dozens of descriptions of just such acts. The most opportune moment appears to be right after a cow has urinated, tail in the air. Sneak in carrying a barn stool and whispering calming words to the animal that knows you, rise on the stool and have a go. No restraining necessary.

A warm, wet hole has a certain charm to throbbing penii, no matter what it's attached to.
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:53 AM
electronbee electronbee is offline
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Toxylon:

Cows have been exploited by horny farm boys allright. In my (academic) forays into the subject matter I've found dozens of descriptions of just such acts. The most opportune moment appears to be right after a cow has urinated, tail in the air. Sneak in carrying a barn stool and whispering calming words to the animal that knows you, rise on the stool and have a go. No restraining necessary.

A warm, wet hole has a certain charm to throbbing penii, no matter what it's attached to.
So, you have a link or preferably some medical or journalistic evidence? I just don't see mating with animals that are magnitudes larger than humans to be a good idea. And, that statement about a cow, have you ever seen one up close? Especially at the "under the tail" area? It's a pretty industrial, grimy, unattractive, version of what human's have. And, even with human's, unless the girl is ready, it's not going to be a very "wet hole" to just slide in to.

As for manatee's I also don't see it. I mean, first you'd have to catch one that was female, orient it properly, and then have people restrain the animal. That's a lot of work as that animal is in its habitat and could easily over power us. At that point it'd be easier to do it yourself, find a woman, or engage in anal sex.

eb
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