Would bonobos mate with humans?

Since bonobo sex is not about reproduction, and many species when brought up by humans from the start view humans as part of the tribe, if a bonobo were raised by humans from the start would it willingly have sex with humans? (Of course this assumes it would see us as “part of the tribe”.)

Don’t get any ideas, partner. :wink:

I do have to wonder what constitutes “willingly”, since this is a large part of the rationale for the outlaw of bestiality - basically, that animals are unable to consent to sexual activity and that puts the practice somewhere along the field of rape in society’s eyes.

By “willingly” do you mean would the bonobo be the one to initiate sexual contact? If so, it makes for a very interesting question. One I do not have an answer for, but wanted to clarify this point.

I was interested in both being the one to initiate and the one to receive initiation willingly.

Yes, this is GQ but in my opinion, the bonobo would be a borderline situation, since their natural activity includes sexual activity to the extent that it’s not like it would be an “unnatural act” to have sex with them - it would seem very natural to me.

Not that bonobos are particularly attractive to me.

Especially not when you wake up next to one, hungover…

And it’s wearing your t-shirt…

I’m sure they would. I’ve read about a researcher who was used to working with chimps who was transfered to bonobos. A bonobo wanted a kiss and the researcher gave it to him, expecting just their lips to touch. He was very surprised when he found bonobo tongue in his mouth. I’ve read about chimps who were aroused by the naked human form so I wouldn’t be surprised if the same was true for bonobos.

Not true. Much of the sex-play is about social bonding and stress reduction, but bonobos do it to make little baby bonobos, too.

Probably. Both kinds, too-- the play sex and the “real” sex. A male might have problems seeing a human female as being in heat, though, as bonobos females (like chimps) have obvious genital swelling when they’re receptive to the real type of sex.

Damn evolution - I do appreciate a bigger brain, but given that all the extra brain matter is devoted to figuring out whether a female is receptive or not…

and it gets it wrong nine times out of ten…

I’m not sure about the value of the trade-off.

<sigh> :frowning:


I’m not sure about the value of the trade-off./QUOTE]On the bright side, evolution gave humans a tonker that puts all other primates to shame. The path may be difficult, but the rewards are many!

If “tonker” means what I think it does, that’s a side effect of having big brains. Because the human brain is larger, the vagina needs to be larger to accomodate the larger head during birth. And with a larger vagina comes the need for a larger penis to match it.

I thought it was side effect of having big feet. :wink:

But they keep telling me

size doesn’t matter


Not that I’m arguing, but why? Seems to me that there’s no reason for the head to be squashed in the 6-7 inch long vagina during childbirth. The cervix has to open a lot wider than say, a dog’s, to let that big head out, so we need a wide pelvic inlet, and of course the vagina has to be stretchy circumference-wise, but why does the vagina need to be long, as well?

The theory I heard in my Biology of Human Social and Sexual Interactions class was that the human penis may have evolved its distinctive shape and size due to the need to compete with other males for fertilization. The “head” would be used as a semen displacement device to “scoop out” rivals’ sperm from the pre-cervical area during intercourse.

So, if this theory pans out, it would mean that we’d have to stop calling it a “rod” and start calling it a “squeegee”.

Nice theory, but knowing what we know about contraceptives, that hardly seems like it would be very effective.

What is a bonobo?

This is a bonobo. A kind of chimpanzee.

Thanks, that page is slow to open but I know what a chimp is. We enjoy watching them at the zoo. I don’t agree with them being used in the entertainment industry though.

A variety of chimpanzee, and therefore one of humanity’s closest relatives. They’re widely known for their extreme sexual promiscuity: A bonobo’s answer to nearly any situation is to have sex with the nearest other bonobo or group of bonobos, regardless of gender.

It doesn’t have to be that effective, any statistical benefit over time that’s above the noise floor would do.