It’s Friday, and there’s no better time to have a frank, no-holds-barred discussion about all the weird and wonderful sex that takes place every single day, across all species, on this glorious blue planet we call home. Dr. Carin Bondar, biologist and host of the popular web series Wild Sex, is here today to take your questions—many of which are likely answered in her new book, Wild Sex: The Science Behind Mating in the Animal Kingdom.
She divides the book into three sections. Part one is the Meet, exploring all the strategies animals use to get lucky with the object of their desire. Part two is the Sex, and it goes way beyond the boring human model of inserting Part A into Slot B, even delving in to sexually transmitted infections. (Did you know koalas in the 1800s showed signs of chlamydia infections? I didn’t.)
Finally, as a mother of four, Bondar knows that sex doesn’t end with the orgasm, so the last third of the book focuses on the Aftermath: offspring and parenting strategies in the animal kingdom.
But there’s also a sea slug that loses its penis every time it has sex and magically grows a new one within 24 hours. Female elephants have uniquely shaped genitalia to prevent them being raped by overly aggressive males. More than one species engages in various forms of “cross dressing.” And let’s just say that the unusual mating practices of bedbugs will probably make you shudder. (Two words: “traumatic insemination.”)
So go ahead and ask the good doctor about your weirdest, most embarrassing sex questions. She’s pretty hard to shock. Now’s your chance to learn all about that wild, wild sex.
UPDATE: And we’re done! Thanks to all our commenters who brought such terrific questions, and to Dr. Bondar for her great answers.