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Fellatio by Fruit Bats Prolongs Copulation Time
November 3, 2009 7:02 PM   Subscribe

"Our observations are the first to show regular fellatio in adult animals other than humans. We found that female short-nosed fruit bats C. sphinx lick their mate's penis regularly during copulation, and that each second of licking results in approximately 6 extra seconds of copulation. Copulations also last longer if licking occurs than when no licking takes place." The Supporting Information includes video... if you really need it.
posted by unblinking (81 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
The female lowers her head to lick the shaft or the base of the male's penis but does not lick the glans penis which has already penetrated the vagina

This increases the amount of time copulating? Color me impressed!
posted by twjordan at 7:07 PM on November 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


First time I've heard of lasting longer due to oral sex.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:11 PM on November 3, 2009 [9 favorites]


"Holy hummers, Batman!!"
"Come along, Robin; I think we should investigate this ourselves."
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:12 PM on November 3, 2009 [9 favorites]


What's with the soundtrack? Does that make bat copulation last longer also?
posted by Big_B at 7:14 PM on November 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


The Birds and the Bees and the Bats too apparently.
posted by carsonb at 7:15 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Supporting Information includes video... if you really need it.

don't judge me man
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:19 PM on November 3, 2009 [27 favorites]


I glanced at the title and thought this was going to be about men who buy fruit bats to...yeah, I think I'll go watch the linked video, because it can't be any worse than what I was imagining.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 7:20 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


PLoS CHoPs.
posted by boo_radley at 7:23 PM on November 3, 2009 [10 favorites]


Sometimes, science really sucks.
posted by exogenous at 7:24 PM on November 3, 2009


Males never withdrew their penis when it was licked by the mating partner.

Well why the hell would they?!
posted by aheckler at 7:26 PM on November 3, 2009 [9 favorites]


The female lowers her head to lick the shaft or the base of the male's penis but does not lick the glans penis which has already penetrated the vagina

OK I checked out the video and I wonder how they know this is really fellatio and not cunilingus since she is licking, let us say, the conjoined territory and cannot lick the one without licking the other.
posted by binturong at 7:27 PM on November 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: I wonder how they know this is really fellatio and not cunilingus....
posted by digitalprimate at 7:30 PM on November 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


First time I've heard of lasting longer due to oral sex. -- Ironmouth

Ha. Favorited. And also eponysterical.
posted by rokusan at 7:30 PM on November 3, 2009


Big_B: What's with the soundtrack?

Male fruit bat: "Did somebody order a big load of...nectar?"
Female fruit bat: "Are you here to...nibble my orchid??"
[guitar: squeek chik-a squeek squeek ...]
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:30 PM on November 3, 2009 [17 favorites]


"In six instances licking behavior was not apparent, maybe because the female was forced to copulate..."

Man, it is a major bummer that this is the month without visible favorites, 'cause this could be the mother lode right here.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 7:34 PM on November 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Your favorite blowjob-giving animal sucks.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 7:42 PM on November 3, 2009 [6 favorites]


unblinking: ""Our observations are the first to show regular fellatio in adult animals other than humans. "

You think that's crazy? You should see what the pre-teen animals are up to!
posted by graventy at 7:42 PM on November 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


The thing I find most fascinating about this is that you apparently can't even have scientifically-monitored bat sex without bad porn music.
posted by markkraft at 7:49 PM on November 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


Release the bats!!!!!
posted by awfurby at 7:51 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maybe, the boy bat previously licked insect juice on his ding dong so the girl bat would want to lick it off while they were doing the upside-down cha-cha.
posted by jefbla at 7:51 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Have researchers observed the male bats assisting the females by holding their hair?
posted by horsewithnoname at 7:53 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


What this thread clearly needs is more monkey-on-goat action.

If you want a vision of the future of the internet, imagine a monkey raping a goat - forever.

Just to be totally clear - that link isn't safe for anyone, employed or not. It's actually kind of depressing.

I'm mainly linking it because I'm generally amused that many people think that animals don't have "sex" the way humans do. Look, I've had lesbian pet rats. They weren't "playing" or "wrestling", they were locked in a 69 position licking each others engorged genitals for hours on end until little rat orgasms happened. Hell, if I was locked in a cage most of the day with shredded recycled paper mulch for a bed I'd probably end up doing the same thing.

posted by loquacious at 7:59 PM on November 3, 2009 [7 favorites]


Pretty hot, but you forgot the BILF tag.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:01 PM on November 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


We propose a series of adaptive hypotheses to explain genital licking

Oh, jeez. Another set of biologists who can only see animal sexual activity in terms of strict genetic/reproductive value. This is a particular hoot:

Third, fellatio may confer bactericidal benefits and assist in the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) both to females, and to males that lick their own penis briefly after copulation

Riiiight, that's why mammals started doing it. And this takes the cake:

In conclusion, we have documented fellatio in animals that may have functional significance. Of course, adaptive benefits remain unproven until tested, ideally by experimentation, but our study identifies potential avenues to explore if the null hypothesis of no benefit (e.g. via low cost to donor and recipient) is to be rejected

Am I the only one seeing the assumption that the "functional significance" can't possibly be that non-human animals might somehow have figured out that licking genitals feels awesome? I mean, they even cite Bruce Bagemihl's great book, Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity, which offers a sharp critique of "MUST.....SEE...... BIOLOGICAL...IMPERATIVE.... IN......ALL...ANIMAL...PLEASURE" thinking, and they still pull that stuff? I dunno, it seems kind of small-minded to me.
posted by mediareport at 8:04 PM on November 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


Wait a minute, what about the bonobos? They certainly do oral sex-- and I didn't think it was limited only to cunnilingus. Although, if only the girls got oral sex amongst bonobos, that would make them even cooler as feminist icons, I suppose.
posted by Maias at 8:07 PM on November 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm mainly linking it because I'm generally amused that many people think that animals don't have "sex" the way humans do. Look, I've had lesbian pet rats. They weren't "playing" or "wrestling", they were locked in a 69 position licking each others engorged genitals for hours on end until little rat orgasms happened. Hell, if I was locked in a cage most of the day with shredded recycled paper mulch for a bed I'd probably end up doing the same thing.

You should ask the rat first.
posted by ryoshu at 8:24 PM on November 3, 2009 [12 favorites]


Sounds like the fruit bat has a better sex-life than me. That is depressing.
posted by livingdots at 8:41 PM on November 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


"Where did you learn that?"

"National Geographic."
posted by medea42 at 8:53 PM on November 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Reminds me of an old joke:

Two rednecks [not redneckist] were walking down the road when they came across a stray dog. The dog was sitting by the side of the road, happily licking its crotch.

They watched for a moment, when Billy Bob said,

"Damn! I sure wish I could do that!"

His pal, Jimmy, slapped him on the back of the head and said,

"Don't be simple, Billy Bob! That dog would bite you!"
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:00 PM on November 3, 2009 [9 favorites]


Aw. The poor little things probably just want a grilled cheese sandwich, but don't know how to make one.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:00 PM on November 3, 2009 [9 favorites]


When a friend sent me this article last week, I could only get past the last sentence of the abstract:
we present four non-mutually exclusive hypotheses that may explain the function of fellatio...

because, FFS, function of fellatio? function. Seriously, a function. you need to hypothesize about this? Four different ways?

Maybe I'm doing the wrong sort of science, but I do not, even on bad days, have to imagine four non-mutually exclusive hypotheses about the function of fellatio.


or maybe this is telling me that i'm doing exactly the right sort of science.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 9:03 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've said this on twitter, but I'll say this here - Fruit Bat Blowjob is now my favorite name for a punk band EVER.
posted by strixus at 9:06 PM on November 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


Is that some kind of viral for the next twilight movie?
posted by qvantamon at 9:15 PM on November 3, 2009 [10 favorites]


Double. Clearly this belongs in the EatingAsia thread.
posted by unSane at 9:22 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Where's the batshitinsane tag?

Ew.
posted by brundlefly at 9:24 PM on November 3, 2009


YOU ENJOY THIS BAT YOU SEXY SEX PERSON
posted by neroli at 9:24 PM on November 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


AH HA, I knew there was a reason so many people were arriving at my blog recently in search of "bat erection," "bat erection picture," "bat with an erection picture," and "bat wieners." For a minute there I thought I was witnessing the birth of a truly intriguing creatureporn zeitgeist. They are bats. They wanna fuck the night. Dudes are lining up to see this happen.
posted by Powerful Religious Baby at 9:28 PM on November 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Powerful Religious Baby: "They are bats. They wanna fuck the night. Dudes are lining up to see this happen."

This sounds like the opening credits monologue of a TV show I do not want to see.
posted by brundlefly at 9:32 PM on November 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


I would just like to draw attention to Figure 3.

"Hmm, what should we use to spice up this bar graph? How about a pencil sketch of a bat licking a penis. That'll really catch the reader's eye!"
posted by kiltedtaco at 9:34 PM on November 3, 2009 [6 favorites]


four non-mutually exclusive hypotheses about the function of fellatio:

1. sexual pleasure
2. emotional bonding
3. grooming & hygiene
4. getting a good close-up inspection for potential nasties before proceeding with any other sexual activities
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:38 PM on November 3, 2009


I could have research bat-fucking, but instead I decided on variable stars.

No one gives a shit about variable stars.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:48 PM on November 3, 2009 [11 favorites]


Am I the only one seeing the assumption that the "functional significance" can't possibly be that non-human animals might somehow have figured out that licking genitals feels awesome?

I think you're missing the point: when something feels awesome, it's usually because it's biologically beneficial in some way. Not always -- heroin, for example, feels awesome and is downright harmful -- but usually. The biologists here aren't trying to figure out what motivates the bats. They're trying to figure out why this particular motivation evolved.
posted by baf at 10:08 PM on November 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


To put it another way: Pretty much all animals eat. Can you think of a reason for this? Consider these two explanations for the universality of eating:

1. Animals eat because that's how they obtain the nutrients necessary to support life. In particular, all life requires energy, and animals, lacking photosynthesis, rely on eating to provide themselves with chemical energy.

2. Oh, come on! Do you really believe that animals are thinking about how they lack photosynthesis? Animals eat because they are HUNGRY. Duh.

Which of these two explanations do you find more satisfying?
posted by baf at 10:23 PM on November 3, 2009 [13 favorites]


I would also like to draw attention to Figure 3. Notice the box-whiskers plots.

Kinda sounds like a slang term for this sort of thing, as in: "I saw a possum getting box-whiskered in my backyard last night."
posted by jeremy b at 10:38 PM on November 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


jeremy b, I have actually heard of that act described by that term before. This is why I do not hang out with statisticians any more.
posted by strixus at 11:20 PM on November 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Fiddler crabs exchange sex for survival
By KRISTEN GELINEAU (AP) – 14 minutes ago
SYDNEY — In the world of fiddler crabs, the best form of protection is, apparently, prostitution, according to an Australian study published Wednesday.
***
I've heard of prostitutes with crabs, but crabs with prostitutes?
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 11:22 PM on November 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


Doin' it right, man, you bats are doin' it right.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:30 PM on November 3, 2009


"Hmm, what should we use to spice up this bar graph? How about a pencil sketch of a bat licking a penis. That'll really catch the reader's eye!"

I'll remember this for that presentation I have to do at work in a couple weeks...
posted by problemspace at 11:39 PM on November 3, 2009


How about a pencil sketch of a bat licking a penis.

Drawn by Mei Wang. Eponysterical graph maker.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:01 AM on November 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Fellatio by Fruit Bats Prolongs Copulation Time

Somewhere, there is a person who read no further than this headline and is now having a sub-optimal experience with their partner and some uncoöperative bats.
posted by zippy at 12:26 AM on November 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


Hey guys I can't lick my own penis is that normal? :(
posted by Avenger at 12:29 AM on November 4, 2009


Favorited for "regular fellatio". In both senses.
posted by vapidave at 12:47 AM on November 4, 2009


What this thread clearly needs is more monkey-on-goat action.

I'll see your goat, and raise you a frog.
posted by Netzapper at 1:27 AM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I only came into this thread to talk about bonobo blowjobs, but Maias beat me to it.

Damnit, the one time that knowledge might have been even mildly useful...
posted by Limiter at 1:59 AM on November 4, 2009


We don't need no stinking bat jizz.
posted by Phanx at 2:13 AM on November 4, 2009 [9 favorites]


Is that some kind of viral for the next twilight movie?

Not enough pointless masturbating.
posted by rokusan at 3:15 AM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I only came into this thread to talk about bonobo blowjobs...

Bonobo Blowjobs?

Word of advice: don't hire that clown for your kid's birthday party.
posted by rokusan at 3:16 AM on November 4, 2009 [8 favorites]


If it's prolonging things, presumably the licking is unpleasant. Are bat tongues covered with hooks like cat tongues are?

You're welcome for that image.
posted by DU at 4:31 AM on November 4, 2009


baf, the point is that there's another hypothesis that's being ignored: namely, that nerve centers which evolved for certain reasons can be easily appropriated for other reasons like simple pleasure. Again, Bagemihl's book critiques the bizarre "everything related to sex must have a clear biological purpose" argument nicely.
posted by mediareport at 5:24 AM on November 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


Somebody better call the Weekly World News. This adds a whole new dimension for potential scandals involving Bat Boy.
posted by mr.ersatz at 5:26 AM on November 4, 2009


You guys, it's still got a clear biological purpose! While we're either having oral sex, freaking out over oral sex or arguing over why bats are having oral sex, we're not building atomic bombs like humans usually do. The fact the Earth still hasn't reached nuclear winter is a testament to the power of oral sex, so I think it's safe to say that oral sex is Gaia's immune system.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:44 AM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Where's the batshitinsane tag?

Oh god, don't tell me they're into scat, too.
posted by applemeat at 6:21 AM on November 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Why, applemeat, don't tell me your afraid of bat scat fever.

I'm so very sorry
posted by Ufez Jones at 6:27 AM on November 4, 2009


Eep - you're, I mean. How embarassing.
posted by Ufez Jones at 6:45 AM on November 4, 2009


Man they were right about it making it last longer. It took forever for me to come watching that video.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:01 AM on November 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


Hot video, but the music killed the mood for me.
posted by Nelson at 7:28 AM on November 4, 2009


Somebody better call the Weekly World News.

Too late, man!
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:01 AM on November 4, 2009


3. grooming & hygiene

It's a opportune time to clean off ticks, dryer lint, candy bar wrappers, etc.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:47 AM on November 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


oh to be a bat
posted by elder18 at 10:09 AM on November 4, 2009


Should have closed this thread at 69 comments. (This is #70.)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 10:41 AM on November 4, 2009


We all were trying to, but you had to go and post a comment.
posted by scrowdid at 11:21 AM on November 4, 2009


We all were trying to, but you had to go and post a comment.

Really? Shit. Sorry.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 11:34 AM on November 4, 2009


Henceforth, submissions to PLoS One should be in LateX.
posted by bendybendy at 11:47 AM on November 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Henceforth, submissions to PLoS One should be in LateX.

Is that an order?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:48 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Apparently this is all old news to Adam West, for reasons he will be detailing in his new tell-all book about what went on behind the set of Batman.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:55 PM on November 4, 2009


four non-mutually exclusive hypotheses about the function of fellatio:

5. The taste. "Gah! Brussel Sprouts?!!! I'm not having your children."
6. The protein, etc. helps prepare the female's body for pregnancy.*
* Note: This pick-up line never works. Even worse than "It's good for the skin!"
7. Impresses tenure committees.
8. Easy way to rack up metafilter favorites.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:57 PM on November 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


We don't need no stinking bat jizz.

This comment is funnier if you read it in David Attenborough's voice.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:03 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I showed Fig. 3 to my wife.
...
"Have you seen those error bars? Have you seen those error bars! This is NOT significant!"
...
So disappointing. (Note to self: This is not what it takes to get her in the mood.)
posted by sebastienbailard at 5:14 PM on November 4, 2009


I would just like to draw attention to Figure 3.

"Hmm, what should we use to spice up this bar graph? How about a pencil sketch of a bat licking a penis. That'll really catch the reader's eye!"


I'd like to draw your attention to the caption of Figure 3, which says: "Vignette shows a female performing fellatio, drawn by Mei Wang".

Heh, heh... Mei Wang drew the sketch.
posted by Netzapper at 7:01 PM on November 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Mai Wang would have been funnier. Perhaps she was unavailable.
posted by rokusan at 7:15 PM on November 4, 2009


Speaking of bat jizz, here's a Kakapo humping the cameraman's head while Stephen Fry narrates, wholly oblivious to the fact that this parrot has sharp freakin' claws.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:31 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


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