Science | January 12, 2022 11:44 am

Female Dolphins Have a Pleasure-Providing Clitoris, Like Humans

Lady dolphins have lady parts too

Dolphins having sex
Just a couple of dolphins getting it on.
Lars K. Christensen

While the amorous activity of humans is often compared to that of rabbits, it would perhaps be more accurate to say that we fuck like dolphins. The aquatic mammals are known to have sex for pleasure (sometimes even attempting to get it on with humans) and now, recent research suggests that female dolphins are equipped with the proper anatomy for pleasure-focused sex, just like their human counterparts.

According to researchers at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, female dolphins have large, developed clitorises that are believed to function similarly to the human clitoris. “The dolphin clitoris has many features to suggest that it functions to provide pleasure to females,” said Patricia Brennan, assistant biology professor and first author of the report published Monday in the journal Current Biology.

“Every time we dissected a vagina, we would see this very large clitoris, and we were curious whether anyone had examined it in detail to see if it worked like a human clitoris,” said Brennan, per Eureka Alert. “We knew that dolphins have sex not just to reproduce, but also to solidify social bonds, so it seemed likely that the clitoris could be functional.”

According to Brennan, the erectile bodies of dolphins are similar to those of humans, surprisingly so because the “entire pelvis of dolphins is so different” otherwise. Human-adjacent features Brennan and her team discovered in the dolphin clitoris during their research include large areas of erectile tissue that become engorged with blood during arousal, as well as large nerves in the clitoral body.

Per the researchers, these anatomical similarities to the human female pleasure organ — coupled with the dolphin clitoris’s location in a position that would make stimulation during intercourse likely — strongly suggest the clitoris is a source of sexual pleasure for female dolphins.

According to Brennan, these findings are significant not only in advancing our knowledge of sexual anatomy and activity among dolphins, but also our understanding of human female sexuality.

“This neglect in the study of female sexuality has left us with an incomplete picture of the true nature of sexual behaviors,” said Brennan, noting in the report that the human clitoris wasn’t even fully described in scientific literature until the 1990s. “Studying and understanding sexual behaviors in nature is a fundamental part of understanding the animal experience and may even have important medical applications in the future.”

Congrats to the lady dolphins on their functional clits. Hopefully their male dolphin sex partners know what to do with them.