Even Beetles Understand the Importance of Oral Sex

A recent study reports that scientists have observed precopulatory oral sexual behavior in beetles

Desert beetle Family Tenebrionid Live and feed in sand dunes throughout North Africa and Namib Desert Morocco.
A desert beetle who knows how to please a woman
Martin Harvey

Unlike a certain infamously cunnilingus-averse DJ and producer, male desert beetles seemingly understand the importance of performing oral sex on their female partners.

A recent study reports that scientists have, for the first time, observed precopulatory oral sexual behavior — AKA oral sex as foreplay before penetrative intercourse — in the desert darkling beetle, P. mongolica. As many vulva-having humans can probably confirm, a little pre-coital cunnilingus can go a long way in making any subsequent penetrative sex more welcome and more pleasurable, and it would seem the desert beetles agree.

According to the study, the male beetles approached precopulatory oral sex roughly the same way a wise human male might: as an attempt to entice and prepare a partner for penetrative sex. Per the researchers’ observations, the male beetles would reportedly use their maxillary palpi, a sensory organ on the mouth, to rub the female’s genitals before inserting the aedeagus — or bug dick — into the female body. If the female is unsatisfied with the male’s performance and attempts to make a break for it, the male will continue the genital rubbing before making another attempt at getting it in.

Unsurprisingly, researchers found that male beetles who pursue this precoital oral sex strategy have better game, by which I mean increase their chances of successful mating. Not unlike oral sex as foreplay among humans, the beetles’ pre-intercourse cunnilingus paves the way for better penetrative sex by warming up the female genitals, which, for reference, do not generally come primed to simply have a hard dick/aedeagus shoved into them with zero foreplay.

In other, more scientific words, “Investment in oral sexual contact promotes the successful insertion by stimulating the opening of the vulva,” the scientists wrote in the study published in Ecology and Evolution earlier this year. “Oral sexual contact not only promotes mating success but also reduces the unsuccessful insertion cost and copulation duration.”

While decreased “copulation duration” may not typically be thought of as desirable in human sexual encounters, it’s helpful for beetles getting it on beneath the hot desert sun, who are exposed to heat stress and prey risk. When you’re risking your little beetle life just to get some, it’s in your best interest to keep sex efficient.

So, take it from nature: if a beetle trying not to fry in the desert sun can take the time to perform a little pre-penetrative oral sex on his partner, so can you.

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