Science: making you feel bad about your swimsuit areas. Sorry, swimsuit areas.

Apparently we’re all supposed to sleep around randomly and not ever get married ever, or maybe not.

IT IS SCIENCE! (Or maybe not.)

So I read this article a couple months ago and I saved it because it was interesting (but also totally kind of vague) and also SCIENCE and it talked about “horny papillae” and come ON, we all love to discuss things like horny papillae, don’t we? It’s like it was MADE for discussion over here.

Also, if there’s science, I think, “oh, Andreas will be so proud of me, because SCIENCE.” I do so like to make my Science Fellow proud of me.

So according to this article, back in the ancient days of yore, our ancestors (wait, we all agree we came from monkeys, right? Can we agree on that? Because if we can’t…well, I worry about your sanity. I found this for Andreas the other day and I think it would benefit ALL OF US EVERY LAST ONE OF US.)

ANYWAY, our ANCESTOR MONKEYS all had “horny papillae” on their penises. Yep. We’re totally talking about penises today. Only for a little while, though. I haven’t talked about penises OR sex lately and Ding Dong Joe’s getting all nervous I’ve forgotten about them.

Now, a lot of mammals still have these bumps. Guess what they’re for. NO GUESS.

You totally guessed for her pleasure, didn’t you? Like those terrible condoms that are lies lies lies? WRONG SALLY.

They are to make sex last LESS LONG. Yep. You read that right. Because in the animal kingdom, having Sting-style tantric sex ALL NIGHT LONG (all night) is not a good idea. You have to be doing other things. Like eating seeds and such. Or maybe other mammals or insects. Or fighting. There’s a lot of fighting in the animal kingdom, you know. Don’t you watch Animal Planet? Or Cops?

Even wee bebeh kittens fight!!!

Even wee bebeh kittens fight!!!

But HUMANS evolved PAST our horny papillae so we could trip the light fandango or get our oil changed or play hide the sausage for HOURS. Or whatever euphemisms you might like, you can pick. It’s really your call. Or if you want, you can ask Ken, he’s in charge of euphemisms. He’ll find one for you if you want. I’m sure he’d be happy to. Guy loves a challenge.

I know, I know, this has very little to do with marriage or not-marriage or all the sex, doesn’t it? I’m GETTING there. The scenic route is the way I go, chickadees, EVERY SINGLE TIME. Except for when I don’t, I like to shake off the people tailing me sometimes.

Anyway, science-types say that the reason we don’t have these bumps and lumps is to make sex last LONGER and be more PLEASING for BOTH PARTIES (whoo, THANKS, science, except for that one time…no, let’s not talk about that right now, except for to say NO THANK YOU FOR THAT TIME SCIENCE SIGH) and therefore this led to monogamy.

Except then the article got all vague and was like “although maybe not.”

Listen, article. You need to take a STAND. You need to be BRAVE. You can’t be all wishy-washy, it’s EMBARRASSING.

I learned things from this article, like only 1 in 6 societies enforce monogamy as a rule. Really? This seems low. I guess I believe it. What choice do I have? I don’t know all the rules of the world. Also I learned that back in the DAY, you weren’t allowed to have a formal concubine, but you were allowed to have all the sex with your slaves as you wanted. Well! That seems fun for the slaves. In a not-at-all fun way.

I feel the slaves maybe had enough to do without having to worry about your needs as well, guys.

I feel the slaves maybe had enough to do without having to worry about your needs as well, guys.

Then they talked to some sciency types who said “There are a few species that are monogamous…the fat-tailed dwarf lemur. The Malagasy giant jumping rat. You’ve got to look in the nooks and crannies to find them, though.”

Hee, “nooks and crannies.” Also, I’d have to wonder if it’s in the name. Like, who’d want to sleep with a fat-tailed dwarf lemur, or a Malagasy giant jumping rat? No one. Also, don’t call animals fat. Call ’em big-boned. It hurts their feelings to call them fat. They can’t help their genetics or if they like to eat all the snack cakes while watching Cheaters.

Stop negatively attacking my self-esteem, says the fat-tailed dwarf lemur. This one's name is Petunia.

Stop negatively attacking my self-esteem, says the fat-tailed dwarf lemur. This one’s name is Petunia.

Then the article started talking about testes size. YEP! We’re talking about PENISES and also TESTICLES today. Apparently animals that  cheat a lot have HUGE BALLS. Heh. So as better to spread all the seed. Then the article says – I’m not even kidding, sorry, fellas – “And what about a man’s testes? They’re not so big and not so little. They’re just eh.” Aw! Guys! Apparently human testes are just EH! I feel bad for your testes. THEY ARE LOVELY, GUYS. Don’t let the article make you feel bad about your swimsuit areas. BAD ARTICLE BAD.

Mostly, what the article said was “we don’t know if humans used to be monogamous or polygamous. Because we have no way of knowing such things. We think humans are monogamISH. WE SAID ISH. And we are SCIENTISTS. So stuff that in your pipes and smoke it.”

This worries me. Why can’t the scientists figure this shit out? (P.S., Andreas says that scientists don’t like to say “YES!” or “NO!” because if they’re wrong they look like assholes. Well, he didn’t say THAT. He’s much less vulgar and more well-spoken than I am. THANK YOU ANDREAS!)

Here’s my thought. (What, you thought I’d let it go without giving you my very sciency thoughts? Andreas, you need to read this article and give your thoughts, by the way. I bet you do better than the scientists. You can even say penis and testes as much as you want, and it’s not even filthy. I KNOW! Isn’t this the best? Sure it is.)

I know some people are all “I could never love just one person!” and that’s awesome. I don’t judge. (Well, unless you don’t tell the person you’re currently WITH you feel this way. I don’t think cheating is cool. I have weird values about cheating. Don’t ask. It’s one of my weirdly puritanical things. Or maybe it’s one of my weirdly Wiccan things – you’re not supposed to harm anyone in the Wiccan faith. And cheating always harms someone. Or multiple someones. I don’t think it’s a good idea. I also think it’s sneaky. I hate sneakiness and I hate lying.)

Also if you're not careful you'll end up on this show and it's SCANDALOUS, you guys.

Also if you’re not careful you’ll end up on this show and it’s SCANDALOUS, you guys.

But I’m very one-persony. If I’m in love with someone…that’s my person. I’m a baby duck who imprinted when I’m in love with someone, I’ll totally admit it. Mostly this might be because it doesn’t happen very often? And so when it does, that person is SPECIAL. Also, I fight it. I realize I’m falling for someone and I’m like “NOPE STOP THAT THIS WON’T END WELL!” but if it’s meant to be, my stupid heart wins out and then I’m in for trouble. Hoo, boy, am I. So if I went through ALL THAT why would I want to be with someone ELSE? That was a lot of work. A LOT of work.

Here's me. Imprinting on a corgi, apparently.

Here’s me. Imprinting on a corgi, apparently.

So…I guess mostly I don’t understand polygamy? Because I don’t WANT to be with more than one person. I want ONE person. And hopefully that imaginary nebulous person would feel the same? I mean, that would be the goal, anyway? Also, I’m a (what? shock! awe!) very jealous person. I always thought that would be the worst part of being in a polygamous relationship. Wouldn’t you be so jealous of the other wives (or if you’re male, husbands?) Wouldn’t you think, “s/he looked at my sister wife/brother husband a little longer than s/he looked at me at dinner…does s/he like them better? WHY WHY WHY?” and then the whole thing would self-destruct?

Maybe most people aren’t as jealous as I am? What say you, readers, don’t you think you’d get so jealous if your husband was having sex with say 5 other women or something, or vice-versa sex-wise, men? Or am I out of my mind and old-fashioned and it would be awesome?

So…are we SUPPOSED to be monogamous? I don’t know. Probably not. I think we’re SUPPOSED to probably spread the seed all over and make a billion babies, right? That’s the way mammals work, isn’t it? Procreate? All you can? Like bunnies?

(This is mostly for Andreas because I know he loves this song as much as I do.)

(This is mostly for Andreas because I know he loves this song as much as I do.)

I guess what you decide to do really boils down to how your heart works. And some of us have weird loyal clockwork hearts that latch onto one person and that’s it, we’re done; and some of us are more open to lots of love, I suppose. Either way’s cool with me, just, like I said, don’t hurt anyone.

So…in summation:

  • horny papillae
  • penis
  • testes

You’re welcome, Ding Dong Joe. Don’t say I never gave you anything.

About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

52 responses to “Science: making you feel bad about your swimsuit areas. Sorry, swimsuit areas.

  • Elizabeth

    I agree with you. I like my one. It would be too hard to try to keep up with multiples. The exception would be the guys who are on The List. You know, the ones you can do it with because they are famous and asked you to. Can’t miss out on those opportunities!


  • becomingcliche

    Barn owls also mate for life, which can be more than a decade. Their relationships last longer than many human ones.


  • sj


    Sorry, I am now in full on OMwF mode, and can’t talk about anything else.


  • Andreas Heinakroon

    I have so many thing to say about this that I don’t even..

    Wait. *breathes deeply* Ok.

    Here goes: We’ve touched on this subject before (No. ‘Subject’ as in topic. Not ‘penis’. We don’t touch penises here.) during the famous Sneaky fucker week. There are several strategies to maximise the chance of being able to reproduce. One is polygamy, where you try to have sex with as many partners as possible in order to spread your genes (for males), or make sure you get a good variation in your offspring (for females). This usually leads to big sexual dimorphism, where the males grow bigger and stronger in order to compete with other males. Or the males might sport some kind of grand colour scheme or elaborate plumage. Or other types of signals to show just how healthy and genetically sound they are. Females then either choose the most fit male or become part of a harem of females belonging to the strongest male.

    Another way is to create a strong long-lasting bond with one partner and spend all that excess energy no longer needed for the sexual competition on raising offspring. Or flying around the world (like albatrosses). Or becoming a Sudoku master (like humans). Or something. This would of course require that you make the right choice to begin with, so monogamous animals usually have very elaborate and long-winded mating rituals.

    So where does this leave us humans? Well, as the article states, our sexual dimorphism is sort of in between. Sure, human males are usually a little bit bigger and stronger than females, but not always. It’s not like for gorillas. And we don’t (as Amy pointed out) have huge balls. (Human males have relatively huge penises, but that’s another story more related to the size of the human brain and the danger of child birth.)

    So even though Amy is disappointed in the apparent lack of a conclusion in the referred article, I would state that it calls it as it sees it. We don’t express any traits that conclusively speak for or against monogamy. At least not physically. We do however display a huge range of extremely complex and elaborate mating rituals. It can take months for humans to form a couple. Years, even. And even though the article states that only one society out of six enforce monogamy, the end result is that almost every human society on earth is almost exclusively monogamous.

    That would strongly indicate that humans are primarily monogamous, even though there’s always the option to mix in some fresh genes by cheating. Monogamish is rather an apt term. In my view, there are no biological excuses for cheating by blaming our evolutionary history by saying: “But baby, it’s in our GENES!” I would rather say that our infamous ability to cheat stems from our over-energetic sex drive. We’re more or less constantly horny, which of course will cause us to do stupid things from time to time. That’s not an excuse though. We still have a brain. Not using it is a choice, and a choice we will need to take responsibility for.

    Summary: I don’t approve of cheating. It’s hurtful, deceitful and cheap and there are very few valid excuses for that kind of behaviour. So keep it in your pants.


  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Ok, sorry. That turned out longer than I intended. And I still forgot to rebuke the slave argument: I’m sure it’s true that slave owners used their slaves sexually, but slave owners were the upper class. The huge majority of people didn’t have slaves. Which would make the society as a whole monogamous.


    • lucysfootball

      I love that you wrote me a blog post. Don’t you ever apologize; I just couldn’t get over here soon emough to reply. Too busy on my one day off. It’s sad that I had one day off and I spent it all up already. Sigh.


  • Andreas Heinakroon

    (And I did appreciate the bunny picture!)


  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Also: hours? Really? Not like just.. I don’t know.. half an hour at the most? I’m starting to feel slightly inferior here. (Or perhaps I sport some of those horny papillae*?)

    * As it happens, the human penis does feature some horny papillae, but they are confined to the back rim of the glans and aren’t readily exposed to friction during intercourse. Not directly, anyway.


  • sssatan13

    i’ll go against the grain here, just because that’s my general MO. i happen to be polyamorous. and i totally get why people are either poly, or monogamous, and most of it does happen to be about jealousy. i have a basically zero jealousy response, and never have. so that makes me a good candidate for poly, i suppose…
    my two cents. carry on!


    • lucysfootball

      I’m envious. Truly. I wish my jealousy response was nonexistent. Or even smaller. I’m insanely jealous. To my detriment, sadly. Which is why I know polyamory could never work for me – I’d spend the whole time being in a state of jealous fury.

      But I absolutely don’t judge anyone for it – like I said, as long as no one gets hurt, whatever works for people is ok with me. Seriously. Least judgey human alive about such things, here.


  • Samantha

    I adore the science-y posts. I am learning things by reading your blog, which is ilke a win-win! :D

    I’m the same way, very monogamous. Always have been, and am also pretty jealous. Now I’ve gotten to the point where I can hear about past things comfortably unless I was actually witness to them then I get a little moody and annoyed in a way. At least though it usually doesn’t get in the way of the relationship, because it’s not like there’s situations where I feel like something’s bordering on inappropriate, I guess? :)


    • lucysfootball

      I don’t know if I’ve gotten better or worse or stayed the same. I was a jealous child, I was a jealous teen, I’m a jealous adult. I don’t know why and it would be lovely if it stopped. I get SO MAD at myself.

      YAY! I’m glad people like the sciency posts. I have so much fun with them!


  • Kris Rudin (@krisrudin)

    I’m totally monogamous!! Always have been that way – when I’m in a relationship, I’m 100% IN that relationship! And it’s not so much that I’m totally jealous, just that I’m easily hurt if my ‘someone’ were to stray. Thankfully, I found a WONDERFUL man who feels the same way, and we’ve been blissfully married for 20 years!! I’m one of the lucky ones, I guess. :-)

    LOVE the science!


  • Lisa

    If I EVER get to a point where I find someone that doesn’t make me run for the hills at the thought if spending time with him, I am PINNING THAT MAN DOWN AND NEVER LETTING HIM LEAVE MY SIGHT. So, hmmm I guess I’m a monogamy type of gal.


  • lgalaviz

    I heard it described once as serial monogamy. The male of the species basically gets one family well underway, gets a divorce, then goes out and gets a second wife and starts all over again. I think you have to have a lot of money for this because you have to give the first wife a house and half of all your stuff.


    • lucysfootball

      Hmm. I don’t know if I’d like this. Also, by the time the man got to his fourth wife, if he’d been giving all those wives half of everything, he’d only have a fraction of his things left. I think he’d be a bad choice by then and no one would want him. Or maybe someone would. Probably he’s totally charismatic.


  • emmawolf

    Speaking of penises, I am deeply disturbed by this:


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