A Straight Dope Classic from Cecil's Storehouse of Human Knowledge

Do female pigs have six-minute orgasms?

September 17, 1982

Dear Cecil:

There is a rumor going around our office that female pigs have six minute orgasms. We're hoping to nip such distortions of truth in the bud and also keep the female workers here from feeling anxious with undue expectations of themselves. Also, do animals ever do it for fun?

Dear Concerned:

Generally speaking, your nonhumanoid beasties, such as pigs, do not experience the Big O. We're talking about the female of the species here, of course. The males generally manage to get off, which to my mind confirms the fundamental sexism of the animal world.

This is not to say that the lower orders necessarily are physiologically incapable of orgasm. A couple years ago some Dutch researchers noticed that female stump-tail macaques (macaques are a type of monkey) displayed what must be described as shit-eating grins while engaging in, uh, lesbian episodes.

The female on top, if you follow me, concluded the sessions with "ejaculation face," an expression of abandoned bliss that male macaques customarily assume when they climax. The researchers subsequently wired up the female macaques to test instruments and confirmed that what looked like an orgasm probably really was an orgasm, since the dominant female experienced uterine contractions and abruptly accelerated heartbeat, not to mention an intense craving for a cigarette immediately afterward.

In later tests, the researchers also noticed that female macaques appeared to climax about 20 percent of the time during heterosexual encounters, a rather dismal percentage that we can no doubt chalk up to chronic sexual ineptitude on the part of the males.

As for your second question, we must point out that, scientifically speaking, animals always do it for fun. The only critters who do it because they have to are Catholics. Take it from your Unca Cecil.

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