Zoophilia

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The most popular use of the term Zoophilia is the same as the more common/mainstream term Bestiality: a paraphilia defined as an affinity, affection or sexual attraction by a humam to an animal or animals. Possibly, vice-versa.

Zoophilia is also used in psychology in the context of sexual orientation toward animals but the term 'zoosexuality' is becoming more common for this.

Zoophilia can also mean literally "love of animals". This is the stictest meaning of the word, as it derives from the Greek zo´on ("animal") and philia ("friendship" or "love")

Not to be confused with Zoophily, a botanical term referring to the tendency to feed or grow on animal tissue.

Contents


Having the animal as submissive is only rarely considered a part of BDSM activities but a significant minority of those who associate with BDSM occasionally do so in a context submissive to an animal.

In many countries, any sexual activity involving animals is illegal. In most countries it is a taboo subject and sexual acts with animals are often condemned as animal abuse and/or outlawed as crimes against nature. However some, such as philosopher and animal rights author Peter Singer, argue that this is not inherently the case. Although research has broadly been supportive of at least some of zoophiles' central claims, common culture is generally hostile to the concept of animal-human sexuality.

Bestiality is distinct from the activitiy of being treated as an animal. Some submissives enjoy being treated as - or even living as - an animal, especially a dog or pony.

People who indulge in bestiality are called zoophiles. To avoid confusion about the meaning of zoophilia - which may refer to the affinity/attraction, paraphilia, or sexual activity - this article uses zoophilia for the former, and zoosexual activity for the sexual act. The two terms are independent: not all sexual acts with animals are performed by zoophiles; and not all zoophiles exercise their philia.

There is presently considerable debate in psychology over whether certain aspects of zoophilia are better understood as an aberration or as a sexual orientation. Defenders of zoosexuality argue that a human/animal relationship can go far beyond sexuality, and that animals are capable of forming a genuinely loving relationship that can last for years and which is not functionally different from any other love/sex relationship.

Extent of occurrence

The extent to which zoophilia occurs is not known with any certainty, largely because feelings which may not have been acted upon can be difficult to quantify, lack of clear divide between non-sexual zoophilia and everyday pet care, and reluctance by most zoophiles to disclose their feelings. Instead most research into zoophilia has focused on its characteristics, rather than quantifying it.

Scientific surveys estimating the frequency of zoosexual activity, as well as anecdotal evidence and informal surveys, suggest that more than 1-2% -- and perhaps as many as 8-10% -- of sexually active adults have had significant sexual experience with an animal at some point in their lives. Studies suggest that a larger number (perhaps 10-30% depending on area) have fantasized or had some form of brief encounter. Larger figures such as 40-60% for rural teenagers (living on or near livestock farms) have been cited from some earlier surveys such as the Kinsey reports, but some later writers consider these uncertain.

Sexual fantasies about zoosexual acts can occur in people who do not wish to experience them in real life, and may simply reflect normal imagination and curiosity. Latent zoophile tendencies may be common; the frequency of interest and sexual excitement in watching animals mating is cited as an indicator by Massen (1994) and commented on by Masters (1962).

Legal status

Zoosexual acts are illegal in many jurisdictions, while others generally outlaw the mistreatment of animals without specifically mentioning sexuality. Because it is unresolved under the law whether sexual relations with an animal are inherently "abusive" or "mistreatment", this leaves the status of zoosexual activity unclear in some jurisdictions.

Whilst zoosexuality is legal in a few liberal countries, such as Sweden and the Netherlands, it is illegal in Great Britain, Canada, and much of the United States and Australia amongst others. Countries such as Belgium, Germany and Russia are in between the two as they permit zoosexual activity but strictly prohibit the promotion of animal-oriented pornography.

Zoophiles

Zoophilia as a lifestyle

Separate from those whose interest is curiosity, pornography, or sexual novelty, are those for whom zoophilia might be called a lifestyle or orientation. A commonly reported starting age is at or before puberty, around 9 - 11, and this seems consistent for both males and females. Alfred Kinsey found that the most frequent incidence of human/animal intercourse was more than eight times a week, for the under-15 years age group. Those who discover an interest at an older age often trace it back to nascent form during this period or earlier. As with human attraction, zoophiles may be attracted only to particular species, appearances, personalities or individuals, and both these and other aspects of their feelings vary over time.

Zoophiles tend to perceive differences between animals and human beings as less significant than others do. They often view animals as having positive traits (e.g. honesty) that humans often lack, and to feel that society's understanding of non-human sexuality is misinformed. Although some feel guilty about their feelings and view them as a problem, others do not feel a need to be constrained by traditional standards in their private relationships.

The biggest difficulties many zoophiles report are the inability to be accepted or open about their animal relationships and feelings with friends and family, and the fear of harm, rejection or loss of companions if it became known. Some of these concerns may be qualitatively similar to historical perceptions in other sexual groups that have been legal or illegal at different times in history. Zoophiles do not usually cite internal conflicts over religion as their major issue, perhaps because zoosexual activity, although seemingly condemned by some religions, is not a major focus of their teachings.

Zoophilic sexual relationships vary, and may be based upon variations of human-style relationships (eg monogamy), animal-style relationships (each make own sexual choices), physical intimacy (non-sexual touch, mutual social grooming, closeness), or other combinations.

Zoophiles may or may not have human partners and families. Some zoophiles have an affinity or attraction to animals which is secondary to human attraction; for others the affectional bond with animals is primary. Hani Miletski argues that a scale similar to Kinsey's could be applied for this. In some cases human family or friends are aware of the relationship with the animal and its nature, in others it is hidden. This can sometimes give rise to issues of guilt (as a result of divided loyalties and concealment) or jealousy within human relationships [1]. In addition, zoophiles sometimes enter human relationships due to growing up within traditional expectations, or to deflect suspicions of zoophilia, and yet others may choose looser forms of human relationship as companions or housemates, live alone, or choose other zoophiles to live with.

Not all zoophiles are able to keep animals, or at least not those animals that they feel attracted to, and because of this some resort to trespassing on property to have sexual contact with animals. This practice, known as 'fence hopping', is often condemned by both zoophiles and non-zoophiles alike, however.

Non-sexual zoophilia

Although the term is often used to refer to sexual interest in animals, zoophilia is not necessarily sexual in nature. In psychology and sociology it is sometimes used without regard to sexual implications. Defintions of zoophilia include "Affection or affinity for animals", "Erotic attraction to or sexual contact with animals", "Attraction to or affinity for animals", or "An erotic fixation on animals that may result in sexual excitement through real or fancied contact".

The common feature of "zoophilia" is some form of affective bond to animals beyond the usual, whether emotional or sexual in nature. Non-sexual zoophilia, as with animal love generally, is generally accepted in society, and although sometimes ridiculed, it is usually respected or tolerated. Examples of non-sexual zoophilia can be found on animal memorial pages such as petloss.com, in-memory-of-pets.com (memorial, tribute and support sites), by doing an Internet search for "pet memorials", or on sites such as MarryYourPet.com and other pet marriage sites.

Zoophiles and other groups

Zoophiles are often confused with furries or therians (or "weres"), that is, people with an interest in anthropomorphism, or people who believe they share some kind of inner connection with animals (spiritual, emotional or otherwise). While the membership of all three groups probably overlap in part, it is untrue to say that all furs or therians have a sexual interest in animals (subconscious or otherwise). Many furs find anthropomorphic adult art erotic and enjoy the companionship of animals, but have no wish to extend their interest beyond an affinity or emotional bond to sexual activity. Those who consider themselves both zoophiles and furries, often call themselves zoo-furs or fuzzies. The size of this group is not known, although an oft-cited figure is 5% of furries, which is not dissimilar to typical estimates of the percentage within the population generally. Expressions of fur fetishism such as fursuiting, are usually considered a form of costuming, rather than an expression of zoosexual interest and are usually legal.

Finally, zoophilia is not related to sexual puppy or pony play (also known as "Petplay") or animal transformation fantasies and roleplays, where one person may act like a dog, pony, horse, or other animal, while a sexual partner acts as a rider, trainer, caretaker, or breeding partner. These activities are sexual roleplays whose principal theme is the voluntary or involuntary reduction or transformation of a human being to animal status, and focus on the altered mind-space created. They have no implicit connection to, nor motive in common with, zoophilia. They are instead more usually associated with BDSM. Zoosexual activity is not part of BDSM for most people, and would usually be considered extreme, or edgeplay.

Health and safety

Humans and other animals cannot make each other pregnant. Infections due to improper cleaning could be an issue for either party. Most viruses are specific to particular species and cannot be transmitted sexually, so humans and animals cannot catch many viral diseases from zoosexual acts. However, a few uncommon but treatable infectious disease|infections (known as zoonoses) such as Brucellosis can be transferred. HIV (the "AIDS" virus) is fragile and only lives in primates (humans, apes and monkeys) and is not believed to survive long in other species. Animals' and humans' bodily fluids are not incompatible, but allergic reactions can sometimes occur.

In terms of physical compatibility and injury, many medium/large domesticated species appear to be physically compatible with humans. The main non-deliberate physical risks are of injury, either through ignorance of physical differences, forcefulness, or, for female animals, excessive friction or infection. Humans may also be at substantial physical risk and seriously harmed by sexual activity with animals. Larger animals may have the strength and defensive attributes (e.g. hooves, teeth) to injure a human, either in rejecting physical or sexual contact, or in the course of sexual arousal. For example, the penis of a sexually aroused dog has a broad bulb at the base which can cause injury if forcibly pulled from a body orifice, and equines can thrust suddenly and "flare", Bodil Joensen commented in a 1980's interview that "I was afraid to let other women do the same with the [stallion] as I. It requires a special technique. When they cum, their glans swells up, and it can split your vagina. I have had some stitches once I didn't pull it out in time" and many animals bite as part of sexual excitement and foreplay. In July 2005, a 45 year old aerospace engineer, Kenneth Pinyan, died in Enumclaw, Washington from internal injury after being anally penetrated by a stallion. Pinyan was highly experienced at this activity. Sources cited in that article add: "The prosecutor's office says no animal cruelty charges were filed [against the other man present] because there was no evidence of injury to the horses."

Arguments about zoophilia or zoosexual relations

Platonic love for animals is usually viewed positively, but most people express concern or disapproval of sexual interest, sometimes very strongly. Criticisms come from a variety of sources, including moral, ethical, psychological, and social arguments. They include:

  • "Sexual activity between species is unnatural."
  • "Sexual activity between species is (or should be) naturally repugnant to anyone in their right mind", sometimes called the "yuck factor".
  • "Animals are not sapient, and therefore unable to consent." (similar to arguments against sex with human minors) The HSUS states:
"In his 1993 article, Dr. Frank Ascione stated that 'bestiality may be considered cruel even in cases when physical harm to an animal does not occur (this is similar to the case of adult sexual activity with a child where consent is presumed to be impossible).' This is because animals are unable to be fully informed, communicate consent, or to speak out about their abuse. In a 1997 article, Piers Beirne, Professor of Criminology at the University of Southern Maine, points out that 'for genuine consent to sexual relations to be present...both participants must be conscious, fully informed and positive in their desires'."
"Bestiality is by nature sexual coercion because animals are incapable of genuinely saying 'yes' or 'no' to humans in forms we can readily understand."
  • "Animals are incapable of relating to or forming relationships with humans."
  • "Zoosexual relations are simply for those unable/unwilling to find human partners."
  • "Sexual acts with animals by humans are always physical abuse."
  • "Animals mate instinctively to produce offspring, hence they are deceived when these activities are performed."
  • "It takes advantage of animals' innate social structure which forces them to please a leader."
  • "Humans are guardians in charge of animals, so a sexual relationship is a betrayal of the trust earned by this duty of care."
  • "Zoosexuality is 'profoundly disturbed behaviour.'"
  • "It offends human dignity<ref name="argument_from_dignity">An example of argument from human dignity is given by Wesley J. Smith, a senior fellow and Intelligent Design proponent at the Center for Science and Culture of the conservative Christian Discovery Institute: - "such behavior is profoundly degrading and utterly subversive to the crucial understanding that human beings are unique, special, and of the highest moral worth in the known universe--a concept known as 'human exceptionalism' ... one of the reasons bestiality is condemned through law is that such degrading conduct unacceptably subverts standards of basic human dignity and is an affront to humankind's inestimable importance and intrinsic moral worth." wesleyjsmith.com and weeklystandard.com Aug 31 2005</ref> or is forbidden by religious law."

Defenders of zoophilia or zoosexuality state that:

  • "'Natural' is debatable; it's also not necessarily relevant." (ie, naturalistic fallacy)
  • "Animals are capable of sexual consent - and even initiation - in their own way."
  • "Animals do form mutual relationships with humans."
  • "Research shows the majority of zoophiles appear to have human partners and relationships many others simply do not have a sexual attraction to humans."
  • "Many zoophiles have an attraction to species which are relatively inaccessible, such as dolphins; tending to oppose the view that they are simply 'looking for easy sex'."
  • "It is a misperception that zoosexual relations need necessarily be inherently harmful/abusive. Usually it needs only sensitivity, mutuality, and understanding of everyday animal behavior."
  • "Instinct does not exclude enjoyment, volition or learning."
  • "Animal and human social structure is flexible enough both to allow for different species in it and can easily encompass dynamically changing roles and leads."
  • "People choosing to take responsibility for an animal, have to also take responsibility for its sexual drive. Neutering and ignoring are a failure to accept animals as they are, often used to avoid facing an uncomfortable aspect of animal reality or 'best care'."
  • "Both male and female domestic animals of several species can experience the physical sensation of orgasm, and can unambiguously solicit and demonstrate appreciation for it in their body language. Animals of many species also masturbate, even if other sexual partners are accessible."
  • "The psychological profession consensus does not consider it intrinsically pathological. Academic and clinical research consistently tends to substantiate rather than deny zoophiles' claims."
  • "Perspectives on human dignity and religious viewpoints differ and are personal; many individuals do not consider them relevant."

They also assert that some of these arguments rely on double standards, such as expecting informed consent from animals for sexual activity (and not accepting consent given in their own manner), but not for surgical procedures including aesthetic mutilation and castration, potentially lethal experimentation and other hazardous activities, euthanasia, and slaughter. Likewise, if animals cannot give consent, then it follows that they must not have sex with each other (amongst themselves).

Critics of this reasoning state that animals can communicate internally (hence consent) within their own species, but cannot communicate cross-species. Others state that animal communication is clear and unambiguous cross-species as well.

In discussing arguments for and against zoosexual activity, the "British Journal of Sexual Medicine" commented over 30 years ago, "We are all supposed to condemn bestiality, though only rarely are sound medical or psychological factors advanced." (Jan/Feb 1974, p.43)

People's views appear to depend significantly upon the nature of their interest and nature of exposure to the subject. People who have been exposed to zoosadism, who are unsympathetic to alternate lifestyles in general, or who know little about zoophilia, often regard it as an extreme form of animal abuse and/or indicative of serious psychosexual issues. The finding that attitudes to alternate sexualities correlate strongly with nature of contact and beliefs, is stated in a variety of research into zoophilia and also mirrored in societal attitudes towards homosexuality, which have been more thoroughly researched over a longer time period. Thus Herek, who established the Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men Scale in psychology, states "The ATLG and its subscales are consistently correlated with other theoretically-relevant constructs. Higher scores (more negative attitudes) correlate significantly with high religiosity, lack of contact with gay men and lesbians, adherence to traditional sex-role attitudes, belief in a traditional family ideology, and high levels of dogmatism (Herek, 1987a, 1987b, 1988, 1994; Herek & Glunt, 1993; Herek & Capitanio, 1995, 1996)" [2], and that "the strongest predictor of positive attitudes toward homosexuals was that the interviewee knew a gay man or lesbian. The correlation held across each demographic subset represented in the survey--sex, education level, age--bar one: political persuasion. Conservative men and women" [3], Mental health professionals and personal acquaintances of zoophiles who see their relationships over time tend to be less critical, and sometimes supportive. Ethologists who study and understand animal behaviour and body language, have documented animal sexual advances to human beings and other species, and tend to be matter-of-fact about animal sexuality and animal approaches to humans; their research is generally supportive of some of the claims by zoophiles regarding animal cognition, behaviour, and sexual/relational/emotional issues. Because the majority opinion is condemnatory, many individuals may be more accepting in private than they make clear to the public. Regardless, there is a general societal view which regards zoophilia with either suspicion or outright opposition.

Mythology and fantasy literature

From cave paintings onward and throughout human history, zoophilia has been a recurring subject in art, literature, and fantasy.

In Ugarit|Ugaritic mythology, the god Baal is said to have impregnated a heifer to sire a young bull god. In Greek mythology, Zeus appeared to Leda in the form of a swan, and her children Helen and Polydeuces resulted from that sexual union. Zeus also seduced Europa in the form of a bull, and carried off the youth Ganymede in the form of an eagle. The half-human/half-bull Minotaur was the offspring of Queen Pasiphae and a white bull. King Peleus continued to seduce the nymph Thetis despite her transforming into (among other forms) a lion, a bird, and a snake. The god Pan, often depicted with goat-like features, has also been frequently associated with animal sex. As with other subjects of classical mythology, some of these have been depicted over the centuries since, in western painting and sculpture. In Norse mythology, Loki had intercourse with a stallion, in the form of a mare, and gave birth to Sleipnir. The Sagaholm, a Swedish barrow from the Nordic Bronze Age, contains a number of Petroglyphs, some of which depict Zoophilia.

Fantasy literature has included a variety of seemingly zoophilic examples, often involving human characters enchanted into animal forms: Beauty and the Beast (a young woman falls in love with a physically beast-like man), William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (Queen Titania falls in love with a character whose head is transformed into that of a donkey's), The Book of One Thousand and One Nights (a princess champions a man enchanted into ape form), the Roman Lucius Apuleius's The Golden As] (explicit sexuality between a man transformed into a donkey and a woman), and Balzac's A Passion in the Desert (a love affair between a soldier and a panther). In more modern times, zoosexual relations of a sort has been a theme in science fiction and horror fiction, with the giant ape King Kong fixating on a human woman, alien monsters groping human females in pulp novels and comics, and depictions of tentacle rape in Japanese manga and anime.

Modern erotic furry fantasy art and stories are sometimes associated with zoophilia, but many creators and fans disagree with this, pointing out that the characters are predominantly humanoid fantasy creatures who are thinking, reasoning beings that consider and consent to sex in the same manner humans would. "Furry" characters have been compared to other intelligent and social non-human fictional characters who are subjects of love/sexuality fantasies without being commonly regarded as zoophilic, such as the Vulcans and Klingons in Star Trek, or elves in fantasy fiction. Animals and anthropomorphs, when shown in furry art, are usually shown engaged with others of similar kind, rather than humans.

Media discussion

Because of its controversial standing, different countries and medias vary in how they treat discussion of zoosexual activity. Often sexual matters are the subject of legal or regulatory requirement. For example, in 2005, the UK broadcasting regulator (OFCOM) updated its code stating that:

"Freedom of expression is at the heart of any democratic state. It is an essential right to hold opinions and receive and impart information and ideas. Broadcasting and freedom of expression are intrinsically linked. However, with such rights come duties and responsibilities ... The focus is on adult audiences making informed choices within a regulatory framework which gives them a reasonable expectation of what they will receive, while at the same time robustly protecting those too young to exercise fully informed choices for themselves ...
"OFCOM sets out a watershed and other precautions for explicit sexual material, to protect young people, and specifies that discussion of zoosexual activity along with other sexual matters may take place, but in an appropriate context and manner." [4]

The contrasting views between cultures are highlighted by the case of Omaha the Cat Dancer, a furry comic book, which was simultaneously the subject of a raid by Toronto police for pornographic depiction of bestiality (as noted, furry art is not usually considered "bestiality"), and the subject of praise by the New Zealand Office of Film and Literature Classification for its mature depiction of relationships and sexuality.

References to zoosexual activity or bestiality are not uncommon in some media, especially cartoon series such as Family Guy (episode: "Screwed the Pooch") and South Park, satirical comedy such as Borat, and films (especially shock exploitation films), although a few broadcasters such as Howard Stern (who joked about bestiality dial-a-date on NBC) and Tom Binns (whose Xfm London Breakfast Show resulted on one occasion in a live discussion about the ethics of zoosexual pornographic movies at peak child listening time) have been reprimanded by their stations for doing so. In literature, American novelist Kurt Vonnegut refers to a photo of a woman attempting sexual intercourse with a Shetland Pony in The Sirens of Titan, Slaughterhouse Five, and God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, while John Irving's novel The Cider House Rules repeatedly mentions a pornographic photograph depicting oral sex on a pony.

Pornography

Pornography involving sex with animals is widely illegal, even in most countries where the act itself is not explicitly outlawed. In the United States, zoosexual pornography (in common with other pornography) would be considered obscene if it did not meet the standards of the Miller Test and therefore is not openly sold, mailed, distributed or imported across state boundaries or within states which prohibit it. Under U.S. law, 'distribution' includes transmission across the internet. Production and mere possession appear to be legal, however. U.S. prohibitions on distribution of sexual or obscene materials are as of 2005 in some doubt, having been ruled unconstitutional in United States v. Extreme Associates (a judgement which was overturned on appeal, December 2005). Similar restrictions apply in Germany (cf. §184 StGB [5]).

Using animal fur or stuffed animals in erotic photography (in a sense, the combination of necrophilia and zoophilia) doesn't seem to be taboo, nor do photographs of nude models posed with animals provided no sexual stimulation is implied to the animal. Stuffed animals are sometimes used in glamour erotic photography with models touching their sexual organs against such animals, and likewise models may be posed with animals or on horseback. The subtext is often to provide a contrast: animal versus sophisticated, raw beast versus culturally guided human. (Nancy Friday comments on this, noting that zoophilia as a fantasy may provide an escape from cultural expectations, restrictions, and judgements in regard to sex.)

The potential use of media for pornographic movies was also seen from the start of the era of silent film. Polissons and Galipettes (re-released 2002 as "The Good Old Naughty Days") is a collection of early French silent films for brothel use, including some animal pornography, dating from around 1905 – 1930.

Materials featuring sex with animals are widely available on the Internet, however, because of their ease of production, and because production and sale is legal in countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark. Prior to the advent of mass-market full-colour glossy magazines such as Playboy, so-called Tijuana Bibles were a form of pornographic tract popular in America, sold as anonymous underground publications typically comprising a small number of stapled comic-strips representing characters and celebrities.

The promotion of "stars" began with the Danish Bodil Joensen, in the period of 1969-72, along with other well-known porn stars such as the Americans Linda Lovelace (Dogarama, 1969), and Chessie Moore (multiple films, c.1994). Another early film to attain great infamy was "Animal Farm", smuggled into Great Britain around 1980 without details as to makers or provenance. The Search for Animal Farm (documentary, part of the Dark Side of Porn series) (April 2006, Channel 4, UK): - "Investigates the story behind one of the most infamous films in porn history, and reveals how it came to be made." The film was smuggled into Great Britain around 1970. No one was quite sure where the film came from or how it was made. The Search for Animal Farm traced the people who made the film, the impact it had on Britain's porn industry and the woman who became known for a time as 'the queen of bestiality.' [6]. The film was later traced to a crude juxtaposition of smuggled cuts from many of Bodil Joensen's 1970's Danish movies. Into the 1980s the Dutch took the lead, creating figures like "Wilma" and the "Dutch Sisters". In 1980s, "bestiality" was a central theme in Italian adult films featuring actresses like Denise Dior and Marina Hedman, manifested early in the softcore flick Bestialità in 1976.

Today, in Hungary, where production faces no legal limitations, zoosexual materials have become a substantial industry that produces numerous films and magazines, particularly for Dutch companies such as Topscore and Book & Film International, and the genre has stars such as "Hector" (a Great Dane starring in several films). Many Hungarian (Suzy Spark, Silvi Anderson et al) and Russian (Pantera aka Jordan Elliot, various girls filmed by Club Seventeen) mainstream performers also appeared anonymously in zoophilia pornography in their early careers. For example: Suzy Spark (horsebang.com). Club Seventeen is a label of the Dutch pornographic company Video Art Holland, specialising in "barely legal" teens. Best-known current performers in Europe include Andy, Bilara, Adilia "the Sinful Lady". In Japan, zoophilia pornography is used to bypass censorship laws, often featuring Japanese and Russian female models performing fellatio on non-human animals, because oral penetration of a non-human penis is not in the scope of Japanese mosaic censor. Brazil is also a substantial producer of zoophilia pornography, many films featuring "she-males".

Pornography of this sort has become the business of certain spammers such as Jeremy Jaynes (8th most prolific spammer, sentenced to 9 years for spamming) and owners of some fake TGPs, who use the promise of "extreme" material as a bid for users' attention.

Social community

Whether there is such a thing as a "zoophile community" or subculture, in the same sense as the gay community or any other alternative lifestyle communities, is a controversial question. Some zoophiles point to the number and quality of computerized meeting-places in which zoophiles can meet and socialize, the manner in which this extends to offline social networks, and the trend of social and cultural evolution of community consensus over time, or use the term to imply "the community of zoophiles in general". Others point to the differing viewpoints and attitudes, the trust issues and risks due to lack of safety inherent in socializing, and lack of any true commonality between zoophiles beyond their orientation. Whether or not it should be construed as a "community", the following outline is a rough description of the social world of zoophiles, as it has existed to date.

Prior to the arrival of widespread computer networking, most zoophiles would not have known others, and for the most part engaged secretly, or told only trusted friends, family or partners. (This almost certainly still describes the majority of zoophiles; only a small proportion are visible online). Thus it could not be said there was a "community" of any kind at that time, except perhaps for small sporadic social networs of people who knew each other by chance. As with many other alternate lifestyles, broader networks began forming in the 1980s when networked social groups became more common at home and elsewhere, and as the internet and its predecessors came into existence, permitting people to search for topics and information in areas which were not otherwise easily accessible and to talk with relative safety and anonymity. The newsgroup alt.sex.bestiality] (reputedly started in humor Miletski p.35 "Alt.sex.bestiality (A.S.B.) was one such Internet news group which started around 1990 as someones idea of a joke."), personal bulletin boards and talkers, were among the first group media of this kind in the late 1980s and early 1990s, rapidly drawing together zoophiles, some of whom also created personal and social websites and forums. By around 1991 - 1993 it became accurate to say that a wide social net had evolved.

This changed significantly around 1995-96 (due to the double impact of Miletski's research and the unrelated mid/late-1990s boom in zoosexual pornography), and then a few years later again around 1998-2000 in the wake of the controversy over the first proposed public US appearance of a zoophile on the Jerry Springer show ("I married a horse", 1998, pulled before viewing), which was followed by the 1999-2000 Philip Buble case (in which a plaintiff petitioned the court to let his dog attend judgement as his "wife"). Whilst some zoophiles saw these as attempts to state a personal viewpoint or encourage debate, others saw them in a negative light as ill-advised, futile, harmful, or ultimately egoistic attempts to obtain a public hearing which could only backlash strongly both legally and otherwise against zoophiles. There was also a perception that as knowledge of zoosexuality as a lifestyle became wider spread, the smaller but more formative social groups were being diluted by large numbers of newcomers who had not grown up within the same "culture" or communal values, and many website owners came to be less interested compared to the past. In 1996, a zoophile version of the Geek Code was created, known as the Zoo Code, intended as a shorthand "signature" for zoophiles to describe themselves, their philosophies, and their stances on certain common issues such as animal welfare and vegetarianism. It achieved some degree of popularity for a time and is still occasionally encountered today, having also been translated into French and German.

In the wake of these changes, a number of the older pro-zoophile websites and forums were voluntarily removed or vanished from the net between 1995 and 2001, and many of the more established individuals and social groups at that time withdrew. This is an established and common pattern in other online communities and subcultures too, as people (typically in their 30's) develop more diverse offline lives or commitments over time. Often they return from time to time, or retain an irreglar presence; sometimes they leave the net completely. See GAFIA. from the online community, perceiving the risks and benefits to no longer be worth it, as they already had sufficient offline friends amongst other zoophiles. This led to a period of change and consolidation during the late 1990s and early 2000s as old sites closed and the older and newer 'generations' mingled. Most of the major "talkers" too, especially following the increasing popularity of instant messenger chat and an incident on "Planes of Existence" (Germany, 2000). At the same time, many other social groups online drew lessons from these and other incidents, leading to a maturing consensus which tended to replace the previous divides on common topics such as the desirability vs. harmfulness of public debate and acceptance, ethics, and conduct.

Websites catering to zoosexuality at present can be broken down into several categories. Some sites restrict or prohibit explicit material (such as pictures, stories, contacts, etc), while others embrace these explicit aspects. Some zoophilic websites are run by professional or amatuer pornographers, marketing pictures, stories and videos. A few provide personal perspectives and information relating to it.

There also exist sites providing support and social assistance to zoophiles (including resources to help and rescue abused or mistreated animals), but these are not usually publicized. Such work is often undertaken as needed by individuals and friends, within social networks, and by word of mouth.

Books, articles and documentaries about zoophilia

Academic and professional

  • Andrea Beetz Ph.D.: Bestiality and Zoophilia (2005), ISBN 1557534128
  • Andrea Beetz Ph.D.: Love, Violence, and Sexuality in Relationships between Humans and Animals (2002), ISBN 3832200207
  • Profesors Colin J. Williams and Martin S. Weinberg: Zoophilia in Men: a study of sexual interest in animals. - in: Archives of sexual behavior, Vol. 32, No.6, December 2003, pp. 523-535
  • Hani Miletski Ph.D.: Bestiality - Zoophilia: An exploratory study, Diss., The Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. - San Francisco, CA, October 1999
  • Hani Miletski Ph.D.: Understanding Bestiality and Zoophilia, 2002, available at Hani Miletski's Homepage (Book review by Journal of Sex Research, May 2003)
  • Josef Massen: Zoophilie - Die sexuelle Liebe zu Tieren (Zoophilia - the sexual love of/for animals) (1994), ISBN 3-930387-15-8
  • R.E.L. Masters Ph.D.: Forbidden Sexual Behaviour and Morality, an objective examination of perverse sex practices in different cultures (1962), ISBN LIC #62-12196
  • Roland Grassberger Ph.D.: Die Unzucht mit Tieren (Sex with Animals) (1968)
  • Hans Hentig Ph.D.: Soziologie der Zoophilen Neigung (Sociology of the Zoophile Preference) (1962)
  • Gunther Hunold Ph.D.: Abarten des Sexualverhaltens: Ungewohnliche Ersheinungsformen des Trieblebens (Perverse Sexual Behaviour) (1978)
  • Mandetta and Gustaveson: Abortion to Zoophilia: A Sourcebook of Sexual Facts (1976), ISBN 0-89055-114-6
  • Davis and Whitten: The Cross-Culture Study of Human Sexuality (Annual Review of Anthropology 1987, Volume 16, pp. 69-98), ISSN 00846570
  • S. Dittert, O. Seidl amd M. Soyka: Zoophilie zwischen Pathologie und Normalität: Darstellung dreier Kasuistiken und einer Internetbefragung (Zoophilia as a special case of paraphilia: presentation of three case reports and an Internet survey) - in: Der Nervenarzt : Organ der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychiatrie, Psychotherapie und Nervenheilkunde; Organ der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurologie, 2004, published online in German June 10 2004 (PDF) English machine translation
  • Havelock Ellis, Studies in the psychology of sex, Vol. V (1927) ch.4
    covering Animals as Sources of Erotic Symbolism--Mixoscopic Zoophilia--Erotic Zoophilia--Zooerastia--Bestiality--The Conditions that Favor Bestiality--Its Wide Prevalence Among Primitive Peoples and Among Peasants--The Primitive Conception of Animals--The Goat--The Influence of Familiarity with Animals--Congress Between Women and Animals--The Social Reaction Against Bestiality. online version
  • Ellison, Alfred, Sex Between Humans & Animals: The Psycho-Mythic Meaning of Bestiality, San Diego: Academy Press, 1970. [paperback, volumes 1 and 2]
  • Harris, Edwin. Animals as Sex Partners, 1969

Other books

  • Midas Dekkers: Dearest Pet: On Bestiality, ISBN 1859843107
  • Mark Matthews: The Horseman: Obsessions of a Zoophile, ISBN 0-87975-902-X
    (German translation: Der Pferde-Mann, 2nd Print 2004, ISBN 3833408642)
  • Marjorie B. Garber: Dog Love, ISBN 0641042728
  • Brenda Love: The Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices (1994), ISBN 1569800111
  • Nancy Friday: My Secret Garden (ISBN 0671019872), Forbidden Flowers (ISBN 0671741020), "Women on Top" (ISBN 0671648446), notable for readability, and neutral treatment of a wide scope of women's sexuality including zoophilia.
  • Raymond A. Belliotti: Good Sex; perspectives on sexual ethics (1993), ISBN 0700606041 or ISBN 070060605X
  • Bram Dijkstra: Idols of Perversity: Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin-De-Siecle Culture, zoophilic art
  • Gaston Dubois-Dessaule: Etude sur la bestialité au point de vue historique, médical et juridique (The Study of Bestiality from the Historical, Medical and Legal Viewpoint) (Paris, 1905)
  • A.F. Neimoller:
    • Bestiality and the Law: A Resume of the Law and Punishments for Bestiality with Typical Cases from Fifteenth Century to the Present (1946)
    • Bestiality in Ancient and Modern Times: A Study of the Sexual Relations of Man and Animals in All Times and Countries (1946)
  • Marie-Christine Anest: Zoophilie, homosexualite, rites de passage et initiation masculine dans la Greece contemporaine (Zoophilia, homosexuality, rites of passage and male initiation in contemporary Greece) (1994), ISBN 2739421466
  • Gaston Dubois-Desaulle: Bestiality: An Historical, Medical, Legal, and Literary Study, University Press of the Pacific (November 1, 2003), ISBN 1410209474 (Paperback Ed.)
  • Robert Hough: The Final Confession Of Mabel Stark (Stark was the worlds premier tiger trainer of the 1920s, specializing in highly sexualized circus acts. She wore white to hide the tiger's semen during mating rituals and foreplay which the audience took to be vicious attacks)
  • Otto Soyka: Beyond the Boundary of Morals

Print and online media

  • The Joy Of Beasts (3 December 2000, Independent on Sunday, UK)
  • Heavy Petting (2001, Peter Singer Nerve.com article link)
  • Laying with Beasts (March 1996, The Guide)
  • Sexual Contact With Animals (October 1977, Pomeroy Ph.D.) (co-author of the Kinsey Reports)
  • Wet Goddess: Recollections of a Dolphin Lover [7] (2002, Malcolm J. Brenner) "A novel about a man's love affair with a dolphin. (Online version)"
  • All opposed, say "neigh" (1999, RiverFront Times, discussing the British documentary and Missouri's legislation)
  • A Goat's Eyes are so Beautiful (May 2004) "Tanya Gold, reviewing the Edward Albee play, finds that love affairs with pets are not as unusual as you'd think"
  • Liking it Ruff (July 2005, The Eye, article link, follow-up to original article follow-up link)
  • Depraved Indifference (2006, Steven Rinella, published on Nerve.com article link)

Television and radio

  • Animal passions (part of the Hidden Love series) (1999, follow-up sequel 2004, Channel 4, UK)
Ofcom [the UK television regulator] reported that: "This was a serious documentary exploring a rare minority sexual orientation. Although the programme gave an opportunity for zoophiles to express their opinions, the effect was neither to sensationalise nor normalise their behaviour."
  • Sexe et confidences (April 2002, CBSC Decision C01/02-329, Canada)
Hour-long sex information program hosted by sexologist Louise-Andrée Saulnier discussing zoosexuality. Covered folklore, academic studies and general information, plus telephone call-in from viewers describing their zoosexual experiences and stories they had heard.
  • Talk Sport Radio (December 2002, UK)
Live talkshow interview with lifelong zoophile, followed by call-in discussion.
  • Animal Love (1995, Ulrich Seidl, Austria) imdb entry

See also

External links


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