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Sexual Habits of Humans and Other Great Apes

Humans have quite a variation in sexual habits. And yet, we can find the origin of most of those habits among the common ape progenitor, as Gorillas, Orangutans, and Chimpanzees exhibit very similar types of behavior. In essence, all Great Apes have many sex partners.

In comparison to body size, the human male penis is the largest of the primates, and thus, the largest among the highest order of primates, the Apes, particularly the Great Apes: Gorilla, Orangutan, Chimpanzee, Bonobo, and Homosapien. However, one thing that we great apes have in common: we love sex. In fact, humans are very similar in many ways to each of their ape cousins.

The Gorilla is the largest and most powerful ape. Even so, he’s quite gentle. And, he has the smallest penis. When he finds a mate, he stays with her “forever.” Often, the Gorilla will find another lovely gorillette and make love to her. He will invite her to come home, and then he will be practicing bigamy. But, then, he is true and faithful to both “forever.” When they have babies, he participates and helps raise the kids. If he finds a third female to mate, he will bring her home, too. Thus, in this fashion, the Gorilla is practicing plural marriage or polygyny, having many sex partners, but being with them all. Among humans, there are men who either live in a plural marriage situation (some Arab Tribes, some off-shoots of Mormon groups, and others), or they practice polygyny. Historically and culturally such human family arrangements have been common.

The Orangutan male prefers the “one night stand.” When he wants to mate, or have sex, he goes out (to a “banana” bar?) and finds a willing female. They have their tryst, and after they are done satiating their needs, each goes his separate way, and he never calls her again. He goes home – to his siblings and their babies. As a good uncle, he remains in that family organization to raise the babies that his sisters have. And, similarly, the female orangutan is impregnated, returns to her home, and gives birth. After the birth of her baby, she will get help from her brothers who have been out there spreading their seed. In essence, orangutans have many sex partners. There are certainly quite a few human males who just want to “hook up,” have sex, and going back home to their own lives without any responsibility accepted for the babies they help make.

Chimpanzees, which share 99% of the same DNA as humans, are very promiscuous. Males will have sex with any female, at almost any time. And females will copulate with any male as well. When a couple meet and begin to have sex, they are in a sexual frenzy for days or weeks, but then the passion tapers off. But after a while, if they meet another chimp, they will give it no thought to having sex with this new “stranger,” going through a similar passionate frenzy. Overall, chimps have many sex partners during their lives. When a female becomes pregnant, however, she tries to gain the favor of one of the stronger members of the Chimpanzee Clan.

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  1. LennySA

    On March 21, 2009 at 2:06 am


    What the hell? I’ve tried three times now, yet the comment counter does not increase.

  2. LennySA

    On March 21, 2009 at 2:10 am


    4th time’s the charm, apparently.

    Returning to the topic at hand; The writer of this article spent paragraphs explaining that each of the great ape species’ sexuality is completely different, then he ends the article with a demand that human great ape monogamous couples explain why they are different from the rest of the great apes? It makes no goddamn sense whatsoever.

  3. BABBO

    On April 1, 2009 at 11:48 am


    I agree fully with the author conclusion.

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