Hetero cunnilingus: apparently it’s to stop you cheating

I read a paper. It left me in convulsions of laughter. It is, of course, an evolutionary psychology one.

The paper “Is Cunnilingus-Assisted Orgasm a Male Sperm-Retention Strategy?” sets out to answer the all-important question which has apparently been bugging the evolutionary psychology community since it evolved the gene to apply a just-so explanation to every aspect of human behaviour: why do heterosexual couples engage in something fun?

They ponder that it must be a strategy for either keeping sperm in there to make sure it all swims the right way, or maybe it’s to stop women cheating. I was surprised to note no mention of the bonobo, a closely related ape which tends to use oral sex as a greeting and fuck everything that moves, presumably because the authors had already ruled out the alternative hypothesis of “oral sex is fun.”

Anyway, following a very short questionnaire where they asked some dudes how hot their girlfriends were, and how hot other men found their girlfriends, whether their girlfriend came, and when they spaffed in relation to going down, the authors concluded that cunnilingus definitely didn’t evolve to keep the jizz in the right place. Therefore, they decided, it must be to stop cheating.

I promise I am not exaggerating this paper. This is a literal, actual paper which was literally, actually published in a literal, actual peer-reviewed journal. And if any of it is correct, I’m damn glad I’m not heterosexual, because their sex lives sound joyless. 

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17 responses to “Hetero cunnilingus: apparently it’s to stop you cheating

  • fishandrobot

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA..im sorry, i have nothing constructive to add. Again. hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

  • cabrogal

    Nah, cunnilingus was evolved for the very practical reason of giving Michael Douglas cancer.

  • Honour The Genetic Imperative

    [Mod note: I approved this comment because it made me laugh a lot. I don’t even know if it’s meant to be satire, but it’s funny as fuck]

    You can call it ‘joyless’ if you like. But I think my 94% mate-retention rate, 14-month relationship average and high level of reported satisfaction speaks for itself. If you and the other homosexuals want to lark around with something as serious as sex, that’s your business. Speaking as a heterosexual male, I’m proud to approach opposite-sex-interaction-scenarios with a certain level of professionalism. If that doesn’t fit with your childish idea of “sex” as “fun”, so be it.

    • Ellie Storm

      HETEROSEXUAL ROBOT REPORTS 94% MATE RETENTION RATE. SEX DEEMED HIGH QUALITY. HETEROSEXUAL ROBOT THINKS SEX IS GOOD IF PARTNER STAYS NOT IF HAS FUN SEXING. HETEROSEXUAL ROBOT DOES NOT COMPREHEND INPUT “but do you actually enjoy the sex you have” ENJOYMENT NOT AN ACCEPTABLE VARIABLE FOR ASSESSMENT OF SEX.

  • southsidesocialist

    Well, you know, my boyfriend IS excellent at it and I have no desire to cheat on him – so it MUST be true!

  • mandasiefert39

    well, I have been married 20 yrs. He did do it at first, but, after I had my first son, it went down the drain. He made the excuse that it cut the piece of skin on the bottom of his tongue!!!!!

  • TreasuryIslands

    I thought cunnilingus was for orgasms. Have I been doing it wrong?

  • westie

    cunnilingus – cant be licked :)

  • Beth Granter (@bethgranter)

    Although this is funny and I get your point, I think you’re missing the point in behavioural evolution, that if something is pleasurable there is usually an evolutionary benefit to it. The pleasure sensation has evolved to keep people doing it, for evolutionary benefit, so the genes survive. Those people who lack the gene which makes it pleasurable don’t do it, and so lack the evolutionary benefit, and so these genes die out.

    The research was obviously shitty and flawed in particular that it only looked at hetero couples and didn’t speak to any women, or consider blow jobs.

    I think the most obvious benefit would be that oral sex improves pair-bonding through causing orgasm, which releases hormones which increase desire to be monogamous (which has evolutionary benefit to the male). And pair-bonding has an evolutionary benefit in that 2 parents were more likely to raise surviving children than 1 alone. With bonobos, it improves bonding amongst the whole community, who then also help raise all the babies.

    • stavvers

      Once again, ignoring the bonobos. WON’T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE BONOBOS?

    • Ellie Storm

      so basically… good things that feel nice but don’t harm anyone are good. i am so glad we have ‘science’ (speculation is not science) to give us revelations like these.

      • prax

        Yes, but that’s kinda how evolutionary explanation works. And it’s not necessarily bad science. The error in thinking that cunnilingus requires an evolutionary explanation is that we already have an understanding of why sexual stimulation is adaptive… so we don’t need a separate explanation of this particular kind of stimulation.

        I now see that perhaps what stavvers is getting at wrt bonobos is that bonobos are not pair-bonded, so if cunnilingus is observed in bonobos too, its biological function (what caused it to spread in the population) cannot be related to pair-bonding. Fair enough. (Though the fact that this behavior is not in fact observed with frequency in wild bonobos leaves that possibility open.) Not all behaviors should be given an adaptive explanation, and this is a clear example of bad evopsych for that reason, but we should be careful to denigrate a whole field of inquiry for that reason. It’s better to be clear about how good explanations of adaptive behavior work and how they can be distinguished from the purely speculative kind.

      • sbc

        Mod note: Comment approved because I found it funny how someone attempted to submit the same comment several times under different names]

        Yes, but that’s kinda how evolutionary explanation works. And it’s not necessarily bad science. The error in thinking that cunnilingus requires an evolutionary explanation is that we already have an understanding of why sexual stimulation is adaptive… so we don’t need a separate explanation of this particular kind of stimulation.

        I suspect that what stavvers is getting at wrt bonobos is that bonobos are not pair-bonded, so if cunnilingus is observed in bonobos too, its biological function (what caused it to spread in the population) cannot be related to pair-bonding. Fair enough. (Though the fact that this behavior is not in fact observed with frequency in wild bonobos leaves that possibility open.) Not all behaviors should be given an adaptive explanation, and this is a clear example of bad evopsych for that reason, but we should be careful to denigrate a whole field of inquiry for that reason. It’s better to be clear about how good explanations of adaptive behavior work and how they can be distinguished from the purely speculative kind.

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