The Sex Lives of Animals


By Dominique Holloman

In “The Sex Lives of Animals” Rune Olsen portrays an alternative view of the birds and the bees, focused less on reproduction and more on a wide range of animal sexual behavior. The exhibit at the Sex Museum in Manhattan features animals engaged in “kissing, hugging, self and mutual stimulation, oral sex and every kind of penetrative intercourse imaginable.”

Olsen says he wished to show how the sex lives of animals are similar to that of humans. For example, Bonobos often trade food for sex, much like some people trade money and gifts for sex. The monkeys also engage in homosexual activity. The female bonobos engage in genital-to-genital rubbing. Intercourse between them lasts around 13 seconds. In the Bonobo society, women are the dominant sex.

Male dolphins that live in the Amazon River are known to engage in same sex relations by penetrating each other’s blowholes. The female bottlenose dolphins use their snouts on other females.

Female pandas get sexually stimulated for a period of 24 to 72 hours once a year. Some of these animals engage in same-sex activities. Others, such as deer, also engage in threesomes. Each deer takes another from behind. In addition to bonobos, dolphins, pandas, and deer, the exhibit showcased the sex lives of lions.

Rune Olsen, the sculptor of these life-size animals, has had his work shown in the Bronx Museum of The Arts, Islip Art Museum, and Exit Art.

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