Dolphin females have clitoris capable of giving sexual pleasure, study finds

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Dolphin females have clitoris capable of giving sexual pleasure, study finds

The female bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) have a lot in common with humans: high intelligence, complex social life — and, according to a new study, a very sensitive clitoris capable of intensifying your sexual pleasure.

As it is not possible to directly investigate the sensations of female cetaceans during copulation, the conclusion was reached by indirect means, by examining the details of their genital anatomy.

“Every time we dissected a vagina of the species, those very large clitoris ended up appearing, and we were curious to know if anyone had already examined the organs in detail and verified if they functioned like a human clitoris,” biologist Patricia Brennan said in an official statement. , from Mount Holyoke College (USA).

Finding that no one had done this work before, Brennan and two other colleagues set to work and collected the data on the topic that has just been published in the scientific journal Current Biology.

No female dolphins had to be sacrificed for this. The team of scientists dissected the genitalia of 11 cetaceans that died of natural causes off the American coast. They examined the tissues with computed tomography and also with methods that investigate the structure of cells.

“We knew that dolphins have sex not only to reproduce but also to strengthen social bonds, so it seemed likely that the clitoris was functional,” explains Brennan. Several details suggest that, in fact, this is what happens.

As seen in female humans, the clitoris of cetaceans has a projection that would be analogous to the glans (the so-called “head”) of the penis, which, in many women, is the most sensitive region of the organ.

Underneath this bulge is a large area of ​​erectile tissue (ie, able to stand erect under arousal). And this erectile area is more than ten times larger in volume in adult females compared to puppies, which suggests a link between it and sexual maturity.

When compared to the entrance to the vagina, the clitoral region of dolphins has a much thinner epidermis (less than half the thickness), which is also an indication of greater sensitivity.

And underneath that skin are nerve endings galore. This includes structures that likely belong to the group of so-called low-threshold mechanoreceptors — that is, “sensors” of the nervous system designed to detect lighter, more delicate touches and pressures.

In addition to being positioned in a location that is likely to receive stimulation from the male during sex, the clitoris of cetaceans is also often touched during sexual interactions involving only females, who can manipulate it using their rostrum (snout) and fins.

Studies on the sexual sensitivity of other mammals, and even females, have only gained traction in the last few decades, which indicates that much remains to be discovered, says Brennan.

“This lack of studies has generated an incomplete picture of the true nature of sexual behaviors. Studying these behaviors is a fundamental part of our understanding of animal experiments and may even have important medical applications in the future.”

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