Sex toys: Chimpanzees, Man’s primate rival

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Humans are not alone in their use of tools, chimpanzees aren’t left behind. American primatologist William C. McGrew has proved that the use of ordinary tools by chimpanzees is not limited to their search for food, but involves their sexuality as well. Fun and games in Cheetah-land.

Cheetah was sexually active and so was Tarzan. But Tarzan probably never imagined that Cheetah could think of using a tool to seek sex or attract females. In an article published in the journal Science, primatologist William C. McGrew proves that such creative ingenuity is not reserved to the human species. According to him, these tools used by chimpanzees “perform various functions in everyday life, such as food gathering, social interaction, sex, and grooming.”

Cheetah’s sex toy is only an ordinary leaf! And he prefers a dead leaf to one that is green because of its capacity to generate the most noise, thereby attracting more attention. According to the researcher, the male must attract and retain the attention of potential conquests. “One way to do this is leaf clipping. It makes a rasping sound. Imagine tearing a piece of paper that’s brittle or dry. The sound is nothing spectacular, but it’s distinctive.”

So as not to go unnoticed, the male begins by sitting down and then plucks a leaf or a set of leaves. “He spreads his legs so the female sees the erection, and he tears the leaf bit by bit down the midvein of the leaf, dropping the pieces as he detaches them. Sometimes he’ll do half a dozen leaves until she notices.”

A naughty invitation that she has the choice to accept or decline. “Presumably she sees the erection and puts two and two together, and if she’s interested, she’ll typically approach and present her back side, and then they’ll mate.” says William C. McGrew.

This is a harsh blow to humans who have, since time immemorial, thought themselves to be the only species to ably use tools, at least in what concerns sexuality.

Already in 1960, the famous primatologist, Jane Goodall asserted that the use of tools was not restricted to humans beings. During an observation expedition near lake Tanganyika in east Africa, she observed a chimp equip itself with a twig to extract bugs from a termite gallery.

A seemingly banal action but one that clearly demonstrates their ability to analyze situations and find solutions by using tools. And though attracting the attention of a potential sex partner by “stripping” is not such a primitive seduction technique, it proves that man is not king in the area of sex toys.

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