Her Fiancé Doggedly Pursues a Highly Problematic Kink

Savage Love Letter of the Day

Comments

1

I’m with you, Dan: “ick.” There are few fetishes - a very few - that would turn me off so completely that I don’t think I’d ever be able to see that person in a sexual way ever again, and bestiality is one of them. Diapers. Incest. Now maybe that makes me a bad person, I don’t know. I only know that it’s a dealbreaker for me. Good luck to you guys, and good luck to any dogs in your general vicinity.

2

Fucking animals is icky - but no more (and maybe less) morally problematic than eating their dismembered corpses.

3

I absolutely view it as animal abuse, full stop. The animal is not a person, so even if it's willing to please its' owner, consent is at the very least blurred, if not completely impossible.

No children, no corpses, no animals, and no extreme power-play dynamics. Seems pretty simple to follow these rules, no?

4

I wish we got follow-ups from these LWs. I'd love to know how long he nagged her about it before she dumped him.

5

I'm not sure that it matters that it's bestiality. Everything Dan said in the last part is what counts. He has a fetish she's not entirely comfortable with. Can she deal with the constant drunk nagging to make it real? Personally I'd be walking away from that. A partner who nags me for things I'm not comfortable doing is a no go.

6

I would say it's not abuse of the animal because dogs aren't human and cant conceptualize humiliation - well, it's no more abusive than the practice of training a dog. The issue of animal consent bolted out the barn door 15,000 years ago. So let's leave the dog out of it.

Husband has to accept that his fantasy is out of reach. I guess it's good that you guys can have a discussion about it, but I'd draw the line there - no videos, no talk of you actually fucking a dog. If you are able and willing to entertain him with role play and some arabian-nights style dog-on-girl storytelling, then I think that's just fine.. but as it comes to an actual practice, you're better off being fully disconnected.

7

I don't know if it is animal abuse, but it's still morally and ethically questionable behavior. If I were her it would really bother me that he actually did it with his ex-gf. It's not just a crazy fantasy to him, it's something he really wants to do. He's not exactly a sex offender, but I think it's fair to say most women would be upset by his kink and it's a possible dealbreaker. Not sure if he is worth the trouble of putting up with that, but at least the LW knows what she's getting into. Would be way worse to find out after getting married and having kids!

8

"... hounding you about it..."

I see what you did there.

9

Just because an animal is "willing and able" does not mean it has effectively consented. Young children can be "willing and able" also, but their minds haven't developed sufficiently to be able to provide informed consent. That's why it's child abuse, even when the child is "willing." It's the same with a mentally handicapped person. Likewise, an animal obviously cannot give informed consent. Therefore, it's animal abuse. Seems simple to me.

10

I'm an old guy, and from the example of all the dogs which have humped my legs and other parts without my consent over the years, I think I'm in agreement with the Professor on the animals usually being ready, willing and able. I don't think human morals apply to animal behavior. Animals in heat are pretty persistent and often indiscriminate, and from what I can see it is not possible to sex-shame a dog, anyway. I'm sure there are bestiality fetishists who are appalled that I have thrown all those opportunities away when sexually assaulted by animals, but its not something I want to do.

I can't muster any outrage that other people avail themselves of the opportunities presented by their pets, though, since it does seem to be what the animals want (I've sometimes had cum stained clothes to prove it's what they wanted), and I can't see how spurning them is morally superior to going along with their wishes. Perhaps someone can explain this to me in a non-psychobabble way. I've had very large dogs try to fuck me a couple of times and the "power dynamics" struggle was touch-and-go; luckily I had clothes on, which tipped the balance in my favor.

The point here, of course, is partner abuse, which trying to foist an unwanted sex act on certainly is. I think she should let him get turned on by watching dogs fuck in porn, but establish it as a rule that he leaves it there, and does not ask her to get into his fetish again, since it is unwelcome. This is the kind of thing it's easier to deal with if it's just a rule, then there's no "should I bring it up again now?" going back and forth in his mind. If in the future she finds herself interested, she can then broach the subject. This might not be enough for him, and then he'd have to decide whether to go or stay.

11

So before I start ranting about animal rights, let me say that I agree with, for example, Anemone @5 about this being a problem because of the impact on the LW.

But about the bestiality. Out of all the shit that humans do to non-human animals, THIS is what you're concerned about?! Given that society in general is OK with castrating and spaying cats and dogs, and doing so without their consent (even ignoring the nightmare horror that is factory farming). If you seriously care about the animals' consent, if you start your train of logic by thinking "I care about the animals' consent, so how should I treat them?" and following that chain of thought through, then spaying and castrating them is [expletive expletive expletive expletive].

I'm not saying that anyone who spays or castrates their pet is a monster. I AM saying that they're not starting from a position of worrying about their pet's consent. And that's a legit position: cats, dogs, etc. are not human beings. But once you've argued, for example, that "castrating dogs without their informed consent is not animal abuse because they're not human", I don't think you can backtrack and say "but when someone lets a large, unmuzzled, dog stick his erect dick in them that's animal abuse because the dog can't consent." (I picked large, unmuzzled dogs for this argument because they have the ability to hurt people pissing them off, so you actually do have some ability to infer how they feel about it.)

Yes, domesticated animals don't have the intellectual capacity of human beings, but there's absolutely no reason to think that, for example, informed dogs would prefer castration over vasectomies any more than male people do.

And it's really not about the well-being of the animal. An agronomist who masturbates a bull to get semen for artificial insemination is totally legit. Unless the agronomist gets turned on by it, in which case "bestiality!" But the bull doesn't know the difference. This example shows that it's not about the well being of the animal, it's objection to the person being turned on in an "inappropriate" way.

The only logically consistent argument I've ever heard anyone give against bestiality is "because ick" - the exact same argument as was given against gay sex when I was young. All the other arguments against bestiality I've ever heard have been rationalizations for the "ick" argument.

The reason I care about this is that I once, very briefly, worked in a factory farm for egg-laying chickens, and the way the hens were treated still makes my heart break. No, they didn't understand why they were being treated that way, but they very clearly did not consent to being there, in that little Hell for animals, and if they had had an human level of understanding it would only have reinforced what their instincts were telling them. So I get pissed off when people who give that sort of shit a pass suddenly start saying bestiality is animal abuse because consent, compared to good people who castrate/spay animals without consent.

12

@9 If a dog can give consent for playing fetch the stick, or for taking a walk, or for herding sheep or guarding a hen house, how can you say it's not consenting to sex when it's trying to fuck you or it's rubbing its pudenda on you?

You're confusing adult animals with human children and doing all kinds of other illogical twists and turns here. A dog with a boner humping my leg is as informed as it ever wants to be, and is definitely consenting to sex, even though I am not. I just can't see that a human consenting to have sex with an animal in that state is doing anything immoral or unethical.

13

@11 OMG just get over yourself

14

ECarpenter @10 &12, well put — I agree

15

Wow so much bestiality apologism! Who would have thought? I am fully squicked out by each and every one of you.

16

And this is from a person with a dog as their avatar. I didn’t get her consent for that.

17

The dog LW did comment on the original.
https://www.thestranger.com/columns/savage-love/2008/11/06/742427/savage-love/comments/106

18

Very bizarre that folks are considering the sexual consent of animals, given that they're completely enslaved, and breed to be freely murdered. But in 2018, were so hung up on sex that we forget about life.

19

Ok, this is gonna go way TMI, but as a person who was physically, emotionally, and sexually abused as a child, the sexual abuse was not the worst, not by a long shot. (What makes it so in our imagination is our culture's weird sex-phobic puritan crap.)

A sex dog has it way better than a beef cow.

20

I'm curious why most of the talk is about the dog and none of it is about the women in the videos. Do people really think that women in the videos are making the videos because the women are turned on by this kind of sex? Look, a lot of porn stars repeatedly say that they love their jobs because the stars are very sexual. They are going to fuck a lot anyway so why not get paid to fuck. I'm sure there are some stars who say that and are lying but I also assume some are being totally truthful. And some probably vacillate. But I have a hard time thinking that the desire to be fucked by a dog on camera applies to more than .05% of women in these videos.

21

@17 at first I read your comment as “the dog wrote in to the comments,” and I thought, this dog may be more capable than he’s getting credit for...

22

There are two kinds of liking dogs and this is the wrong kind. Well three kinds of you count certain cuisines.

23

I wish the Tuesday US election weren't making me too stressed to think about humans eating/fucking/etc. animals.

May we awaken Wednesday to POTUS' party losing congress. May that open the door to shitcanning our pig-fucking baby-caging criminal narcicist asshole orange dictator. He became POTUS illegally so impeachment is in no-fucking-way adequate; that election ought to be made moot and a new election held (preferably one that isn't between the two most hated people in the country).

24

The notion of trans-species 'consent' is just absurd. No one pretends the children, or women incapacitated by drugs, are in any position to 'consent,' regardless of how 'willing and able' their abusers claim them to be.

I forgot that this was going to bring out the Vegans....

25

@3 @15 @24 - Then your position is that playing fetch the stick with a dog is abusing it since it is unable to give consent? If playing fetch the stick is not abusive, how is it different from sex play with a horny animal? In what way (except for religious objections which no animal can understand) is sex somehow an ethically different kind of play? Surely you're not worried about possible illegitimate offspring?

Of course, you may be in agreement with @18, who considers all domesticated animals to be slaves. If that is so, they should all be set free immediately to make their way in the world as best they can, like other free animals. You would then have to pay them for their services if they consented to stay on in your employ (consent which you claim is not possible for an animal), perhaps with food and shelter and affection, since they don't understand a money economy . . .

I'm glad, personally, that sex with animals is not attractive to me - it seems like a lot of work for brief and unsatisfying sex with a narcissistic partner - but I really don't care if one of my neighbors is up for it when his or her dog (or pig, they are said to be quite persistent) comes begging.

26

Gross boyfriend/ you gonna marry him?/ you got there LW. Any kids you have won’t ever be able to have a puppy, you do realise this right.
I hope you left him long ago.

26

Dan: Don't say you weren't warned.

Whenever a married person writes to you about some sexual issue --specifically, their partner wanting to do something they find abhorrent (or at least very unappealing) -- that's causing problems for them, I always wonder if this is something new that arose after they got married or if they saw the warning signs before marriage and chose to ignore them, thinking or hoping that their partner would change after marriage. My guess is that it's usually the latter.

27

You know what? I'm gonna ignore the morality issue altogether and focus on this: don't marry a man who wants you to be a dogfucker unless you actually want to fuck dogs. Now personally, I find that disgusting, and would DTMFA on the basis that I don't want to marry someone who viscerally disgusts me. But you know what, LW? I'm not you, so maybe you're ok with it. But yeah, like Dan said, he wants a dogfucker, so go into this marriage with your eyes open.

Personally, I feel "he wanted me to fuck a dog" would be a justifiable reason for calling off the wedding, but, well, I guess it all depends how badly you want to wear that white fluffy dress.

28

When it comes to animals, I don't give even the slightest fuck about consent. I do, however, care about their suffering. Penetrating an animal could make it suffer- therefore wrong. Having an animal penetrate you could confuse it but if the animal doesn't suffer it's fine. For the animal.

The problem here is that the partner is not into it and in fact disgusted by it. The bf doesn't want to fuck animals himself- he wants to watch them fuck his gf. And he has, in the past, watched a dog fuck his ex, so there's no point speculating how likely he is to keep this in the realm of fantasy. And anyway, he's already talking about it enough that the LW knows he's thinking about it when they're fucking. Up to her if she can put up with all that, but I agree with Dan that this is unlikely to go away. I'd say she should move on and the dude should look for a woman into being fucked by dogs. Surely there can't be that many and surely she will likewise be looking for the rare man who wants to see this? If this kink is more common than that, I don't wanna know.

@20 loads of porn features people doing stuff they do not find hot. It's a job, and there are aspects of it that you like and aspects you don't. One of the things I find not hot about pro porn is that I know they aren't really having fun and it's hard to pretend they are- sometimes I can get swept up in it, sometimes the actors just look like they are acting or being uncomfortable and I can't get into it at all. I don't see why it would be any harder to overcome this with women being fucked by dogs any more than it would with women having someone hold their mouths open and repeatedly shove their fingers down their throats to make them gag. While I'm sure there are women into that too, I doubt most of those porn actresses are, especially in that moment. There's a reason the porn industry uses a lot of viagra and lube. But yes, agree with your point that it's odd how people can just accept that and still think it's hot- I guess it's like any other movie that you can get wrapped up.

And trophy to Traffic Spiral above for cutting to the quick of it. Why did you break up? he wanted me to fuck a dog. Done. Likewise- he watched a dog fuck his ex and now wants me to do the same.

29

Dan: "Yes, DDS, I disapprove of bestiality—because, well, ick. And that, as anonymous dog-fuckers have pointed out to me repeatedly over the years, is the same logic homophobes use to justify their bigotry."

Dr. Weinberg: "In most cases, the animal is willing and able," & "I do not see it as abuse unless the animal is physically forced."

*

It's an "ick" for me too, a huge one. But I don't take that "ick" and wield it as a righteous hammer, beating people on the head with it, telling them how "immoral" they are just because what they choose to do is something I find immensely revolting. The anonymous dog-fuckers aren't completely right; religious conservatives believe that same-sex fucking is "immoral" because their "holy" book says so, not just because they find it personally repulsive (although I do think that their personal "ick" does play a very large part in their condemnation of it.)

I'm sure religious conservatives and I share a huge "ick" at the thought of someone taking a shit on another person because it turns the shittee (or shitter, or both) on. Where we part company is that they'll scream it's "immoral" and I won't.

I agree with Dr. Weinberg. I don't see it as abuse unless the animal is forced. If a guy fucks a dog in the ass while the dog is yelping and trying to get away, that's clearly abuse. But if a dog fucks a woman (or fucks a guy in the ass) and no one is forcing it (like, by holding it) to do the fucking, then I don't see that as abuse.

Back to the couple... I think this woman would be a fool for marrying this guy. I also think she won't heed Dan's warning and will probably go ahead and marry him anyway and then write another letter to Dan in three years complaining about her husband always watching dog-fucking porn and pestering her to let a dog fuck her and how she can't take it anymore.

30

Roma @29, this letter is ten years old. Big Hump viewing weekend and I’m guessing Dan is busy. Whatever decision this woman made is long ago.

31

Wow! That just made me sick. All I want to do is beat the crap out of this person. Just gross. Wish this crap did not exist. I hate advocating violence but if I came face to face w this beastie I would unfortunately lose it and be in jail.

32

My girlfriend wanted to fuck our dog but that totally freaked me out so the only solution was to kill the dog and eat it.

Problem solved!

/barbequed dog ribs are pretty tasty!

33

@3--I'm with you completely. We require VERBAL consent in a humane society, and this sort of interspecies business (besides being squicky as all hell) is murky at best. Just because the body may be programmed...to...physically respond (UGGGGHHH...), doesn't mean we can consider this or any other a consensual encounter if the subjects in question can't make an informed decision about it, and can't inform us OF it.

Think I'm gonna be sick...I'm going to avoid eye contact with my dog for a day or two, and go curl up in the corner and cry over the wreck of society now. This appears in Savage Love way, WAY more often than it ought to...my sympathies, Dan.

34

I've never understood any predilection for dogs, or any animal, for that matter. While I understand that our inborn (or before) human wires can get crossed/erased/confused, it just doesn't make sense that our sexualities would jump species.

35

@11 Controlling domesticated animal populations in areas where they are invasive(everywhere), and or our treatment of farmed animals should not be compared or conflated with fucking them.

36

@25 If you cannot differentiate between throwing a stick for a dog and fucking it, then I hope you're not a parent. Domesticated animals aren't slaves, they are the 1% of the animal kingdom.

37

I'll amend my last statement, cows, pigs and chickens are slaves, but they brought that on themselves by being so delicious, still we should treat them better.

38

Beastiality is nothing like homosexuality. It is rape. No animal gives consent

39

@36 like all of the objectors to humans accommodating horny animals' desires, you can't come up with a reasoned argument against it which is not based on either straw men or your emotional state. You guys are as bad as anti LGBT trolls with your 'eww it's icky' lack of reason.

And why have I been defending sex with animals who are eager for it? How is it possible that someone who's not at all interested in interspecies sex could challenge this well established religious taboo masquerading as an ethical position? Because I really hate knee-jerk bigotry based on lies, emotion and pretend-logic. If you can't explain where the harm is (not the harm to your feelings, or the harm to your prejudices, but harm to the animal or the human) then you need to actually think about it.

40

Can't believe that nobody was worried about the women involved until all the way down at #20. Yes, the generic "partner uncomfortable" concept has been mentioned but really - nobody wonders if this is medically physically dangerous for the woman??? Where the hell has that dog dick been? What if you're already prone to vag infections? I'll see your ick and raise a YUCK. Guy sees his partner's genitalia as fitting receptacle for vile bio garbage.

41

Knee jerk bigotry against fucking dogs @39? HaHaHa. Funny guy.

42

Anyone think that's its not the dog banging that gets him off but the fact that a woman is so desperate and eager to please her man that she will literally be a bitch for him?

"Well, im not into effing dogs but he is and i want to please him" might be what he really likes, that she will cheerfully do one on the most universally agreed upon taboos so he can get off

43

OK now I'm bored enough to comment, but just because ECarpenter@39 wanted /others/ to "to actually think about it", so I'll note that:

ECarpenter (very conveniently) hasn't addressed animals being penetrated, just them doing the penetrating. Where do you stand there? (As EmmaLiz pointed out @28 "Penetrating an animal could make it suffer--therefore wrong".)

One factor to consider is domestication, which trains pets to serve their masters. Thus (while they are not unfeeling/non-conscious robots) they are programmed to exhibit behavior that might even be against their own interests. This I think compounds the potential for harm to a penetrated animal.

I don't wanna repeat myself since just last week here
https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2018/10/25/34439088/savage-love-tk/comments/41
I wrote on dogs. (But I will add that inherent in modern culture is a minimization of the similarities between us and other animals, so we can be more at peace enslaving/eating these beings.)

Since animals have both feelings and consciousness, it is not clear that "a reasoned argument" can rule out emotional pain, either, as a possible result of a human engaging in a pattern of sexual behavior with an animal.

44

@42-- I thought that, too!! It could be why he enjoys being an inactive participant so much. I think degradation and humiliation play significant roles into what actually turns him on here.

45

42, It didn't take long to wonder if this guy gets off on the degregation of women being fucked by animals. I mean, he doesn't seem to be willing to offer up his ass to the animal but expects her to take it.

Dan, I can see it now. Some Bible-Thumper homophobic minister or leader of some group like Focus on the Family is going to be directed to this letter and comments and use it to stoke antigay animosity by saying "see, the homosexuals and liberals are encouraging bestiality and and want to legalize it."

46

I've had this argument with many people over the last couple'f decades, and when their talking points get shot down with logic, they always fall back on "Ick!"

47

ECarpenter @39

"If you can't explain where the harm is (not the harm to your feelings, or the harm to your prejudices, but harm to the animal or the human) then you need to actually think about it."

I'll preface this by saying that I mostly agree with your comments in this thread. I also think that the "consent" argument against beastiality doesn't hold any water in a society where humans take it upon themselves to control every aspect of domesticated animals' lives. As a society, we don't give a crap about animals' consent when we buy them, sell them, move them, breed them, work them, house them, medicate them, take their babies away, kill them, eat them - but fucking them is abuse by default because "the animal can't give verbal consent"? Agree with EmmaLiz@28 that the animal's suffering is surely a better metric for determining what constitutes abuse, than the nebulous, selectively-applied notion of the animal's consent.

Having said that, I think you're underestimating the psychological implications. I remember reading about one case, where a male dog that was taught to mount humans for porn, attempted to mate with a child who was crawling around on the floor in the dog's vicinity. The dog had to be put down after that, and I'd imagine this was a traumatic experience for the child and the child's parents. I'm not gonna search for the article (because ick) - but whether or not it's true, I think the risk of something like that happening is worth considering. Dogs respond to behavioural conditioning. Poor socialisation is usually a result of the owner's irresponsible choices - but more often than not, it's the dog that ends up paying the price.

48

@47 Like I said in my first post, I've been humped (without my consent) countless times by friends' dogs, and a couple of them were really big dogs who could have caused me some damage. So some dogs will "try to mate" with kids crawling on the floor or anyone else who's handy whether the dog has been trained for porn or not, as anyone who's been around horny dogs will know. The article you discuss sounds like click-bait hysteria, not a realistic assessment of dogs in heat. Parents need to keep dogs and other animals which can endanger a child away from their children - that's just basic parenting.

I don't think I've been psychologically damaged by the sexual assault of animals - their intentions were pure, and they were animals, they didn't mean me any harm by it. Religious people might be more vulnerable, since they're taught that they're sinners and "deserve" anything that happens to them - so a dog in heat might seem like God's wrath to them. Or Satan's temptation, depending on their own secret desires. I'm much more concerned by growling and exposed teeth, and I'm cautious around dogs I don't know because of their potential violence.

And all of my posts have been about horny and willing animals fucking with humans - whenever an animal is unwilling or seems to be unhappy with what's going on, whether they're penetrating or being penetrated, I'd assume that would be a "no, stop" to any human who was into sex with them. Since I don't know anyone who's into sex with animals (that I know of), I have no one to ask if there are standards to follow, like in sane BDSM with other people.

49

I certainly wouldn't compare encouraging a male dog to mount your wife to some harmless practice, like playing fetch. A more accurate analogy would be irresponsible owners who actively encourage their dogs to behave aggressively, supposedly for 'protection'. Yes, an intact male dog may want to do "what comes instinctively to that dog". Some dogs are naturally aggressive, too, and may instinctively want to rip into anything that moves. This doesn't absolve the owner of responsibility when their "stud" or "attack" animal gets off the leash and tries to fuck or maul the neighbour's kid. Sadly, when these training experiments go sideways, "problem dogs" tend to get put down, or taken to the pound, while their shitty owners get away scot-free.

50

I’ve certainly fucked some dogs in my life. So there’s that.
Why should anyone have to offer a logical reason for seeing this as anything but gross and disgusting.

51

@48, yeah, see my post above. Yes, horny dogs may want to jump on you or hump your leg. It happens. A responsible owner would normally try to discourage this behaviour, especially if the dog is large/strong/aggressive, etc. As anyone who's ever trained a dog would know, consistency is key. I think you may find it difficult to explain 'context' to your dog.

52

This adds a new wrinkle to Ben Franklin's famous quote about using animals for meat:

"You eat each other, so why can't we eat you?"

53

42, #45 - yes! thank you!

54

@42 that's the basis of like, 90% of all dominant (and male?) sex fantasies: that someone's desire outpaces the consequences of their desire.

55

lol at all the (I presume) non-vegans who are so concerned about the suffering of a dog who is having sex. If you are fine with how 99.9% of the meat you eat is produced (forced animal breeding by jerking off the males and pumping the semen into non-consenting females, overcrowding / confinement, chopping off body parts such as beaks, toenails, horns, and testicles without anesthesia, the emotional trauma of separating mammal mothers from their babies repeatedly, not to mention the "house of horrors" of the modern slaughterhouse, etc.), then you have not one teeny tiny jelly-boned baby leg to stand on in the discussion of whether animals can meaningfully consent to sex with humans.

56

I agree with the commenters who have argued that the meaningful metric is suffering. If the dog is not forced (like, say, a dog licking pb off of genitalia), I'm not concerned that they may be suffering. I am 100% in agreement that the suffering of concern in this letter is for the LW who is being coerced to do something she doesn't want to do, and also whether the human female porn performers in dog porn have been forced / coerced / drugged. I'm 100% for consensual porn and sex work, AND the reality is that there is some percentage of porn worldwide that is produced via abuse, violence, threats, etc. Just as there are abuses in any industry.

57

@50 you said "Why should anyone have to offer a logical reason for seeing this as anything but gross and disgusting." Well, because we all have to live together, and there are taboo things which are actually harmful, but other taboo things which are not harmful. So de-tabooing things that cause no harm, even if they're not something you personally would ever want to do, is a good thing.

I find the texture and taste of lima beans to be disgusting, but as long as no one tries to force me to eat them, I'm ok with farming, raising, cooking and eating them - if you want to do such a disgusting thing, that's fine. I'll tolerate the unavoidable smell for the sake of amity if you want to eat them around me.

58

@55 strange observer
"If you are fine with..."

Straw man much? 0.00% of the people "concerned about the suffering of a dog" is "fine with" any of that.

@47 Lost Margarita
"the "consent" argument...doesn't hold any water in a society where..."

While I also don't think "the "consent" argument" is key here, wrong is still wrong even within the context of wrong. In other words just because the context is society doing wrong, doesn't make individual examples less wrong.

@48 ECarpenter
"...horny and willing animals fucking with humans - whenever an animal is unwilling or seems to be unhappy with what's going on, whether they're penetrating or being penetrated"

Your confidence that you're thinking rationally about this issue is in inverse proportion ot the depth with which you're thinking about it.

Is your hypothetical dog-penetrator a mind reader? How then are they going to know if a domesticated animal is "unhappy with what's going on"? Particularly since their impulse to communicate it (biting? running away?) will be suppressed by (quoting Lost Margarita@47) "behavioural conditioning", and by that (quoting me @43) "domestication...trains pets to serve their masters...they are programmed to exhibit behavior that might even be against their own interests."

In other words, you are telling us that your level of care for these beings is not great. You be proud, ECarpenter, you be proud.

"I'd assume that would be a "no, stop" to any human who was into sex with them."

Oh how generous of you to ASSUME animal fuckers have that integrity.

59

@58 p.s. "behavior that might even be against their own interests"

Dogs are willing to go to great lengths (to literally kill themselves) to serve. Iditarod for example.

60

ECarpenter@58, you've been given a logical reason, which you've conveniently dismissed. I'm gonna go ahead and assume, from your comments here, that you've never owned or trained a dog, let alone a large powerful one, and have no idea of what's involved. You seem to want to argue this from a purely rhetorical position, and revel in how clever and provocative you're being. And, ~in theory~, I agree with you: if neither the animal nor the human are experiencing any distress as a result of sexual activity, the activity is not abusive.

Unfortunately, in the real world, actions often have consequences which go beyond immediate gratification. Do you seriously think that you can literally "play bitch" to a large, intact male dog, and then go back to being this dog's boss and expect unquestioning obedience when you say "sit", "fetch", and "down boy"? Are you fucking kidding me?!

Now, to be clear, I don’t necessarily think that dog-on-human fucking is significantly more irresponsible or abusive than the myriad of other problematic dog behaviours encouraged by clueless owners, like allowing dogs to sit on furniture, eat from the table, show territorial aggression, etc. These owners never see the problem until it's too late, and are invariably vexed by the scary growling and gnashing of teeth when they try to sit on "the dog's" couch or go near "its" food bowl. When they finally realise that they've lost control of the dog, it doesn't tend to end well for the dog.

I'm not saying this holds true in every single case. Empirical research on the pros and cons of beastiality is rather thin on the ground. I'm willing to accept that there are some shit-hot trainers out there, who can 'contain' dog-fucking, just as there are people who can train dogs to be both aggressive and obedient (although tbh ~those~ training techniques often border on the physical and psychological abuse of the animal). The dog's temperament also plays a part. Naturally mellow, obedient dogs may be less likely to develop serious behavioural problems as a result of their owner's sexual head games.

But harmless, inconsequential practice this most definitely is not.

61

Re: non-vegans who are concerned about the welfare of animals-

Ethical concern for animal suffering does not automatically lead one to veganism or even vegetarianism. I have no ethical or personal issues with using animals as a food source. I'm perfectly fine with it. I'm surrounded by ranchers and farmers, have killed chickens myself as well as other rodents and pests, I'll happily take a hunter's venison though I don't like guns myself, I'll happily go fishing, etc. There's some level of suffering in the world regardless- even organic vegetarian farming requires killing, civilization itself requires this, I get extremely annoyed with the holier than thou types in cities going on about not killing anything as if any aspect of their life would be possible without it. I am concerned about the suffering of animals in large scale farms as well as the environmental and economic impacts of those industries. I've put enough thought into it and decided how much meat I think it's responsible to consume and from which places I think it's ethical to purchase it. There are conclusions one can come to that are not veganism. And moreover, we live in this world and there is no such thing as wholly ethical consumption, and most people are just trying to get by- I'm not going to criticize anyone who buys food at the grocery store.

Re: Dogs' context, dignity, suffering, sacrifice, consent, etc-

I've loved some of my pets and bonded with them very closely, and I while I agree that dogs can have complex inner lives and real relationships with people, I think a lot of you are projecting when you try to make those experiences analogous to the human experiences. Like the farm conversation earlier. Don't hurt your dog, make sure it's well fed, well exercised, well trained so it's not a nuisance to others, well stimulated, and has adequate health care. You can tell if you are injuring your dog or even if your dog just really dislikes something. Surely we have all shoved pills down a dog's throat or forced a dog to receive a bath. A good well bonded dog will not bite their owner for these things, and as these unpleasant experiences do not cause pain, most dogs will do so without crying. But they sure as hell let on that they don't like it in all the various ways a dog has available to them, including just enduring it dejectedly. I don't believe for a second that someone could penetrate a dog without knowing if it didn't want to be penetrated (it doesn't) and even if they were under some delusion that the dog wanted it (or if the dog had been trained), it's still not physically healthy for the dog. As for the dog fucking or licking a human, I doubt the dog thinks about it any more than when it's doing any of the other disgusting things that even a smart well-bonded complex dog might do, like eat cat shit out of the litter box or roll around on dead fish it finds at the beach. It just doesn't think about these things that much, and it's really not that complicated. The issue here is the woman, not the dog.

62

@61 EmmaLiz
"I don't believe for a second that someone could penetrate a dog without knowing if it didn't want to be penetrated (it doesn't)"

Well that's true. (Unless the dog-penetrator were hung like Donald Trump.)

"issue here is the woman"

True again, but THAT is a short, simple issue.

63

I think the dog issue is simple. If you are penetrating a dog, you are causing it an unnecessary harm, so don't. If you are allowing a dog to lick your or penetrate you (allowing here, not restraining or forcing) then you are not causing the dog harm and the dog does not understand human sexuality and has none of the hangups around it that we do. It's victimless so long as the human is willing and not coerced, and therefore it is not ethically wrong. Nonetheless, most of us will find it absolutely disgusting and you do not have to justify your disgust with ethics or logic. It's OK to just be repulsed by something, and different people will be repulsed by different things.

64

@ 60 I've only ever argued the point you agree with - "if neither the animal nor the human are experiencing any distress as a result of sexual activity, the activity is not abusive." Other people have brought up other things, but I haven't addressed them because, like the other topics you've brought up, they're outside my experience. I suppose if I'd been trying to be more clever, I would have tried, but why pretend knowledge you don't have? I haven't done that.

Some of my friends with dogs have trained them well (I don't get humped by those dogs, by the way) but many have not. I only know how training works in theory, I'm not a dog person.

65

@60 - on re-reading my last note, it was not clear what I was aiming to say.

If what you predict about dog training and sex does happen in practice with any human / animal pair (and you're assuming that the human is the dogs owner, which I don't), then the human, at least, will experience distress when the dog's wiring gets upset and he no longer responds to other training. The dog will also end up distressed because the human's distressed. In that case, yes, the sex is causing distress and yes, it should stop. Because it's causing harm.

If what you predict does not happen, then it doesn't have to be dealt with.

66

The distress would be having a foreign species sperm up your fanny. No Thank You.

67

@ECarpenter
I do commend you on your /motivation/ stated @39 with an analogy to "anti LGBT trolls with your 'eww it's icky' lack of reason".

OTOH, as you can imagine/see, some LGBT people are thinking "please leave us out of it!"

Oh, and since you're (@64) "not a dog person", I can see how you might not have had the experiences that some of us have had which led to questions.

Speaking of which, re: (@65) "it should stop. Because it's causing harm". Once a dog's training is screwed up, it will probably not be easy and may not even be possible to un-screw that pooch (by which I mean their training).

Oh, and I commend you for not going down the road towards calling them "moderately-aware meat-machines", I'm glad we didn't have to go down the road started last week with that quote at https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2018/10/25/34439088/savage-love-tk/comments/39

68

@ 67 Part of why I sometimes do defend underdogs is that I've been openly gay for the last 48 years and I've had to put up with mountains of totally unreasoning knee-jerk hatred aimed squarely at me. Even today, with all the advances in civil rights for LGBT people in the West, there are bible-thumping preachers within blocks of me who regularly proclaim from the pulpit that I should be murdered to make their god happy. I'm way too familiar with anti LGBT trolls - I wish I hadn't had to be, but that was not my choice.

So when people are attacked just because they are popular targets, and because the local religion has been demonizing them for centuries (although a lot of people who continue to demonize them in venues like the Stranger will point to pseudo science, not religion), I sometimes do speak up to point out logical chasms in the arguments against them. It's not a popular thing to do, but I get squicked by ignorant assholes spouting illogical and fact-free crap sometimes and jump in. It's a weakness.

In this case - you pointed out some ways in which harm can happen as a result of interspecies sex, which was fine. I've consistently said that it's only defensible in situations where no harm comes to either party. I still think we're in basic agreement, including agreeing that dogs which are properly trained are happier dogs - at least, that's what it has looked like to me. But not everyone will have your take on training; a lot of dog owners don't do any effective training in any area, and their dogs are pretty much left to figure things out on their own or live in permanent conflict with their owners. I have no idea how that would affect this situation, because as I said, I'm not a dog guy and this stuff is outside my areas of competence.

69

@68 ECarpenter
I hear you. It's nuts that so many people have an imaginary cloud being who conveniently supports their (and their religion's) prejudices. And it is an interesting logical endeavor to separate what makes simply makes other people go 'ick' from what is truly wrong.

"a lot of dog owners don't do any effective training in any area, and their dogs are pretty much left to figure things out on their own or live in permanent conflict with their owners."

One key to dog training is consistency, which requires a disciplined approach by the owner, which you're right a lot of dog owners aren't sufficiently capable of.

My dog was a smart one, and quickly learned what I wanted...but was headstrong, and only eventually learned it had to actually /do/ what I wanted. But then it appeared to enjoy that the learned commands constituted a kind of tangible communication otherwise not possible between us.

The dogs you rightly talk about without effective training, I can imagine might experience confusion perhaps leading to stress perhaps leading to fear.

Let alone the poor dogs Lost Margarita insightfully envisioned @60 whose relationship with their pack leader was undermined by a practice of penetrating their pack leader.

70

I hope everyone who posted about the unethical nature of a male dog having sex with a human woman is also vegan because I'm pretty sure pigs (which are smarter than most dogs) don't consent to the various things that happen leading up to their becoming barbeque

71

curious2 @69

"dogs... whose relationship with their pack leader was undermined by a practice of penetrating their pack leader"

I think we should bear in mind that all that "pack leader" stuff has been largely debunked in recent years, and the whole "dominance/ alpha theory" in relation to dog training has really fallen out of favour among animal behaviourists. "Status-related aggression", however, is a recognised condition in some dogs. And I completely agree with you on the importance of consistency in training.

This also highlights a problem with @ECarpenter's line of thinking @65: "If what you predict about dog training and sex does happen in practice...If what you predict does not happen, then it doesn't have to be dealt with." The problem is, we don't know whether or not it happens in practice, and have no way of telling with any degree of scientific certainty. Animal psychology is not an exact science. New theories on dog training emerge, gain traction, and fall out of fashion every few years. And these theories tend to concern themselves with the more mundane interactions between dogs and people, not out-there stuff like beastiality. As I said before, empirical research on this topic from the point of view of animal psychology is - unsurprisingly - severely lacking.

So an owner having sex with their dog is essentially staging a training experiment. An unchecked experiment, as I'd imagine that's not something most people would feel comfortable discussing with their local vet, professional trainer, or behaviour consultant. Personally, I can imagine sex with the owner being a trigger for things like status-related aggression, separation anxiety or resource guarding issues in (some) dogs. Will it be a problem for that particular dog, or even most dogs? Will it lead to future distress for the dog and/or the owner? We don't know. All I know is that often, when things don't go well, it's the dog that pays the price for the owner's selfish and ill-informed choices.

72

@71 Lost Margarita
"all that "pack leader" stuff has been largely debunked in recent years, and the whole "dominance/ alpha theory" in relation to dog training has really fallen out of favour among animal behaviourists"

I didn't know that; I'm gonna need to get current before I train another dog.

"empirical research on this topic from the point of view of animal psychology is - unsurprisingly - severely lacking"

I think that's for the best.

73

E Carpenter, I’m sorry you have been treated with such abuse and hatred, it is their problem, their stupidity.
My resistance to any form of bestiality, has nothing to do with religion. Nor do I feel concerned re ethics, being a meat eater that would be hypocritical.
I read how a man had his body ruptured after letting a horse fuck him, he died.
It is a degrading practice for all involved.

74

curious2@72, you'll enjoy reading about it. It's incredibly contentious, mostly because dominance theory has been such a cornerstone of dog training since the 1940s (I think?), and refuses to die despite the ever-growing mountain of evidence against it. The internet practically spatters with indignation as soon as you type "dominance theory" in the search box :)

That said, I think that even though the theoretical concept has been debunked, there are aspects of the practical advice that may still be useful to some people and some dogs. It sounds like you found some of it helpful when you trained your dog, and my partner said she found it helpful with some of the "difficult" dogs she fostered.

75

@73 You and I agree on many things, Lavagirl. In this case, I'm talking about different situations than you, and so we are reaching different conclusions.

For example, in pig-raising states when family farms were the norm, the adults would be either amused or scandalized when they saw a sow begin to follow a family teenaged boy around, because it was well known (from their own time as teenagers, and their parent's time as teenagers) that horny teenage farm boys would sometimes have sex with sows, and the sows frequently liked it enough to want more.

That's a situation with ethically questionable beginnings - how careful were the teenage boys to check that the sow was willing? - but it's also evidence that quite a number of sows were in favor of the practice, since horny-boy-following was a well known sow phenomenon.

My objection to a lot of the comments here has been that people who'd be quite happy to eat bacon from such a sow are expressing outrage that any human would harm or degrade an animal like these sows by having sex with it, even if the sow seems to be enjoying it. Or they're claiming that sows are like children and don't really know what they like or don't like, or they're claiming that by definition sex with sows is cruel or degrading, no matter what the sow or the boy thinks about it. And my consistent position has been that where neither participant is harmed, I don't see why it should be taboo. It's none of my business if it's causing no harm.

76

I pray to the gods I don't believe in that Dan doesn't get any besiality letters anytime soon. Or at least until I can un-know what I just read about sows and humans.

77

@76 Oh my! Somebody's been challenged.

78

@77 TwitterEgg
Challenged? Let's just say I'd rather not think about it, but...
Just to clarify, esteemed TwitterEgg, do you think a sexual relationship between a sow and a human can be a good relationship? (I wish they could both do better.)

@75 ECarpenter
While I guess this means the sow likes it (ick), perhaps a sow could be emotionally hurt by such an attachment?
(Yes, I have an animal story beneath that observation, but I'm too busy to spend time on it.)
OTOH, just because attachments can bring hurt doesn't mean one should avoid attachments, so never mind I guess.

79

EmmaLiz @61 THANK YOU! I am a pescetarian for health reasons, and I get so annoyed with the holier-than-thou, illogical preaching from some vegetarians/vegans. I also just had this discussion with a friend who expressed disgust about my son shooting and cooking a squirrel to eat (yes, I know, squirrels are not the greatest food source but also not harmful so...) She hates guns, would never kill anything herself, but she is fine with eating chicken. I grew up in an area with a large number of chicken farms, chicken houses smell gross, the trucks they are taken to the processing plant in are horrid (not just because of the smell, the smell comes from the animals stacked on top of each other in crates full of their own excrement, some dying on the truck, etc.), and I don't even want to talk about the smell from the processing plant that could be detected from 5 miles away, or the dog food plant in town that the not suitable for human consumption parts were sent to. She isn't concerned with any of this, as long as she didn't kill it herself. I have no moral or ethical problem with eating meat, but I do think that I would look for free range, and preferably kosher/halal, as that requires the animals to be treated and slaughtered in a way that reduces fear and suffering.