November 3, 2012

No Monkeying Around

Have I mentioned how much I love monkeys yet? Oh no. Well, I do, and recently redOrbit gave me more motivation to love them. April Flowers reported that monkeys do not like to be watched by others when mating. As I read this article all I could think was, “This is just another reason to love monkeys.” The fact that they seemingly think about privacy for copulation makes them even more wonderful animals.

Sometimes I think we humans think that animals are barbaric in their actions and choices. This study shows that monkeys, at the very least, consider their feelings of comfort and attachment before engaging in sexual activity. They prefer privacy as opposed to exhibition. This makes them seem far more human than animal. To desire privacy in intimate moments is something that most humans can relate to because few couples want to have others peep in and watch while we engage in sexual activity. Humans seek privacy, too.

Monkeys are such interesting creatures. They like to play games with each other. Monkeys will play hide and seek like games as well as chase and other games. Moreover, they are incredibly creative creatures. Their ingenuity has saved them time and time again, but it also contributes to their playing. They create communities and connections. We’ve all seen those videos of monkeys cleaning each other thus improving each other’s hygiene. They take care of each other through protection. And now I know that they like their privacy.

All of these qualities make them all the more intriguing. They display many of the same characteristics of humans. Some monkeys even communicate through sign language. Much of what we value in humans, we can see to some extent in monkeys. As the redOrbit article identified, monkeys prefer privacy for sex, but they will do what it takes to mate. Wanting privacy is very much like humans; doing what it takes to mate is also not so different although most humans wouldn’t have sex in public just to procreate.

Similarly, monkeys protect their communities just like humans seek to protect their own. Of course, humans do this through law and order, or at least try to, while monkeys do this through creativity and sometimes aggression. Humans try to avoid aggression as much as possible, but they are not opposed to defending their loved ones with violence or aggression. Here again we see the parallels between humans and monkeys.

I really like the idea that monkeys reflect humans. To want to have private moments away from the group for mating is something very sweet and alluring. This makes them seem interested in love. This may be hopeful thinking on my part, but I don’t care. I appreciate that monkeys want to connect privately even by means of sneaking off to copulate. This new information about their desire to not be watched makes me love monkeys even more. For many humans sex is not just about procreation. For many, sex is about love and connection. Maybe monkeys aren’t sneaking off for love and connection, but they clearly want to be alone. I can appreciate that privacy.

Every day monkeys prove to be more and more interesting. They are sweet and cute, yes, but they also prove that humans are not the only creatures who think about privacy and connection.

Image Credit: Photos.com

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Email


Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

Send Rayshell an email