It's rumored that Linda Lovelace couldn't even say the word "dog" after she was forced to fuck one. When Lovelace moved to New York with her infamous pimp-husband, Chuck Traynor, she did 8mm films to earn the couple extra money. Perhaps her most rare (and sought after by porn collectors) is her bestiality 8mm.
"It was the lowest part of her life," said her biographer Mike McGrady in the film The Real Linda Lovelace. "In all our dealings she could never say the word 'dog' because of all that had been done to her in that 8mm film. She would say 'd-o-g'; there's a 'd-o-g' over there."
Lovelace is the most famous female porn star to have ever participated in bestiality on camera. There have been other semi-famous women to perform sex acts on animals on film--like Chessie Moore and Kelly G'Raffe, as well as transsexual star Monica Mattos--but none of these porn actresses were as mainstream as Lovelace. Excepting communities of zoophiles, bestiality is as taboo as pedophilia.
We all know the main argument for why inter-special mating between animals and humans is wrong: common language. "Animals cannot talk, thus cannot accuse the individual of forcing them to have sex with him/her against their will," wrote Ramsis in his 1969 study, which is cited by sexual therapist and author Dr. Hani Miletski in her book Understanding Bestiality and Zoophila.) Furthermore, animals carry different diseases, genes, hormones; it's just too obscure. Most people think it's biologically gross and morally wrong.
This is where I stood when I started this research. Why would anyone want to have sex with anything other than a human being? But, as I logged into every bestiality forum that would accept me, read all the comment threads, uncovered all the theories from therapists, doctors, and sexologists, and talked to some female zoophiles themselves, my thoughts changed. I'm not for it, but their arguments started to seem…if not valid, at least understandable. Did my nights on Beast Forum create a type of Stockholm Syndrome? I mean, what's so wrong about desiring a reindeer? I found myself thinking, horrified. How is having sex with a pig any crueler than murdering it for bacon? What's worse, rape or murder? My logical self vacated for the sake of an argument.
Why would anyone want to have sex with anything other than a human being?
Despite the perception of the practice as ethically corrupt, bestiality has always been a part of human history, albeit quietly. According Dr. Miletski, during the spring fertility of Babylon, men and women would use dogs (in secret) for multiple-day orgies, exhausting the abused animal until it died. Then, the dead dog's penis was cut off, hardened and dried, and used for sexual escapades. The Egyptian Old Kingdom pharaoh Cheops, who is famous for building one of the pyramids, often boasted about the passionate sex he had with mares; one of the most famous orgies of ancient Rome featured the goddess Bona Dea and a bunch of dogs. It's even documented that one of Hitler's doctors at Auschwitz was obsessed with bestiality experiments and tried to create a dog-woman hybrid from Jewish and Polish females to use for manual labor. (We now know that, although a dog's sperm will swim to a human female's egg, it cannot inseminate it.) According to Miletski, it's also aggressively rumored that Hitler's wife, Eva Braun, had sex with dogs for pleasure, which explains Hitler's fascination with his German shepherds.
Read More: Why Do Teen Girls Like Gay Porn?
In modern, post-war society, Denmark was the first country in Europe to legalize bestiality, in 1969. Soon after emerged the queen of bestiality pornography, Bodil Joensen, who grew up in rural Denmark with her religious, abusive mother who did not allow her to communicate or converse with other children.
Many would argue that this contributed to Joensen's sexual interest in animals; Joensen was cut off from humans and found love in her family dog. In a 1974 study on sexuality done for the Playboy Foundation, Morgan Hunt said, "During early childhood, the human being is thoroughly imprinted and taught to choose other human beings as love objects and, eventually, as sex objects." So, Hunt argues, "most human-animal sexual encounters are isolated or rare experiences of a primarily experimental nature, and are largely confined to the early stages of life." Joensen saw her beloved dog as her only friend and had her first sexual experiences with the animal as a teenager. She left home at 15, eventually being taken in by a local farmer who let her help out with the insemination of his pigs.
At this time Denmark was becoming a hub for outrageous pornography, and its spearhead was director Ole Elge. Joensen acquired her own farm (which she dubbed "Insemination Central"), populated it with every type of animal you could imagine, and eventually called up Ege to do some work with him. According to the 2006 British documentary "The Dark Side of Porn: The Real Story of Animal Farm," Joensen herself suggested that Ege film her fucking one of her animals. During 1969 to 1972 she made over 40 bestiality movies, with Ege and another documenter eventually teaming up to film Joensen's life on the farm in a film, "A Summerday" (called Animal Lover in the US). The film was set to Beethoven and showed Joensen living amongst her rabbits, cat, dogs, pigs, and horses as though she was an animal herself. It won the grand prize in Amsterdam's Wet Dream Film Festival in 1970, turning Joensen into an unlikely underground celebrity.
However, after years of allowing sex tourists to visit her farm and do they pleased, the world lost interest in the "queen of bestiality." Joensen eventually faded from prominence, lost her farm (due to neglect), and even spent time in jail. After police killed her beloved dog Spot, she got into prostitution and turned to cherry wine and sedatives to cope with her depression.
"In my situation it's very hard to turn down the most disgusting propositions," Joensen said in an interview before her death, referring not to sex with animals but to paid sex with men. "For me, staying alive in the hooking business is hell." She wore a locket sporting a picture of Spot around her neck until the day she died.
When I started this research my goal was simple: to talk to a woman who has had sex with an animal for either pay or pleasure. Male zoophiles dominated Miletski's statistics (she had 80 male participants and 11 female), and I wasn't interested in interviewing yet another pale German man about all the "beautiful, reciprocal" lovemaking he shares with his mutt.
I chased every connection in the porn world I had, following leads that left me dead-ended in the same place: Any female performer who had done bestiality porn was dead, had mysteriously fallen off the map, or was working in Brazil and unresponsive to my requests for contact. I met a friend of a friend who had leads to female bestiality performers in Germany, but he lost touch when the girls were weary of talking. Chessie Moore (the MILF porn star who moved to quiet Kansas after her breasts erupted) was too busy webcamming to return my pesky messages about her past in dog films.
Defeated and without a subject, I turned my focus to those who fucked animals for pleasure, not pay, and dove deep into Beast Forum, the biggest international zoophilia chatroom going. The interface was outdated, like an Angelfire site from the early 2000s, but thousands of people are active daily. When I originally signed up for a profile, I forgot to change my gender to female and was shot down by almost any woman I approached in a chat room. I was honest about why I was there and batted down constantly. "I have no interest in talking to you for your work," one lady retorted. This was the only place I was going to find an experienced zoo, so I filled out my profile page accurately as though I was on OkCupid and hit the chatrooms the next night. I offered my thoughts in public threads and spent hours integrating myself into the site. Suddenly, a few females were willing to open up with me. I quickly discovered women were mostly about having a relationship to animals rather than having sex with them, as Miletski would attest.
"I'm generalizing here, but in my clinical studies women are less interested in sexually deviant behavior," Miletski had told me over the phone weeks before my foray onto Beast Forum. "The women that were in my [bestiality] study actually cherished the relationship to their animal partner. That was a big part of the whole appeal to these women, and all their partners were male dogs."
Zoophilia and bestiality are, by definition, different. According to most dictionaries, zoophilia is defined as "extreme love for animals, specifically abnormal sexual attraction to animals," whereas bestiality is not about love, but just sex: It is "any sexual relations between a person and an animal." Zoophiles will often proudly acknowledge they are just that, while some people who sodomize animals are very careful to define they are not, nor ever will be, zoophiles.
I logged into Beast Forum at night, when most of the action happened, and I trolled discussion groups: "Does Your Partner Know You Are Into Bestiality?", "A Wife's Priority: To All The Married Ladies Out There," "Hey Housewives," and pages and pages of forums on the stigma facing zoophiles who keep their sexual orientation secret from the "normals" in their lives. For some, it is just that: a sexual orientation. They argue they could not change even if they wanted to (and most do not.) For a lot of women in the discussion groups, their zoophilia started with some kind of fucked-up rejection from humans. One girl confessed that when her older boyfriend humiliated her after his wife caught her blowing him, she wished men were more like her loving dog, and then just ended up making the dog her boyfriend. Others wrote about life after divorce and finding calm, comfort, and great sex in their animal lovers.
The women that were in my [bestiality] study actually cherished the relationship to their animal partner.
Other women spoke of the secret oral sex their family dogs gave them when their husbands went to work. "My hubby does not know and probably never will," MochaMilkMaid explained. "It's very exciting to know that we will have our fun. My heart is usually thumping a mile a minute before our time together." Other husbands knew, watched, videotaped, and loved being involved. There were public threads, years long, debating topics like jealousy their boyfriend's felt over the animals, love, and basic bestiality techniques; the animal lovers are always dogs, a disproportionate number German shepherds. They spoke openly about how oral sex with a dog was incomparable to sex with a human.
But despite the pages and pages of insider information, my mind was breaking in half. Why animals? How?
"I've never fallen in love with an animal that didn't return the love," one woman wrote. Most people on the message boards and in Miletski's study said the same thing. People can reject you, tell you to fuck off; an animal can't disappoint you the way a human being can. Your relationship to a dog can't deteriorate over money problems or jealousy or sexual disinterest. It can't fall "out of love" because it never was in what we define as love in the first place. A sexual relationship with an animal is basic, simple, and never emotionally exhausting. On the flipside, you cannot keep a person hostage under your domestic rule the way you can an animal. Although no zoophile on Beast Forum confessed to seeing her relationship as having a power dynamic, there is no way it wouldn't be.
"People [on Beast Forum] are desensitized to the oddity of [bestiality], because you all have this forum and each other," wrote lilknottyone.
It's weird folks, don't deceive yourself. Sex is seen as a subject for behind closed doors no matter the [sexual] preference and zoophilia is one of the oddest of sexual taboos. You can site stories from the past or say look at all the members on this site, it's more common than you think, but you are only foolin' yourself to make yourself feel better. Since most of the population see's fucking an animal as not normal, it therefore is not normal. Like it or not majority rules. [all sic]
That same user and I got to talking in a private chat. In fact, she was one of the only women willing to talk with a curious writer, even though she refused to disclose anymore than her username. It took days of coaxing. "I think you might be quite disappointed with me," she wrote. "I believe normal to be a mathematical myth. I will not embellish for your enjoyment nor will I answer any question that I feel is too personally intrusive. That being said, I welcome your questions."
Lilknottyone told me she is not a typical zoo; she eats meat and has "never been in love with an animal," despite having had various sexual relations with them since the age of 5, when she would play with the family poodle's penis. "I am just highly sexual," she told me. "When curiosity hit, I would explore. Kind of like masturbating, but with another. Ninety-nine percent of my sexual activities involve other adult humans of both sexes. I am not an exclusive zoo by any means."
Lilknottyone said only her partner knows about her bestiality and that they do it together. ("To be honest, a man fucking a female dog [or] mare creeps me out beyond belief. It makes no sense, but I don't know there seems something wrong about it," she wrote to me one night when we got onto the subject.) She doesn't tell anyone else in her daily life, and this chat room--no matter how filled with deceptive folks looking for "attention or sexual gratification"--is still appealing to her for community. (She's posted 865 public threads.) As someone who partakes in bestiality and is not a full-on zoophile like Joensen, she reflects somewhat objectively on her own inter-special sex as a taboo as dark as pedophilia.
"Deviance may be a strong word, because it's wrong to some, but the deviance behind it is the turn on," she told me. "But if I had not seen a dog consent or even initiate sex, I too would think they are unwilling partners. There are individuals who harm [other] animals, just like adult harm adult and adults harm children, but most people don't. There are many reasons people have sex with animals and not all stem from metal dysfunction…says the girl who fucks dogs, haha."
Deviance may be a strong word, because it's wrong to some, but the deviance behind it is the turn on.
Before our weeklong discussion came to an end, Lilknottyone warned me about talking to other people on Beast Forum. "If this is really for a piece you are working on, most [users] will think you are full of shit and either play with you, or try to convert you, thinking you are secretly interested in fucking your dog, or that you are an undercover cop. LOL. Use your instinct and gut feeling about who is lying."
During her peek of acceptance and popularity, Joensen did a bestiality advice column in SCREW magazine, helping other curious zoo females intimate sex with animals safely. In one entry, a reader asked her what the point was in sucking off a pig, since the semen "is so thick and clots so fast and it can stick in your throat and choke you to death."
Joensen responded with a beauty tip in broken English. "But don't you know the semen is making a beautiful cold cream compress for the shinningness [sic] and smoothness of the face skin? No pimples any more I am having since this wonderful discovery."