This Week @ Down to a Science: Animal Sex

Do your genitals explode? Do you have a penis growing on your head?  Does your copulation last 10 weeks? Are you 200,000 times smaller than your mate? Are your sex toys made of leaves and twigs?  Do you drug your lover with a no-cheating potion?  Knowing this audience, I suspect a few of those questions may have caused you pause—but these are the sexual traits of animals and insects, and you should know better.  Though the book and event featured in this post center around animal sex, they will definitely have you questioning human sexuality by the time you’re done.

It turns out monogamy is one of the most deviant behaviors in biology.

It turns out "monogamy is one of the most deviant behaviors in biology."

Down to a Science is an ongoing series of monthly events in San Francisco meant to “promote civic discourse through scientific dialogue.”  Held at different locations throughout the Bay, these science cafés offer a casual setting where scientists and normal folks interested in science (nerds) can meet up and exchange knowledge in “easy-to-understand conversation” (dumbed-down versions of important scientific discoveries).  It’s like science class except with food and drinks and fun.  And they’re all FREE!

Females in more than 80 species eat their lovers before, during, or after sex!

Females in more than 80 species eat their lovers before, during, or after sex!

Past cafés have covered a wide array of topics: The Neuroscience of Meditation, The Science of a Good Beer, The Neurophysiology of Love, The Biology of Aging, and of course a bunch on the hilarious and entertaining topic of Climate Change.  Next week’s book club topic is twisted enough to interest a broader audience than just science geeks: animal sex!  The discussion will be about evolutionary biologist Olivia Judson’s hilarious book Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation: The Definitive Guide to the Evolutionary Biology of Sex. The book is written as a Q&A advice column, where animals write in with questions to Judson’s alter ego Dr. Tatiana.  For example, “Don’t Wanna Be Butch in Botswana” writes “I’m a spotted hyena, a girl. The only trouble is, I’ve got a large phallus. I can’t help feeling that this is unladylike. What’s wrong with me?”  Priceless.  Check out the facebook invitation or the DTAS event description for more information.  And read the Amazon page for more amazing quotes from the book.

Book Club: Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation
Monday, January 11th, 7-9pm
Books, Inc. (the West’s oldest independent bookseller!)
Opera Plaza, 601 Van Ness Ave @ Golden Gate Ave

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Chloe - Pennywise Reporter

Chloe's youth was split between California and Kauai, frolicking on a macadamia nut farm in the tropics and landing finally in the Bay Area. Raised by super-Jew hippies, and the youngest of three sisters, Chloe learned early the virtues of thrift, economy, and green living. To the chagrin of her parents (who hoped, of course, for a Jewish doctor or lawyer), Chloe has put her degree from UC Berkeley to great use by becoming a folk singer. As "Chloe Makes Music" she plays shows throughout SF and beyond, donning vintage frocks, selling handmade merch, and pinching pennies as she sings for her supper. Calling Berkeley home for the last six years, you can think of Chloe as the website's East Bay Correspondent, opening your eyes to the hippie-filled, tree-hugging, organic-loving, vegan-eating, but way-overlooked and awesome assets of Berkeley, Oakland, and beyond.

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