Its only Human. How Sexual Perversions and Depravities are uniquely Human.

 (sanjay austa      sanjayausta@gmail.)

Smut-cards with contacts of escorts and call-girls lie all over The Strip, Las Vegas


After the brutal 2012 gang rape in New Delhi followed by multiple other gory sexual assaults of that nature that continue to occur across India, I was  inclined to join  the chorus and pen a piece about the hopeless law and order in our cities,  police reforms, political apathy and some rehashed  drivel about the security of women.

But I  stumbled on   a 2004 news story that went  viral on the web.  Two men  raped a cow in the Tughlaqabad  area of the Indian Capital in 2004.  They tied up the poor bovine, raped her and after finishing, stabbed her multiple times. This was clearly something else, and it led me to reflect on why humans behave in such astonishing ways.

Humans are the   only species on the planet who rape though ironically we often call the rapists animals.

No animal rapes.  No animal has sexual perversions or depravities. It is, as with most things,  a peculiar human trait.  ( Scientists however contend that  some animals including dolphins, chimpanzees, elephant seals, spider monkeys,  bonobos, scorpionflies exhibit a rape like behavior. However they concede that unlike humans,  the sexual assault in animals occur  only when the female is sexually receptive or in estrous)

Sex has become a problem for man  primarily because  humans have transcended their biological need for sex and have sex for psychological reasons.(For example for domination in the case of  rape ).  All animals except humans, have sex when they are in ‘heat’. A tiger or jackal , the cow or even the donkey for example will only mate when the female of their species is in estrous or  ‘heat’ and indicates her condition  by  emitting pheromones or by leaving scent markings.  Sex for animals is purely instinct driven and is  meant rather for Catholic reason-  procreation.


Depiction of erotic love on the walls of Kandaria Mahadeva temple, Khajuraho. (sanjay austa austa)

Depiction of erotic love on the walls of Kandaria Mahadeva temple, Khajuraho.

Humans are the only species that have sex for pleasure (some biologists  say dolphins and some species of monkeys  also have sex for fun. But  I doubt it).  Though we refer to our sexual desire in terms such as ‘pleasures of the flesh’ or ‘physical needs’ we primarily  have sex to pleasure our minds. Sex is a physical activity but sexual gratification is always mental.

Thats why even our  doctors  advocate sexual fantasies to pep up defunct  sex lives. We have a multi-billion dollar porn industry to cater to and whet our every sexual whim and fancy.

It is interesting to note that when golf champ  Tiger Wood’s sexual escapades tumbled out of the cupboard, there was not a single black woman in that long list.  The women were of different nationalities but were all white. It was somehow a black man’s psychological conquest  of the whites.

A van advertising escort girls doing its round of the Las Vegas Strip. (sanjay austa      sanjayausta@gmail.)

Prostitution is illegal but happens rather openly in  Vegas, USA.

It all boils down to one thing. Humans, unlike animals, live in the mind. Because we live too much in the mind we have tremendous psychological needs. Its these psychological needs that drive us to do almost everything we do. Be it getting that bigger car, bigger house , better salary, or bedding different people.  The arch  of human ‘progress’ is chartered around this great psychological need.

So too for rape. We  know for a fact that  sex crimes  are mostly power play , a display of domination and a result of patriarchal mindsets. Though it cannot be denied that sexual repression  also leads to many sex crimes. For example pedophilia in monasteries.

That’s why the  spiritual tradition in the East is hinged on  ‘dropping’ the mind. Techniques such as meditation were developed to still the mind.  Once the mind was calm -thoughts of avarice,  lust, ambition, were said to disappear.

But the East also developed Tantric sex.  Here sex was not avoided but used for a higher purpose.. The idea was to prolong the sexual orgasm to a point where you got a glimpse  of Nirvana  itself. To prolong this glimpse –all sorts of tantric tricks were employed.  Psychologist Abraham Maslow acknowledged such eastern mystic experiences,  calling them   the  ‘Peak experience’.

 (sanjay austa      sanjayausta@gmail.)

Gupt Rogh Doctor. Sexual disorders  plague no other animal.

Tantric sex however fails because it usually attracts the repressed and it is now to associated with all sorts of sexual indulgences.

Because humans live so much in the mind there is an instinctive need to get out of it.  We want to forget and escape. Sex is the easiest, most effortless means of doing so. It is indeed a stress buster.

But the  pleasure humans experience during sex is not of the act itself.  We experience pleasure because of the images of sex, our memory of sex and our fantasies. Thats why  most people report better orgasm during masturbation -when thought is untrammeled and uninterrupted by the mechanization of sex.  And its not uncommon for  couples in long term or conjugal relations to fantasize of other people during sex to get it off with their partners.

Lastly humans are also the only species who try to suppress their biological impulse for sex.  The celibates (including Mahatama Gandhi) have tried it since millennia.  But it only ends in failure   because while the biological act can be avoided  there is no escaping the sexual imagery that plays out in the mind  ( the suppression in fact  only ends up  a build up of lascivious thoughts) .

We can hang our rapists and we can go on long marches against the government of the day but as long as sex remains a mental and not a physical impulse,  sexual perversions and crimes such as rapes, incest, pedophilia will not go away in a hurry.

This animal is what makes Serengeti what it is. Whatever you hear of Serengeti comes alive on the thunder hooves of these weird looking yet amazing animal. Its quite a feeling to see stretched for miles and miles herds of these animals grazing in the Serengeti. (sanjay austa austa)

Millions of Wildebeests live in close proximity in Serengeti, Africa. But they mate only when the females gives the signal.

23 Responses to “Its only Human. How Sexual Perversions and Depravities are uniquely Human.”

  1. Suman says:

    Deprivation, I feel is an outcome of a mounting scarcity of the other vulnerable sex the ‘Female’. Declining sex ratios, a product of our misogynist and patriarch practices only fuels up such mindsets in humans. Nice piece Sanjay.

  2. archana says:

    Hmm.thats the reason why they say sex is not between your legs.,it’s between your eats…but then isn’t everything in the mind..all our five /six major senses all controlled by mind..from touch,to smell,to taste..I don’t really know how we humans would be able to make” sex just a physical act.

  3. Subhrajit Roy says:

    Sanjay, at the outset, I must say that this line of thought crossed my mind given the recent events that have transpired. However it brought this to question and I don’t think I could find evidence to prove this statement that rape is a uniquely human trait. Would you be able to tell me how you support this statement of yours?

    I little googling would show you books written by zoologists who have mentioned more than one species displaying behaviour that resembles what we define as ‘rape’ – the male of the species aggressively and without permission forcing himself onto the female of the species. And this is not even just a very primate or ape specific behaviour either. Refer “Demonic males: apes and the origins of human violence” – By Richard W. Wrangham, Dale E. Peterson. There are mentions of such behaviour being displayed from apes to flies to ducks in the animal kingdom. So I don’t think your claim has any zoological basis really here.

    Yes we, as human beings have come to transcend our biological need to have sex to push the species forward as such, but even then we have almost a biological imperative of sorts to keep our genes going forward – refer “The Selfish Gene” – by Dr. Richard Dawkins.

    Now I don’t claim to know the goings on in the minds of other species when they have sex, but I cannot say that as long as human beings have a concept of ‘enjoyment’ associated with the act of having sex there will always be rape, incest and other sexual perversions. To say that would mean that we are completely and utterly powerless against the need to be entertained no matter what the cost to ourselves or to the people we enact our act of being entertained on.

    There are many more things at play here. If we say that sexual acts have a psychological ‘feel good’ feeling associated with it for humans, we are saying it for both the genders of the human species. So unless we say that males feel more good than females, we should see an equal number of cases of rape, paedophilia and other such sexual perversions being inflicted on the male part of the species by the female part as well, but the statistics are skewed on the male side in this matter. So there is a lot going on in here, and I don’t think this article of yours holds water about human sexual perversions are uniquely human.

    • sanjay austa says:

      Thanks for sharing your views Subhrajit. Have been meaning to read ”The Selfish Gene”. Thanks for pointing it out. I am aware of rape-like behavior of other species. But unlike humans they are not driven by thoughts, images, memory and such like. They are driven purely by instinct. Humans do it consciously to fulfill not a biological impulse (I’m repeating my article here) but a psychological one. Thats a huge difference. Sexual pleasure is experienced by both men and women of course. But rapes don’t just happen to fulfill some perverted pleasures. Rapes are a result of a millennia of power play, domination, misogyny, patriarchal mindsets. And you know which of the two sexes excels in all these behaviors.

  4. Sachin Raju says:

    Brilliant as usual Sanjay. I would have mentioned about Dolphins but you have researched extensively and included it.

  5. Manpreet Singh says:

    An inspiring introspection about the grave societal problem. It evoked some deep thinking amidst the pervading air of negativity. It puts thing in a larger perspective to seek solutions.
    It made worthy reading. Thanks Sanjay.

  6. Kajal Basu says:

    I’m afraid rape isn’t restricted to dolphins (although, since they’re pinnipeds – animals with rudimentary arms, and legs – it’s a difficult, and therefore extremely rare, act for them). The animals who DO rape are a surprisingly varied lot (surprising because not all of them have the intelligence to make rape a deliberate, malicious act). They include mallard ducks, orangutans, chimpanzees, elephant seals, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, bonobos, zebras and scorpion flies. But since humans are the only animals that hump whether or not the female of the species is emitting pheromones in oestrus, there’s a special place reserved for us in hell.

    But do the other ‘rape species’ have our manner of perversions? Not that I’ve read of. Paedophilia is (fairly) common among humans, and extremely rare – to the point of myth – among pinnipeds. And rapists in monkey societies are ALWAYS beaten to death by other monkeys.

  7. Panthera Leo says:


  8. Anubha Yadav says:

    But then sexual depravity has had different standards in different cultures over different times. I think clubbing sexual depravity with Rape is a little dangerous thus. Because Rape is not a sexual crime of a morally subjective nature.

  9. Wily coyote says:

    Sorry to split hairs here, but a number of animals ranging from invertebrate molluscs such as snails to primate macaques are known to practice sex for non procreational purposes. They can be for enjoyment, affection, dominance etc. Oh, just noticed that Kajal Basu has covered all the animals points I was going to elaborate on. Anyway, you get the picture.



  10. Kajal Basu says:

    Anubha: Just taking context into account, what is considered sexual depravity today wasn’t even called depravity in past centuries – eg, paedophilia today vs Roman pederasty, which was, in fact, a Rome-normative uncle-nephew/mentor-ward relationship. Nonetheless, in the interests of calling a spade a spade, it WAS an adult-minor impositional relationship, which, to my mind, makes it culture-specific and warped behaviour perpetuated to direct the legating of power, influence and property according to the unassailable tenets of patriarchy.

    As for your belief that “[r]ape is not a sexual crime of a morally subjective nature” – I’m afraid I haven’t got your meaning. I doubt you’re contesting the sexual aspect of rape, so it’s the latter phrase that’s problematic:

    1. Rape IS immoral AND a crime in every human society the world over.

    2. If it’s not of a “morally subjective nature”, what IS it? All crimes so far codified in any legal doctrine or system in human history have been subjective. The prosecutorial system works according to this assumption, as does defence. And rape, which is essentially a one-to-one face-off (even during a multiple rape [as opposed to a gang rape]), is nothing if not subjective in the extreme (even during those controlled situations when it’s more about power and control and less about the orgasm). It MIGHT be hung with the “objective” label if it were part of a preplanned, full-fledged ‘gendercidal’ programme, but it’d be a tough nomenclatural call.

    I’m assuming you mean rape as an instrument of the general subjection of women in general by men in general makes it non-subjective. But that, in my not-so-humble opinion, in no way makes rape ‘objective’.

    Confusion no. 2: Why shouldn’t rape be considered “sexual depravity”? Is it MORE than simple, everyday depravity? Then exactly what is it? An act so removed from civility that it calls for a separate law to minimise it? In that case, would you be willing to have separate laws for rape and paedophilia? (At the moment, what is euphemistically called ‘CSA [Child Sexual Abuse]’ is NOT recognised by the IPC 1860. Section 376 is far too specific about older-teen/adult on.

  11. Shibani Bose says:

    good point about animals not raping. but i also agree with Anubha – what is called ‘sexual depravity’ is subjective – S&M, fetishes, multiple partners etc., i don’t want to be the moral judge of that. Rape is pretty objective – someone violates someone else against their wishes.

    • sanjay austa says:

      Shibani agree its subjective. But i was not writing about sex in relation to different human cultures etc. Was looking at human’s need for sex vis-a-vis the animal kingdom at large. Also am talking about how we, unlike other species, are driven to anything -including sex (and everything that goes with it: perversions, depravities, sex crimes etc) -not due to our biological impulses but due to psychological reasons. Animals lack these psychological needs that overwhelm our kind.

  12. Anubha Yadav says:

    Kajal : As to the subjectivity of legality of a ‘crime’ and its relative ‘nature’:well, obviously the subjectivity is present. We are not discussing that. What we are discussing is that if it is RAPE then you and I will see it as a crime. Unlike, how you react to BDSM or any other sexual depravity. Rape is a depravity, and I am not discounting that- if you will read my comment, my discomfort is specifically when it is left unattended with sexual depravities- because ‘rape’ as often said is a sexual act but its motivation is not a sexual ‘need’. Instead, like you cleverly say “the unassailable ‘power’ of ‘patriarchy'” or the need to ‘control’ that makes the perpetrator a rapist. So, when we punch it as a sexual act we move into a very simplistic and dangerous zone. We isolate rape as a sexual crime alone, WHICH WE ALREADY KNOW IS NOT SO.

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