#FBF to That One Dude Who Had Sex with a Horse and Died

When it comes to sexual liberties, we may think of the United States as a a more “progressive” nation. Just this past June, for instance, the supreme court weighed on on same sex marriage, making it a constitutional right in all 50 states. But, despite what could be described as our country’s slow but somewhat steady movement towards acceptance of more marginalized erotic desires and sexual identities, there are still some queer (in the sense of truly bizarre) sexual interests that remain undeniably taboo– and probably will forever. Like, beastiality and the community of people who practice it– also known as zoophiles.

If we were to make a list of the most unforgivable sexual transgressions in the Western world, having sex outside of your own species would be pretty high on the list. On some level, the disgust and abjection felt towards people who practice beastiality is probably rooted in an unconscious acknowledgement that this type of sexual activity is not biologically viable–it’s not reproductive. On another level, people may be concerned about the animal’s well being and the ethics surrounding the practice having sex with one. Most people I asked before writing this article just told me it was “just gross” or “fucked up”. When I pressed them for more reasons why– they would just repeat themselves. It “wasn’t right. I didn’t argue with them about the fact that this type of justification is what a lot of people said about gay and lesbian sex only a few years ago even though those thoughts were certainly in the back of my mind. Because, on some level, I can’t help but feel similarly. I have a huge discomfort with beastiality. One that I should probably take some time to think through and be critical about. Nevertheless if we ever needed a reason to justify our immense discomfort with this practice, we could always point out the time it really hasn’t worked out in the past.

And by hasn’t worked out, I mean it literally killed someone. As Vice recently reminded us all, back in 2005 a man named Kenneth Pinyan who happened to be an organizer of a tight knit “zoo” community ended up at a hospital suffering from “acute peritonitis” after having sex with a horse. Essentially, the tissue in Pinyan’s colon had swollen immensely due to trauma. He ended up dying at the hospital, and after his death, a video surfaced of it on the internet, the whole thing went viral, and the whole affair became one of the most talked about news stories of the early 2000s. In response to the death by horse penis situation, Washington State (where this went down) made beastiality a C class felony. Those who were charged with it could face up to five years in jail and hefty fines. And while the internet chatter blew up about zoophiles, actual zoo communities and beastiality practitioners went deeper underground.

Beastiality still remains legal in some states, and the man dying by horse penis media frenzy storm has long since blown over. But, the whole situation seems to present interesting questions regarding what role the state should play in legalizing libidinal desires and acts. Of course, legislating what individuals can and cannot do in sexually is nothing new in the United States or elsewhere– but it’s a question worth asking, for people like myself who like to think of themselves as open minded and hands off in regards to others’ sexual desires. Should the state “protect” people from their possibly deadly sexual desires by criminalizing them?

Gimme More Sex + Dating

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