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Originally posted by canada_man at 2009-7-18 17:00
Based on ur experience, what has come first, second, third: love or friendship or sex?
My experience? Always friendship, then maybe love. If true love, then sex. I would not have it any other way. ...
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Maybe we can learn something useful from our long-distant relatives?
Animal Courtship and Mating, behaviors used by animals to meet compatible mates for sexual reproduction. Courtship is the collection of ritualized behaviors unique to each species that leads up to and enables animals to successfully mate. Courtship accounts for some of nature’s greatest dramas, such as the sandhill crane’s elaborate ballet, the bald eagle’s stupendous flying cartwheels, and the salmon’s marathon upstream journey as far as 3860 km (2400 mi) to its native stream.
Mating is the placement of sperm, the male sex cells, in the vicinity of eggs, the female sex cells. Animals use a variety of methods to mate, all of which promote fertilization, or fusion of sperm and egg. Fertilization initiates development of a new organism, the beginning of the next generation. Fusion of sperm and egg, known as sexual reproduction, is the predominant means of reproduction on earth. It results in an array of genetically diverse offspring that are better able to survive a changing environment, thus increasing the potential for preservation of the species.
Many animals must jump through a number of hoops to mate successfully. To succeed in mating, an individual must first identify and attract a potential mate of the same species. One or both partners must arouse sexual interest in the other. And sexual behavior must be timed so that partners are ready for physical union at the same time. The signals and behaviors of courtship rituals are designed to help animals overcome these obstacles to mating.
Animals use a variety of visual, auditory, and chemical signals throughout courtship and mating. Some are important for identification—firefly species, for example, are remarkably similar, and during courtship, each species sends out a unique pattern of flashes to signal its identity to potential mates. Frogs use a vocal Morse code for species recognition, and birds sing different kinds of songs to announce their species identity. Visual cues often help animals locate each other in habitats with dense vegetation. The black and white markings of pandas, for instance, help individuals stand out in the thick bamboo forests where they live. Sounds are also used to help animals find each other. The very low sounds of a male elephant, inaudible to human ears, are a beckoning call that females can hear up to 4.8 km (3 mi) away. Chorusing bullfrogs, bugling elk, and warbling songbirds build a fence of sound that warns off competing males, while enticing females to check out the territory.
Chemical signals called pheromones bring together individuals that are separated by miles. A male silk moth, for example, can detect the female’s invitational pheromones at a distance of up to 11 km (7 mi). Many fish species, highly sensitive to chemicals in the water, secrete pheromones to locate mating partners. Pheromones can also indicate fertility to a prospective mate. The female giraffe secretes pheromones in her urine that are detected by the male. These pheromones announce her fertility and signal the correct timing for courtship and mating.
To ensure that successful mating occurs, a range of courtship behaviors, from the coy to the colossal, have evolved. For many species, both partners are often dealing with competing emotions—fear, aggression, and sexual interest—stirred by physical closeness. Highly ritualized courtship displays calm fear, neutralize aggression, and allow sexual excitement to build. These courtship displays are often borrowed from gestures involved in nonsexual bonding. Gray wolf courtship, for example, looks very much like the play of young wolves, involving a sequence of head-rubbing, snuffling, nipping, and snout grabbing, all motions with a gentle quality quite distinct from the fierceness of a real fight. Other animals borrow courtship movements from parent-offspring behavior, such as begging for food, grooming, or feeding each other.
Many animals will circle one another, chase, or travel side by side until their movements are synchronized and both are physiologically ready to mate. Sandhill cranes, who mate for life, engage in an elaborate song and dance to form and strengthen their pair bond. They warm up with a long, staccato duet, then move into an explosive dance in which they take turns bowing, coiling into a crouch, then springing high into the air, flapping their wings several times before returning to earth. Animals such as elk and sea lions compete with one another in a combative way. Males sequester a harem of females and keep a constant vigil, fighting off the advances of other suitors as a way of assuring their own paternity, or fatherhood.
The question is....how do we human do it?
Not difficult to find out
We have plenty of human beings here
So just sit back and watch
Now you can write a book on this subject!