Love That Love Dart

It’s one of those Saturday mornings where I’m awake for no good reason, lying in bed chewing thoughtfully on my toes and listening with fair appreciation and aplomb to bleedthrough grrl-rock from next door.

And I’m here to talk to you about snail sex. The important things to consider here are as follows:

  1. Snails are hermaphrodites. They have two sets of genitals located very near their heads.
  2. Snails also have lips, and they kiss during foreplay. As far as I know, people and snails are the only critters to do this; then again, my knowledge of animal sex is almost entirely restricted to people, snails, penguins, and stray dogs.
  3. They’re known for shooting “love darts” at their mates, but most snails produce about one dart a week. If they’re lucky, they can have sex much more often than this, and copulation proceeds quite well without the dart. Snails have such poor eyesight that their darts, when they do throw them, often miss entirely.
  4. Snails are yucky and gross, especially when you step on one and it goes crunch.

But what can the lowly garden snail really teach us about human sexuality?
If we could get inside the mind of a snail (a small and slimy space, to be sure, but there are usually grad students willing to do that sort of thing),
the psychology of the love dart would probably shed new light on this tricky matter of female ejaculation, snails being too stupid to realize that love darts prevent the darted snail from digesting all the darter’s sperm.
You can throw in a lesson on the fundamental merits of fellatio if you’d like.

Dunno what the real moral is, but the Mr. Men are surely involved somehow.


  1. ester wrote:

    apes kiss. they also engage in oral sex (no joke.) only it’s usually not in the context of intercourse; it’s a sign of appreciation at mealtimes, like if one gives another a banana.
    we read an article about bonobos for my sociology class last year. enlightening. but thank you for increasing my knowledge re: snails.

  2. yami wrote:

    Cool! It’s too bad going to Denmark ruined my only shot at taking the offered-every-other-year monkey sex class…

  3. rhondalicious wrote:

    Snails, and males, all one and the same.
    Very interesting.

  4. yami wrote:

    Also pails, and bales, and tails.

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