Inside the Hermaphroditic, Penis-Chewing World of Slug Sex

09/20/2012 11:20 AM |

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Slugs, man. They’ve got some freaky sex stuff happening. Slugs—that is regular land slugs, not sea slugs or banana slugs—are hermaphrodites. But not the self-fertilizing kind, nuh uh. These slugs have to make love the old fashioned way: entwining their giant, white, puffy penises and injecting sperm into each others’ vag holes.

The white things are their penises.
  • The white things are their penises.

It takes a while. But first, there is the seduction. Many slugs have elaborate mating rituals, to prevent interbreeding between species. After that, they get in the slimy slug 69 and wait for their balloon sac penises to get working. There is, of course, a video:

Sometimes, though, during all the lying around and sperming, the slugs’ penises can get stuck together, apparently because slug penises will corkscrew on occasion. When that happens, they have to apophallate, which is a polite way of saying chew each others’ dicks off. I guess they just chew until one of them gets free. The now penis-less slug is still able to mate, just only (only!) as a female. This is okay, though, because it keeps the gene pool fresher.

After mating, both slugs (if they still have their dicks) or just one slug go and lay a bunch of eggs in a hole and forget about it, until the next time they’re in the mood for more penis entanglement. And that is how slugs are made: it’s gross and beautiful.

Sources: The Sensual Slug, UVM Blog

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