Going to the dogs: A brief look at cynophilia

Regular readers of my blog will know that I am not averse to looking at various types of human zoophilic behaviour. So far, I have written articles on zoophilia in general, zoophilia classification, zoosadism (sexual pleasure from being sadistic to animals), necrobestiality (sex with dead animals), and very specific forms of zoophilia including delphinophilia (sex with dolphins), porcinophilia (sex with pigs), equinophilia (sex with horses), herpetophilia (sex with lizards), ophidiophilia (sex with snakes), ornithophilia (sex with birds including avisodomy), musophilia (sexual stimulation from mice including felching), formicophilia (sexual stimulation from insects), and melissophilia (sexual stimulation from bees and bee stings). Today’s blog takes a brief look at cynophilia (sex with dogs).

In 2006, Dr. Lisa Shaffer and Dr. Julie Penn developed a comprehensive paraphilia classification system and published it as a book chapter in Dr. William Hickey’s book Sex Crimes and Paraphilia. Within this they included a list of various types of zoophilia and reported that cynophilia referred to sexual arousal from having sex with dogs (and that canophilia was sexual arousal from dogs, which I am assuming means that the person being aroused may not have had actual sexual contact with a dog).

Last year in Florida (USA), the Tampa Bay Times reported the case of Eric Atunes, a 29-year old man who was accused of having oral sex with a dog. As it turned out, the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office “declined to pursue a charge of animal cruelty under the state’s new bestiality law” but it was confirmed that Atunes (an employee at the Pinellas County Humane Society) had six photographs on his mobile phone of himself performing sexual acts with his girlfriend’s three-legged dog, Ruby. The case was dropped because there is no law in Florida forbidding people having oral sex with animals. The newspaper reported that:

“Assistant State Attorney Beverly Andringa said her office declined to prosecute Antunes for bestiality because, out of the six photographs found on his cellphone, only one would meet the strict criteria of the statute. Officials also aren’t certain when all the photos were taken. Some might have predated the new law”.

In Georgia (USA), a 19-year-old man Bernard Archer was arrested after being caught on camera having sexual intercourse with pit bull dogs and charged with two counts of bestiality. A newspaper report said that:

“Dispatch advised [that] home owners witnessed a young black male having sexual intercourse with two dogs. WGCL-TV reports that Archer was hired to clean the cages of several pit bulls by Dr. Cathryn Lafayette, a local resident who owned the dogs. [On] Saturday [March 3], Lafayette was woken up from a nap by the Newton County police, who informed her of Archer’s crimes against her animals. Though initially skeptical of the claims, she was convinced when authorities showed her video evidence”.

I mention these recent cases just by way of establishing that sexual contact by human beings with dogs not only occurs but is reported on a fairly regular basis (i.e., both of these cases were from the last twelve months in the same country). There are also cases of what Dr. Anil Aggrawal would class as ‘cynophilia by proxy’ (based on a paper he had published in a recent issue of the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine,) where one person forces another (typically a man forcing his wife or partner) to have sex with a dog. Dr Aggrawal explains:

“This happened in R v Bourne (1952) 36 Cr App R 125 (CCA), in which the husband forced his wife to submit to a dog inserting its penis into her vagina. The husband was convicted of aiding and abetting his wife to commit buggery and sentenced to eight years in prison. The wife was not punished, since she acted under duress. In R v. Tierney (1990) 12 Cr. App. R(S) 216, the defendant took photographs of his wife having intercourse with his Alsatian dog for his own continuing satisfaction. In this case, three monthsimprisonment was given to the accused, but not to his wife, because she consented to perform the act in desperation in order to retain her husbands affections”.

Dr. Aggrawal also noted that in ancient. Rome, the practice of canine bestiality was so common that professional people (the Belluri) supplied dogs specifically for this purpose. Much more recently, academic studies of zoophilia have typically collected their data online from non-clinical samples. These zoophiles typically have a preference for zoophilic sex and rarely seek treatment as they are happy and content with their sexual orientation. In a 2001 issue of the Journal of Small Animal Practice, Dr. H. Munro and Dr. M. Thrusfield (2001) reported that they had collected data on animal abuse from over 400 British vets. They reported that 6% of their cases involved sexual abuse based on their observations of injuries in the animals’ genital and anal areas. Of these, 21 cases referred to dogs and three to cats. Dr Andrea Beetz reported that among the 32 male zoophiles she surveyed, 78% had had sex with dogs. Dr Hani Miletski reported that among the 93 zoophiles she surveyed that most of her sample preferred sex with dogs (87% males; 100% females).

I have come across very few articles (academic or non-academic) purely on the topic of cynophilia. One of the most detailed (written by a zoophile) is at the Vivid Random Existence (VRE) website (an online essay on Cynosexuality (or cynophilia): the sexual attraction to dogs’). I do not endorse any of the (anonymous) author’s comments and the essay is written from a pro-zoophilia standpoint. The author of the essay notes that:

“Among all possible variants of zoosexuality, cynosexuality is one of the most common because the zoosexual size comparison rule — the fact is that there are many dog breeds, such as the Great Dane, which are physically capable of having sex with humans (without abuse occurring). This is why cynosexuality is fairly common among zoosexuals”.

The author then provides numerous quotes from many different cynophiles to highlight the commonility of this particular sub-type of zoophilia. Here are a just a few of the many examples cited taken from online zoophile forums such as the Beast Forum. (Please be warned that these are sexually explicit and you may find what is said offensive):

  • Extract 1: “I’ve only had experience with my one dog, but it is quite an amazing sensation, hot, tight, and slippery. A dog’s body temperature is a few degrees higher than a human’s, and with the extremely sensitive flesh of the human penis, makes for quite a pleasurable combination” (Neverfox)
  • Extract 2: “I have been with both species [humans and dogs] and my preference would have to be [the dog]; tighter, warmer and always wet” (St Benard)
  • Extract 3: “My male dog used to tell me that he was interested in sex or wants it…He would sniff at my crotch and paw at me. He only does this when he wants sex. This is Consent, both by me and by him. Any Zoo knows that animals if they want it, it may ask a human for sex. Zoos know that animals consent. There is no question about it!” (Anonymous)
  • Extract 4: “I have had sex with a female dog and it is wonderful! They never turn you down, are always horny… so why the hell not! Why deprive a dog of a sex life? Best of all, you can’t get pregnant and can’t get a STD from them!” (Dglover)
  • Extract 5: “Take it from me you will be addicted once you have a dog’s cock entering your [anus], but be careful the first time as his knot can really hurt if you have never had anything inside you before” (Oscarsbitch)

The author of the VRE essay uses these quotes to make a number of distinct points. The first point made is that the quotes indicate that some zoophiles prefer sex with dogs to sex with humans (and that zoophilic activity does not have to occur where there is an absence of a human sexual partner). This has already been confirmed in the empirical studies of academic researchers like Dr. Beetz and Dr. Miletski. The essay author also say the quotes “prove that most zoosexual people are devoted to their animals and treat them with respect, kindness and compassion; these kinds of people would never harm an animal…Additionally, it would appear as though dogs don’t mind having sex with people; in fact, some of them apparently like it!” The zoophiles may well be kind and respect the dogs concerned, but as I argued in previous blogs on both herpetophilia and delpinophilia, the animals cannot give informed consent, so therefore such sexual activity is (in my view) morally wrong.

Dr Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies, International Gaming Research Unit, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK 

Further reading

Aggrawal A. (2009). Forensic and Medico-legal Aspects of Sexual Crimes and Unusual Sexual Practices. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Aggrawal, A. (2011). A new classification of zoophilia. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, 18, 73-78.

Beetz, A. M. (2004). Bestiality/zoophilia: A scarcely investigated phenomenon between crime, paraphilia, and love. Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, 4, 1-36.

CBS Atlanta (2012). Cops: teen caught having sex with dogs on camera. March 7. Located at: http://atlanta.cbslocal.com/2012/03/07/cops-teen-caught-having-sex-with-dogs-on-camera/

Jamison, P. & Morel, L.C. (2012). Man who had sex with dog won’t be charged because of unusual reason. Tampa Bay Times, June 20. Located at: http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/man-who-had-sex-with-dog-wont-be-charged-because-of-unusual-reason/1236153

Miletski, H. (2000). Bestiality and zoophilia: An exploratory study. Scandinavian Journal of Sexology, 3, 149–150.

Miletski, H. (2001). Zoophilia – implications for therapy. Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, 26, 85–89.

Munro, H.M.C., & Thrusfield, M.V. (2001). “Battered pets”: Sexual abuse. Journal of Small Animal Practice, 42, 333-337.

Shaffer, L. & Penn, J. (2006). A comprehensive paraphilia classification system. In E.W. Hickey (Ed.), Sex crimes and paraphilia. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Vivid Random Existence (2010). Cynosexuality (or cynophilia): the sexual attraction to dogs. November 14. Located at: http://vividrandomexistence.wordpress.com/2010/11/14/cynosexuality-or-cynophilia-the-sexual-attraction-to-dogs/

Williams, C. J., & Weinberg, M. S. (2003). Zoophilia in men: A study of sexual interest in animals. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 32, 523–535.

About drmarkgriffiths

Professor MARK GRIFFITHS, BSc, PhD, CPsychol, PGDipHE, FBPsS, FRSA, AcSS. Dr. Mark Griffiths is a Chartered Psychologist and Professor of Gambling Studies at the Nottingham Trent University, and Director of the International Gaming Research Unit. He is internationally known for his work into gambling and gaming addictions and has won many awards including the American 1994 John Rosecrance Research Prize for “outstanding scholarly contributions to the field of gambling research”, the 1998 European CELEJ Prize for best paper on gambling, the 2003 Canadian International Excellence Award for “outstanding contributions to the prevention of problem gambling and the practice of responsible gambling” and a North American 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award For Contributions To The Field Of Youth Gambling “in recognition of his dedication, leadership, and pioneering contributions to the field of youth gambling”. His most recent award is the 2013 Lifetime Research Award from the US National Council on Problem Gambling. He has published over 430 research papers, three books, over 120 book chapters, and over 1000 other articles. He has served on numerous national and international committees (e.g. BPS Council, BPS Social Psychology Section, Society for the Study of Gambling, Gamblers Anonymous General Services Board, National Council on Gambling etc.) and is a former National Chair of Gamcare. He also does a lot of freelance journalism and has appeared on over 2000 radio and television programmes since 1988. In 2004 he was awarded the Joseph Lister Prize for Social Sciences by the British Association for the Advancement of Science for being one of the UK’s “outstanding scientific communicators”. His awards also include the 2006 Excellence in the Teaching of Psychology Award by the British Psychological Society and the British Psychological Society Fellowship Award for “exceptional contributions to psychology”.

Posted on August 8, 2013, in Case Studies, Compulsion, Gender differences, Obsession, Paraphilia, Psychology, Sex, Sex addiction and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Hello Dr. Griffiths. I actually have a cousin who has cynophilia. When I was seven years old, I had awakened one night to find that he had clandestinely left the bedroom. After a few minutes of searching the house, I gave up and decided to return to my bed. Right before I was about to lie down, I saw someone lurking in my backyard through the window. Curious, I looked through the window and discovered that my cousin was the one outside and he was making an endeavour to sexually penetrate the female Labrador Retriever we had at the time. Since that event, I had caught him on multiple occasions trying to abscond with the dog to a private location where nobody would see him, although I haven’t seen him making any sexual advances toward canines in recent years.

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