Do Animals Orgasm When Mating? (2024)

We often assume that animals only have sex to reproduce. But do animals orgasm when mating? Is sex just an instinctual response, or are animals able to enjoy pleasure when mating? If animals can feel pleasure, do they orgasm when they mate?

Yes, animals are generally reported to orgasm when mating. While this may differ depending on their species, intercourse is typically a pleasurable experience for all parties involved which is indicative of them eventually orgasming as well.

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Do Animals Orgasm When Breeding?

We can assume that males orgasm when breeding since they ejaculate. There can be no fertilization without ejaculation, after all. It’s harder to determine if females in a given species orgasm, especially if no obvious signs indicate yes.

Females in a given species masturbate as frequently as their male counterparts and are just as likely to participate in recreational sex. Regarding pleasure, all signs point to females experiencing it just as much as males.

Orgasms are hard to measure across animal species, especially if we use human orgasms as a baseline. However, we shouldn’t assume that the experience is the same for every animal species that mates.

Body Language


We can never really know what an animal’s emotional state is like, but we can gauge their emotions in other ways. Ultimately, the question about orgasms boils down to body language and facial expressions. For example, certain animals, like primates and rats make facial expressions that are easier to read. Other animals, like birds and lizards, are harder to read in that department.

Based on facial expressions, muscle contractions, and vocal changes, researchers are sure that animals experience some sexual release while mating. This behavior mostly correlates to primates, but other animals react similarly while mating.

Most notably, Japanese macaques perform familiar interactions while mating with a male. A significant number of observed females would turn their heads back to look at their partners before grasping onto the male. We can’t say for sure what each female’s feelings were in those interactions, but we can say that this behavior is very similar to those of human women during the climax.

Obvious Enjoyment


An orgasm indicates that an animal is enjoying itself while mating. But can we determine if animals feel pleasure when mating in other ways? You might be familiar with male tortoises that moan when they mate. And while moaning doesn’t translate to each species in the animal kingdom, many other species display pleasure while they mate.

Most notably, the Gulf Corvina has the world’s loudest fish orgies. The fish’s mating call is loud in and of itself, but the noise is deafening when a population gathers to mate.

Frogs, by comparison, croak when they enter their mating season and can cause a stir in your backyard or garden. Although their croaks are widely recognized as a mating call, frogs will croak while they mate.

For the most part, not many animal species moan while mating. But that doesn’t mean those species don’t feel pleasure during sex. So how else can we tell that animals experience pleasure while they mate?

Do Animals Masturbate?


Yes, animals across species do masturbate. We can’t exactly ask animals whether they feel pleasure when they mate or not, but we can study their behaviors and patterns. For example, moaning isn’t observed in many species, but researchers noticed how frequently certain species masturbate.

The easiest form of sexual stimulation outside of reproduction is masturbation. You may think that animals like apes and chimpanzees masturbate more regularly than other animals.

But because these species are closely related to humans, that doesn’t mean other species don’t practice masturbation. For example, mammals across species have been recorded practicing masturbation, from dolphins to bulls.

Animals like primates have fingers that make masturbation easy to manage. It may surprise you that animals like dolphins and bulls masturbate just as frequently as other mammals. Across all sorts of species, animals are inventive in finding ways to stimulate themselves. Males and females have been observed using stones, roots, leaves, and wood as tools to help them with masturbation. 

It bears mentioning that these behaviors are mainly observed among mammals and don’t speak for other animals outside this category. And it’s also important to know that male ejaculation isn’t noted in many of these observations. Most instances where animals have been recorded masturbating indicate that the animal is seeking out stimulation rather than release.

This indicates that animals experience pleasure both during mating and outside. What if these animals only stimulate themselves because they don’t have a partner? Are there any other indicators that prove that animals feel pleasure?

Do Animals Indulge in Recreational Sex?


We often assume that humans are the only species that have sex for non-reproductive reasons. But if animals can feel pleasure while they mate, do they pursue non-reproductive sex as well? Yes, animals do indulge in recreational sex. In fact, it is widely observed across the animal kingdom, from bonobos to hyenas.

Genital-Genital Rubbing

Whether between heterosexual or homosexual partners, researchers have noticed that animals will rub their genitals against each other. This is the most typical sexual pattern for the bonobo, which makes this their most common type of sexual activity outside of mating.

Outside of the bonobo, other primates have been observed performing genital-genital rubbing. Researchers believe that other vertebrates like hyenas and rats will rub their genitals outside of the mating season for several reasons. This can be for pleasure or stronger social bonds between pairs and communities.

Interspecies Mating

Strangely enough, some animals will mate with other animals of a different species if the opportunity arises. This has been recorded both within and outside of mating season. Most interspecies sexual activity happens between closely related species.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that different species won’t engage in interspecies mating. Researchers have seen a macaque mate with a deer and a seal mate with a penguin.

Oral Sex

Oral sex has been documented in several species, including bats, brown bears, goats, primates, and wolves. Both females and males will participate in oral sex more often than same-sex partners. However, either gender has been observed to perform oral sex before and after mating

During mating season, oral sex might help fertilization. But outside of the mating season, oral sex is most likely a pleasurable experience that strengthens social bonds between the participating animals.

Sex Outside of Mating Season

Most interestingly, certain animals will mate outside their typical mating season. We might never know whether this activity is to seek pleasure or not. Animals like bonobos and hyenas have been seen flirting and mating with others of their species outside their mating season.

Bonobos especially engage in non-reproductive sex, and most of their sexual activity doesn’t correlate to females’ ovulation cycles.

Homosexuality in Animals


You might not think so, but homosexuality in the animal kingdom is incredibly common. This will range across many species, from mammals to crustaceans, all the way down to worms. The most well-known example is the dwarf chimpanzee, one of humanity’s closest relations.

In the dwarf chimpanzee’s case, sexual activities take focus away from violence. It diffuses a situation, and community members will assist one another if they engage in sexual activities. Dwarf chimpanzees use sex to develop strong social bonds, and the same can be said for other species.

Animals with a complex herd life are most commonly homosexual. Female apes rub abdomens against each other when their sexual organs swell up. Birds like geese and ducks will form homosexual couples and raise young ones together. Male lions will frequently band together to lead a pride and strengthen their bonds by having sex with one another.

More than 1,500 animal species have demonstrated homosexual behavior, pointing to many animals that have sex outside of mating. So, with everything else we’ve described, it is evident that animals feel pleasure when mating or performing sexual activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Animals Feel Pleasure When They Mate?

Animals like pigs, bonobos, and dolphins are some of the species that are reported to feel pleasure when they mate. However, a lot of other species also feel pleasure when they breed.

Do Dogs Feel Pleasure When Mating?

Yes, dogs do feel pleasure when meeting. However, unlike humans, their need for intercourse is more biological than anything else. Because of this, they only engage in the act when the female is in heat.

Do Dolphins Feel Pleasure When They Mate?

Yes, dolphins do feel pleasure when they mate. Research indicates that female dolphins have large clitorises, and dolphins have been observed touching each other’s genitalia which means that mating for them is a pleasurable act.

Conclusion For Do Animals Orgasm When Mating?


Sex is a strange thing to seek since mating leaves many vulnerable animals. Reproduction is a driving factor for animals to mate, but survival is a big deal in the animal kingdom. Mating can make a pair of easy targets for upwards of an hour, depending on the species and their mating practices. So there must be some other driving force for animals to pursue sex.

Pleasure is a difficult word to define outside of the human experience. Given the many behaviors that animals display and practice, we can safely assume that animals feel pleasure while mating. When it comes to orgasms, that question is harder to answer. But when we look at the evidence, we can safely say that the animals can experience orgasms while mating.

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