Now why on earth would anyone write a Guide Entry about
the reproductive practices of Phoca Vitulina? Well, as it
happens, a significant number of Researchers have both
begged for an insight into Pinniped's legendary success
with the ladies. Readers are warned that this piece
contains quite a lot of grunting and heaving blubber, plus
a few sharp bites.
OK, listen up you lot. Loads of turgid, wordy, academic
stuff has been written on the mating behaviour of seals.
If you bothered to read such rubbish, you'd come away
thinking we were just animals, heaven forfend. Whereas of
course seals are among the most sophisticated and sexually
irresistible creatures to be found anywhere in h2g2.
Oi! Wake up and pay attention! If you put your mind to it,
even YOU could successfully mate with a delightful
specimen of Phoca Vitulina, in all of her dark-eyed,
quivering glory. All you have to do is follow Pinniped's
Proven Formula for the Perpetuation of your Genetic
Material. That and put enough fish in the bucket at the
foot of this page.
Now, those academics are gonna try tell you that female
seals are totally submissive creatures. They'll claim that
a few dominant males have the run of the harem, and that
most of the rest of us count ourselves lucky if we get as
much as a whiff of pheromones before having a chunk bitten
out of our hind flippers.
Well, duh. It's maybe still like that on the foreshore in
the Orkneys, but modern seal living is a bit more cerebral
these days, thank you very much. Today's Miss Seal knows
just where she's going. She can think for herself. She
exercises choice, and she won't just roll over for the
traditional model of grizzled bulk and flatulent
experience. Most of all, she expects to be treated like a
If you do this properly, you could just about go round the
calendar, up to your chins in rapture. But as a wise old
walrus once said, there are a few key rules to the Seal
Deal, and you'll never stoke 'em if you broke 'em. You
ready then? These are the facts that you must know :
- Know your Season
The experienced girls are gonna pup some time in the
autumn, and everyone's biology, including the newbies',
will kind of magically synchronise with this. Pups are a
bit of a pain, and sophisticated menfolk have nothing to
do with them, but at least you can't mistake the visual
cues. Ball of white fuzz with two limpid black blobs in
the forehead. You see one, that means that mother and the
rest of the colony are going to be on heat again in six to
eight weeks at most. Mum'll be suckling now, disinterested
and probably aggressive, but if the little bugger's
getting in the way you can always try barking at it in a
Canadian accent. That usually induces a satisfying level
of blind terror.
The nearer the pole you go, the later the season. If you
put your mind to it, you can do Europe south to north from
about July to November, then get swimming and do the
Southern Hemisphere from February to May. If you happen to
be an anthropomorphised avatar rather than a
biologically-authentic seal, then this is pretty easy. You
just are where you claim to be at any given time, plus you
can indulge in a bit of cross-species activity without
anyone minding too much. But a couple of words of warning
: Phoca are susceptible to canine distemper, so doing it
(literally) doggy-fashion is a tad unkind. And, if you are
an avatar, a round-the-calendar otarine sex-habit may not
be particularly helpful viz-a-viz those horrible
nightmares where you think that you've woken up human.
- Know your Basics
Phoca do it two ways round, in the water (exquisite and
intimate, but with a tendency to be a bit quick) or on
land (usually lacking in grace; almost always lacking in
seclusion). There's no good going for the former unless
you're fit. If you are, and if she's up for it, this is
definitely your best chance of spreading your seed without
getting mangled by some irate bull. Don't expect anything
too drawn out, but it can be incredibly romantic, twisting
and taking flight in the sun-dashed water.
On the foreshore (and assuming you haven't so far won a
harem to yourself) you're certainly taking a big chance.
There isn't much privacy here, and somewhere not far away
there'll be a guy twice your weight who resents your
audacity very deeply. Kinda makes for a thrill, though,
provided you don't end up with your throat ripped open. On
a more prosaic note, remember that a lot of these girls
are up here on the beach precisely because they're sick of
being pestered in the water. They're still going to need
wooing and winning.
- Refine your Technique
To get their attention on land, there's really no
substitute for getting up on your front flippers and
bellowing a lot. Many seals (quite properly) find this
behaviour demeaning and unpleasantly redolent of our naff
Californian cousins, minus the beach-ball. Swallow your
pride, guys. It really seems to get the fair sex going,
although it does also make you kind of conspicuous to the
overgrown psycho who thinks she's all his.
If you play this game well, your girl will slip into the
water alongside you, where you're relatively safe and in
control (except for the odd marauding killer-whale,
depending on location). You might have to deliver the odd
nip or headbutt to some loser who's been tagging along a
few waddles behind you, but basically she's yours, once
you get this far.
Don't expect a partner for life. She won't remember much
of this by next year; not even by tomorrow, maybe.
Female Phoca become sexually receptive around two years of
age, so paedophilia doesn't exactly come into it in the
seal world. Kinky variants are entirely a matter for your
own discretion. Homosexuality among males is pretty well
authenticated, and cool between consenting partners, but
you're on your own if you set out to bugger the big guy
with the harem.
- Know When to Move On
After making their seminal contribution to the
continuation of the species, smart seals don't hang
around. The faux pas in respect of the droit du seigneur
is only the half of it. The little lady, once impregnated,
usually proves to be a bit of a cow and will quite
probably bite bits off you quicker than he will. Strange
attitude, but what the hell? You've got another colony to
adulterate, thirty miles up the coast. Go on, my son!
- Miscellaneous Helpful(?) Facts
a) Those who participate in seal sex can sometimes find
the whole experience psychologically disturbing. We
include a few calming excerpts from Miss Silkie's famous
column in IceStyle magazine:
Dear Pinniped: Don't worry, the profound sense of
post-coital emotional attachment that you describe is
perfectly normal. If it persists for more than, say, a
couple of minutes, you should seek vetinary advice.
Dear Finola: Don't worry, falling asleep during the act
is fairly commonplace. (I assume that we are talking about
the beach here. Be careful not to drown yourself, my
dear). Maybe it would turn out to be more memorable if you
tried being a little more selective. And do make an effort
to stay awake if being attended to by the big guy, as many
of his ilk have a tendency to roll over and squash you.
Dear Scout: Don't worry, you'll get over this. I agree
unreservedly that he's a sick little pervert. But I'm
sorry to have to tell you that there are some vestiges of
factual accuracy in all of this. Try to face up to that,
and think of another reason why it's completely unsuitable
for the Edited Guide.
b) It has been noted that Pinniped has presented something
of a male-oriented view. When challenged on this, he
pointed out that he couldn't recall talking to any of
them. We sent the copy to the Weddell, hoping for a female
contribution. She remarked that this ought to convince the
magistrate, and passed it on to her solicitor.
It says in one of those learned academic papers, courtesy
of the internet, that 'males are probably promiscuous and
possibly polygamous, which means that they have sexual
intercourse with two or more other seals at once'. You
betcha. Maybe not literally at once, but in fairly short
order anyway. This is what you should be aspiring too, you
red-blooded specimen of phocoid manhood. (That fish for
me? Don't mind if I do...)
Happy Hunting, you Guys!