Saturday, 31 December 2005

All's Well That Ends Well

From The Immortal Bard :
LAFEU: I may truly say, it is a novelty to the world.

PAROLLES: It is, indeed: if you will have it in showing, you
shall read it in--what do you call there?

LAFEU: A showing of a heavenly effect in an earthly actor.

PAROLLES: That's it; I would have said the very same.

LAFEU: Why, your dolphin is not lustier: 'fore me,
I speak in respect--

PAROLLES: Nay, 'tis strange, 'tis very strange, that is the
brief and the tedious of it; and he's of a most
facinerious spirit that will not acknowledge it to be the--

LAFEU: Very hand of heaven.

PAROLLES: Ay, so I say.

A Novelty to the world, indeed.

First noted at Normblog , but appearing on others (Cumudgeon's Corner, Eternal Golden Braid), from Ynet News :
An unusual wedding ceremony was held in the southern resort town of Eilat on Wednesday, as Sharon Tendler, a 41-years-old Jewish millionaire from London married her beloved Cindy, a 35-years-old dolphin, Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Thursday.

The groom, a resident of the Eilat dolphin reef, met Tendler 15 years ago, when she first visited the resort. The British rock concert producer took a liking to the dolphin and has made a habit of traveling to Eilat two or three times a year and spending time with her underwater sweetheart.

"The peace and tranquility underwater, and his love, would calm me down," the excited bride said after the wedding.

After a years-long romance, Tendler decided to embark on the highly unusual path of tying the knot with her beloved dolphin. Last week, she approached Cindy's trainer Maya Zilber with the extraordinary request.

Zilber accepted the challenge and "talked the idea over with the fellow," who apparently consented.

And so on Wednesday afternoon, the thrilled bride, wearing a white dress, walked down the dock before hundreds of astounded visitors and kneeled down before her groom, who was waiting in the water.

Cindy, escorted by his fellow best-men dolphins, swam over to Tendler and she hugged him, whispered sweet nothings in his ear, and kissed him in front of the cheering crowd.

After the ceremony was sealed with some mackerels, Tendler was tossed into the water by her friends so that she could swim with her new husband.

"I'm the happiest girl on earth," the bride said as she chocked back tears of emotion. "I made a dream come true, and I am not a pervert," she stressed.
She may not be, but what about him?

When Shakespeare talked about "lust" in respect to Dolphins, he wasn't using it in the Germanic context of "Enthusiasm", as in the German "Ich habe kein lust mehr" - I have no desire/enthusiasm for it. In Shakespearean times, the Dolphin was a common symbol for, well, Lust (and rightly so). The double-entendre is one of many sometimes quite filthy "dirty jokes" in Shakespeare's works that have gotten lost in the translation over the years. Hamlet's "Get Thee to a Nunnery" loses a lot unless you realise that "Nunnery" was an Elizabethan slang term for a whorehouse, in addition to it's, er, Convent-ional meaning.

Dolphins, like Bonibo chimps, and H.Sap, use Sex as a means of socialisation as much as procreation, it's their way of "making friends". Gang Rape is sometimes practiced too, as many a young female Bonibo Chimp, Bottlenose Dolphin, or human has found out to her cost. Anyone who has swum a lot with Dolphins is bound to have had certain advances made to them, by both males and females. They appear to be naturally Bi. Also, their primary sense is Sonar - in the water they can "see" our internal layout, our organs, and recognise what sex humans are, even when the human is in a wetsuit.

From a 2002 CNN article :
Swimmers are being warned to stay away from a "sexually aggressive" dolphin that has made its home at a popular tourist resort on the English south coast.

Georges the male bottlenose has become a tourist attraction since arriving in Weymouth harbour, Dorset, in April. Thousands of people have gone out in boats to watch him and swim with him.

But the 10-year-old, 400 lbs (180 kg), dolphin became the cause for concern last month when his behaviour suddenly became erratic.

He appeared to be trying to harm himself by swimming into boats' propellers and began showing an unhealthy interest in divers.
"Unhealthy Interest" - what a peculiarly English way of putting it. But they didn't make a big deal about him being a French dolphin, which is a surprise. Or perhaps not, all things French have a certain reputation in the UK. It's taken as read. They're Facinerious too.

I've written about the nature of Intelligence, and the Ethical Treatment of Animals before. My conclusion then, as now, is that Dolphins aren't nearly as bright as they're popularly supposed to be. "Provisonally people" at best, and I'd put Chimps of both Forest and Bonibo varieties well ahead of them, along with Gorillas somewhat further back, then certain species of Parrot.

From an ethical as opposed to a moral viewpoint, a Chimp is certainly able to give "informed consent" providing there's no "power relationship". A Gorilla, maybe. A Dolphin? The trouble is, that they think so differently from ourselves in most respects. But not in the matter of Sex. Ethically, at worst dubious, from a "Man from Mars" viewpoint.

Two adults, one a person (though how sane she is is another matter), one a "provisional person", who have known each other for years, take pleasure in each others' company, where no question of procreation is involved.... despite an irrational feeling that it's terribly, terribly wrong, I am forced most reluctantly to admit that logically, I can't see anything wrong with it.

"An it harm none, do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law". And considering that she's got more money than sense, from a purely pragmatic viewpoint, the Golden Rule applies : Those that have the Gold, make the Rules.

Of course, I could be misinterpreting the situation entirely. The relationship may be entirely Platonic. The point is, there exist less formal ones of a similar nature that aren't. And there's no question of a "frustrated bridegroom", of her being a "tease", Dolphins are notoriously non-monogamous.

OK, now if you're ready... and I don't recommend it... go have a look at How to have safe consensual sex with a Dolphin..
There are various ways a dolphin has of showing that she or he is interested in sex. Males are probably the easiest to detect. They will swim around, sporting an erection (anywhere between 10 to 14 inches long for a Bottle-nose), and will have no bones about swimming up to you and placing their member within reach of your hand.
Technically incorrect : Dolphins have a pubic bone. But never mind, just me being pedantic, making light of a subject that it makes me feel extremely uncomfortable to discuss.
If you are in the water,they may rub it along any part of your body, or wrap it around your wrist or ankle. (Dolphin males have a prehensile penis. They can wrap it around objects, and carry them as such.)
Difficult to ignore when it happens to you, and it happens to everyone who has swum with Dolphins for a while. They knew that back in Shakespeare's time.

Oh well, it will be a useful precedent if we meet Aliens before the Singularity, and they turn out think anything like us. Thought at least in this mixed-marriage, they're both of Earthclan. I'm not sure what a Rabbi would say though, even a most liberal one.

Now is everybody totally grossed out? Thought so. Me too. So you're in the right frame of mind for what I'm about to say. It will seem tame in comparison.

I'm just starting the long and involved process of changing external gender to match my brain's morphology - "Transition". Clinically, my body is still ambiguous. A naturally weird hormone level (not formally diagnosed as hormonal intersex, but that's basically what it is) plus Hormone Replacement therapy has given me a normal female blood chemistry. I'm starting to have normal female secondary sex characteristics, but will retain vestigial male primary sex characteristics until these are surgically re-shaped to approximate a female norm.

At the FedSat "Do" (which I Blogged, naturally), everyone assumed that I'd already gone the full distance. A Natural enough mistake to make, I've been extraordinarily fortunate in that my Social appearance is now unmistakeably feminine, despite my early stage of transition. Most people don't realise - though they should, based on their own experiences at puberty - how long the changes take to make. An andogenous pre-pubescent girl's body does not become nubile overnight, it takes quite a few years. So how much longer would it take someone in their 40's (so with fewer cell divisions happening), and with the effects of masculinisation to reverse? Some women my age have gone for 6 years or more of hormone therapy with no obvious effect. Usually it takes at least 2 to get to where I am now, after less than 5 months of hormones.

The journey is long : and I'm still just starting.

However.... a medical examination on the 8th of June indicated the male glands were soft and shrunken: dysfunctional. And since 5th August, I've been on enough Anti-Androgens to suppress all but normal female levels of Testosterone in my system. From GIDInfo - medical research :
In other research, scientists are studying the forebrain projections that product the neuropeptite "vasopressin." The density of these projections is greater in male brains than in female brains, and their activity is known to be linked to gonadal hormone production. However, even in cases of castration it takes months for the vasopressin to clear from the neural projections. It is believed that vasopressin is partly responsible for male aggressive behavior and possibly contributes to libido. This may explain why sex offenders who are castrated do not immediately become less agressive or aroused, it may also help to explain the "shift" in sexual oriention experienced by many transsexuals usually months after they have had a bilateral orchiectomy.
About 6 months on average, in fact. For some, not all. About half.

It's not that I've ever liked men, and certainly have never been attracted to them. I always wanted a partner who could be my best friend, who could think like me. My marriage has lasted for nearly 25 years, I have a wonderful son, and my partner is still my best friend.

But certain physiological and psychological phenomena are now too obvious to deny, and believe you me, I'd really like to deny them. The timing, 5-7 months after effective castration is consistent with the Vassopressin hypothesis.

I still don't like Men, but they're starting to have an effect on me. The usual effect they have on pubescent girls. Ones who for the first time in their lives, have a Libido with a capital L. Ha Ha, Mother Nature, Very Funny.

Looks like little Ms Zoe Brain is going to end up straight, or at best(?) Bi. Oh HELL.

1 comment:

Why am I the first one?! said...

I found this post quite interesting, fairly disturbing and morally stimulating. I do think there is nothing wrong with dolphin/human love. Due to the complexity of relationships amongst dolphins, which can only be compared to humans, their more complex brains and, most importantly, their far more ridged cortexes, as well as the more recent tests, which suggested that dolphins are capable of abstract thought, language, and even dignity, I would find it surprising if they were less intelligent than smooth/small-brained apes. It just doesn't seem right. Either I am missing something or most solitary dolphins are adolescent, stupid dolphins who lack the ability to sustain relationships with other dolphins and that's why they turn to humans. I think solitary dolphins are a bad choice in judging the intelligence of all dolphins. It would be like judging human's intelligence on stupid teenagers, who could have lower IQs than some apes. Also, I whole-heartedly support your decision to become female-minded.