Elephants Have Genitals Too

Posted On: August 19, 2011

This article first appeared on Good Vibrations Magazine.

I came across this article titled “Walking among gentle giants” in My Paper, a free bilingual commuter publication on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011. The same story can be found here.

I have just returned from Cambodia where I saw female elephants used to transport tourists around, so I took a double look at the photo journalism piece. I knew they were females because standing by the roadside, watching these elephants walk by, all you needed was look up to see the big folds of their vulva dangling and gently swaying side by side as these gentle giants walked on.

I was struck by the caption of this particular photograph though: “NO DETAIL TOO SMALL: Alert zookeepers find a wound among the folds in Komali’s reproductive area. Medication is applied to manage the condition. Without the strong bonds between keepers and animals, such close inspection of the elephants would not be possible.”

Whoa! Wait a minute. Are those genital warts? Of course, animals have sexually transmitted infections too. I was so fascinated that I just had to share it here.

How about the carefully worded “reproductive area”? Since genital or genitalia refers to “the organs of the reproductive system”, wouldn’t it have been more appropriate? Or would it be too offensive for a mainstream publication to use a more accurate term for fear that some member of the public would lodge a complaint about the offense? Our genitals are used for more than reproductive, but pleasure as well. When will the media get it? What does it say about our state of sexual education or sexual openness?


Nope, no mention of that or who Komali has been having sex with, or how the genitals of the latter look.

Dr. Martha Lee is Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching. She is a certified sexologist with a Doctorate in Human Sexuality. She provides sexuality and intimacy coaching for individuals and couples, conducts sexual education workshops and speaks at public events. For more, visit www.eroscoaching.com or email drmarthalee@eroscoaching.com.
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