If you spend much of your time reading news articles about sex, like I do, you’ll see that the number one sex topic in the news for the past couple of years now has been same sex marriage. Every day I read stories about some country legalizing it (good morning Vietnam!) or some fast food restaurant criminalizing it (Eat Mor Big Macs!) and sometimes I come across an article like this from the Smithsonian magazine, Same Sex Finch Couples Form Strong Bonds.
The article describes an experiment conducted by American and French researchers who raised a bunch of finches in sex segregated groups. Within those groups most of the finches formed pair bonds with members of their own sex, exhibiting typical (for finches) heterosexual behavior toward one another: preening, nuzzling, singing, all the things that boy finches normally do with girl finches. Let’s see what happened next.
The scientists then tested the bonds in the male-male couples by introducing some females to the party. A few birds were tempted by the ladies, but when the females were removed, the male-male couples reformed.
Am I the only one who thinks this sounds a lot like the little finches were in prison? (No, I’m not. Some moron in the comments on the article noticed this too and said a bunch of moronic shit like morons do. The moron.)
I’m 98% heterosexual (I’m reserving the 2% for whenever Scarlett Johannson or Portia de Rossi become available), but if I were absolutely forced into a lesbian relationship, like if I were in this finch prison, or if I found myself in some Kafka-esque novel where I wake up a freaking finch, I don’t think I could cope as well as most of the zebra finches did when they were forced into same sex coupling. I imagine it going something like this:
Me: Oh, hey, hi. Where did all the boys go?
Lesbian Finch: Vaporized, I think.
Me: (feathers ruffling in shock and dismay) Vaporized?
Lesbian Finch: What does it matter? Maybe that big dog that runs around here finally got them. Who knows? They’re gone, they split, sayonara, hasta la vista, baby! But I’m here. Wanna make out?
Me: Make out?
Lesbian Finch: Why do you keep repeating everything I say? Is there something wrong with you? (speaking slowly, flapping her wings, mimicking American Sign Language) I said, do . . . you . . .want . . . to . .. make . . . out?
Me: I don’t know what sort of finch you are, but making out isn’t the first thing that comes to my mind when half our species has just been vaporized!
Lesbian Finch: Maybe I exaggerated a little bit about that vaporization thing. They’re around here somewhere, but you can’t get at them. They separated us. So we have to make out, ’cause they’re making out, where ever they are.
Me: I don’t know about making out. I’ve never kissed a girl.
Lesbian Finch: It’s easy. Let me show you. (She puckers up and leans in)
Me: (backing away, just out of beak-reach and pointing at her breasts with my wing) But what about those?
Lesbian Finch: What about them? You’ve got them, too.
Me: Do I have to touch yours?
Lesbian Finch: Do you want to?
Lesbian Finch: (shrugging) Makes no difference to me. Now kiss me!
Me: I don’t wanna! (I fly off)
See, I would be one of the little finches that didn’t pair off in that experiment. Unlike the other finches who happily preened and sung to their homosexual partners, I’d be the finch who sat alone by herself in the corner of the cage, flapping my wings menacingly whenever any other finch came close, making little feeble finch noises until I succumbed to some horrible finch disease, or got eaten by a cat.
Royalty free stock photos including the image of the hamburger in this post can be found at Stock.XCHNG. The photo of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi has been so widely disseminated on the internet that I cannot determine attribution.