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Top 5 Worst Species in Which to Be a Guy: an absolutely scientific (or not) look at sex in the animal world.

Updated on October 14, 2008

As we all know, romance and sex are complicated things for all species. Elaborate rituals and intricate behavioral patterns complicate the path to reproduction for literally every species on earth. For many species, pre-coital behavior is effort enough and they invest no further energy in reproductive relationships once the sexual act is done. For other species reproductive paring, pair bonding, is for life (which takes on many forms). Regardless of what strategy any given species has evolved, clearly each unique reproductive method has proven effective enough over time to ensure thriving varieties of life on this amazing, living world called Earth.

In the wake of another highly-academic article written by me on bees, which focused on the apparent difficulties suffered by the typical female of that species, it is the purpose of this article to examine five reproductive strategies in nature which seem, contrary to the bee experience, to instead put the males of each of the following species at considerably less advantage. In fact, in these five cases, it would be safe to call the male circumstance, misery.

1) Praying Mantis

Ok, now here is an example of one seriously miserable bastard trapped in the natural world. The male praying mantis has it, by far, worse than any other creature on earth. You need only to watch the following video and see how poorly the female mantis treats this poor son of a b!^@% to understand. I mean, this dude can make love for hours, and yet check out how much respect he gets. Zip. Just watch.

Seriously, you need to watch this before you go on. (I know how you people skip videos all the time, so don't... and watch it all, dammit)

You see. Wasn't that just sad?

That dude is so devoted to her. It's like, he's all up there still trying to satisfy his woman even AFTER SHE BITES OFF HIS HEAD. I'm speechless.

Let's move on.

Baby's got back, but...

... could use some treadmill time.
... could use some treadmill time.

Very shapely, eh?

Clearly a better choice, but noooo.
Clearly a better choice, but noooo.

2) Black Widow

Ok, the black widow is named thusly because, frankly, she brings that label on herself. I mean, everyone knows these spiders eat their poor husbands after mating, so, I don't reckon this entry on the list will come as much of a shock. To be honest with you, the fact that they are called "black widows" should really be a sign for the males to, you know, maybe start hitting on some other spider chicks instead. I mean, have you seen the ass on a wolf spider before? Seriously, those are hawt spiders, and they never kill their man. Frankly, in my highly scientific opinion, male BW (black widow) spiders are pretty much total morons, and deserve what they get for being so horny they can't figure out what's going on. None the less, nature made them so, so we must accept them for what they are. But they are dumb.

Regardless of this inherent stupidity, their misery is real, which I can prove scientifically.

Evidence from the Field:

Here's a transcript of an actual event recorded with a secret microphone placed in a local black widow singles' bar discovered behind my neighbor's shed:

Male BW1: Dude, you seen Fred lately?

Male BW2: No, not since he took Sheila home two nights ago.

Male BW1: Think she ate him?

Male BW2: Probably, I seen Fred at the condom machine in the bathroom before they left.

Male BW1: Yeah, he's dead then.

Male BW2: Yep

Male BW1: Oh look, speak of the devil.

.... Black Widow Bar ....

Actual footage taken at my neighbor's shed
Actual footage taken at my neighbor's shed

Sheila: Hi, boys.

Male BW1: Hi, Sheila

Male BW2: Hi, Sheila

(Sheila yawns and stretches languidly, the bright red hourglass glistening on her shiny exoskeletal chest in the dim lights of the spider bar)

Sheila: Gosh, I'm so thirsty.

Male BW1: Can I buy you a drink?

Male BW2: No, no, let ME buy you a drink.


I don't think we need to follow this to its inevitable conclusion; suffice it to say that if anyone would like to send a condolence card or flowers to Male BW2's mother, address it to:

Male BW2 Memorial Fund
PO Box 1000
Sacramento, CA 95123 

Credit:  Copyright: Free Use
Credit: Copyright: Free Use

3) Scorpion

The only reason scorpion males don't appear on the list higher than black widow males is because of how brutally the black widow males are manipulated psychologically. Unlike black widow males, scorpion males don't know it's coming, much like praying mantis males; their females aren't named so obviously. The main reason scorpion males are ranked number three is because, well, their deaths are kinda boring after the first two. With scorpion couples it's pretty much by the book: they meet, they buy drinks, they go home, they do it, she stabs them to death. Rinse and repeat. Pretty cut and dry, really. The scorpion police force doesn't even investigate the murders anymore. They pretty much just threw up their hands and said, "F-it" several millennia ago. The real issue for scorpion detectives is determining whether or not there's a cult of homicidal scorpion nympho-chicks or just one seriously hardcore serial killer. Regardless, it sucks to be a scorpion male.

Typical Sea Horse
Typical Sea Horse

4) Sea Horse

Ok, after those first three, the male Sea Horse doesn't have it that bad. I mean, at least they get to live after having sex. But, at what cost? The male sea horse is the most beat down of all creatures on earth. While not beat to death like the three species above, the male sea horse's life is one subject to the most incessant and merciless nagging in the entire animal kingdom. (Hah, "kingdom" my ass. The irony is almost too enormous to endure for these poor animals.)

In they went...

(Illustration courtesy of my awesome artist daughter, Lauren.)
(Illustration courtesy of my awesome artist daughter, Lauren.)

Scientists discovered that sea horses evolved from a species of land horses some 700,000 years ago. Apparently a herd of horses ran off a cliff and fell into the water. Most of them drowned, but a few of the smaller, more buoyant ones survived. They paddled around eating the kelp floating on the surface etc. for many years until eventually mutation and the rest of Darwin's cool stuff happened and we get the sea horse species of today.

Witness the origins of the term "old nag."

Also by Lauren.
Also by Lauren.

A man with stretch marks is just wrong

(stretch marks may have been added to original photo)
(stretch marks may have been added to original photo)

The only thing that never changed was how pissed off the females were about the whole thing. You see, it was a male horse (illusrated in black) that was leading the original herd when they went over the cliff and females in the herd just couldn't let it go. Apparently, the herd had been running around for days and the lead stallion would absolutely not stop at a gas station and ask for directions, which ultimately resulted in them going over the cliff.

Modern day sea horse females still won't let that issue drop. In fact, over the course of the 700,000 years, sea horse females got so good at brow beating their men that they eventually were even able to make the poor bastards submit to carrying the children during pregnancy. How hard do you have to nag for that to happen? Which is why today, you will see that all sea horse women pass off the eggs the first moment they can and let their man bloat up and get all stretch marks everywhere while they hang out with the other sea horse women and watch Oprah on T.V.

Me... semi-typical human male.  (Notice head not attached to body)
Me... semi-typical human male. (Notice head not attached to body)

5) Human

The males of this last species suffer a bit of everything listed above. It was tempting to put this species up at number two, after only the praying mantis males, but, since they don't have any of the above conditions to the severity of the rest, human males ended up at number five.

Human similarities to Praying Mantis:

The simple truth is, human males put up with everything the first four species do, just not with any of the same consistency. I know I for one have had my head bitten off at least five hundred times during the course of my marriage, so obviously it's true.

... I know what you're saying, "Hey, the male praying mantis only gets his head bitten off once, you're getting that five hundred times. You clearly suffer more!" And yes, you're right, and I do appreciate your sympathy, but as you'll recall, the male pryaing mantis can make love for up to four hours, and even keep "doing it" after he is dead. I can't do either of those. So while it's obvious my wife has more reason to be pissed off than praying mantis females do, mantis females don't appreciate how great they have at all, therefore making them the more terrible of the two species due to sheer ingratitude.

Human similarities to Black Widows:

Moving the similarities along, take a look at this man here and you will see that he is about to be eaten, just as poor Male BW2 had done to him above. It's very scary really, and the black widow comparison is clear.

Typical behavior seen in human long-term pair bonding...

Another super illustration by Lauren.
Another super illustration by Lauren.
Lorena Bobbit.  Very scary from a male point of view.
Lorena Bobbit. Very scary from a male point of view.

Human similarities to Scorpions:

On the scorpion front similarity-wise, Lorena Bobbit comes to mind, and the violence easily, and often, can escalate. This phenomenon has been documented since back when Gaia did Ouranos, long before Lorena made that cut. Just watch an episode of cops if you don't think it can get worse. I hardly need to say more.

Human similarities to Sea Horses:

And here, check out this dude. See the sea horse thing going on? Not to mention, I know several men whose wives follow them around nagging constantly and never let things go. In addition, human males are often forced to go shopping at the mall and to watch chick flicks like Sleepless in Seattle or even - it's almost too cruel to mention even just in text - that Sex in the City film. My god, can you imagine? How heartless can nature be? Anyway, the bottom line is, human males really have it rough, which is why they came in at number five.


So there you have the five most brutal species in which to be a male. Clearly the praying mantis has it the worst given his sexual prowess and yet the total disrespect. Frankly, female praying mantises don't even deserve a man like that. But, alas, such is the mystery of nature. For the rest of these species, well, maybe if the reincarnation thing some religions have is true, these males will get another chance at being something else. Maybe they'll come back as drone bees and get to make it with the queen. That would be something, wouldn't it?


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