The Nature of Sex

The Nature of SexAll nature's creatures, the British novelist Graham Swift once wrote, join to express nature's purpose. And that purpose is illustrated in delightful and sometimes dizzying detail in The Nature of Sex.

Birds, bees, and even barnacles and naked mole rats are driven to join forces to reproduce and pass along their genes to the next generation.

From the sea horse that mates in an hypnotic underwater ballet to the rodent who copulates until he literally drops dead, The Nature of Sex spans the globe to illustrate how an astonishing diversity of life forms find their mates and conceive, raise, and protect their offspring.

This Web companion to the four-part series takes a close look at the primal instinct that causes animals to come together in order to pass along their genes to the next generation.

We also examine how timing can be key in the mating process, and how varied sex contracts create not only new life, but diversity, in both animals and humans.

Watch the full documentary now

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Ratings: 6.00/10 from 24 users.

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24 Comments / User Reviews

  1. doc-fan

    I like this doc. Enlightening

  2. Imightberiding

    Damn Nature, you horny!

  3. 420 Vision

    give it to me baby,.. Uhuh, Uhuh...

  4. Achems Razor

    What is a rednecks definition of foreplay?...Get in the truck!

  5. Pablo

    The Bonobos rock!!

    If only humans can have as much sex they have, there will be no war ;-) Nice documentary. I couldn't leave without saying thanks guys.

    Am now officially your fan.

  6. Ez

    @ Pablo

    Uh, you do know that a huge percentage of thier sex is homosexual, right? Not that I am predjudice against homosexuals, but I'm just sayin. Besides how would we get anything else done? I haven't had sex in over two years, by choice, and I am loving life without it. Relationships are not near as polluted or difficult. I get tons more done, and my interests have really spread out to cover most of science. Well, I shouldn't say it is by choice completely, I have issues that keep me from enjoying sex. I am working with a therapist about it, but I still enjoy the benefits of a sex free life.

  7. Pablo

    @ EZ

    Exactly my point! If only Hitler was Busy on the (P)...sy, 6 million Jews would have been saved. If only the guys who dropped the neucs on Hiroshima was Busy on the (P)...sy, If only ....

    And humans are as homosexuals as any other animal can get. The problem with the `human`species is that its the most arrogant of all by claiming the universe is the reason for its existence and tries to control nature. humans or not, the universe would have continued to exist anyways and will do so after our extinction. Lets make ourselves busy with sex and not come up with something to destroy us all.We have to say no to both Science and religion from now on. Instincts should take over and evolution must continue.

  8. Ez

    @ Pablo

    WRONG!!! Science has not one tiny iota of blame for the ignor@nt uses people have found for their discoveries. The splitting of the atom has done tons more good than bad, and the only bad was not their fault at all. Human's as a whole do not claim the universe was created for them, in fact scientists work very hard to show us all that it wasn't created for us and does not depend on us to continue, short of us wrecking the planet (a very small part of the universe) with our waste and excess. Problems that we depend on science to solve and would have arose whether science existed or not. Your complaint should be aimed at religion (anti-science) friend, they are the ones that say man is the ultimate creation and all else is only here to serve him.

    Science has made it possible to live with very little suffering compared to the world before it existed. It has come up with cures and vaccinations, antibiotics, communications that brings the world together and knowledge to anyone willing to look for it, transportation, the list goes on and on. Besides no one could be so absorbed in sex as to not be what they really are. Hitler would have been Hitler with or without sex, so would have any twisted cr33p. If we let instincts take over, as you say, we would live in an animalistic world of fear and destruction. Study history and you can plainly see this. Its hard to solve say the energy crisis, global hunger, over population, etc. when you are worried about some one bashing you in the head and taking what is yours. Check out Maslow's hierarchy of needs and you will see that humans can't function without certain needs being met first, most of these needs are solved through science.

    By the way, without science you would have no conception of what instincts or evolution was or how it works. Without science you and I would not be having this conversation. Without science man would have starved to death long ago, if we had not already killed each other over resources. Without science about half of the children born to day would not reach adulthood. Without science we would still be worshipping the great juju at the bottom of the sea and throwing those virgins, you prize so highly, into the closest valcanoe. You owe your very existance to science.

  9. Pablo

    @ ET

    Am not a fan of religion myself and I agree to all what you said about science. I just missed the way things might have been back in the days when the earth used to be flat or when humans never knew they were living in a place called "earth" I bet they were pretty happy (even at a very small life expectancy of 25) lots of sex, no worries about global warming or nuclear bombs!

    "What if all our knowledge about the world as we know it today were suddenly to disappear? Imagine that six billion of us wake up tomorrow morning in a state of utter ignorance and confusion. Our books and computers are still here, but we can't make heads or tails of their contents. We have even forgotten how to drive our cars and brush our teeth. What knowledge would we want to reclaim first?"..Sam Harris "the end of faith

    I imagined it and I bet it would be the knowledge of how to have sex with the next woman/man we see. (all animals and plants in the planet seem to be doing this even without what we "know" as humans I love that thought and wish we all one day weak up free from the modern day hustle/fear.

    I like your comments by the way.

  10. Ez

    @ Pablo

    Thanks for the compliment. I disagree that we should miss the way things were when the world was flat or we had no idea of our place in the universe though. I am a student of history, I have a ddegree in western civics. From what I have learned about the time you are missing alot more was wrong or bad than just life expectancy.

    Life was mostly suffering, according to those that lived then and wrote about their surroundings. In fact that was the Greeks ideal of a successful life, to bear the suffering with dignity and pass into the darkness with your head held high. Imagine not beiong able to express a desenting view of pretty much anything without putting your life in serious jeopardy. Imagine having to be born to a certain family inorder to even secure your right to food or shelter. Imagine living under the iron fisted rule of the church. Things we take for granted these people had to deal with everyday, and it consumed thier time and mental capacity just as our worries do us today.

    I agree that things are very complicated now, nothing is simple. It is hard to even understand what is truth and what is propaganda. Its hard to decide what one should believe, work towards, or reject- when to speak out and when to just hide and hope no one finds you. I am just as lost as the next guy, probably more in a lot of ways. But looking back will not do, man has never in the history of mankind had it easy, life has never been simple. I suppose it probably never will be. I totally understand the desire to have something to view as such though. I would trade it all for just a little piece of mind. But every day somehow I pull my self up by my boot straps and go out to face what I really don't understand.

    I suppose it is some comfort though to know that others are just as confused, just as tired. I see you well brother, hang in there. Eventually, we all meet in the clearing at the end of the path, and possibly there we will remember the faces of our fathers for the first time. Until then, if fate wills it, then let it be so.

  11. Miguel

    I felt bad watching the Digging Bee get wrestled by all those males trying to give it to her. I think all of those that died, died because they got stung by the other males (if they didn't get raped in the process) :p

  12. ridz

    oh ma baby.........muaahhh

  13. JK

    Did anyone noticed this is the 69th documentary in this category?

  14. cumfox

    great documentary, i enjoyed watching it.

  15. tk

    I'll never understand the mentality of a bird... they go to insane lengths to get the female's attention for 5 seconds average of sex :D hehe
    (I know it is all about hormones and the need to reproduce, but it is still funny from a human point of view)

  16. Farabi

    still so much to know...this planet simply amazes me.thank you topdoc for uploading this fascinating doc. it really is.

  17. Jack1952

    You should see me in a bar on a Friday night. At least they succeed in the end.

  18. Tarun Kamra

    lovely indeed nature is................................thanks and want some more................

  19. carychakra

    Perhaps your life affirming experience can teach the therapist some lessons

  20. Adam Peel

    So following your logic Mrs Obama is putting out more than Mrs Bush was;) Great documentary by the way.

  21. John Krisfalusci

    Sex is disgusting and immoral!

  22. XUSMCVET

    How unfortunate that your PARENTS had sex and YOU were the result!

  23. River Monster

    primal instinct. What a interesting film!

  24. Jacek Walker

    Very intresting and scary also. I feel quite confused with all this recreation, passing on genes, fighting and killing for survival. Is there any ulterior purpose in it at all besides mindless expansion of one's species? When and where would it end?
    Lots of suffering inflicted at all around in the process, a bit of elusive gratifications known as "pleasures of life" and always a dramatic end. Something stinks with this so called 3 - D existence and its merciless endless survival war.
    This is not my definition of life.

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