Courtship Dance in Homo homo
We have presented the first
known photographs of the courtship dance of the
recently identified subspecies Homo homo
squaredancus (Gay & Normal, 1998). Because
only a single bonding pair was studied,
intrasubspecific variation may be underestimated by
this methodology -- although we were able, luckily,
to observe a pair consisting of one Blue morph and
one Black morph.
The ritual apparently begins
with denimological rubbing (sometimes referred to
in the literature as ventral-ventral frottage --
see Chevalier-Skolnikoff et al., 1978, for a report
from another primate species) -- and may, it is
hypothesized, occasionally involve moments of
belt-buckle lock. The hands and arms then become
involved, drawing the participants into tighter
embraces and somewhat more frenzied hugging. In
this way the mutual strength and desires of the two
partners are communicated and (presumably) stored
mentally for later recall. One partner may lift the
other (as occurred here, with Black lifting the
Blue) -- although we are not certain whether this
detail is repeated regularly in other
All activity at this stage is
super-textilial: that is, above and outside the
clothes. When suitable levels of nervous
stimulation have been achieved, it seems to be
characteristic of this subspecies that the effects
of the stimulation are then displayed to other
individuals in the vicinity. Even though these
effects remain sub-textilial, they can often be
observed, or deduced, by bystanders (see
It may be protested that we did
not directly sex the two individuals we observed.
Actually, we did induce the Blue morph to reveal
his genitalia at a later date (see last
photograph), and the
Black morph was apparently also observed in a
textilially-released (so-called "nude") reenactment
of the subspecies' characteristic dance rituals
(see our recent set of photos from
tips", especially the
one transpiring in Phoenix). When textilially
covered, both Blue and Black morphs appeared to be
of the male sex -- and recent
data from our lab
strongly suggest that such individuals typically
do, indeed, possess male genitalia (see Wim J.,
1999). Finally, anecdotal reports suggest that
females of this subspecies appear physically and
textilially quite different (for example, plaid
shirts and wide hips -- Les Dyke, personal
Although we are encouraged by
the ease with which these photographic data were
acquired, we cannot of course assure the
generalizability and significance of our
observations. Only further research and careful
analysis can determine the precise significance of
the courtship behaviors we observed.
Chevalier-Skolnikoff, Suzanne (1974)
Male-female, female-female, and male-male sexual
behavior in the male monkey, with special attention
to female orgasm. Archives of Sexual
Behavior 3: 95-116.
Gay, Bruce & Normal, Bee (1998) A new
subspecies of Homo homo -- H. h.
squaredancus -- initial sightings and first
observations. International Journal of Homo
Biology (Suppl. A), 17: 443-497.
IAGSDC (1995) About gay square dance events.
Promotional flyer, IAGSDC archives, 1995,
IAGSDC (1999) Fly-in schedule for 1999.
Promotional flyer, IAGSDC archives, 1999,
not yet cataloged. Also available on website.
Wim J. (1999) What Makes
a Man a Man? An Empirical Study.
Contact information: Write to the address described here.