This FAQ is split up into three sections.
Part one is for people that have questions about what zoosexuality is, it’s origins, and it’s current perception in the world.
Part two is directly responding to common criticisms about zoosexuality, including citations and sources.
Part three is questions for new zoosexuals who are just discovering their sexuality.
-What is zoosexuality?
Zoosexuality is a term used to describe the sexual or romantic relationships between people and animals. A Zoosexual may have a purely sexual relationship with animals, or could see animal companions as life partners the same way someone would treat a traditional romantic relationship. The kind of zoosexuals we represent are ones that abide by the Zeta principles.
-What are the Zeta principles?
The Zeta principles are a set of guidelines used to dictate proper conduct from zoosexuals. They are as follows.
- Bestow upon animals the same kindness one would wish bestowed upon oneself.
- Consider the well being of an animal companion as important as ones own.
- Place the animal’s will and well being ahead of one’s desires for sexual gratification.
- Teach those who seek knowledge about zoophilia and bestiality without promoting it.
- Discourage the practice of bestiality in the presence of fetish seekers.
- Censure sexual exploitation of animals for the purpose of financial gain.
- Censure those who practice and promote animal sexual abuse.
-How long has zoosexuality existed?
Zoosexuality has existed for as long as recorded history can tell us. There is evidence of bestiality in ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece,Babylonia and Mesopotamia, all the way back to prehistoric cave paintings. It’s clear that zoosexuality has been a part of society for as long as societies have existed, albeit to different degrees of prominence and legality.
-How many zoosexuals are there?
It’s hard to get an exact number considering the taboo nature of zoosexuality, but according to the Kinsey reports, 8% of males and 5.1% of females have engaged in sexual activity with an animal, with that number increasing to 40-50% for rural populations. And while the Kinsey reports tend to be controversial, the number of Zoosexuals could be even higher, considering that this was specifically looking for people that had acted on their interests.
-What animals are people attracted to?
The most common animals people are attracted to tend to be Dogs and horses, however zoosexuals can be attracted to many different species. Some other popular ones are cats, wolves, and dolphins. You do not need to be in physical contact with an animal to be attracted to it. Many zoosexuals fantasize about animals that would not be considered traditional pets.
-Why do people become Zoosexuals
It’s hard to say. There’s a lot of things that people end up doing that we find hard to answer, even down to other sexualities. It’s easy to say that it’s just people who grow up with a strong connection to animals, but there are lots of zoosexuals who only end up getting an animal companion and falling in love with it later in life. Based on the information that we have right now, it seems like anyone could be a zoo. For some people, it just happens.
-Bestiality, zoophilia, zoosexuality, what’s the difference?
Bestiality is the term used to describe specifically the act of a human and an animal fornicating. Zoophilia describes an attraction to animals. Zoosexuality is the more modern term, moving Zoophilia away from being described as a paraphilia and instead looking at it as something akin to other sexualities.
-Are furries and Zoosexuals the same thing?
They are not the same thing, but both communities do have similarities. Furries are a popular internet community based around anthropomorphic animals. Those are animals that have human traits. Typically, furry characters tend to be bipedal with human styled hands and human level intelligence. Animals from media like “Zootopia”, “Beastars”, and “Robin Hood” would all be considered typical furries. A subset of furries are what the community calls “Ferals”. These are animals with no anthropomorphism of physical traits, however they still have human speech and intelligence. Examples of this in the media would be “The Lion King” or “All Dogs go to Heaven”. There is a lot of overlap between zoosexuals and furries, especially with furries that specifically like ferals, however there are many furries that are against zoosexuality.
-Is bestiality illegal?
This depends on where you live. In the Unites States, it varies state to state. In Canada, it’s illegal outright. InRussia and Japan, its entirely legal. In some places like Germany, it comes down to whether or not the Animal is being abused. However, laws around bestiality have changed many times throughout location and history, and are likely to change again.
Zoosexuality on the other hand is totally legal. Nobody can police your feelings. Zoosexuality is totally valid, and not something to be ashamed of.
-What is Zoosadism?
Zoosadism is a sexual gratification from the abuse and harm of animals. Zoosexuals stand adamantly against zoosadism, and those found to participate in any form of zoosadism have no place in the zoosexual community, and will be reported to the proper authorities. Zoosexuals put their animals first, and make sure that everything they do is consensual. That’s the basis of the values that zoosexuals hold.
-Where can I learn more?
There are many great community led resources to learn more about zoosexuality. This platform we’re on features a number of great articles written by other zoosexuals about a number of various topics pertaining to zoosexuality. There are also public forums such as zoocommunity.org, as well as great books written by clinical sex therapists such as
“Loving Animals: On Bestiality, Zoophilia and Post-Human Love ” by Joanna Bourke
and “Understanding Bestiality and Zoophilia” by Hani Miletski.
-What can I do to help?
First of all, thank you for even thinking about helping. Zoosexuality is incredibly stigmatized, and having allies makes it a little bit easier for everyone. If you would like to help, you can join in the conversation whether that be on twitter or forums. You can signal boost zoo content like the Zooier Than Thou podcast or this magazine. And if you happen to have zoosexuality come up in conversation with friends or family, making sure that nobody is passing around incorrect misconceptions goes a long way. It can be very challenging for someone to come out and say that they support zoosexuality, but it should be easier to make sure that at the very least more misinformation isn’t being spread.
-Are animals smart enough to consent?
Depending on the animal, but mostly yes. A misunderstood fact you’ll hear a lot is that “Dogs have the intelligence of a two year old human.” While it may be true that a dog doesn’t have the same level of intelligence that humans have, the relation to humans doesn’t make sense because they don’t have the same kind of intelligence. There are herding dogs that help manage other animals. There are dogs that are used by the police or military. There are even dogs that work as lifeguards. None of those things a two year old human could do, but dogs can do them all. This is because they have a different kind of intelligence. And this is true for many different species. Animals are much smarter than we think, they just aren’t intelligent in the way that humans are. They are definitely however smart enough to decide whether or not they want to have a sexual relationship. They make that decision all the time in the wild. They’re smart enough to make that decision when they’re our companions as well.
-Can animals communicate enough to consent?
This also depends on the animal, but for most part is another resounding yes. Different animals have different ways of communicating, but for many it comes down to body language. As humans, we’ve developed complicated speech patterns to convey ideas to each other. Animals may use other methods, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t communicate. Owners of pets will know that their animals can communicate with them when they want to. You can tell when your animal is happy, sad, scared, hurt or angry. Many animals can even express complicated emotions like jealousy or love. They’re also capable of communicating whether or not they’re interested in sex. Many animals, once they’re familiar and comfortable with you, will express interest in sexual acts all on their own. A male dog may try to mount you, a female will raise her tail and point at you. Mares can wink at you, and not the way that you’re thinking. Animals can clearly communicate when they like or dislike something, and a zoosexual following the Zeta principles will always prioritize the feelings of their companion over their own.
-Does the nature of a human animal relationship make sex immoral?
This is probably the most complicated question, because it relies a lot on trusting other people, and that can be very hard. The nature of a human animal relationship can be complicated. However, you can’t train most animals to do something that actively hurts them for a reward, unless that reward is something specifically addictive. In that sense, you can’t train an animal into wanting to have sex if it is hurting it or scaring it. There is no shown correlation between an animals desire for sex and giving it rewards, outside of many companion animals just enjoying the attention. So, with the information that we currently have, the dynamic of the relationship does not make the relationship immoral.
-Does sex hurt animals?
Not if you’re making sure you’re following the Zeta principles. There is a big size difference between a human and most pet animals, as well as the fact that most pets are mutilated to remove their ability to breed. It’s possible for a human to injure an animal if they don’t know what they’re doing or aren’t being careful, but that’s why we need more proper information about zoosexuality. So that if someone develops feelings for an animal, they can do their research and learn about what not to do. That said, even in cases where a human is doing something an animal doesn’t like or is hurt by, they will usually be able to express their discomfort to the human in question.
-Is zoosexuality wrong?
A common misconception about zoosexuality is that it’s humans trying to impose sexuality onto animals. That’s not how the real world usually works. In reality, animals are sexual beings in nature, but we live in a society that is ashamed by sex and sees it as something dirty and wrong. Religious puritanical viewpoints have been imposed on society for a long time, and we’re only beginning to heal that damage. As we learn that sexuality isn’t a sin, and that it’s okay to be comfortable with our bodies, we’re going to realize that animals are exactly the same. Sometimes they get aroused and want to engage sexually with a partner. That is a natural part of being a living creature. Many animals even choose to masturbate to relieve themselves of their urges. Assisting them with those urges is no different than feeding them or giving them water. It’s just potentially more fun for both parties.
-Is zoosexuality a paraphilia
This is a complicated question, mostly because the definition of what a paraphilia actually is varies a lot. Commonly, it’s the experience of intense sexual arousal to atypical objects, situations, fantasies, behaviors, or individuals. But, what counts as atypical? According to the DSM 5, the latest edition of the psychological diagnostic manual, fetishistic disorder is a paraphilia, with fetishistic disorder being described as “an intense sexual attraction to either inanimate objects or to body parts not traditionally viewed as sexual, coupled with clinically significant distress or impairment.”
There’s also Transvestic Disorder, which is “when an individual experiences recurrent, intense sexual arousal from cross-dressing, or dressing as the opposite gender, and in which that person’s urge to do so causes significant distress or impairment to their daily life.”
Zoosexuality on the other hand doesn’t even make the list. It’s categorized as “Other”. So, maybe zoosexuality is a paraphilia, but in the end, everyone can decide for themselves what that actually means.
-Does zoosexuality require treatment
No. Zoosexuality is perfectly healthy and valid, so long as you’re making sure to follow the Zeta principles. The common usage of zoosexuality is as a paraphilia, which would require therapy when it becomes unhealthy, but for zoosexuals who are living healthy lives therapy isn’t necessary. However, getting therapy is recommended for everyone, and especially zoos. Being a zoosexual can be very hard. You have to hide your identity from most people you meet, you experience hate and harassment all around you. It can be extremely stressful to deal with. If you’re having trouble dealing with that pressure, a registered sex therapist might be a very valuable tool to have someone you can vent to about your specific problems. Ideally, before having a session make sure that they’re okay with talking about zoosexuality, just in case. We recommend this podcast for more useful info.
-How do I know if my animal is attracted to me
That depends on the animal. Different animals will have different ways of communicating. However it all comes down to reading their body language. Things like “Stop” or “I like this” can be very simple to understand. But specific nuances are harder to tell, and require some research and a relationship between you and an animal. The same way you would have to study if you wanted to date another human who speaks another language, spend some time learning about how your specific animal communicates. For more detailed advice, check out one of the zoo forums out there. Most other zoosexuals would be happy to answer questions.
-What do I do if I want to have a sexual relationship with my animal
The absolute very first thing that you should do is to make sure that you understand that your animal’s needs come first. Zoosexuality is not about your own sexual gratification. It’s about forming a loving bond with a companion that just happens to be a different species than you. Your next step should be research. Find out the kinds of things that your animal will tend to like or dislike. Every animal is different, even between species, but there are some common steps you can take to make sure that you’re not going to hurt your animal. From there, go slow. Make sure that your companion has time to figure out what they like and dislike as well. Do your best to be receptive to what they’re telling you. And from there, have fun!
-How do I know if my animal is uncomfortable or wants to stop
This is a similar answer to other questions in this section, but it’s because it’s so important. It comes down to body language and being receptive. Make sure that you’re looking for signs that they either aren’t interested or are disliking what you’re doing and understand that that means that you stop. Also, make sure that you do your research before-hand so you know what things to avoid altogether, and save you and your companion the awkwardness and trouble.
-What should I do if I want a sexual relationship with my animal but they don’t
Then you respect their wishes. If an animal makes it clear that it doesn’t want to engage with you in that way, that’s their choice. They’ve revoked their consent. However, understand that saying no one time doesn’t necessarily mean no forever. Just like humans, sometimes animals will have bad days, or just not be in the mood. It might even be that they don’t trust you enough yet. Or, maybe they just don’t like to be touched. No matter what, the most important thing is that you love your animal, and you make sure to put their needs first.
-Should I come out to my family or friends as a Zoo?
This depends a lot on yourself and your situation. Before even thinking about coming out, make sure that you test the waters a little bit. Sometimes people that you think are going to be totally okay will be the most angry, and the people you thought would be the most disappointed will be fine. A key thing to think about when you’re considering coming out is whether or not you’re reliant on the person you’re coming out to. If you still live with your parents and can’t support yourself, even if you think they’ll be supportive it might be better to wait until you have something to fall back on just in case they’re not.
-How do I meet other Zoos?
There’s lots of ways! There are tons of other Zoosexuals on twitter, there are great social forums for people to make friends, and there are thriving communities on both discord and telegram. Regardless of your platform of choice, there are probably zoo groups there. Don’t be afraid to create an account somewhere and say hi!
-What should I do to stay safe as a Zoo?
Because of the controversy around zoosexuality, it can be important for zoosexualy to keep a level of privacy. There are more detailed guides, but here are the basics. Create a different online personality than your main one. Don’t post personal information about yourself online. Think about using a VPN if you’re on a shared network. Last but not least, be careful about who you trust with your information. Be careful that you’re not giving personal information to someone who is going to share it with others, maliciously or otherwise.