01/06/2012 12:22 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Context of Sex

Biologists assume that all animals have a few goals in common: survive and reproduce. It doesn't mean much to survive without sending genetic blueprints into future generations, and there is a myriad of weird, ridiculous and awe-inspiring ways in which animals have evolved to do this. In some cases there are hints of romance and genuine partnership, while in other cases sex is best described as masochistic and murderous.

I have written a lot about the various strategies used by animals to spread their genetic seeds. It's a topic that I find tremendously interesting, both as a biologist and as a female member of the human species. We're not the only girls in the animal kingdom who fall for the wrong guys, strategize about finding 'Mr. Right' and occasionally fend off the advances of unwelcome suitors. Like many other ladies, from beetles to chickens to dolphins, we're generally the 'choosy' sex -- a guy has to prove his worth before we'll come out to play. Sometimes males can be sneaky, deceiving us into a sexual encounter that we may not have otherwise undertaken. However, we females can be sneaky too, using post-coital tricks to weed out the sperm of undesirable partners.

My contributions here at The Huffington Post will be a journey into the astonishing reproductive lives of our animal cousins. From chastity belts to birth control pills to cross dressing and homosexuality, diverse sexual strategies are everywhere. Animal sex is not always straightforward, it's not always fun, and sometimes it's downright dangerous! Eat your heart out Carrie Bradshaw -- learning about the Context of Sex in the animal kingdom gives a greater perspective for just how easy we humans have it.