There are a lot of crazy things that set human beings apart and I’m not just talking about our eagerness to shave our pubic hair. When compared to other animals, especially our closest primate relatives, we’re downright freaky. I mean that literally and with all the sexy undertones that an immature teenage boy might imagine.
One of those freaky traits is actually the lack of a mating season. While it may not sound like a big deal to the non-panda population, it’s actually a big fucking deal. Most mammals, including some species of primate, have a specified mating season where the females are fertile, the males are extra horny, and the proverbial bushes are rocking. It’s a beautiful thing, even if you’re not an erotica/romance writer.
There are legitimate evolutionary reasons why a species has a mating season. The world is a dangerous place full of hungry predators, natural disasters, and diseases that make you shit out your lower intestines. We need to dedicate a lot of resources just to survive that world. Pragmatically speaking, it makes sense to reserve just a certain sliver of time to focus on getting frisky so that our species doesn’t go extinct.
Humans, however, don’t have a mating season. Unlike the females of other species, human females ovulate about once every 28 days. They can, for the most part, conceive a child at almost any time in their menstrual cycle. There’s also no obvious sign, short of discarded tampon wrappers, that a woman is even in a fertile period of her cycle.
Again, this is pretty damn freaky in terms of traditional mammalian mating behavior. Most mammals ovulate and become fertile just a few times a year. That’s usually the time when everyone drops what they’re doing and focuses on boning. If a hungry predator shows up, then they’ll just have to lose their appetite or enjoy the show.
This ability for females to ovulate regularly and conceive at nearly any point in their cycle is a big reason why humans are so efficient when it comes to mating. I get that our ability to make tools, build cities, and think critically played a major role as well, but let’s not discount our mating proficiency compared to other animals. There’s a reason why some primates our endangered while we humans just keep boning and thriving.
While we may be freaks, that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re entirely divorced from our mammalian brethren. It’s technically accurate that humans don’t have a defined mating season. We’ll bone at any time and conceive accordingly, as our demographics data shows. However, practically speaking, it may not be completely accurate to say that humans have no mating season at all.
According to a recent article from Vice, there are a few times of the year where we’re more prone to get frisky than others. Data from the CDC does show a few telling variations in terms of when more babies are born. Working backwards, we can surmise when the extra boning went on.
Using this method, researchers with too much free time and a dirty mind determined that most children were conceived in the winter. So while spring is often seen as a time for love and what not, it’s the winter when we do the humping. Again, it’s not the same as having an actual mating season, but it still functions as such.
So why is this? Well, I’d love to say that it’s a product of some complex psycho-social phenomenon with a basis in subtle neurological and physiological variations. That would make me sound much smarter than you’d expect of an erotica/romance writer.
Unfortunately, the explanation is a lot more mundane. It turns out that all that winter boning is more a product of boredom anything biological. The article puts it fairly succinctly.
A lot of people get knocked up when there are blizzards and hurricanes,” Shuey explains. “When they’re stuck indoors with nothing to do, they may not necessarily be doing it to mate, but they’re doing it because they don’t have anything else going on.”
That’s right. Being snowed in and stuck indoors during major storms leads to more babies being conceived. When you’re bored and not worrying about hungry predators, you immediately default to your mating instinct. There’s something inherently logical and sexy about that.
So keep this in mind next winter. We human may not have a mating season, but there are certain times of the year where we love to do a little extra humping. So this winter, stock up on massage oil, candles, and lingerie. If we’re going to have a quasi-mating season, we might as well enjoy the hell out of it.