If you want to know the secret to better sex, it may be time to take a few cues from Pisaura mirabilis, also known as the nursery web spider.
When the nursery web spider wants a little lovin’ he finds a nice gift – usually something sweet and delicious, like a fly – and wraps it up in a nice spider silk package for his honey. And, while she is eating his lovely offering, he proceeds to have sex with her.
Of course, he may still get to mate with her even if he doesn’t bring a nice present, but copulation will end much more quickly and he won’t be able to deposit nearly as many sperm.
So, why is this so important for the male nursery web spider? According to Aarhus University’s Spiderlab, where researchers studied the spider’s mating behavior, more sperm deposited mean he has a better chance of fathering children with his lady love and passing on his genes to the next generation.
A female spider stores the sperm in a specialized organ until it needs to be released to fertilize her eggs and she is capable of regulating just how much sperm she will store, researchers say. If her suitor brings her gifts of food, it means that he is a skilled hunter, which is a good trait to pass on to her young. If she stores more of his sperm, it gives her a better chance of having offspring with this same desirable trait. So, she will preferentially set the conditions so that she can store more sperm with mates who are able to present her with a gift prior to copulation.
But, could giving gifts also be the secret for human males to have better sex? While it may anger some feminists to hear this, women do instinctively seem to have a preference for men with good genes who can give them healthy children and provide well for their families. It may seem like an archaic idea in these modern times, but, in the distant past, it actually made good evolutionary sense for the physically stronger member of the species to be able to protect and provide food for his mate and children. And, it does seem likely that women would have preferred potential mates who came bearing gifts as proof of their prowess as a hunter.
Of course, this is not something that women may even consciously be thinking about when they choose a sex partner today, but you can be sure that they are more attracted to men who exhibits signs of better genes. Men who are more physically perfect and healthy in appearance will generally be chosen over less attractive and unhealthy men. This behavior is hardwired into both men and women because it ensures healthier offspring and better survival for the species. Being able to do well financially – and provide gifts – is just one manifestation of these same qualities which make a man a good potential mate. So, any man who is seeking better sex should probably take a lesson from the nursery web spider and bring a nice gift the next time he takes his woman out. Of course, something chocolate would probably go over better than a nice, juicy fly.
Written by: Nancy Schimelpfening