“I love my sheep.. I mean, I really love my sheep. I take care of them , herd them in nightly and sleep with them .” “Sleep with them ?” I ask.  .”Yes , have sex with some of  them, the ones that I find sexually attractive. There is nothing wrong with this . It is my sexual orientation . And I dont see why I should be criminalised or stigmatised. After all homosexuals and transgender people are no longer treated as criminals”.

That conversation was my first real life exposure to someone who identified as a Person who has Sex with Animals (PSA). He was a farmer who lived  in the countryside. In the countryside there is less social exposure , less awareness of people’s sexual activities and thus more possibility to practice ones paraphilia of zoophilia. Consequently I have learned from research that a neighbourly gesture is an invitation to a new neighbouring farmer to join in sexual activity with preferred animals. A kind of welcome to the hood party..

The overwhelming majority of self-identified male and female zoophiles do not have sex with animals because there is no other sexual outlet, as was previously believed.  They  do so because it is their sexual preference. The most common reasons for engaging in zoophilic relationships were attraction to animals out of either a desire for affection, and a sexual attraction toward and/or a love for animals.

Zoophilia is one of the most prevalent and hotly debated paraphilias.

In South Africa Bestiality is considered a crime according to the CRIMINAL LAW (SEXUAL OFFENCES AND RELATED MATTERS) AMENDMENT ACT 32 OF 2007.

Bestiality also  violates the Animals Protection Act, which makes it an offence to ill-treat, torture or terrify an animal and to confine or tether an animal “unnecessarily or … in such a manner as to cause that animal unnecessary suffering”.

Let’s move away from the crime of bestiality and focus on the paraphilia of Zoophilia.

Currently zoophilia falls under the  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders diagnostic category of paraphilias. It is described as “a type of sexual arousal caused by animals”.

PSA’s want to be classified as a distinct sexual orientation. Just like homosexuality , heterosexuality, bisexuality.  A zoophilic sexual orientation  implies that the person who is zoo sexual recognises their sexuality as an attraction (physical and emotional) toward an animal. The zoophilic disorder is  paraphilia that causes distress and usually requires psychiatric treatment. So it can only be called a “disorder’ if it causes the person distress. Studies indicate that the greatest  distress zoophilia’s have comes for societal judgment and rejection. They are pretty good with themselves so they do not classify themselves as having  a “disorder” .

Just to orientate you  Common themes of  PSA include : PSA see animals as an object of love; emotional closeness with animals;  they believe that  animals can  consent to sex with humans as  animals have an intrinsic ability to consent to sexual behaviours involving people. And their suffering comes with of  lack of emotional support from the family and widespread public contempt which restrains their ability to to express their sexuality.

While you are catching your breath, you may need to hold on as I share with you that South Africa is ranked as the number  4 country in the world  searching “zoo sex”. Keywords include “porn zoophilia”, “zoophilia sex” ‘bestiality” “horse bestiality”.

I  am excited to share with you  findings from a study  that come from anonymous forum postings of 953 participants of which 345 completed a survey. This study is the largest analyses of zoophiles in modern history. , uncovering the daily activities, sexual preferences and help-seeking behaviour of PSA.


  • 25%  live in a committed relationship with a human as well as an animal partner – and openly engage in sex with both
  • 47% have regular sex with animals
  • 23.4 % say partners do not know that they are having sex with animals
  • 48.2% have regular sex with animals only, but do not commit to them emotionally nor intend to form a relationship bond
  • 42% who are openly sexually focused on sex with animals have convinced their human partners to experiment with animals sexually
  • 72% see nothing wrong with sex with animals . This is related to  their understanding of animal  consent.
  • 47% prefer sex in the house , 18.2% in the barn
    • Average frequency of animal sex is : >  2.1 times per week, for people in committed relationship with human and animal >3.4% per week for people in  committed relationship with the animal only
    •  56.5% prefer unwashed genitalia: the more wet, hair and smelly , the more attractive the animal. In fact the appearance of the genitals is the most arousing cues for PSA
    • 32% enjoy furry but clean genitalia
    • In the country side the number of animal sex partners : one (41.7%), 2-5 (26.7%) 5-7 (9.3%) 7-10 (4.2%)
    • In urban areas the majority of PSA had one  animal sexual partner. They show greater fidelity than people living in the countryside
    • Dogs preferred by the majority  , specifically by female responders , then comes horses, preferred by male participants
    • Rarely believe they are harming an animal > 80% of exclusive zoophilia beleive that they get consent from animals via audible (barking ) and physical (running around , looking happy ) cues

What are your visceral, mental and emotional responses to this information? 

Do you accept zoophilia as a sexual orientation? 

Do you feel it is a violation of animal rights, a criminal violation,  or that it really does no harm to an animal? 

Do you have compassion or condemnation towards PSA? 

In summary, these important findings tell us  a lot about about groups of people who self identify as PSA.

These are people who are deeply stigmatised by most societies and hang out in huge online communities, seeking what we all seek, namely connection , normalisation ,a  place for free expression of thoughts and sexuality, a place of non judgment and a feeling of acceptance. Whilst they feel the judgment and rejection of the public, PSA’s are  accepting  of their lifestyle, and  want recognition of their sexual orientation.and the legal protection this would offer.

For more information on PSA, contact me .