WARNING: PENGUIN PORN

8:28 am — 3 Comments

Nobody warns you how much penguin porn you’re going to see in Antarctica. Yeah, the travel agent or an article may mention it’s mating season, but you really aren’t properly prepared for the sheer amount of raw animal sex in public.

My voyage to the nether polar regions coincided with the start of the nesting period, when Gentoo penguins are setting up their love shacks and seeking a partner to keep warm. Cruise travellers get to watch, up close and far too personal, how this courtship unfolds…

At first, it seems quite sweet the way the male approaches a female. He waddles over and bows to her. (Ladies, imagine if men did this for us – they might have more luck!)

If she welcomes his advances, she indicates her interest, basically by lying down and taking it. Then he climbs on top.

It may not be how you’re picturing it, dear human. She is on her stomach, face down in the snow. And he is standing on her back. It’s wobbly and awkward and, quite frankly, frustrating.

The problem is, most of the time, Mr Gentoo can’t keep his balance for long enough. You can just imagine Miss Gentoo politely smiling (if she didn’t have a beak) as he insists this has never happened before.

Such a clumsy encounter could actually be cute if it weren’t for the dozens of other penguins doing the exact same thing beside them. It’s an orgy like you’ve never seen before. Black and white on black and white. Going at it like there’s snow tomorrow!

I felt a bit creepy taking photos but let’s call it ethological observation. Enjoy. And feel free to share them with your friends and customers. I’m pretty sure penguin porn is legal.

This was the scene of the feathery fun - the cheesily named, perfect for a sex tourism destination, Paradise Harbour.

This was the scene of the feathery fun – the cheesily named, perfect for a sex tourism destination, Paradise Harbour.

What's happening here is a different kind of CRUISING. The females are lying in wait, while the males are hunting for a mate.

What’s happening here is a different kind of CRUISING. The females are lying in wait, while the males are hunting for a mate.


Penguin stand-off. Two males and a female. Who wins?

Penguin stand-off. Two males and a female. Who wins?

We have a winner! Mr Gentoo leaps on top of Miss Gentoo.

We have a winner! Mr Gentoo leaps on top of Miss Gentoo.

Back at the ranch, another couple attempts the balancing act.

Back at the ranch, another couple attempts the balancing act.

He's really not doing a good job. He's nowhere near target. Long story short: he never made it.

He’s really not doing a good job. He’s nowhere near target. Long story short: he never made it.

A successful mate is celebrated with singing. They seriously do this happy hootin' to the sky when they find penguin love. Awwww....

A successful mate is celebrated with singing. They seriously do this happy hootin’ to the sky when they find penguin love. Awwww….

Penguins aren't as promiscuous as they look on day one. They stay together - and faithful - all season. But next season, well, this couple are DONE. Next!

Penguins aren’t as promiscuous as they look on day one. They stay together – and faithful – all season. But next season, well, this couple are DONE. Next!

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All photos copyright © Louise Goldsbury

Louise Goldsbury

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In 2013 I was named Best Travel Writer at the National Travel Industry Awards. And until someone corrects me, I'm claiming to be the youngest cruise editor in the Southern Hemisphere. Editor of Cruise Weekly since 2009, I also contribute to Sydney's Sun Herald newspaper and various travel magazines and websites.

3 responses to WARNING: PENGUIN PORN

  1. I loved this installment Louise. Its one of your best. I had to share it with my blog readers. Full credit to you of course! Congrats on your award, by the way. :)

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