Man’s best friend

A less than common love story

By Jordan Bond

Tales of bestiality – having sex with animals – are things of folklore and myth to most people.

Although it’s usually something only spoken of in hushed whispers, bestiality is more common than you might think. A 1974 study of 1,000 American men and women found that 5 per cent and 2 per cent of subjects respectively reported at least one sexual experience with an animal.

When the topic does show its head, however, it is a thing of covert and macabre fascination. When Washington man Kenneth Pinyan died from a ruptured colon after having sex with a horse in 2005, the resulting Seattle Times story about the death was the paper’s most read article online that year. Zoo, a 2007 film about the life and death of Pinyan, caused controversy at both Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals.

Working in the IT department at a university library in north-western Germany, Michael Kiok could pass as any other 52-year-old man. If he told you he has been in a relationship with a female named Cessy for the last 10 years, you wouldn’t bat an eyelid – until, that is, he told you that Cessy is a dog.

As one of Germany’s most public pro-zoophilia figures, Michael says being a zoophile is more than just being sexually attracted to animals. He says it’s also about having a personal, intimate relationship with an animal, with just as much depth as a human relationship (he knows – he was married to a woman for 10 years). Purely sexual relationships with animals, devoid of any emotional connection, he tells me, is left to ‘beasties’.

Michael says he regards his 10-year-old German Shepherd Cessy as an equal, and while he takes care of her basic needs, like food and shelter, he gives her as much freedom as possible.

“Most times it’s a normal relationship between a dog and its owner – its human. The difference is that I regard her not as inferior or below me, but that I regard her to be on the same level of value as me.”

The fight for public acceptance

Michael was one of the founders and the former chairman of ZETA – a German-based group fighting for the rights and respect of zoophiles worldwide.

Germany banned bestiality in 2013, something Michael says he’s “enraged” about.

“I always tried to do as few illegal things as possible, and now without having done anything other than before, now I’m a criminal,” he says, visibly frustrated.

Michael says there’s an active anti-bestiality scene in Germany. Groups have demonstrated at his door and given leaflets with pictures of tortured dogs on them to his neighbours. He says very few people talk to him in his neighbourhood these days.

Michael says he’s never had penetrative sex with Cessy, but she enjoys being masturbated by him.

Cessy makes it obvious that she’s enjoying herself, Michael says.

“She makes humping movements and begins to pant. It takes half a minute, or a minute if it’s long, then she jumps down to the floor and it’s over.”

The struggle to suppress his identity

Although Michael first had intercourse with an animal when he was 38 years old, he says the feelings he has for animals started developing when he hit puberty, at around 11 or 12.

Michael managed to keep his secret for decades after, but says hiding for the rest of his life was not an option.

“I think it’s an essential part of the personality; you can’t try to deny it. I did it until my forties, but you will use more mental energy than you can produce, and over decades you end up with depression and psychosomatic phenomenons if you suppress these feelings.”

Heterosexual, homosexual, zoophile

The belief that being a zoophile is a sexual orientation, on par with heterosexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality, may not be a common one, but Michael believes this is entirely true.

“All the criteria are fulfilled with me and the people I know. So if this is the criteria, then it is a sexual orientation.”

Michael says he will continue to fight to make zoophilia legal, and would like to see Germany, then Europe, turn the law around.

“I hope that the view of animals as an equal will reduce the exploiting of animals in any way.

“I’m building a world that I can live in, so of course [I will fight] for the rest of my life.”