If Fifty Shades of Grey has taught us anything about the human condition, it’s that people all over the world get turned on by the idea of getting tied up in the bedroom. While us humans use it to spice up our sex lives, a new study has found that male nursery-web spiders don’t have much of a choice – they either tie up their mates, or fall victim to sexual cannibalism (which is a total mood killer tbh).
Female nursery-web spiders (Pisaurina mira) love nothing more than making a snack out of their partners immediately after sex. Though sexual cannibalism is probably the sexiest form of cannibalism out there, male nursery-web spiders would rather live to see another day. So, in order to do so, the males must tie up their female partners before they mate with them, researchers from the University of Nebraska have found.
First off, why would a female spider want to kill her mate anyway? As one of the researchers, Alissa Anderson, told LiveScience’s Mindy Weisberger, “[T]o a just-fertilised female with eggs to nourish, her mate’s immediate value transforms from sex partner into ‘resources for her developing offspring'”.
Basically, the female’s mind snaps from one thing to another. When a male first approaches, she sees him as a way to fertilise her eggs (spiders aren’t very romantic). But as soon as the deed is done, she sees him as a great source of food, because now she has to support a bunch of spider babies. It makes sense on a very primal level, despite how the male – or our delicate human sensibilities – may feel about it.
Read more: Science Alert