Sexual contact with animals seems to have had remarkably little affect—the human participants rarely had or developed a psychologic component of sexual interest in animals. In fact, more persons had animal contact than fantasied animal contact during masturbation—a reversal of the usual situation where fantasy exceeds overt experience. The same is true of dream content: more persons had the actual experience than dreamed of such experience. Moreover, the groups with high incidence of animal contacts do not lead in the rank-order of those with masturbatory fantasy of animal contact—indeed, the aggressors vs. minors, who rank first in animal contact, rank last in fantasy. With regard to dream content, there is a suggestion of positive correlation between the overt and the dream: homosexual offenders rank first and second in a rank-order of those reporting dreams of animal contact, and the aggressors vs. minors rank fourth.
This lack of psychological involvement reinforces our contention that animal contact is closely related to self-masturbation. Note that self-masturbation is another activity in which the number with overt experience exceeds the number who fantasy or dream about it. Just as a man does not usually build up a psychological component about a masturbatory technique—i.e., he does not become aroused by the sight of hands despite the fact his hands have brought him to orgasm repeatedly—so a man does not usually build up a component about animals. Even a person with a moderate amount of animal contact does not ordinarily become aroused by the sight of animals; or to put it another way, you can find many men who are sexually interested in looking at (and often purchasing) pictures of human females or males, but it is virtually impossible to find a male sexually interested in pictures of animals. Again, both masturbation and animal contact are similar in that their heyday is before age twenty and that they decrease markedly later as they are replaced by sociosexual activity.
Another interesting facet of the lack of affect is the attitude the person with animal contact has toward his own behavior. While persons who have never engaged in animal contact are prone to regard it as almost the ultimate in pathology and degradation, and as ipso facto evidence of mental disturbance, the majority of persons with such experience look back upon it as a moderately shameful act, but in no sense a devastating perversion which has marked them for life. A minority, but a substantial minority, display minimal guilt feelings and regard their earlier activity as simply youthful experimentation— which, indeed, it usually was. Another example of the scant emotional significance of animal contact: not infrequently a man who has had homosexual experience in his youth may worry that homosexuality will somehow reappear and engulf him—he fears he will “turn into a homosexual”; but we have yet to interview a man who, because of animal contact in his youth, lives in dread that he will later find himself sexually interested only in animals.