Fifty Shades of Cray

Crazy, but true: the male orb-weaving spider is very picky about what female to mate with, but 4/5 times he’s going to be eaten by her anyway.

Credit: Yip et al. The sexual cannibalism of the cyrtophorus criticola

The carnal pleasures, when detached from the higher ones, ultimately leave one sad and desperate for more lest he become even sadder. As St. John of the Cross teaches, there is a bitterness in not doing our own will, but there is a double-bitterness in doing it. You would think that people would learn from this mistake, but hey, that’s concupiscence for ya… We’ll just stay going down the same road frantically looking for that next big rush, that next high, that next whatever it is, even though it is likely to eat us. How aware is the male cyrtophora criticola that he’s about to have his abdomen punctured and his insides sucked out by his new-found lady-friend? Maybe a little bit, in some very dim way. He’s probably seen it happen to others like him. But he is driven by his urges alone, by his instinct alone, by his body alone. His desires distract him from the horrifying and sticky end he is likely to meet. The drug addict knows that what he’s doing is bad for him – sorta. But he needs it, so he allows himself to be swallowed up… and the zeitgeist is always hungry.

What is so peculiar about this spider is that he is incredibly discerning of which female to approach: should I buy the new Lexus, the new Lamborghini, or the new Ferrari? Eventually though, he’d probably take whatever he could get. He’s enticed by the mere shadow of real pleasure, which is the satisfaction of his primal urge, not unlike one finds in the pages of that dreadful novel by E. L. James… although, granted, this is a little bit crazier…

But at least the spiders are open to new life!


Main image: By Taken byfir0002 | 20D + Canon 17-40mm f/4 L – Own work, GFDL 1.2,