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How do mermaids have sex?

Like many people, been curious about mermaid intercourse since watching Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Now that I’m writing my first mermaid romance, I had to figure it out with science.

I don’t like paranormal romance books where you can’t understand the physics of love-making, and mermaid sex is a biological challenge.

It’s not like with minotaurs or centaurs, or other shifters, where you assume they have working genitalia between their legs somewhere. Mermen and women are shown with a fish tail up to their waist, leaving little room for spare parts.

The obvious solution is to have them breed with eggs: the female lays them, the man does his thing after. But that’s not very sexy or passionate. So how do merpeople hook up when they like each other?

mermaid sex


The Shellfish Solution

To solve this problem, I just made my merpeople crustaceans. They have an exoskeleton over their lower body, which they molt.

He reached across the table and squeezed my hand. There was another question I was dying to ask, but I was a little afraid of the answer.

I finally worked up the courage and blurted out, “How do you… mate?”

I blushed.

His grin widened, he was enjoying himself.

“We come on land and remove our exoskeletons. Under our shells our organs are… nearly identical to humans. I’m sure you’ve heard the birds and the bees speech. If we want children, the females will stay in caves near shore until the eggs are ready, then go into the ocean and give birth. Young merrow are defenseless for the first few years, and need to be guarded and watched by the mother and father. After a few months, they’ll grow their first exo, but then they’ll need a new one every year for about twenty years. After that, they will stay virtually unchanged for decades.”

That solves the mating issue, and also gives them some uniquely awesome powers and abilities.

“In the ocean, with our exos on, we’re nearly invincible,” he smiled. “Hardly anything can puncture our shell, even our fists are protected by almost a centimeter of cartilage. We use them to break shells of other crustaceans, or fight off large ocean predators. Have you ever heard of the Mantis shrimp?”

I shook my head.

“We keep them as pets, they’re beautiful. Its punch is as strong as a gunshot; it’s so powerful and fast it boils the water around it. And their skin is so resilient, the military has been studying their cell structure to make advanced body armor.”

“So what you’re saying, basically, is that you’re a giant shrimp?” I couldn’t help teasing him. He smiled back at me.

“A very charming, handsome shrimp,” he replied.

Fun, right?

Would you sleep with a mermaid?

If you did, what would you be worried about?

PS) If you want to read my novel, Shearwater, you can get it on Amazon.