Here’s what we know sex with Neanderthals was like
RM Flavio Massari/Alamy
Scientists know a surprising amount about the titillating episode in human history when our species got together, including whether we kissed and the nature of their sexual organs.
Their eyes met across the rugged mountain landscape of prehistoric Romania.
He was a Neanderthal, and stark naked apart from a fur cape. He had good posture and pale skin, perhaps reddened slightly with sunburn. Around one of his thick, muscular biceps he wore bracelet of eagle-talons. She was an early modern human, clad in an animal-skin coat with a wolf-fur trim. She had dark skin, long legs, and her hair was worn in braids.
He cleared his throat, looked her up and down, and – in an absurdly high-pitched, nasal voice – deployed his best chat-up line. She stared back blankly. Luckily for him, they didn’t speak the same language. They had an awkward laugh and, well, we can all guess what happened next.
Of course, it could have been far less like a scene from a steamy romance novel. Perhaps the woman was actually the Neanderthal and the man belonged to our own species. Maybe their relationship was of the casual, pragmatic kind, because there just weren’t many people around at the time. It’s even been suggested, too, that such hook-ups weren’t consensual.
While we will never know what really happened in this encounter – or others like it – what we can be sure of is that such a couple did get together.