A NASA researcher involved in a 1960s project teaching dolphins how to communicate with humans has admitted to "sensuous" sex acts with a dolphin.

Margaret Howe Lovatt said an adolescent male dolphin named Peter would often be "in the mood," so the researchers would move him to a tank with female dolphins for sex.

"Peter liked to be with me," Lovatt said. "He would rub himself on my knee, my foot, or my hand."

Because of the frequency of Peter's urges and difficulty in moving him to the females' tank, Lovatt decided to take care of his urges herself.

"It was just easier to incorporate that and let it happen," she said. "[It was] very precious and very gentle. It was sexual on his part. It was not sexual on mine; sensuous perhaps."