Get It On Ape Style: What we can learn from Bonobo’s

This weekend I had to privilege to read, Sex at Dawn, a book by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha.  I find this book so inspiring that I encourage you to read.

“Ryan and Jethá show how our promiscuous past haunts our current struggles regarding monogamy, sexual orientation, and family dynamics. Some of the themes they explore include:

• why long-term fidelity can be so difficult for so many;
• why sexual passion tends to fade even as love deepens;
• why many middle-aged men risk everything for an affair;
• why homosexuality persists in the face of standard evolutionary logic; and
• what the human body reveals about the prehistoric origins of modern sexuality”

Scientists often look at our closest relative, the Chimpanzee, to explore and to gain a better understanding of  our own behavior, yet Ryan and Jetha highlight the mammal closest to our own human behavior is the pygmy chimp version:  the Bonobo.

Bonobo’s screw for everything.

They have sex as a way to meet, greet, resolve conflict, enjoy food, and of course to mate.

According to Primatologist, Frans de Waal states bonobos are capable of altruism, compassion, empathy, kindness, patience, and sensitivity.[3]

 

Christopher Ryan reported to Psychology Today, seven things we can learn from getting it on ape style, in the article 7 Things Bonobos Can Teach us About Love and Sex.

Below is a highlight of his tips.

“1. More sex = less conflict. As the great primatologist, Frans de Waal put it, “Chimps use violence to get sex, while bonobos use sex to avoid violence.”… As James Prescott demonstrated… the connection between less restrictive sexuality and less conflict generally holds true for human societies as well. 

2. Feminism can be very sexy. When females are in charge, everyone lives better (including the males)…

3. Sisterhood is powerful. Although female bonobos are about 20% smaller than males—roughly the same ratio as in chimps and humans—they dominate males by sticking together. If a male gets out of line and harasses a female, ALL the other females will gang up on him. This sisterly solidarity, combined with lots of sex, tends to keep the males behaving politely.

4. Jealousy isn’t romantic. While bonobos no-doubt experience unique feelings for one another, they don’t seem to worry much about controlling one another’s sex lives.

5. There’s promise in promiscuity. All the casual sex among bonobos is arguably a big part of what has made them among the smartest of all primates. Until human beings came along and messed things up for them, bonobos enjoyed very high quality of life, low stress, and plenty of social interaction in hammocks. In fact, of the many species of social primates living in multi-male social groups, not a single species is sexually monogamous. Each of the arguably smartest mammals–humans, chimps, bonobos, and dolphins—is promiscuous.

6. Good sex needn’t always include an orgasm, and “casual” doesn’t necessarily mean “empty” or “cheap.” Most bonobo sexual interactions are nothing more than a quick feel, rub, or intromission—a “bonobo handshake,” if you will… But bonobos are very romantic: like humans, they kiss, hold hands (and feet!), and gaze into one another’s eyes while having sex.

7. Sex and food go together better than love and marriage—at least for bonobos. Nothing gets a bonobo orgy started faster than a feast. Give a group of bonobos a bunch of food and they’ll all have some quick sex before very politely sharing the food…”

 

 

 

In conclusion, our advance species hasn’t necessarily advanced our social interactions nor reinforced our need for relaxation and play.

Power, control, jealously and more, cloud our ability to truly living a full life.

Decide whether or not, you would like to have more of a Bonobo manner of living.

You can get it on ape style.

About Anton Therapy

As a psychotherapist specializing in sexual concerns, I believe that communication and compromise, with a playful and open attitude are key components to a healthy intimate life. I infuse compassion, enthusiasm and a collaborative approach in treatment that puts clients at ease in discussing such personal topics. I hope this blog helps to open your mind, promote healthy sex, and encourages you to have a desire for intimacy and life! View all posts by Anton Therapy

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