“El Camino del Bonobo”: UPRM Ecosexuality Symposium KEYNOTE & Group Wedding to the Beach!
Seduced by the sultry charms of the Island of Enchantment, ecosexuals from around Lover Earth came together at the university, in the café, along the boulevards and by the sea, loving the Earth we make love on, marrying the beach and raising our collective oxytocin levels, along with our ESQ.
“ESQ” is my acronym for “Eco-Sexual Intelligence”—or as we say the language of romance, Inteligencia Ecosexual—one of the topics of my keynote address on “The Bonobo Way: A New Ecosexual Paradigm for Humanity” for “Practices of Ecosexuality” at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez (UPRM) which occurred last week. Organized by award-winning author, editor and UPRM Humanities Professor SerenaGaia Anderlini D’Onofrio, my keynote kicked off the first Symposium on Ecosexuality in the Caribbean (see Dr. SerenaGaia’s symposium report here, in which she calls my keynote “a big hit”), as well as the first conference of its kind at any major university in the world, one aimed at ESQ literacy and development.
Cultivate Your ESQ
What is “ESQ”? Psychologists often talk about different ways of rating intelligence, not just for standard IQ, but for EQ or “emotional intelligence,” as defined by Dr. Peter Salovey, now president of Yale (which needs a lot of EQ to run these days, especially without Sex Week at Yale). There’s also social intelligence, existential intelligence, spatial intelligence, athletic intelligence, sexual intelligence and more. As a sex therapist, conservationist and “peace through pleasure” advocate, I believe there is also a type of intelligence that we can call Ecosexual Intelligence, and in a way, that’s what this Symposium was all about: cultivating our ecosexual intelligence.
Since the initials “EQ” are already taken, I’m claiming “ESQ” for Eco-Sexual Intelligence. How do we measure it? Not with standardized tests taken at cramped desks in air-conditioned classrooms, that’s for sure. In fact, I agree with Dr. SerenaGaia that everyone is entitled to a somewhat different, very personal meaning for ecosexuality and ESQ, and we explored some of these methods and meanings throughout the talks, films and workshops of the symposium.
Love the Earth You Make Love On
For me, ESQ means loving the earth we make love on and making love, not war, as bonobos do. It means fun-loving ecology activism, sensual environmental awareness, and maintaining a balance of sexual procreation with erotic recreation—as bonobos also do—rather than trying to squeeze our entire sex drive into reproduction, as so many humans have done, (encouraging two people to bear 12 children), overloading the Earth with our pollution and hurting ourselves with our repression.
But ESQ means so much more, from recycling, sharing resources, practicing tantric yoga and cultivating the art of play, to taking care of each other and our “Lover Earth” whom many of us humans have mistreated for so long.
How do you cultivate a high ESQ? By heightening your environmental and sexual awareness, sharing the pleasures in life while leaving a minimal carbon footprint. Tapping into your primeval interconnected core that cares as much about others and the Earth as you do about yourself. Doing good to feel good. That’s the new “Joy of Sex”—Eco-Sex.
I imagine the ancient native Taino peoples of Puerto Rico—there long before Columbus—had a much higher ESQ than most of us do now. And their government never had to file bankruptcy….
Bonobos Are ESQ Geniuses
However we measure it, bonobos as a species are ESQ geniuses, especially compared to us and the other Great Apes. As primatologist Vanessa Woods says, “Bonobos hold the key to a world without war.” And this key is not forged in building a big fence, worshipping any particular God nor accumulating wealth and prestige. And certainly not in shooting anybody or waging an endless war. Rather, the bonobo key to peace is forged in sex. And lots of it.
It’s true that they don’t have the human cleverness to build a great university like UPRM or a hospital or a vibrator… or a bomb. But they do know how to live together without killing each other. That’s smart. And that’s a kind of “smart” that I call Ecosexual Intelligence.
This is one reason I believe that the Bonobo Way—El Camino del Bonobo—is a new “ecosexual paradigm for humanity.” El Camino del Bonobo es un gran simio nuevo paradigma ecosexual para la humanidad.
Still jet-lagged but thrilled just to be in Puerto Rico (especially after getting our original flights canceled due to freezing rain in Newark, of all places), I delivered the Keynote speech before a packed, 10:45 AM, highly air-conditioned audience of some 200 students, teachers and “townies” from the nearby villages of Mayaguez. Standing on my tiptoes behind the huge wooden lectern on the gigantic stage, I felt like Alice in Wonderland after she followed the “Drink Me” instructions on the potion that shrank her to the size of a small squirrel. Such a privilege and responsibility, and so early in the morning for a squirrely jet-lagged night owl like me!
But the audience welcomed me and my husband Max with characteristic Puerto Rican warmth, laughter in all the right places and enthusiastic applause, even when I attempted to speak Spanish with my tortured Philadelphia/California accent. Antes, Ahora y Siempre Colegio!
BONOBO WAY KEYNOTE for UPRM ECOSEXUALITY SYMPOSIUM
More important than me mangling the pronunciation of the UPRM college slogan was that many of these wonderful, curious, open-minded and open-hearted students were learning about bonobos for the first time. Several came up to me to say they’d fallen in love with our kissing cousins just as I had, vowing to join me in the good and sexy fight to save them from extinction. That’s the 12th step: “Save the Bonobos, Save the World.” Salvar a los bonobos, salvar el mundo, a message that breaks on through to the other side of the language barrier.
Other students just came up to say they’d been watching me on TV since they were five years old. Wow, that made me feel as ancient as the Luquillo Tropical Rainforest—and just as formidable!
The University campus is quite the ecosexual oasis with mini-jungles of tropical flora and fauna growing lushly amongst the human-made halls of academia, a place where people and ideas can flourish within nature.
Special thanks to Tonio and the rest of the UPRM audio-visual staff, as well as all the wonderful volunteers who worked the tables, prepared wonderful native Puerto Rican foods for us and cleaned up our unecosexy messes.
That night, and pretty much every night, a group of us ecosexuals, teachers, students, friends and lovers gathered informally around a convivial round table groaning with delicious food and creamy Piña Coladas at the delightful “Asia Italy,” a restaurant and bar with live music and dancing (well, we danced).
ASIA-ITALY CULINARY PLEASURES by the PARADOR JOYUDA HOTEL
And did I mention that it was conveniently located right next to our friendly beachfront hotel the Joyuda Parador? And when I say “beachfront,” I mean two steps from our patio, glittering under stars you could actually see (unlike the polluted night skies of LA), the Caribbean lapping sensuously at our feet.
Seems like a cliché, but yes, beachfront bedrooms are extremely conducive to amorous encounters, even among married folks as old as the rainforest.
And we could pretty much swim to the back patio of Asia Italy from our own backyard beach for an after-sex nightcap. Piña Coladas ahoy!
Workshops & Playtime
El Camino del Bonobo set the tone for the rest of the weekend, in the classroom and on the beach, combining soul-searching ecological challenges, easy breezy attitudes, orgasmic Earth love, flip-flops and a refreshing lack of judgment about the differences amongst us.
After the pressure and excitement of the keynote, I relaxed and chilled (and that air-conditioned auditorium sure was chilly!) as an audience member and participant in the various sessions that followed, including a talk with Dr. SerenaGaia and Lindsay Hagamen, co-editors of Ecosexuality: When Nature Inspires the Arts of Love, the award-winning collection that brings together the voices of 30 leaders of the ecosexual movement; a workshop with Marsha Scarbrough, author of Honey in the River: Shadow, Sex and West African Spirituality; a personal talk about being bisexual with Music Director Mariá Virginia Sánchez Cintrón; a puppet workshop and show featuring vivacious and popular UPRM Professor Linda M. Rodriguez Guglielmoni, Ph.D.; an exploration of “Conscious Communication” with Master Trainer Taber Shadburne, a reading with Agadilla writer Dr. Anya Trahan; a workshop with amazing ecosexual poet and activist Karen Hery; along with screenings of Dr. SerenaGaia’s film “Te Amo Plaza Azul” and Drs. Annie Sprinkle’s and Beth Stephens’ fascinating documentary, “Good-bye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story.”
WORKSHOPS IN PLAY, TRANCE & GETTING LEI’ED
On Friday I conducted my own workshop on “Releasing Your Inner Bonobo: A Different Kind of 12-Step Program,” weaving stories, studies, theories and fantasies into possibilities and a practical path of action enabling a very personal “Ecosexual RƎVO˩ution,” deepening “ecosexual intelligence” and “bonobo awareness” of our global interconnectivity through empathy, eroticism and play. It was a chance to get closer to the students who had seemed so far away during the keynote. I even played with one of their snakes. Don’t be jealous, Eve!
Marrying the Beach
Saturday a bunch of us came together to “marry the beach” on SerenaGaia’s beloved Playa Azul in a beautiful, balmy “group wedding.”
We sang, swam, ate, danced, played and had “outercourse” with the sand and surf… like Esalen with warmer weather. It did rain a bit around sunset, though it was just a warm pleasant drizzle, as if our blushing bride was squirting on her wedding night.
All in all, it was a fantastic trip, a romantic-orgasmic second honeymoon for the Captain and me, my first keynote and our first trip to Puerto Rico (though definitely not our last). Thank you for making it happen, Dr. SerenaGaia, and for spearheading the Ecosexuality movement and for believing in the bonobos and the Bonobo Way.
PHOTOS BY DESTINY LEE RODRIGUEZ
Not that it was a perfect trip; no trip ever is, and mishaps on the road often make you crazier than they would if they occurred at home. Capt’n Max and I encountered our fair share of minor calamities, from losing 12 minutes of the video of my keynote to finding ourselves literally “on the road,” and no, not El Camino del Bonobo. That is to say, we walked on foot nearly two miles, lost in Cabo Rojas on a sidewalk that kept disappearing with heavy traffic whizzing down a busy winding two-lane country thoroughfare, as curious drivers craned their necks to see what must have looked like two refugees in big colorful hats wheeling a small suitcase with great purpose and absolutely no idea where we were, in a “forced march” of our minds.
MORE PLAYA PIX
Fortunately, Maria found and rescued us before we became road kill with squished hats. Also fortunately, we didn’t lose the audio on that keynote video, so with some fancy editing, we’ll have it up for your viewing and listening pleasure soon. NEWSFLASH: the keynote is now online!
ECOSEXUAL SELFIE GALLERY
One thing we know, no matter how well you plan things, the best-laid plans may not get you laid the way you planned. So we always have back-up plans, and we try to follow Step 11 of the 12 Steps, “Swing through Life,” and more often than not, we bounce back higher with each fall like the seasoned old clowns that we are.
Next Up for The Bonobo Way: UC Berkeley!
Coming up faster than a big wave in a storm, we’re off to the great and historically revolutionary campus of UC Berkeley for the 5th International Conference on Monogamy and Nonmonogamy where the talk will be on the Bonobo Way: Consensual Nonmonogamy among Non-Human Primates.
Then we’ll be back in Bonoboville for a belated Lupercalia celebration starring Dayton Rains as a topless “furry” she-wolf (the “Luper” in Lupercalia), februa by JuxLeather and much more. RSVP now online or call 310-568-0066 anytime. We’re always here to help you share the pleasures in life and raise your ESQ.
“Dr. Suzy’s keynote was a big hit!” READ MORE of UPRM Professor SerenaGaia’s report on my keynote and other events at the “first symposium about Ecosexuality hosted in an academic institution.”
© February 9, 2016. Susan Block, Ph.D., a.k.a. “Dr. Suzy,” is a world renowned LA sex therapist, author of The Bonobo Way: The Evolution of Peace through Pleasure and horny housewife, occasionally seen on HBO and other channels. For speaking engagements, call 310-568-0066.