Inner Journey 3
Taking the BOO Out of Taboo
with Radio Shaman Greg Friedman on KX 93.5 Laguna Beach
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When they say “the third time’s the charm,” they usually mean that one and two were not so hot.
But my first and second Inner Journeys were both very hot and charming adventures in sapiosexual conversation.
Nevertheless, Inner Journey #3’s definitely “the charm” of the series (thus far), somehow topping the other two, delving even deeper into psycho-sexual territories with its always charming host, radio shaman, penetrating interviewer and spiritual “guide” Greg Friedman, airing live on KX 93.5 FM, Laguna Beach’s greatest radio station (and not just because it’s Laguna Beach’s only radio station).
In these times of Trumpocalyptic terror, #MeToo confusion, incel insanity, military build-up, the 24/7 “fake news” cycle of hype and despair, government by kleptocracy (Trump Crime Family) flirting with theocracy (Pence), the expanding human despair from the depths of homelessness to the heights of stardom, the fire and fury of climate change burning its hell-flaming path across the arid countryside… well, it’s great to have a good, deep conversation about “taking the BOO out of taboo,” a challenging, revitalizing, sapiosexual, bonoboesque, rainbow-colored “inner journey” into the past and the future of love.
“Bars” on Balboa Bay
Speaking of time, we were kind of pushed for it, so we decided to just do a day-trip.
We put Squirting, Cum Drunk, Über MILFs in “A Midsummer Night’s WET Dream (an oldie-but-really-goodie) on the DrSuzy.Tv feed, and got up early Sunday morning to say “Bye-Bye Bonoboville.”
With Abraham Bonobo at the wheel, grooving in our seats to the Chainsmokers and Halsey singing a catchy little ditty called Closer, cruising down the sun-kissed California coast into crisp, clean Newport Beach where we checked into the semi-swanky Balboa Bay Resort.
The receptionist apologized because all she could give us at that hour was a special room with “bars.”
What did that mean, we could mix our own martinis? Awesome! No, she laughed, the “bars” were in the bathroom to help disabled people get out of the tub, which apparently disturbed some “able” people’s feng shui, which was why she was apologizing.
No problem, we said, now hoping the “bars” offered some kinky opportunities (they didn’t), but let’s just say it was a good thing we weren’t truly disabled because this room was the very farthest on the floor from the elevators. Inept or diabolical hotel design? You decide… as you stagger to your room-at-the-end-of-the-world with bars in the bath.
Newport Beach: Meet Me at the Yacht Spa
Having arrived, we set about turning the room into Bonoboville-On-the-Road command central, pulling hats and equipment out of bags, scattering them all over the place while looking for something we forgot to bring, and then smoking a joint on the balcony. Millennial Abe takes the freedom to puff in stride, but the Captain and I are still pinching ourselves (plus a little tickling) to see if we’re dreaming weed’s legal. It’s hard for us old hippies who grew up hiding our stash to believe that smoking pot won’t get you busted in California. But it won’t (at least not until Jeff Sessions figures out a way to throw us all onto an Alabama chaingang), and to that we say Amen and AWOMEN. Please pass the doobie.
Thus motivated and medicated, we sprinted down the endless hallway to the elevators, then caught our breath, discovered we were just in time to miss brunch, found a table at “Anchors & Oceans” kitchen and bar, and set about savoring the breezy seaside pleasures of Newport Beach for the few hours we had before showtime.
Newport is nice, almost too nice. We’d rather stay in funky Laguna like we did last year, but all the hotels were either booked up or charging Trumped up prices, it being Pageant of the Masters season.
While Laguna is all artsy, veggie, rainbow-hued, multi-cultural French-Riviera-Meets-Surfer-Chic with Old European charm, Newport is aggressively all-American, featuring Caucasian culture at its beachiest. Everywhere you look, there’s proud navy blue or more delicate porcelain blue matched with the ever-present shade of whitest white, seafoam sailor plastic white, the noncolor color of the yachts hugging Newport’s billion-dollar shores.
In Newport, the local car wash is called a “Car Spa.” Does the Car Spa massage your Maserati’s fenders as it steams up its windshield and lubes up its joints? How do Newport’s elite take their Rolls to the Car Spa with a straight face?
Wonder if they also have “Yacht Spas”…. That would be so Newport.
In the face of all this spic and span, staunch Republican blue and white, I reactively flaunted my wild, progressive, Bonobo-Way-gay rainbow colors and even tried to cultivate a tan.
We lunched with the Newport MILF ladies-who-lunch, their preternaturally adorable kidlets dressed up like mini royals, and a few red-eyed guys in polo shirts, by the gleaming white yachts of Balboa Bay.
Some of the MILFs got up from their white Sauvignon Blanc and beef tartare to dance with the angelic children as the live two-guy band played Closer just like the Chainsmokers in the car.
Meanwhile, I was grinning like a fool for love, enjoying the heck out of all this nonsense, mainly because I was having a day at the beach (well, harbor) with my beloved Captain of our ship of fools for love.
My bubbly joy was significantly buoyed by imbibing an icy cold “Fire Walk With Me” in festive dishonor of Tony Robbins having been revealed by an intrepid #MeToo cellphone videographer for being the overbearing, condescending, physically threatening creep that I’ve always thought he was.
Not that I agree with all of the #MeToo movement’s crusades. But spontaneously punking Mr. Full-of-Himself Firewalker on his own mega-turf in front of thousands of worshippers in a San Jose auditorium and then millions more online has got to be my personal favorite #MeToo moment thus far.
I’ve no idea if “Fire Walk With Me” on the rocks was named ironically or seriously, but the St. George California Citrus Vodka, Bruto Americano, Blood Orange, Mint and Lime combo was a refreshing tastebud success and certainly made all the Republican-lite beachiness much more enjoyable than it might have been if I were sober.
As for the food, Max and Abe’s Baja seafood cocktails weren’t bad, but my “crispy brussel sprouts with lollipop kale” was ridiculously delicious, crunchy and fresh, interspersed with even more crunchy, decadent and bacon-like “guanciale.”
Good thing I was accompanied by two hungry boys because if I’d eaten the whole huge delectable dish myself, I couldn’t have moved, let alone gone swimming.
PHOTOS: ABE BONOBO
As it was, I could only enjoy the pool magic of the Balboa Bay Resort in a limited fashion. I really wanted to swim underwater—free as a fish!—but then my hair and makeup would have been a sopping streaky frizzball mess, and I didn’t have time to redo it before we had to be at the station.
So, more otter-like than fishy, I kept my head and most of my hair above water as I gamely breast-stroked around the pool, trying to avoid the screaming kids and those squiggly little yellow trails dissolving in the clear blue behind their inner tubes.
Even thus restricted, it felt great to thrash and splash around in the cool water under the broiling sun. Good cardio for a person of my advancing age, and such a nice fresh sensuous feeling.
Ahhhhhh yes, the healing power of water, even highly chlorinated, pee-infused pool water. We mammals evolved from amphibians that once were fish, and we are still about 60% water. So it feels really good to let your own body water merge with a larger pool—even if you have to keep your head up, and even if those screaming spoiled-rotten Newport kiddies are filling the pool with more gold than a team of Trump’s Russian hookers.
That was another reason I didn’t go underwater. Though Abe did—like a fish!—wearing sunglasses.
Greg Friedman, KX Shaman & Well-Builder
Climate change or just summertime, playing in the cool water under a hot sun makes it feel like time stops, but it’s really flying, and before we could say “Splish, splash, SPLOSH,” it was time to talk about “Splosh ‘n’ Art.”
No time to change, get coffee or hobble down that endless hall in high heels, so I just kept on my wet bikini and flipflops and ran, feeling beachy.
Greg welcomed us in, looking beachy himself in a light turquoise tee that matched one of my hats (I brought three plus a sun visor), and it felt great to be back at KX 93.5 FM, “human crafted radio” in these cyber-frenetic times, surrounded by the familiar psychedelic rainbow stained glass windows the colors of my bikini as well as my state of mind.
Greg is such an excellent interviewer that you can easily forget that he himself is a very interesting guy, though he reminded us of that as we blasted off into showtime, announcing that soon he will be giving a talk on the Native American Medicine Wheel at the 11th Global Festival of Spiritual Sciences in Pyramid Valley, Bangalore, India.
He’ll also teach a workshop with Walking for Water (which we talked about with Tamera) and Wisdom Spring president Susan Hough, and then they’ll oversee the installation of two wells, one in India and the other in Nepal (my old stomping grounds!). Talk about going where help is needed! Greg is helping fellow humans on the other side of the world to obtain that precious, formerly plentiful, now alarmingly scarce resource that I’d just been breast-stroking around in so decadently: water.
From Flint, Michigan to Kathmandu, Nepal, people’s access to clean water is a big problem that shows no signs of getting smaller, as climate change continues apace.
I was so impressed by the well-building project that I didn’t even mind when Greg introduced me as “Dr. Susan Hough.” In fact, I considered it a compliment, figuring we are Sister Susans in some spiritual-appellational way, though Greg quickly corrected himself and, as I see it, the understandable mistake (as a host, I mis-intro people all the time) made more listeners sit up and pay attention to Dr. Susan Block.
Sex Questions from Laguna Beach
We start off with three Q&A’s, all posed by women—who probably make up the majority of Greg’s adoring Laguna listenership.
Woman #1 wonders if there’s something wrong with her because her friends are all into “freaky” sexual play, while she just enjoys your basic hot sex in the missionary position. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being vanilla, but it sounds like she wants to get “freaky,” or why would she ask?
Woman #2 wants a divorce from her husband, but doesn’t want to lose their “lifestyle,” which, I imagine, is along the lines of the Newport Beach blue and white yachting set, though it could also be the Laguna Beach rainbow fine art and expensive beauty treatments set. Nothing wrong with sex work, honey; just know thy sexual self.
Woman #3 is “open-minded” but disappointed because she went to a “sex party” where she felt the other sex partiers were “trying too hard” which was a turn-off and such a downer, you’d think her village well had run completely dry. When she describes her fellow orgiasts as “sad,” I wonder if perhaps she herself is “sad.” Very often our sexual judgments of other people say more about our own feelings than about those other people.
I’ll let you listen to the archive or watch it on Facebook/Youtube for Greg’s and my other answers to these beachy psycho-sexual dilemmas. Though you may be surprised to hear that Greg and I disagree at least as often as we agree about what these Questioning Women should do or not do about their erotic dilemmas.
Disagreement is the spice of talk radio. At least, we’re not shouting or calling each other the worst names we can think of, which is the spice of what passes for most “talk” media in these divisive times.
We also do some shameless promoting, especially of our brand new Speakeasy Journal, designed by Clemmy Cockatoo, the premiere “Splosh ‘n’ Art” print edition featuring Daniele Watts, Chef Be*Live, Gypsy Bonobo, Ikkor the Wolf, and more.
Capt’n Max’s personal history of publishing iconic sex (LA Star, Love, Finger, God, etc.) and community (Brentwood Bla Bla, Beverly Hills) magazines pioneered the “reader-written publishing” phenomenon that was considered rather eccentric at the time, but is now the essence of social media: Every reader is their own publisher.
Except we’re not, really. We’re just sharecroppers on the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or (fill-in-corporate-brand-entity) plantation. Our little plots of cyberland can and often do vanish with no explanation, let alone compensation—modern censorship being pervasive and almost untraceable. This is all happening now, even before the FCC fully implements the selling off of Net Neutrality to the tightening grip of the bottom-line driven, computational, corporate power structure.
In these cybernetic times, we seek to remember the endangered sensation of opening a journal like a love letter, delving deeply into its temporal erotic beauty or disturbing vulgarity, the feel and smell of something we can hold in our hands, write all over, kiss foolishly, stain irrevocably, tear up defiantly, burn-baby-burn or hide under the bed.
It’s true, publishing a print magazine in 2018 is something of an indulgent throwback, the horse-and-buggy ride of modern infotainment—and some might call it a bad waste of good trees. On the other hand, our omnipresent cell phones and other “devices” survive on coltan, a metal whose mining is currently decimating the jungles of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the second largest rainforest in the world, home to thousands of species of flora and fauna on a fast track to extinction, including the make-love-not-war bonobo apes.
So Greg and I take an Inner Journey into the pleasures of print, as well as the rather messy but yummy content of “Splosh ‘n’ Art” and our more disciplined, upcoming issue, “Spanking for Adults Only,” including a history of erotic spanking, an analysis of different types of consensual spanking, whipping and other forms of impact play and our new “Spanking for Dummies” guide to first-time erotic spanking experiences.
Can I Get a Witness?
In the midst of all the sapiosexual talk about spanking, sploshing, publishing and orgies, as the So Cal sun sets through the rainbow stained glass, my Inner Journey guide goes deeper into my most personal intimate relationship with my prime-mate and husband of over 26 years, my Prince, my Capt’n Max. What makes it different from all my other erotic interactions? What makes “us” special?
This could be a hard question, since so many things make us special (at least, to us), from hot sex to cool politics, but feeling beached on a moment in time, I just say the first thing that pops into my rainbow mind:
He’s my witness.
The intensity of our extra-marital relationships—from our erotic work with the artists, technologists and therapists-in-residence at the Institute, to the legendary (and real) sex parties—varies with our moods and seasons. But the two of us are always at the core, no matter what, whether we’re deliriously happy or madly shouting at each other, whether we’re in each other’s arms, sharing our most intimate feelings that no one else understands, whether one of us is behind bars (real prison bars) or on life-support, or we’re on opposite sides of an ocean, each in the middle of our own orgy. We are one another’s witness in the great, seething, sex-and-death party of life.
Yes indeed, he is my witness, and I am his. We are far from perfect spouses, but we do our best to be “there” for each other, and we’ve lived up to that promise, lo these 26 years of marriage and over 30 years of friendship. And to that, we say Amen and Awomen.
And closer. With all due respect to that Chainsmoker song that haunted us from Abe’s car to “Anchors & Oceans,” this kind of “witnessing” means getting closer to each other every moment, as you live out your lives together, even when you have to be apart.
But no couple is an island. Certainly, we aren’t. As much as we cherish our two-way witnessing, we need our Bonoboville community to keep us from going insane or letting our monogamy turn to monotony. One reason our “monogamish” (with a hat tip to Dan Savage) marriage seems to work is that we share our love, lust, romance and responsibilities with our Bonoboville of friends, lovers and interesting strangers.
It’s sad, but true that trust often kills lust; that’s why so many loving long-term married couples sleep in separate beds. Maybe being in more or less the center of a big bawdy bacchanal that’s also part of a business makes it easier to stay in lust, even as you deepen trust. In that sense, we’re like bonobos. Married bonobos. It’s a bit of a contradiction. But it’s worked for us for over 26 lawfully wedded years… and we’re shooting for at least 26 more.
Lifelong pair bonding may not be so natural for most humans or bonobos, but it’s still an ineffable joy to share “everything” with your witness. The Bonobo Way helps you to do this without killing each other, literally or figuratively.
Which brings us to the bonobos. They may not be monogamous, or even “monogamish,” but they can certainly teach us a lot about love, lust and trust.
Bonobos also empower the females more than any other Great Ape culture, including human; they could teach the #MeToo movement a thing or two about female solidarity. For one thing, you don’t have to “believe all women” to support fellow females, female empowerment and feminine principles in general.
Furthermore, unlike some understandably fed-up #MeToo enthusiasts who would prefer that all the cisgendered men take Elon Musk’s next Tesla to Mars, bonobos believe in taking care of their guys too, and yes, that includes sexual care. There are no miserable unloved “incels” in Bonoboville, which is one basic reason that bonobos don’t kill each other. They make peace through pleasure in all kinds of weather.
Isn’t it time we learned how to do that too? Of course, if we’re going to learn from them, we have to make sure bonobos don’t go extinct which, thanks to human greed and rainforest exploitation, is what our highly endangered “kissing cousins” are on the verge of doing.
Want to help? Donate to Lola ya Bonobo, BCI, The Bonobo Project or other organizations. Special gratitude to Malcolm Jones and the women of the Bonobo Way Female Empowerment Outreach Project, actively supporting female empowerment and bonobo awareness, and enabling us to go on journeys like this to spread the bonobo word, which hopefully contributes to saving them from extinction and just might help put more humans on that path of peace, and most definitely helps keep the Captain and I happily and monogamish-ly married.
Love, Death, Angels & Intubation
But our Inner Journey isn’t over. We dive deeper and get closer. As always, Greg asks me to describe a personal epiphany in my life that revealed my calling. Last year, I talked about my first-time masturbation memory from when I was two, and the year before it was an intensive slut-shaming encounter with my first boyfriend’s mom. This year, I try to demur, complaining that I feel like I’m being tested.
Not that I have to have one answer and one alone, just a story to tell, and Greg graciously prompts me to talk about my “near-death experience” 12 years ago, and how it felt like I chose Eros over Thanatos, even though dying would have been a lot easier and, at the time, struck me as far more pleasurable than struggling to stay alive, under the medical horrors of septic shock, edema and intubation.
That prompts Greg, who just went through a harrowing hospital experience of his own with a close relative (intubated for an unbelievable two months), to ask Max about the turning point in his experience as a visitor in the medicinal House of Death, hoping against hope that his little “witness,” over whom the doctors had been shaking their heads in hopeless resignation, will survive and be in his arms once again.
Max gets on the mic and describes an incident that was very real but felt like a dream, sitting in the hospital cafeteria, despairing over my dire condition, when a beautiful ethereal lady in a white dress who wasn’t a doctor or nurse but did seem to “work” at the hospital came up to him and declared that I would live and get well soon, then disappeared as suddenly and strangely as she appeared. Max is pretty sure this lady was an angel, and so is just about everyone else who hears the story.
Listen to the second hour of Inner Journey 3 and turn up the volume when Max tells this tale of love, longing and an angel in that beautiful baritone radio voice of his that made me fall in love with him so many years ago and every day since.
At the end, Greg gives me a choice between saying something altruistic or giving a shameless plug, and I opt for the latter, shamelessly plugging Speakeasy Journal yet again. It’s “handcrafted publishing, after all. Listen to the whole amazing journey, and remember, the goal is the journey.
After-Show at Tony’s
Inner Journey #3 is special partly because this was the first show after which Greg joined us for drinks at Tony’s, the little restaurant under the radio station.
Of course, our off-air conversation went even deeper into all those controversial areas that we may have felt constrained from talking about on the air.
Also at Tony’s, I could curse freely.
We talked about the future of sex being attacked from both sides, increasingly unhinged Trumpers on the far right and traumatized #MeToo on the feminist left, with the brain-cell-sucking internet down the middle, and artificial intelligence threatening to overwhelm our natural sexual desire–among other human characteristics–and perhaps even our capacity to love.
Maybe it’ll happen, some Trumpocalyptic day sooner than we think, the end of love… but not yet. We can still share love, between witnesses, friends and sexy strangers and maybe, if we follow the Bonobo Way, the whole world.
Our adorable waitress (who’s also an artist) Kacy was mortified when Abe reminded her that he ordered a steak, not the burger she brought him, but then he thought about it and, seemingly struck by a bonoboesque notion—between being so hungry and Kacy looking so crestfallen (what would she tell the chef?) and the burger looking pretty good—he agreed to eat it, and in that magical moment of harmonious agreement, made everyone deliriously, almost orgasmically happy.
Having been so pleasured (and just plain relieved), Kacy wanted to know more about us, so we showed her a Speakeasy Journal, and she liked it so much, we gave it to her, signed and everything. Food and sex, baby!
Then Greg and I disagreed about one more thing and, after two flutes of Tony’s special champagne, I can’t say I remember what it was, but it had something to do with “women being women” and must be continued on “Inner Journey 4” because suddenly he had to go and we had to go, and even Kacy was closing up Tony’s.
So off we went, with Abe at the wheel again, and within about an hour, we were back in Bonoboville, and the two old prime-mates were alone again, climaxing in each other’s arms, the arms we’ve gotten to know so well but, happily, never tired of in 27+ years, as we bear and bare “witness” to each other’s ups and downs, creating and constantly recreating the romance that just seems to deepen as we continue on our journey.
© August 1, 2018. 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.