The Bonobo Way vs. The Walrus Way
Thought I’d share this email from Romeo in Quebec:
Dear Dr Block
I have read several of your articles in the past and have always thoroughly enjoyed your brilliant and incisive analysis of current and not so current events that are going on in our society.
I recently came upon your piece entitled “The Bonobo Way – Peace Through Pleasure” (The Horniest Apes on Earth). I must admit that I myself have often used the bonobo analogy in the past while discussing sexual freedom and aggression. Among other things, learning about bonobos has demonstrated to me how totally misguided is the common “wisdom” that tries to make the point that pornography and sexually explicit material should be banned on the grounds that they “encourage” sexual predation and degrading behavior towards women. I have always thought, on the contrary, that FRUSTRATION breeds aggression. A content and sexually satisfied person (or ape), seems to me, has very little reason to resort to deviant behavior in order to satisfy a… well, a non-existing need (we just hypothesized sexual contentment, right ?)
In the course of these kinds of discussions, I also like to point out the case of the walrus. You are probably aware that the sexuality of walruses is based on the harem model: a few big, aggressive males get to mate with the dozens of females that make up their harem, while the vast majority of males are condemned to watch on the sidelines and try and vent their frustrations in any which way they can. Bloody fights regularly break out between sexually inhibited males during the mating season. Some horny, frustrated males have even been observed in the wild actually lashing out and sometimes killing younger puppy walruses in the course of their violent, aggressive outbursts. Further justification of the “Peace Through Pleasure” principle – this time in the form of a naturally observable counter-example.
Just thought I’d share some of my ideas on the subject with you… first time I’ve actually read an article that publicly explained some of the reflections that I’ve been privately entertaining for some time.
Thanks for your admirable work. Keep it up – the world needs more people like you :))
Right on, Romeo! I especially like the way he contrasts the bonobo lifestyle with the walrus. I usually compare bonobos with the more violent baboons. But the Walrus Way is even more brutal.
When will humanity learn to follow the Bonobo Way, instead of entrusting our future to a bunch of fighting, flailing walruses?