#GoBonobos in 2021
by Dr. Susan Block.
If “Hindsight is 2020,” let’s hope we can get our heads out of our asses in 2021.
Blame it on tRump.
Blame it on the Coronapocalypse.
Blame it on Mitch the Bitch for the Rich.
Blame it on cold-blooded capitalism.
Blame it on hot-headed racism.
Blame it on the Anthropocene.
Blame it on sadistic police.
Blame It on Rio—a dumb, disturbing, 1984 movie, though we actually *could* blame former Rio de Janeiro deputy, Jair Bolsonaro (now leading the country as “The Brazilian tRump”), at least in part, for the burning of the Amazon. And no, I don’t mean the worker-flogging corporation; I mean the life-giving rainforest.
It’s as if one of the lungs of the Earth is suffering from Covid-19.
But not all of us.
Indeed, 2020 was a HEAVENLY year for billionaires—our “owners,” as George Carlin would say—their fortunes soaring to Olympian heights never before seen by humankind, some of the filthy-richest reaching for the stars, leaving “the poor” in their rocketship exhaust-belching dust.
It was also a pretty profitable spin around the sun for the American Military-Industrial Complex (featuring the new Space Farce, christened “Guardians” in a prayerful nod to Drax the Destroyer and The Handmaid’s Tale’s “Theocracy Police,” the starlit pride of the War Machine, despite tRump’s faux “antiwar” bluster), recipients of a $740 billion Xmas gift as Americans struggle and die.
Also thriving in the Coronapocalypse: The Prison-Industrial Complex, still appallingly overcrowded, even with all the pandemic-related releases. Morgues, body bags and freezer trucks are likewise doing bang-up business in 2020 and, sadly, looking forward to more than they can handle. Yes indeed, if only Trumpty Dumpty’s slogan had been “Make Americans Die Again… and Again and Again,” he’d be a winner all the way.
Doubling down on death in his unpresidented last days, his thirst for Thanatos unquenched by having presided over 340,000 (and rising) Covid-related deaths in America, our lame duck Executioner-in-Chief is rushing to execute as many mentally ill Death Row inmates as possible while pardoning war criminals (when he *should* be pardoning Julian Assange!!). No doubt Bush and Cheney’s entire Iraq invasion and occupation was and still is a gigantic, ongoing war crime for which both should be in prison, but this Blackwater mass-murder scene was particularly grisly.
But it’s not just His Trumpishness; it’s all of us. Murder rates soared throughout America in 2020.
Meanwhile, our celebrated Congresspeople are busy fluffing the rare bird feather pillows of their corporate patrons, as they finally and very dramatically—with much whiplash-inducing back-and-forth—cut a tiny pencil-dick-sized stimulus check that will alleviate the physical and/or mental suffering of millions of strapped, trapped Americans for about two days.
Nevertheless, these same politicians still find time and “bipartisanship” to devise draconian, Puritanical, “White Sharia” bills to “stop sex trafficking” that don’t actually do any such thing; instead, they only punish consenting adult sex workers, along with censoring erotic expression for the rest of us. These Religious Right-supported anti-sex crusades are aided and abetted by ignorant “liberals” who also supported FOSTA/SESTA in 2018. Jumping on the porn-demonizing dogpile, Visa/Mastercard recently decided to dropkick those naughty Pornhub sex workers trying to make ends meet by cutting off their income.
Being a sex therapist, I’m particularly attuned to the plight of sex workers. However, the screws are being put to all workers—whether “essential” to the rich, thus expected to risk their lives for a bit of cash—or out-of-work and subject to eviction and food insecurity… not to mention an even lousier sex life, now that our financial corporate overlords have trashed their favorite sex workers like last night’s New Year Eve’s decorations.
What a compassionate holiday-spirited gesture in the midst of a pandemic!
Don’t Just Go Bananas—Go Bonobos!
One way or another—between valid fear, crazed paranoia, mask hysteria, depression, delirium, disinformation, mistrust in everything, stress, sex problems, cabin fever, confusion and, for too many of us, terrible sickness, sudden death and the loss of loved ones—we are going bananas!
One irony is that even the billionaires (with the possible exception of MacKenzie Scott)—even as they greedily suck up all the clean air in the room (or the world) and even though they are a billion times less likely to suffer physical hardship in the pandemic or anytime (despite that “we’re all in this together” crap)… even they are pretty miserable too.
It feels like we’re on a collision course with catastrophe—with Covid, Climate Change, capitalism (and that’s just the letter “C”)—and in our mad effort to escape, we’re going the wrong way.
Therefore, with passion, pleasure and a slightly greater sense of urgency than last year, I’m renewing my perennial New Year’s Resolution to travel the Bonobo Way.
Instead of just going bananas… Go Bonobos in 2021!
We can do it. Things look bleak (see above), but there’s hope (isn’t there always?) and maybe even progress. Let us take some comfort and inspiration in the fact that, thanks to all of us (well, all but about 75 million of us), the Sorest Loser of 2020 actually lost.
Those of us who have been mentally and physically oppressed by the constant, truth-defying whine of the Grifter-in-Chief—the wail of an undiapered adult baby in need of a stern Dominatrix (specializing in golden showers, of course)—have joined together, from the outer reaches of antifa to the inner sanctums of the Federalist Society (strange bedfellows indeed), to push Trumpty Dumpty off his damn wall.
And all the Wannabe King’s Horseshit-Spewers and all his Faux-Manly Men can’t put Trumpty Dumpty together again—though, as of this writing, they’re still trying.
Mainly they’re getting egg on their face—or hair dye—but they’re still trying.
The Trumpus is indeed the “Sorest Loser” ever, the first President whose favorite winter holiday must be Festivus; taking the “Airing of Grievances” to lower levels of human decrepitude than even Seinfeld fans imagined.
Talk about playing Pin the Blame on the Donkey… or RINO or anybody really.
Joe Biden is no Messiah, quite the contrary, and he is already disappointing even the most optimistic progressives. But at least, he’s not the daily five-alarm fire we’ve had in the Trumpster Dumpster for four years. But bidin’ our time with Biden could put many progressives to sleep. Joe and Kamala could do some good things, but only if we give them a push. We pushed Trumpty Dumpty off that Wall; but pushing Joe and Kamala to actually help the people who need it could prove more daunting.
Blowback from tRump’s Great Adventure in Losing Bigly could be a rude awakening. We succeeded in Smashing Trumpkin (yay us!), but everything might not come up roses where we bury the pieces; rather those Trumpkin seeds of anger and disinformation might sprout into a raging tRump run in 2024 (Gallup just named him America’s “Most Admired Man”), as even more virulent MAGAts, human murder wasps and swamp things crawl out of the poisoned soil.
We’re ’21: Let’s Act Adult & #GoBonobos!
That’s okay because my “Resolution to Go Bonobos in 2021” mirrors my 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 resolutions, which makes 2021 (MMXXI) the seventh Year of the Bonobo, and isn’t seven a lucky number? Three sevens (21) is the highest hand in blackjack, and now that our millennium has reached the age it’s old enough to gamble, drink and have sex in every state, it’s time to grow up (here’s looking at you, Diaper Don), act *adult* and #gobonobos.
Acting adult means being responsible—as opposed to, say playing the blame game, not to mention playing golf while thousands are dying under your command.
It also means having what we often—in our Puritanical efforts to avoid spelling out the word “s-e-x”—call “adult fun.”
Which brings us back to bonobos. If there were an “adults only” section of the zoo, it would be the “Make Love Not War” bonobo exhibit. Bonobos have a lot of sex—both quality and quantity—and they use it to resolve conflict and keep the peace in their communities. Though bonobos are often observed doing the dirty in a Bonobo Sutra of different positions, no bonobo has ever been seen killing another bonobo in the wild or captivity. This has something to do with all the sex. Bonobos make peace through pleasure.
With human murder rates on the rise and sexual restrictions tightening their chokehold on erotic expression, 2021 seems like a good year to go bonobos.
Thus, it’s my new year’s resolution for 2021. But… can I keep it? Could you?
Unfortunately, we gun-toting, bomb-dropping humans are a long way from the Bonobo Way.
And yet we’re so close! Along with common chimpanzees, bonobos are the closest nonhuman animals to human, over 98% genetically similar. Some researchers consider bonobos to be a close living model of early people. In their gait and facial structure, they resemble Australopithecus, an ape that went extinct about two million years ago and is believed to be among the ancestors of humankind. Bonobo studies demonstrate that language communication, cooperation, playing practical jokes and other complex activities that we used to think of as solely human can be performed by these amazing apes.
Does it bother you that I compare a hooting, hairy ape to you, a dignified, civilized Homo sapien?
Well, you have to admit some of us are getting pretty hairy in quarantine.
Nevertheless, many on the Religious Right and the Woke Left do NOT like this long-held scientifically proven notion that we, and therefore they, are very close to apes. As a bonobo advocate, I’ve run into both types of great ape denialists.
On the Religious Right, we have the Evangelicals who believe that “God”—often defined as a mysterious Superhuman hovering above and within us—gave “Man” (and, to a lesser degree, Woman) dominion over all the animals, under the assumption that “he” (Man, that is) isn’t one of these lowly creatures.
Forget the fact that humans often behave in far more beastly ways than most beasts. Creationists and the like prefer to align us more closely with the mythical “angels” in the sky than our real-life fellow beings on Earth. Apparently, God and His entourage of angels guide humanity to world domination. How can humans effectively dominate the world if we’re just apes?
Well, we can’t. And it’s becoming more and more obvious with each new year that we’re doing a pretty lousy, globally devastating job of pretending that we can.
As for the Woke Left, at least there aren’t a lot of Dominionists. However, we do find many who feel that talking about how close we humans are to great apes is invariably racist or, at least, racially insensitive.
It’s true that history has been packed with racists who compared certain so-called races with apes or monkeys in order to make some stupid, vicious, wrongheaded, dehumanizing and all-too-often deadly point.
Nevertheless, for what it’s worth in these anti-science times, the scientific consensus is that there’s just one race, the human one, and we’re not just close to great apes; we humans ARE great apes.
It’s 2021. Time to grow up, act our age, acknowledge our great ape heritage and go bonobos.
Yes, we could just “go ape.” We humans are equally close to common chimpanzees, and almost as close to gorillas and orangutans, all fine members of the Great Ape family. Indeed, we can learn a lot from all nonhuman animals.
But personally, I’ve got a lady boner for bonobos.
In their native habitat of the Congolese rainforest (the world’s other lung, also suffering from ominous COVID-like symptoms) and in captivity, bonobo communities empower the females, tending to put the older ones in charge; MILFs rule Bonoboville, and rape and harassment are rare. #MeToo could learn a thing or two from bonobos.
You might think that with females in charge, the males would suffer or get pissed off. But you’d be wrong. Bonobo males are pretty happy to have the ladies run the show; in general, they are less anxious (unless they’re being bombed), more youthful and easy-going than their stressed-out common chimp counterparts.
This is partly because they get laid (a lot!) by eager, confident, older and younger females, as well as by each other. Bonobos are pansexual. Everybody’s bi in Bonoboville, and sex, love and physical touch are the lubricants of life.
Indeed, bonobos are the touchiest apes on Earth. They are constantly “in touch,” breathing in each other’s intimate feelings, pleasurable feels, calming hormones, enticing pheromones and yes, deadly germs and viruses.
So yes, it does feel a little strange to resolve to “go bonobos” under current Coronapocalyptic conditions.
How can I “go bonobos in 2021” from behind a mask, physical-distancing and—aside from my beloved partner-in-isolation, aka my husband Max—not having touched another fellow human in almost a year, without a firm “happy ending” in sight to our current real-life horror movie?
I’ve long felt we humans would be a lot better off if we touched each other even half as much as bonobos do. Numerous studies have shown how much humans need touch to thrive or even survive, and when we don’t get touched, we suffer and, all too often, we make others suffer along with us. This is one reason that human homicide rate is up these days.
The bonobos’ focus on sensual, consensual, mutually pleasurable, affectionate, intimate touch, nose-to-nose communication and community cuddle piles—are key to keeping the peace in their communities, and I feel strongly that a human variant on that would help us do the same.
But now is not the time to reach out and touch each other—not in a pandemic!—at least not in real life. Hopefully, the vaccine will work against the virus and all its mutations, and enough people will get it so we can go back to being close again, and follow the bonobo way of sex and consensual affectionate touch… before it’s too late.
In the meantime, our kissing cousins have many other important (though maybe less fun) lessons to teach us.
In addition to being sexual athletes—physically and mentally—bonobos practice social tolerance, egalitarian sharing, caring and cooperation. A recent study published in Science Advances shows that bonobos engage in “shared intentionality” and joint commitment to getting a task done, whether it’s foraging for food or having sex.
We humans are also very good at bonoboësque activities like sharing and cooperating; that is, when we’re not being driven mad by war, poverty, alienation, forced competition, sexual repression and corporate advertising.
Bonobos love to share food and sex with friends; but they enjoy sharing it even more with strangers… who soon become new friends. They remind us of how excited we curious apes are by the new and different; it’s mainly our leaders who convince us to fear and loathe the foreigner.
Though consensual erotic touch is the gold standard of bonobo pleasure, bonobos are also “kinky” in ways that give me hope that we humans can sexually survive while physical-distancing, at least for a while.
For instance, bonobos enjoy watching and being watched (as well as being heard), which portends well for human attempts to pleasure ourselves in the virtual world. Though please, keep your Zoom Dick in your panties on non-sex calls!
They also stimulate themselves with “sex toys,” such as branches in the wild and rubber balls at the zoo. So, as we try to amuse ourselves with our vibrators and gasmasks, we can rest assured that it’s all very natural and bonoboësque.
In 2021, if you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the sex toy you’re with (apologies to Stephen Stills).
Bonobos are very lusty, but not at all greedy. These are probably the natural tendencies for most humans too. It’s mainly our corrupt leaders and those deranged billionaires who convince us that lust is bad and greed is good.
Lust has its drawbacks, for sure, especially in a pandemic. But greed is always bad for everyone, even the greedy person.
Bonobos love to play, sometimes just for fun, sometimes as seriously as we humans play the Superbowl. They like to win, of course, but they’re not afraid to lose.
That’s because, unlike the “Sore Loser” Way, the Bonobo Way isn’t a zero-sum game. It’s a game of love that sometimes entails surrender.
In war and capitalism (which includes Trumpism), surrender means defeat. In love and ecology, surrender can be sweet. It’s the Bonobo Way.
Orgasm itself is an act of surrender. You can’t *win* when it comes to coming; you either surrender to pleasure or you just can’t come.
Even in war, when the gig is up, it often behooves a soundly defeated nation to surrender. Though punished, Japan and Germany have also benefited from surrendering to the Allies after WWII, quickly becoming a couple of the most prosperous nations on Earth.
Refusal to surrender is stressful for all involved. It’s both awesome (in causing a Republican party implosion) and awful to see the Trumpenstein refuse to surrender, churning up disinformation and disorientation by the bucketload in his exxxtreme denial.
Of course, if this tiny-fingered tyrant would just surrender, it would be good therapy for everyone. His bogus challenges to his loss keep failing, but with my Yale classmate, New York D.A. Cyrus Vance, Jr.’s criminal investigations into the Trump Crime Family looming, the Big Bambino is desperately clinging to his Crib of Power. With a few more unhinged “never surrender” tweets, Trumpty Dumpty could unleash enough MAGA/Proud Boy/police violence into the streets of America to kickstart a coup…
Actually, surrender would be great therapy for a lot of the stressed out, undersexed rich. My Darling Billionaires: Surrender some of your dough and your happiness will grow!
This is why, as we surrender 2020 to the winning power of 2021, the hubby and I have launched a new radio show called “F*ck Da Rich” (F.D.R. for short). As that great French Revolutionary (who loved a good spanking from a stern mistress), Jean-Jacques Rousseau, first suggested, the poor should “eat the rich,” and many of 2020’s great protestors agree. The F.D.R. said “tax the rich,” which apparently makes too much sense to actually do these days.
In that spirit, we feel that “Da Rich” might find that opening their wallets to their community is as delicious as opening their legs to a great lover. Besides it’s in their best interest to surrender to the joy of getting fucked nicely (consensually giving up some of your excess money to the community, aka socialism) if you don’t want to get fucked really badly (the barbarians at your gates and the hordes at your doors or at least threatening and surrounding you and your bodyguards whenever you go out).
After all, it’s better to get F*cked than Eaten.
Rich or poor, we all need to learn to joyfully surrender to nature, like our kissing cousins, the bonobos, and all the other animals except us.
Domination of nature can only go so far. We can only fuck Mother Nature so long before she fucks us back—and not nicely. Can we learn to surrender to Nature? Or will human society die trying to dominate Her in vain?
Many pundits and “influencers” agree we need to share more, show more compassion, practice egalitarianism, be a bit more lusty (consensually, of course) and a lot less greedy. But where is our living role model for this type of behavior? Small human collectives that all too often fall apart before they really take hold?
Here is an entire species that does a lot of what we say we want to do, and they just happen to be the closest “other” species to human. Let’s take advantage and learn the ecosexual ways of the bonobo.
The best way to combat the siren song of greed is with the real bonoboësque pleasures of life. The antidote to the Prosperity Gospel of the Right and the liberal *religion* of Professional Supremacy and Career Success is the passion and compassion of the Bonobo Way.
We can best learn the Bonobo Way is through observing and interacting with real, living bonobos. Tragically, COVID-19 is not only a human virus, but also deadly to great apes, including bonobos who are already highly endangered.
If there’s any hope of humanity “going bonobos,” we shouldn’t let the real bonobos go extinct. That’s my resolution anyway, and the resolution—as well as the revolution—starts with me. And you. Since you’re reading this new year’s plea for bonobo awareness (possibly for the seventh time, in which case, my apologies for any repetition), I hope you’ll join me in helping save the bonobos through donations to:
1) Lola ya Bonobo (Bonobo Paradise) is a bonobo “refugee” sanctuary outside Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Operated by the luminous, tireless Claudine André, “orphans” of the devastating “bushmeat” trade are rescued, cared for at Lola, and eventually released back into the wild. Lola ya Bonobo staff are working around the clock, not even seeing their own families during the Coronapocalypse, to keep the bonobos well cared for and safe. Donations are administered by Friends of Bonobos.
2) The Bonobo Conservation Initiative (BCI), founded by my amazing friend, Sally Coxe, works with indigenous people to develop a Bonobo Peace Forest, providing much-needed food, medical care, school supplies and jobs to villagers who live in the bonobos’ area to protect their precious and vulnerable wild populations from the ruthless or uninformed poachers who would shoot them for bushmeat.
3) The Bonobo Project, under the direction of Ashley Stone, is helping to spread the word about bonobos, their inspirational culture and their highly endangered status. Mark your 2021 Calendar for World Bonobo Day on February 14th. After all, Valentine’s Day is for lovers, and bonobos are the masters and mistresses of love… all kinds of love.
Thus, in 2021, I resolve to do what I can to help save the bonobos, to release my inner bonobo and to help others to release theirs (if they so desire), to put pleasure before greed and love before hate, and to hold our leaders to that sexy, sustainable standard.
If and when “better times” are here, hopefully, this year, let’s make the most of them! In the meantime, let’s make the most of these strange days we are forced to share through the Coronapocalypse, however it may unfold.
There are lessons in bonobo love to learn and enjoy in every day.
Amen and AWOMEN.
Happy Nude Rear and #GoBonobos in 2021!
© January 1, 2021. 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. Watch The Dr. Susan Block Show live every Saturday night from Bonoboville. For information, call 213-291-9497. Email comments or questions to her at firstname.lastname@example.org and you will get a reply.
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