The Bonobo Factor: More Sex

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Read the introduction to this series of posts here.

Bonobo Secret To Love 01 - More Sex = Less Conflict

“Sex At Dawn” co-author Christopher Ryan writes:

As the great primatologist, Frans de Waal put it, “Chimps use violence to get sex, while bonobos use sex to avoid violence.” While chimps victimize each other in many ways—rape, murder, infanticide, warfare between groups—there’s never been a single observed case of any of these forms of aggression among bonobos, who are much sexier than chimps. As James Prescott demonstrated in a meta-analysis of all available anthropological data, the connection between less restrictive sexuality and less conflict generally holds true for human societies as well.

What does this mean for us?

From a personal standpoint, when I think of times that I have been angry, or prone to irrational emotion, I know intuitively that if a woman companion started to insistently touch and flirt with me, and perhaps erotically expose herself (all bonobo tendencies), to the extent that I could not resist engaging in sexual activity with her, my mood would completely change. My potentially conflict-causing emotions would rapidly dissipate.

This is consistent with scientific findings that show that the area of the male and female brain that generates “ego” shuts off during orgasm. This video by AsapScience, called “The Science of Orgasms” presents a good, quick summary of what happens with the mind and body during orgasm.

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I had a partner once, who insistently gave me three successive rounds of orgasmic oral sex, about 15 minutes apart. Each time she assured me she expected nothing in return. Just enjoy. I was surprised, at the time, by the profound effect it had on me. I have no trouble saying that she turned me into male ‘putty’. That is, aggression of any kind was the furthest thing from my mind. I was in a state of very agreeable, euphoric relaxation.

I have no doubt that female-inspired, loving sexual activity of all forms would rapidly diffuse male aggression within a group. Can we imagine a community where open sexual energy is lovingly employed by the wise female ‘community core’ for conflict resolution and bond nurturing? Obviously, we would have to get over our developed predilection for possessive monogamy and feelings of jealousy (more on this in later points), which is easier said than done based on our cultural conditioning, but, as Christopher Ryan alludes to in his closing comment, there have been interesting examples of successful, peaceful, abundant communities with an “open loving sex” dynamic similar to bonobos, past and present (more on this in future posts).

It is sad that we are conditioned to think that more sex equals more guilt and shame, and likely, therefore, more violence. The bonobos show us that exactly the opposite might be true and challenge us to shift our thinking and the way we live.

Read Part Three HERE 

Call For A Vagina-Centric Society?

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So, given this chemical bath, it is fair to say that the vagina is not just a sex organ at all, but a powerful mediator of female confidence, creativity and the sense of the connections between things.

So commented Naomi Woolf as she discussed her recent book “Vagina” in an article in The Guardian. Her book explores the latest scientific discoveries about the brain-vagina connection in women. Among other things she shows:

  • Female orgasm is much more than just pleasure. It produces specific, positive states of mind.
  • Based on the powerful brain-vagina connection, there is no such thing as non-violent rape.
  • The clitoris and g-spot are likely part of the same neural structure.
  • Understanding women’s anatomy and pleasure should lead to more satisfactory sexual experiences for women.
  • Stimulating different parts of a woman’s vagina will activate different brain functions and trigger different emotions.
  • Women have many more “neural termini” in their pelvises than men. Therefore their sexual response is different than men.
  • Beyond the realm of culture and value judgments, experiments show the importance of unfettered female desire in evolutionary process.
  • The vagina powerfully affects female consciousness, confidence, risk-taking and autonomy.

Her book is a needed call to action for women to “rebel” against patriarchy. She concludes that these discoveries make it clear why “female sexuality, and the vagina in particular, have been controlled, abused, targeted, derided and shamed” for centuries.

Rather than focus on the wrongs of the past, as difficult as they may be, I would prefer to look at how they can spur us onward, as men, to honor the amazing capacity of women in a new societal vision. Men, after all, are probably just as ignorant about the benefits of a society where women are fully activated, honored, loved and ‘enlarged’. We need to explore a new model, where the shackles of the past (reflected in the embedded shame and guilt of our modern cultures) are broken, where female desire is fully embraced, where the loving sexual energy men share with their women is seen as a form of divine worship, where we all embrace the power of the vagina to give rise to a more connected and loving world.