Don’t Be Fooled: It Is Not Only Humans Who Do Sex For Fun

Meet bonobo apes: along with chimpanzees human’s closest relative, the three species sharing 99% genome.

Chimp_bonobo_Darwin

 chimp & bonobo & Darwin

image credit: National Geographic

Bonobos and chimpanzees diverged some 2 million years ago and have developed in quite different directions. While chimps are male dominated, strictly patriarchal society with alpha males and increased aggressiveness, bonobos live in a matriarchal society, are peaceful, calm and, to humans’ greatest surprise, quite sexual.

Bonobos have sex for sex’ sake and do it quite often with quite many partners. They are creative in it, too: performing oral sex, changing partners regardless the gender and… oh, well… you get the idea… sky is the limit, and bonobos, similar to their human counterparts, are quite imaginative indeed.

“The greatest difficulty which presents itself, when we are driven to the above conclusion on the origin of man (evolution through natural selection), is the high standard of intellectual power and moral disposition which he has attained.”

Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man (1871)

But, is it really so?

Is Mr. Darwin right, or he simply did not know better?

Now we know bonobos: emotional, emphatic, sexual and peaceful. It is important to point out that the species was first distinguished in 1928, and described in detail in a study by Eduard Paul Tratz and Heinz Heck published in the early 1950s. Yet, with this knowledge, I can not help but wonder:

Are we – humans – more intelligent and hence more advanced, or have we only not understood, or did not know our bonobo relative that well?

It is believed that sexuality has created humans: the moment we had raised on two feet, making our private parts not so easily attainable and quite concealed, sex has become an endless game of romance, seduction, pleasure and deceit. The game is so irresistible that we are prone to submission our lives to it, we live for it, we drive our zest for life from it.

In case of us, humans, is it derived from the simple biological imperative of reproduction so the show must go on, or do we do it for pleasure’s sake only?

And, if we do it for pleasure, how has it come in the picture in the first place?

We may check our relatives, bonobos, again… peaceful in nature,they are real animal hippies. It is believed that such calm nature of bonobos is the result of their sexuality: for them, sex is a way of reaching and experiencing pleasure, relieving stress and bonding. Considering they have sex quite often, it is no wonder they indeed are calm and cool. The developed sexuality is presumed to be a result of the abundant living environment they live in. Bonobos’ habitat is a 500,000 km2  (190,000 sq mi) area of the Congo river basin in the Democratic Republic of Congo: rain forest area with plenty of food within one’s reach. Therefore our relatives, unlike chimps, have never had the need to search for food, or have experienced the lack of it. Knowing not of scarcity has provided for spare time they can use to develop other interests – sex being one of the main. This further provides for possibility to create alliances and connections which is more attributable to females. Maybe this best explains why bonobos are matriarchal.

Musing further on this, a thought comes to mind: maybe we, humans, are not as advanced and superior as we like to see ourselves, but rather are unaware of other species and their ways.

It might be sex, it might be woman power, but bonobos indeed are one of the most interesting animal tribes.

Love Gina Wings

What Dangerous Liaisons Can Teach Us about Connection Between Sex and Power

Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power. – Oscar Wilde

In his only novel, Les Liaisons Dangereuses first published in 1782, with English translation first appearing in 1898, Pierre Choderlos de Laclos depicts the seductions and deceit in France high class society circles at the end of eighteenth century. The plot revolves around Vicomte de Valmont and the Marquize de Merteuil who use their powers to turn sensuality into a game, thus creating a tangled web of seduction, affairs and betrayal. A story of infinite games of romance, Les Liaisons Dangereuses is, in its core, a story of power, questioning the connection between ultimate power, personality and sexuality: a question so actual and all-consuming, that the book was made into a great movie, Dangerous Liaisons, released in 1988.

This underlying question in core of the work is best depicted in the movie excerpt exploring independent woman’s survival in a wicked world of eighteenth century France.

 

And the dialogue script, revealing all there is to be known of woman’s position in a society:

– I often wonder how you managed to invent yourself.

Well, I had no choice, did I? I’m a woman. Women are obliged to be far more skillful than men. You can ruin our reputation and our life with a few well-chosen words. So, of course I had to invent not only myself, but ways to escape no one has ever thought of before… and I’ve succeeded because I’ve always known that I was born to dominate your sex and avenge my own.

– Yes, but what I asked was: how?

– When I came out in the society I was fifteen. I already knew that the role I was condemned to – namely to keep quiet and do what I was told – gave me the perfect opportunity to listen and observe: not to what people told me which, naturally, was of no interest but to whatever it was they were trying to hide. I practiced detachment, I learned how to look cheerful while under the table I stuck a fork into the back of my hand. I became a virtuoso of deceit. It wasn’t pleasure I was after, it was knowledge: I consulted the strictest moralists to learn how to appear, philosophers to find out what they think, novelists to see what I can get away with and in the end, I distilled everything into one wonderfully simple principle: Win or Die.

– So, you are infallible, are you?

If I want a man, I have him. If he wants to tell, he finds that he can’t. That’s the whole story.

– And, was that our story?

– I wanted you before we’d ever met: my self-esteem demanded it. Then, when you began to pursue me, I wanted you so badly. It’s the only time I’ve ever been controlled by my desire: single combat.

 

The whole situation makes one wonder is it all plain romance, or unconquerable yearning for power. Is power the secret, underlying motivator in all our endeavors? And, if so, what is to be gained from it? – the question even more important in lieu of the fact we are willing to put everything at stake just to taste it…

power… try it… own it… master it…

Irresistible in its entirety, Les Liaisons Dangereuses is a revolutionary masterpiece which has launched a whole new era of revealing the most deeply hidden truths, almost exclusively of power and control.

Love Gina Wings