Kasidie Interview on Swinging with Susan Block

by Jason Stotts

For those who don’t know, I’m currently researching information on swinging for a larger essay I’m writing on the subject.  I put up an interview I did with a couple I know who is in the lifestyle called “An Interview with Swingers” followed by my first attempt at understanding an aspect of swinging called “Swinging: A Different Perspective.”  While researching for this essay, I also found an interesting swinging website Kasidie.com that runs Kasidie Magazine.  This publicaiton features some interesting articles, like the one I linked to a couple of days before “Interview on Swinging with Terry Gould.”  This interview they did is with sex educator and author Susan Block and she makes some really interesting points about Bonobos and human sexuality.

KASIDIE: I was hoping to talk to you about bonobos. I’m sure that most people have never heard of Bonobos Chimpanzees before. So when they hear you talking about chimps to swingers in the same sentence, they’re likely to ask, “What the heck is the connection?” For those who’ve never heard of bonobos can you talk about that a little?

DR. BLOCK: I love to talk about bonobos with swingers… it’s funny, because I also love to talk about swingers with primatologists.

KASIDIE: I thought you were going to say that you like to talk about swingers with bonobos!

DR. BLOCK: Well I tried, but Bonobos don’t speak English. They speak sign language but it’s hard to understand them completely.

KASIDIE: Too bad, because I’ve got some stories I could tell them!

DR. BLOCK: Yeah I bet you do! The primatologists are always very interested in human swingers because they look at bonobo behavior and say, “Wow, this is totally out of this world!” But as any swinger will tell you, it is not so out of this world. But anyway, let me explain Bonobos. Bonobos also called Pygmy Chimpanzees are a type of Chimpanzee. Much like common chimpanzees they are 98.8% genetically similar to humans. People say they might have the intelligence level of a 7 year old human. So there’s a lot of similarities between both common chimps and bonobo chimps and humans. One very big difference between common chimps and bonobos is that bonobos have a lot more sex. Bonobos really have sex all year round. Common chimps only have sex when the female is in heat like most other primates and most other animals. Bonobo females hide their estrus just like human females do, so they have sex all year round. The females also have genitalia that is rotated forward like humans, as opposed to behind. With common chimps and most other animals, the female genitalia is rotated towards the behind so they’re pretty much always having sex in the doggy style position… There is nothing wrong with doggy style… But the bonobos are able to do it in all different positions and they have a lot of sex face to face.

KASIDIE: Sounds like humans.

DR. BLOCK: That’s not all. Bonobo females often initiate sex. They have a lot of group sex. They have oral sex.They have masturbation. They might partner up for a few weeks or months, but they tend to have sex with all different members of the community. They have sex as a form of commerce, so to speak, like…”I’ll give you a blow job if you give me a banana.” They also – and this is most fascinating – they use sex to reduce violent tension. That is….”Don’t be upset. Come sit on my face.”

KASIDIE: Hmm… I’m going to use that line next time I get in an argument with someone.

DR. BLOCK: There you go! It works. I call it The Bonobo Way, Peace through pleasure. Certainly bonobos use it to reduce physically violent tension. But I think it works with human couples who just argue and fight. Sometimes a little bit of sex inserted in the right way, so to speak, really works. You got to be sensitive about it. Bonobos are incredibly sensitive creatures. They look deep into each others eyes like tantric sex practitioners. When they have sex they don’t look all over the place like a lot of humans do. They are also very attentive to each other’s needs, very caring. They might have a little bit of violence, it’s not like their completely non-violent. They’ve been seen biting each other. They’ve even bitten pretty hard, to the point of biting off part of a finger.

KASIDIE: I was about to say that a little bit of biting during sex can be good… But that does sound excessive.

DR. BLOCK: What I’m saying is they can have problems. It’s not like they’re angels. The point is, bonobos have never been seen killing each other. And they’ve never done anything really deadly.

KASIDIE: So they don’t have crimes of passion?

DR. BLOCK: Not lethal crime. I guess what we’re saying is that these are not in another world from us. They are close to us and they show us the way. If they were completely non-violent I’d say, “Well, that’s impossible for human beings to be like that, we have violence ingrained in us.” Bonobos have violence ingrained in them too, but they use sexual passion to channel that violent energy away from brutality, and away from killing. In a kind of similar way I think S&M and bondage people channel their violent energy into a sexual activity. It’s not like they don’t feel the violent tension. They feel it and they may sometimes get out of hand with it, but they generally channel it. It’s the same energy that makes you want to have different partners. That is the energy that bonobos accept. It’s not like they don’t ever get jealous. I have seen bonobos get jealous and very upset about somebody having sex with somebody they wanted to have sex with… But they work it out. They accept that they are going to have sex with different people and that jealousy and other emotions come into play. They seem to have ways to work it out.

I recommend reading the entire interview here.
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