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The Bonobo Way: The Evolution of Peace Through Pleasure Paperback – October 30, 2014
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Christopher Ryan, Ph.D., author of Sex at Dawn
"Bravo to Dr. Block for paving the way for a hopefully more bonobo future. The Bonobo Way is a playful but insightful glimpse into our own sexuality and what we can learn from our closest, perhaps superior, relatives."
"Brilliant book. Enjoying it thoroughly!"
Sherry Rehman, Former Pakistani Ambassador to the United States
About the Author
Susan M. Block, Ph.D., a.k.a. "Dr. Suzy," is a world-renowned sexologist and director of The Dr. Susan Block Institute for the Erotic Arts & Sciences based in Los Angeles. An award-winning filmmaker and talk show host best known for her HBO specials, she is the author of numerous articles, essays, short stories and books, as well as a sex therapist in private practice with a global clientele. A leading champion in the causes of sexual freedom and saving the inspirational but highly endangered bonobos, Dr. Block practices and promotes peace through pleasure: The Bonobo Way. She is also the founder of the sex-positive, bonobo-supportive social media site, Bonoboville.com, and host of The Dr. Susan Block Show which can be seen and heard live every Saturday night from 10:30pm to midnight (Pacific Time) on DrSuzy.tv. Married over 22 years, Dr. Block collaborates on all her projects with her husband and prime mate, Pr. Maximillian R. Lobkowicz. She also loves bananas, though not as much as bonobos... or Max.
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Top customer reviews
If you are someone who gets queasy just by the mention of certain topics, words, or practices, then this book may not be for you. I personally don't get queasy easily just by reading or hearing about a topic. I take information as they are presented to me, filter them, keep the ones that I feel are or could be beneficial to me and toss out the rest.
As I read through the book, it becomes more and more apparent that the author is an expert in her field (also considering her credentials and length of time practicing). The book covers a wide range of topics, issues, and advice. A fair warning: some parts use words more like those in women’s magazine articles while some parts are characterized by a lot of uninhibited language and content. Some parts will have contents that will speak to monogamous couples who need to rekindle their intimacy while some parts will speak to those who engage in group activities. When reading this book, you need to keep an open mind so you don’t get judgmental about the chosen lifestyles of the author and those of others. (My principle is that we are only responsible for the things that we do, not for what we read or hear other people do.) If certain topics make you feel uncomfortable, skip those chapters. Read only those that you feel will be beneficial to you, your partner, and/or your situation.
Contrary to whatever impression the author might have given you from those videos, she actually speaks with a lot of knowledge and expertise. In other words, the advices that she suggests make sense. And she emphasizes repeatedly not only for it to be consensual and responsible but also for us to be sensitive and respectful of our partner’s needs and limits. “Be poetic, be explicit, be romantic, be outrageous, be honest, but be sensitive.” If you’re someone who can separate your subjective views and opinions from those that you form with more objectivity, then you will find this book a great, or even a helpful, read.
All that said, I have just one slight reservation about the book. While I don't deny the author's sincerity in promoting bonobos by educating people and encouraging them to help support this endangered species, I can't help but feel that the bonobos were sensationalized (e.g., coining words like 'bonoboesque' and 'Bonoboville') for the author's agenda and gain. For this reason, I wanted to rate this book only as fair, or 3 stars. However, I will not deny those who might benefit from this book—those individuals in a committed relationship whose intimate lives have slipped down into the sinkhole, those individuals who never were able to overcome their traumatic past which is now affecting his or her intimate relationships, those who are having difficult time expressing what they really want or need from their partners leaving them unsatisfied, etc. This book is not only about understanding your own sexuality, but also about self-awareness and personal growth. If you are in a long-running relationship, this book could help prevent that relationship from being flat and bland. “We all need good sex for our health and well-being . . . We all deserve the kind of sex that helps us thrive.” And it doesn’t always have to be the actual act itself, as the author suggests, but also tender, intimate moments shared frequently with your life partner.
In her book, you will learn about the fascinating life of bonobos, how they deal with conflict by having sex, and how this coping mechanism may translate to humans as well. Their lifestyle speaks to a happy and peaceful society, something we have yet to accomplish in all the time we’ve been in existence.
Of particular interest is that bonobos have a strong sense of feminine energy. The females band together and sex is used to keep the males in check. And while bonobos may experience unique feelings for one another, they don't appear possessive. They are, after all, not monogamous. The book is an illustration of a lifestyle that exists harmoniously, underscored by the relationship between sexuality and a peaceful, polyamorous society. The connection between the two cannot be underestimated.
Dr. Block writes The Bonobo Way in an informative and enthusiastic voice. If you are unaware of bonobos, her book will pique your interest to learn more about this fascinating species. You may also question how we have evolved as human beings and how far we have yet to go.
The hippies from the 1960s were right about many things, including the importance of nature, the use of cannabis, and the pursuit of peace built around a rejection of war as well as an openmindedness about sexuality. Their initial impulse was not fully sustained in the intervening decades, but thanks to more recent research, we, as a species, are more enlightened than ever.
The discoveries of today may not be known by many contemporary leaders. And some of this new knowledge threatens whole industries and even belief systems that have been around for millennia -- but, then, that's what Friedrich Engels meant when he wrote that the dawn of agriculture led to the "world historic defeat of the female sex".
What we know today is perhaps best informed by research into female-dominant bonobos, which are all the rage these days...unless you live in a cave.
There are a handful of great books already about bonobos, but none is quite like Dr. Susan Block's "The Bonobo Way".
The biology of sexuality is not exclusive to humans, nor is psychology. Dr. Suzy has done the research and she makes it easy, but you've got to read her book.
Actually, many of her arguments are quite gentle and that allows you to take just parts of it. Don't be scared of reading about things like frotting, 69, and hoka-hoka.
Most recent customer reviews
It's really an engrossing read, not the sort of book I would usually find a page-turner, but it is.Read more