Serena Gaia

Make love the ecology of your life

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#metoo: When It’s Time for the Bonobo Way to Replace the Trumpanzees

I am interested in a wider perspective for the #metoo movement, one that does bring together a number of correlated factors.

As a lover of clothing optional environments and a naturist, I completely agree that dress codes should not be imposed on any one gender more than another, let alone hijabs or burkas.

However, what I see on TV and in today’s fashion and entertainment industry (including, alas, most of the mainstream news) is the fashioning of a “woman” who is invariably youthful looking, excessively thin, perilously walking on trampoline type of stiletto heals that make it impossible to fight or flee, with wide surfaces of exposed skin regardless of temperature, and adornments that complete the image of a super decorated object available for viewing.

Why is this?

I don’t see any men intent in self decorating like this. I would like to. They would interest me. The Belmondo’s, the Pierre Clementi’s, the Alain Delon’s, the Billy Crystal’s of earlier years have disappeared. Where are they? I miss them.

Instead the scene of visualizable guys is full of trumpanzees (a Susan M Block neologism) who heavily wade thru life, with ugly limbs and muzzles full of mien, precisely like the main accused in the #metoo campaign: trumpanzee-in-chief and his doubles, Ailes and Weinstein. Who all, of course, like to be pictured next to the super decorative women described above. Even though it goes without saying that the “she” in question is barely containing her repulsion for the trumpanzee on shift, while the production of glamour is where her intelligence is applied to forge the hope for a career.

This produces an enormous gender difference. A monstrous one for our Bonoboesque species. Suppose you come of age in this era, who are the models? What stereotypes do you internalize and then reproduce? Can you really distance yourself from this polarizing trumpanzeeism and still hope for a career in, say, cinema, TV, politics or other lines of work that involve high visibility?

That’s the tragedy, I think.

The tragedy of the culture as a whole.

Then of course there are the individual dramas. We’ve all had them, smaller, bigger. And so I do say #metoo, even though I don’t want to emphasize that. A little squeeze on the butt on the city bus to school when I was 15 is nothing compared to what I observe now.

I am envisioning a bunch of sensuous, feminine, androgynous young men with gentle, seemly faces enfolded in wavy manes, encircled in dainty curls, with puffed up lips, glistening eyes, perked up nipples, and groovy tushes displaying their sensual beauty for everyone to see, enjoy, and model after. I sense their deep devotion to the pleasure of women.

“What kind of animals do we want to be?”  Asks the ecosexual person in me.

May the Bonobo Way soon replace the Trumpanzees!

Let’s hold that thought together till it becomes true.
Thank you.
aka Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD
Erstwhile Professor of Humanities and Cinema at UPRM
Convenor of Practices of Ecosexuality: A Symposium
Fellow at the Humanities Institute, University of Connecticut, Storrs (2012-13)
Project: “Amorous Visions: Ecosexual Perspectives on Italian Cinema”
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Saving the Bonobos May Very Well Save the Peaceful Animal Who Lives Within You

BonoboWayA Review of The Bonobo Way by Susan M. Block. Beverly Hills, CA: Gardner and Daughters, 2015.

It is a real pleasure to read Dr. Susan M. Block’s most recent book. It is a pleasure on all counts: the style is fun, humorous, at times satirical with a touch of the surreal. It is very warm, fuzzy, and down to Earth too, with its main points made very clear. The book’s philosophy is meaningful, persuasive, and especially significant at this time in the evolution of our species, when we are in desperate need of new paradigms to shift toward more inclusive, fluid, and sustainable practices of love. Thanks Dr. Suzy!

Susan M. Block’s research is very significant too. The book proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that Bonobos are the missing link in the natural chain that connects bisexuality, polyamory, and ecosexuality.  The bi love that reaches beyond genders and the poly love that reaches beyond numbers are just preludes to the ecosexual love that reaches beyond genders, numbers, orientations, ages, races, origins, species, and biological realms, to embrace all of life as a partner with significant and enduring rights. Which is exactly what Bonobos do, and what we humans could also do if only we were more willing to learn from our amorous cousins.

There is no history of interspecies murder among the members of this species. Isn’t that something? And all styles of recreational sex are practiced with the pleasurable result of effectively keeping the social peace. Bonobos are the cousin ape species that proves the power of a repressed aspect of human nature we would do well to embrace more fully: the one that loves love and is loved back with the gift of peace.

Bonobos, reasons Dr. Suzy, are also the non-human species whose culture proves that “nature” is replete with all forms of sexual and amorous expression well beyond what’s required for the continuation of individual genes. There is nothing more natural to Bonobos than practicing what has for way too long been considered “perverse” in humans, including such feats as erotic expression between males, between females, among multiple players, across generations, and with the added options of anal pleasure and of making out in full public view. How interesting for those who disapprove of these behaviors in humans as “unnatural.” More observation of “nature” reveals the ideological meaning of Darwinian concepts of evolution through competition. When Capitalism is dressed as “science” it can pass as a poor justifications for violence with a touch of Victorian prudishness.

Are we really the pinnacle of evolution and the species “made in god’s image”? Or are we just one of many ape species who would do well to leave that pedestal voluntarily before our hubris destroys the lover we all share: Gaia, or the third planet Earth?

We’ll leave the answer to your wisdom. Meanwhile, aping the apes may provide all the experiential knowledge one needs. And as you get to read this highly recommended book, you’ll be blessed with more lessons from the art of analytical observation as practiced by Dr. Suzy. Her research on Bonobos proves that the kind of amorous behaviors many of us believe to be the exclusive mark of human love are actually natural in a much wider sense. For instance, Bonobos practice their own style of French kissing, they make love face to face with abundant eye-to-eye gazing, they take care of each other when in need, while also enjoying abundant mutual grooming. Romantic, no? Perhaps, in defining our species as distinct from “nature” we have been a bit too hubristic too. How could we be the inventors of “true” love if our apish cousins do it too? And, if romance is just as natural as an orgy to Bonobos, could this wide range of erotic and amorous expression not be natural for us humans too? “No couple is an island,” claims Dr. Suzy. And of course it isn’t, as even old-pal Dante knew when he wrote: “love which will not absolve a beloved from loving (someone) in turn,” and then proceeded to explain that Paolo and Francesca kissed while turned on by the courtly love book they were reading. “Amor ch’a nullo amato amar perdona,” reads the original.  Perhaps love, as this ancient poet knew, is “the force that moves the sky and other stars.” It’s the ecology of life: the ecosexual energy that connects all live beings, as our team of authors claim in Ecosexuality. Bonobos seem to have a real sense of this: they build social networks of mutual support and sustainability via erotic and amorous behavior. They honor wisdom, age, and femininity, which is another way to allow nature to inspire the arts of love.

This brings me to the very significant political point of the book. “The evolution of peace through pleasure” invoked by Dr. Suzy will really happen if we all get to release our inner Bonobo. In a process of Deleuzian reminiscence, Susan M. Block suggests we can resuscitate the “animal” within. As announced by the visionary French theorist, “becoming-animal” is the transformative process that sets the tone of humility, and yin energy, and vulnerability that will make our species more capable of learning from our more “natural” cousins. Let’s ask the ecosexual primates whose life is more connected to Gaia’s metabolism, the lover we all share. What can we do about the problems that besiege our time, including endless wars, climate change, and the relentlessness of extractive industries? Releasing our inner Bonobo may be it. I hear your skepticism. “Evolving peace through pleasure? It’s just a pipe dream,” you may pout as you read this.

Well, here’s the good news. The Bonobo Way offers the scientific context to believe we can do it. It injects the humor that makes one want to act on this idea. And it provides the step-by-step guidance to actually engineer the transformation. How do we become “Bonobos”? The 12-step program designed by Dr. Suzy is very well engineered to evolve peace through pleasure on a personal and planetary scale. It leads Earthlings like us through the stages of observation, introspection, imitation and experimentation, creation of community, biophilia, and planetary awareness.

Saving the Bonobos might very well save the peaceful animal that lives within.  As a person who takes pride in living my life as an experiment in the ecosexual arts of love, I have enjoyed most of the practices described in the program and am eager to experiment with those that are new to me. My world has become a lot safer for that, healthier, happier, and one where I am at peace.  Like Ecosexuality as we do.  We’ve invited Dr. Suzy on our team for this upcoming book, and hope she accepts.

I can’t recommend Susan M. Block’s Bonobo book too much, and I wish a lot of joy to all those who follow Dr. Suzy’s wisdom.

~~~~~~

Dear Earthlings:

For all the above mentioned reasons, I, SerenaGaia have decided to name 2015 the Year of the Bonobo.  Please “like” the Facebook page for our upcoming Ecosexuality book.
Oh, and if you feel you need some personal coaching on how to become a Bonobo, please feel free to browse my Bonobo Coaching practice and connect with me.  I will pass my lessons along.
Thanks for your interest.  Stay tuned for more good news.

Namaste.

SerenaGaia

Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD

Author of Gaia, Eros, and many other books about love
Professor of Humanities, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez

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Bonobo Coaching – Practicing Inclusive Love in the Age of Gaia

Bonobo Coaching – Sustainable Paths to Inclusive Love
Serena’s Eros – Klimt’s Die Madchen

The desire to practice inclusive styles of love is pervasive today.  In the age of Gaia, we have discovered that nature is our hostess.  We owe her to share resources of love as generously as we can. 

Gaia, the Third Planet

Loving inclusively is ecosexual!  People’s belief in exclusivity–romantic, amorous, and/or sexual as it may be–is waning from negative experiences with conventional marriage.  More scientific evidence is at hand to explain this.  Hearts and minds connect in the noosphere as evolution is revisited.  However, not many people know how to navigate the transition from exclusivity to inclusiveness in balanced, sustainable, compassionate ways.  

Bonobo Conservation Initiative

Bonobo Coaching opens paths to styles of inclusive love that are gradual, balanced, and sustainable for all those emotionally involved.  Your coach, Serena, has successfully transitioned to a rich personal life of amorous inclusiveness where relationships sustain each other in balanced and graceful ways.  She has studied inclusive styles of love like polyamory and bisexuality for over a decade.  She has practiced amorous inclusiveness at various levels for about two decades.  She considers herself an ecosexual.  She is the author of several books on the subject, and has offered workshops and coaching sessions world wide.  She can coach in English, Français, Italiano, and Español.  She is fluent and formally trained in these four languages.

Bonobo Conservation Initiative

Bonobos are one of the most amorous and peaceful species Gaia, our hostess planet, has ever seen.  They use grooming, sex, and amorous inclusiveness to resolve conflicts and for social cohesion.  They are the primate species genetically closest to humans.  Bonobo Coaching is a style of coaching designed to sustain us humans in activating the virtues of our genetic kinship with Bonobos and put them to beneficial use.

When not freely chosen, exclusivity can be asphyxiating.  In the transition from exclusivity to expansive amorous inclusiveness, Serena has made all the mistakes.  However, she never allowed a mistake to kick her back into asphyxiation.  What matters about mistakes is the interpretation.  In offering coaching sessions, Serena promises to sustain you in interpreting each mistake an an opportunity to learn and move step forward on the path to the expansive amorous inclusiveness you want.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What is coaching?  How does it differ from therapy? 

A: Coaching is a way to develop through a confidential dialog with a person whose wisdom and experience one trusts.  This dialog intends to help one move beyond an emotional place where one feels stuck due to societal and conventional limitations, when these fall short in appreciating one’s multiple capacities and talents for love.  Coaching is for people who are well.  It does not intend to cure any condition.  However, it does intend to sustain one in developing one’s unique talents for love. 

Q: What can coaching do for me if I’m seeking to develop an inclusive style of love?
3WayKiss

A: Inclusive love is a way of love that expands beyond the mono paradigms typical of Western cultures in the modern world: monosexuality and monogamy.  Its basic premise is that love is an art whose conscious practice helps people develop their basic talents as amorous persons, and become more abundant resources of love for their communities and life as a whole.

Q: How can I get some coaching?   
A: You can make a coaching appointment with Serena by email or phone.  A brief assessment interview will precede the session.  If Serena feels that her coaching can sustain you in your desire to move forward on the path of inclusive love, she will make a coaching appointment with you.  Coaching can often produce results in one to three or four sessions.  Coaching sessions can be one to two hours each.  The cost is $ 60 per hour per person.

You can prepay your session(s).  Serena will receive a notification.  Please make sure you enter your contact in the payment slip so she can reach you!

Appreciation: “Thank you so much for all your support and your brilliant consulting in Malpensa! It has been really helpful…” Ryan from Vienna, 7-22-2011

Q: What kinds of coaching sessions are available?

A: Coaching sessions are available presentially and long-distance.  Presential sessions typically follow a workshop, course, or seminar.  Long-distance sessions are by appointment and can be set up on skype or teleconference.

Earth as Lover – Cindy Baker

Coaching sessions are either individual or with two or multiple participants. Typically, participants are involved in some practice of amorous inclusiveness.  Each participant is assessed individually before coaching begins.  The hourly cost of a multiple session is established based on the needs of the group.  It is usually lower than separate individual sessions.


Q: Are workshops also offered?

Gaia at Kalikalos, Greece

A: Yes.  Serena offers a range of workshops about amorous inclusiveness, the 3WayKiss Workshops.  They are designed to support communities open up the path to more inclusive styles of love.  A good example is “Compersion: The Spirit of Polyamory.”  Other options include “The Pleasure of the Other: Becoming a Resource for Love,” “Flogassage: The Bioenergetics of Multiple Loves,” and “Fluid Bonding and the Health/Safety of Erotic Communities.”  Details and descriptions:  HERE!

Q: How can I bring a 3WayKiss workshop to my community? 

Workshops are only available presentially.  If you have and/or are part of one such community, you can offer your place to host Serena and the workshop(s) of choice.  A three-four hour workshop is usually $ 30-40 per participant, with a minimum enrollment of 15.  Serena has a calendar of open travel dates.  Please consult with her before making plans.  She will offer participants the option of coaching sessions in the days immediately after the workshop. 


Q: How can I reach Serena to book some of her services?

A: You can email serena.anderlini@gmail.com.  Include “Bonobo Coaching” in the subject line so she will recognize your message.  You can also call her phone lines: 787 255 1175 (landline) or 787 538 1680 (iphone).

Bonobo Coaching wishes amorous bliss to you and your beloveds.  Practicing love in conscious and inclusive ways is sustainable and good for you.  Please let us know how we can support you in developing your talents for love. 


If you’ve had a rough Valentine’s day, don’t worry.
Next time will be better!
 Remember to honor the divine in you.
Namaste.  Thank you!
Works Consulted

  • Anapol, Deborah.  Polyamory in the 21st Century.  New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010.
  • Anderlini-D’Onofrio, Serena.  Gaia and the New Politics of Love: Notes for a Poly Planet.  Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2009.
  • ______  .  Eros: A Journey of Multiple Loves.  New York: Routledge, 2006.
  • Consiglio, Carlo.  L’Amore con piu partner.  Rome: Pioda, 2009.
  • Fisher, Helen.  Why We Love?  The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love.  New York: Holt, 2004.
  • Fromm, Erich.  The Art of Loving.  New York: Harper Perennial, 2006 (first published in German in 1956).
  • Kingma, Daphne Rose.  The Future of Love.  New York: Main Street Books, 1999.
  • ______  .  Coming Apart: Why Relationships End.  New York: Conari Press, 2000.
  • Millenson, Jock, ed.  Liberating Love: Readings from the German Meiga Communities.  Aberystwyth: Cambrian, 2007.
  • Robins, Suzann.  Exploring Intimacy: Cultivating Healthy Relationships.  New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010,
  • Ryan, Christopher and Cacilda Jetha.  Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality.  New York: Harper, 2010.

Acknolwledgment:
The name “Bonobo Coaching” came up in a conversation with multiple friends, and in particular Murray Schechter.  His sense of humor always gives me joy.  I am grateful. 

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Workshop 1 – Compersion: The Spirit of Polyamory

Workshop 1 – Compersion: The Spirit of Polyamory

In the wisdom of love, we understand that the arts of loving can save Gaia, the live planet, because they are part of the arts of healing.  A key concept in these arts is compersion, which comes from polyamory and is often understood as ‘the opposite of jealousy.’  Compersion is the joy of sharing the amorous resources that bless our lives.  It is the bliss of witnessing the love our partners receive from others than ourselves.  Jealousy often registers as a humiliating emotion.  How can this emotion transform into joy?  The 2 1/2 hour workshop is designed to teach this transformation in a series of small-group exercises that impact our inner and outer landscapes.  Compersion, the spirit of polyamory, is a vibration that animates our bodies with joy and participation, once we become familiar with the bioenergetics of this inclusive, liberating emotion.

Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD, is a professor of humanities at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez.  She is the author of Eros: A Journey of Multiple Loves, and the editor of numerous collections.  She teaches courses, workshops, and seminars on the practice of love and the science of Gaia.

Scheduled for July 8, 2010, in Bellingham, WA

Contact: Laya Shriaberg, laya@spiralsun.com

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Workshop 3 – The Pleasure of the Other: Becoming a Resource for Love

Workshop 3 – The Pleasure of the Other: Becoming a Resource for Love

The ecstasy our lovers feel is proportional to our ability to experience it as our own pleasure.  When we get to access this experience our education in the arts of loving can be considered complete.  As artists of love, we will be the source of erotic ecstasy for our lovers in such sublime communion that the pleasure of the other will become our own.

As a principle of erotic/ecstatic communion, the pleasure of the other is not new.  We can read about it in Sappho, Ovid, Veronica Franco, Giacomo Casanova, and others whose love lives have been celebrated in literature.  But how can we learn to generate this pleasure in our own love lives?  This workshop is designed to provide access to this experience.

The exercise intends to initiate participants in the practice of forming a pleasure team and receiving pleasure from multiple sources.  It can be done in a conventional or clothing-optional environment.  Participants form groups of 5 to 7 people and sit on the floor in a circle.  One participant volunteers to be the ‘pleasure emitter,’ the others form the ‘pleasure team.’  The ‘pleasure emitter’ lies down at the center while members of the ‘pleasure team’ sit around in a circle.  Boundaries are set as to what areas of the ‘pleasure emitter’s’ body are open for receiving pleasure and what areas are off limits.  The pleasure team begins to focus on pleasuring the emitter.  Members will stay tuned into each other and listen for signs of pleasure from the emitter.   The emitter will express pleasure with words, moans, and body movements.  These will reverberate as feed back with the team whose members will enhance the pleasure as they respond to the expressions of the emitter.

The exercise can be repeated as many times as there are volunteer pleasure emitters in the group.  Each round lasts about 10-15 minutes.  After two or three rounds, the group will discuss the experience.  Participants will share about what it felt like to be in either position and why.  What did participants learn about pleasure?  Is the pleasure of the other better than our own? 

A group hug can be used as a closing ritual.

A workshop designed by Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD

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