Book Review: The Bonobo Way

Posted On: September 15, 2015

“Lana is a voluptuous brunette with a seductive smile and big, sparkling, cocoa eyes. Flirtatious and fun-loving, she has a couple of boyfriends, but enjoys her gal pals just as much, if not more…. In many ways, Lana is just like a lot of wonderful women we know. But Lana is not a woman, nor even human. Lana is a bonobo.”

This is how sexologist and “love researcher” Susan Block opens her insightful new book The Bonobo Way. She continues by describing her fascinating first encounters with her subject matter, the bonobos. Then she reveals more about this highly endangered species that is also our close genetic cousins and how they can inspire humans to have better sex and lead freer, more peaceful lives.

bonobo wayBlock’s writing is sharp, candid, and witty. I especially like how she weaves her personal stories together with what turns her on, including watching these primates engage in sexual behavior. Block covers a lot more about bonobos than I ever thought I wanted to know. But she tackles the subject matter with such a wonderful sense of humor, pointing out amazing similarities between humans and bonobos. I found it particularly interesting that bonobos don’t spend a lot of time engaging in penetrative sex even though sex plays an important role in their lives – as a form of stress relief, trading sexual affection for food and conflict resolution.

This book is divided into two parts. The first part is where we meet and learn about the bonobos, and in the second part, Block brings the message home and gives us the “12 steps to releasing our inner bonobo.”

I found her “12-steps” to be a very refreshing and interesting way to spice up your sex life. It might even be better than going through sex therapy, which can be hit-or-miss for some.

In part two, Block reveals her insights into how the “Bonobo Way” can be applied to us humans. She outlines how we can tune into our personal primal inner bonobo, and then unleash this inner bonobo, discovering our erotic evolutionary connection with these creatures and the rest of nature. This gives us a whole new way of being sexual and loving, and then we can share this pleasure and knowledge with others.

Six of her 12-steps include:

  1. See the bonobos, to observe their behavior.
  2. Be a bonobo, at least in your mind, so as to enhance playfulness.
  3. Release your “inner bonobo” in the bedroom.
  4. Engage in more “outercourse” rather than being fixated on intercourse.
  5. Combine food and sex—in the bedroom or the kitchen.
  6. Explore the opposite sex within yourself —your masculine or feminine side

As for the other six, steps, I’d rather you just read her book. I highly recommend The Bonobo Way to couples who wish to explore their wild nature, as well as expand their sexual repertoire.

Who is Martha?

Dr. Martha Tara Lee is Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching. She is a certified sexologist with a Doctorate in Human Sexuality. She provides sexuality and relationship coaching for individuals and couples, conducts sexual education workshops and speaks at public events. She is the author of the books Love, Sex and Everything In-Between, and Orgasmic Yoga. She is also the host of the weekly radio show Eros Evolution on OMTimes Radio. For more, visit or email

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