Don Bauder 5:38 p.m., May 20
Save Sex Ape from Bushmeat
You probably remember bonobos from high school or college anthropology courses as those apes that have sex all the time and fashion hats out of jungle leaves in the rain. In fact, these innovative hedonists are our closest phylogenetic relatives, sharing 98% of our DNA. They have been taught to communicate via sign language and geometric symbols on a keyboard, and have even appeared on Oprah.
The bonobo, however, leads a charmed, even utopian existence.
Living primarily off of wild fruit, the bonobo’s exhaustive love life serves as a tool for maintaining peace and cooperation. They are one of the few non-human species to have sex face-to-face, group sex, and same-sex relations. When groups of bonobos meet in the Congo jungle, they often bond with a sexual “greeting” and share food rather than fight (see: Burning Man). When a new feeding ground is discovered, the ensuing excitement often escalates into, that’s right, a bonobo orgy.
Bonobo societies are matriarchic, dominated by female alliances, and are generally peaceful. Much like we sapiens, females use their sexuality to control males. A male's rank in the social hierarchy is determined by his mother's rank, though social hierarchies play a less prominent role than in other primate societies.
However, as a result of war, bushmeat hunters, and poachers, these randy little simians are now critically endangered. In an effort to protect our bohemian brothers and sisters from their less-cordial relatives, the Red Lotus Society will be hosting a benefit for the Bonobo Conservation Initiative , “a non-profit organisation which conducts bonobo surveys, establishes protected areas and works to increase global awareness about bonobos.”
A $15 donation includes tea in the tea room, a Vinyasa Flow Yoga class with Nikki Krause, acoustic music by Clayton Joseph Scott (as seen at Lightning in a Bottle), kirtan with Wynne Paris, and will conclude with local insta-dance-party latin reggae groovers Todo Mundo.
Sunday, July 24 – 6 p.m.
Red Lotus Society @ the Ideal Hotel
546 3rd Ave