Episode 14: Veronica Monet, "Bonobo’s, Exquisite Selfishness, and Happiness"
Veronica Monet, “Bonobo’s, Exquisite Selfishness, and Happiness”
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Beth Crittenden: Hello, everyone, and welcome to A Taste of Sex: Guest Speaker Interviews. I’m your host, Beth Crittenden, here on Personal Life Media, coming to you from One Taste Urban Retreat Center in San Francisco, where it is our desire to weave orgasm into the world conversation and into our bodies. I’m so pleased that we have Veronica Monet with us today. Veronica’s here to speak as part of our Hybrid Practice series, which we have on Tuesday nights here at One Taste. She is a sex educator. She’s an author; she wrote most recently Sex Secrets of Escorts. Veronica works as an erotic model, an amateur porn actress, a sacred prostitute, a courtesan, a prostitute, an activist for sex worker rights since 1991, and she’s also involved with the groups “Coyote” and “Swap”.
Join us today on A Taste of Sex: Guest Speaker Interviews as Veronica Monet shares with us some principles of ‘sacred prostitution’. She defines “What is a courtesan?” We’ll hear some distinctions between ‘courtesan’ and ‘geisha’. We’ll hear why bonobos have it figured out, learn how to be exquisitely selfish with yourself and your lovers, and learn “what did Veronica Monet understand about sex after observing the mating rituals of her German Shepherds?”
Beth Crittenden: Welcome back to A Taste of Sex: Guest Speaker Interviews here on Personal Life Media. I’m your host Beth Crittenden. I’m speaking today with Veronica Monet. Welcome back, Veronica.
Veronica Monet: Hi, Beth.
Beth Crittenden: So, what would you like the listener to know about bonobos?
Veronica Monet: Well first of all, when I’m in a room, I ask how many people have even heard of bonobos? And usually about half of the room will say… will hold their hands up, and the other half has never even heard of a bonobo. So here’s what they are… they are a primate, a large ape, very similar to chimpanzees in appearance only. So if you saw a chimpanzee and a bonobo standing next to each other you would probably think they were the same creatures. As a matter of fact, back in the 50’s that’s exactly what the scientists thought. But they noticed that one of these chimps… the chimp and the bonobo were acting differently and they thought it was just personality discrepancies between these two individuals. Eventually they figured out they were actually two different species of animal. And the bonobo actually resembles us physiologically a little more than the chimpanzee, so the legs and the arms are a little longer; they stand more upright, more of the time. The vulvas in the females have rotated to the front, just as they have in female humans, so that bonobos have ‘missionary style’ sex. Now that’s not the only style of sex they have, but they actually do have missionary position sex. And what this does is it creates eye contact. So instead of having sex in what we usually call the ‘doggy style’, but rear entry sex, where you don’t actually connect with your partner visually, and your heart chakras don’t line up, with missionary position sex you are aligning your heart chakras and your eyes, and so this creates a different dynamic with the sex, so that they, bonobos look at their partners’ eyes for feedback as to whether or not their partner is actually enjoying the sex act. And if they don’t get the kind of eye contact that they’re looking for, they will stop having sex. So that in itself is just really not what we usually associate with animal sex. Usually we think once the sex act has begun, you know it pretty much has a life of its own, and whether or not the partner is having sexual pleasure is not usually a priority. But bonobos don’t have sex just to procreate. As a matter of fact they have sex quite a few times during the day, and it’s all about pleasure. Female bonobos’ clitorises are way, way larger than human clitorises, which makes me jealous.
I’m just, “Why did we get cheated?!” And the females are sexually bonded to each other. So they form political alliances with each other that are drawn along sexual lines. And they also have this face-to-face sexual contact when they rub their clitorises together, and usually the one that’s laying on its back will wrap its legs around the midsection of the other one. And again, it’s very close facial contact; and they’re squealing, they’re screaming, they’re smiling… it’s a really good time.
Beth Crittenden: Sounds familiar.
Veronica Monet: Yeah, so because of the fact that they are sexually bonded to each other, they form these political alliances, and then even though the males are bigger and stronger than them, they wield a great deal of power. And the way the power structure in the bonobo society is broken down is that the males stay within the community and they stay very attached to their mothers. Now they compete with each other for tribal position, but a lot of times if the competition seems to be a draw and nobody can decide who’s winning, the mothers will duke it out on behalf of their sons, and settle the argument. But what’s great about, you know… yes, there’s competition; yes, there are disagreements; yes, there is fighting, and occasionally the fighting gets out of hand, and somebody might like bite the other one and inflict a severe wound. But it never goes to the point of murder. Now if you study the chimpanzees, they are a patriarchal society, where the males are in charge, and that violence just runs rampant. And so you will get like two chimpanzees who are plotting the murder of the guy who’s in charge, maybe two or three. And they will literally form political alliances, and decide beforehand which one of the three is going to be like ‘king’ and the agreement is that “if you help me kill the old guy and allow me to become the powerful one, the one who’s in charge, I’ll let you have all the sex you want.” And what does that tell you, if the guys are deciding who’s going to have sex with the females, then we’re having non-consensual sex, which means that rape is institutionalized in chimpanzee culture.
And the murder can be brutal. I mean they can go from being best friends with somebody to forming these political alliances where they literally rip each other to shreds and drink each other’s blood. And of course this immediately reminds me of human culture for the last 6000 years… it’s just been brutal, brutal, brutal, and I keep hearing about, you know, “We just don’t know how we’re going to find a solution to war,” “We don’t know how to solve the rape thing,” “We don’t know how to get rid of murder; it’s been with us forever; it must be in our genetics; it’s survival of the fittest and that’s just the way it is, and there’s no way out.” And then I think, “But what about the bonobos? What about the bonobos?” Well, the scientists and the politicians and society at large don’t really want to hear about the bonobos, because first and foremost, you can’t really document their lives without documenting sex, because they’re having sex all the time! So then it’s, “Well, how are we gong to do a documentary about these creatures, because they won’t stop having sex long enough for us to film them?” So, and then the other thing is that when the scientists, like one of the leading primatologists who studies bonobos is Franz de Waal, and Franz de Waal takes this information to the scientists, and they’re like, “What’s wrong with those male monkeys?!” They’re not really monkeys, but anyway that was a quote from somebody, “What’s wrong with them, that they let these women dominate them?” So the idea that women would have power, and the idea that society could be founded around sexual bonding is so taboo for the world right now, that we would literally omit the one, to my knowledge, the one cultural example of true peace on this planet. And that’s why I find them fascinating. I find them fascinating because I think it’s… first of all, it’s amazing that we’re not hearing about them. You would think this would be big news, “Hey! Somebody found a solution… no rape, no murder, no war. How’d they do it?”
Beth Crittenden: They have lots of sex.
Veronica Monet: Yeah… well that is how they do it. I mean it’s really twofold: it’s respect for the feminine, because we’re not talking about a matriarchy here; we are not talking about females who dominate males. What we’re talking about is a balance. It’s an egalitarian structure, which accords respect to both genders, and allows everybody an equal voice in decision-making.
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Beth Crittenden: So when you’re kind of teaching men, what message do you have for them, that’s maybe along the lines of that? What do you specifically say to men about how to treat women and how to approach sex?
Veronica Monet: I don’t. I don’t teach men how to treat women. I teach men how to treat themselves, because really that’s where it all begins. If you learn how to love yourself, it comes automatically that you’re going to love somebody else. But we make a mistake a lot of times because we think, “Well I have these selfish agendas, and that’s in my self-interest, and if I go get this thing that I selfishly want then I’ll be happy.” And no, that’s not where happiness lies. So if you learn what real happiness is about, if you know… learn how to be exquisitely selfish… “Exquisitely selfish,” you have to be intelligent enough to see the far-reaching ramifications of your actions. So if you are not concerned about other people’s welfare and other people’s well-being, ultimately you’ve created your own misery. And if you really want to be a happy person you will invest in other people’s happiness. So I teach that. I teach, “How can you become the happiest person?” And you know, if you want to attract somebody, then you want to become the person that you want to attract. And really, most of the men who call me… and I work with people like, usually once a week, I have clients who… we have appointments once a week over the phone, because that’s what I do now; I actually work with people over the telephone. And most of my clients are men; I also have female clients, but for the men, since you asked about them, I’m mostly helping them get in touch with their feelings. I mean that’s a huge thing; it’s a big taboo in our culture to have feelings if you’re male. And to give that permission, you know that it’s okay to cry, that’s it’s okay to be vulnerable, it’s okay to be afraid, it’s okay to be confused, you don’t have to know everything… to just be human, that’s what I did when I was working as an escort, and that’s what I do now a sex educator.
Beth Crittenden: What permission do you think women need to receive, around their sex?
Veronica Monet: I think women actually need permission to express desire, shameless desire, to get beyond the whole… I mean I think we have this in ourselves; I think on a cellular level we all know that for 300 years our grandmothers were persecuted. They were burned at the stake; they died… at being called ‘witches’ and ‘whores’. And that it has been literally bred out of us to have sexual license and to be able to say, “You know, I have this desire, and I like this, and this is what I want, and this is what I’m about.” Usually… I even notice this like in room temperature… a man knows when he’s hot or cold.
Veronica Monet: You bump into a man, he’ll say, “Watch where you’re going.” You bump into a woman, she says, “I’m sorry.”
Veronica Monet: “Are you cold?”… “No, I’m fine.” “Would you like a blanket?”… “Oh, that’s okay.” I mean, all these ways that we just abandon ourselves over and over again, instead of showing up for what we really want, because we don’t even know! You know, and I’m still working on that myself. I think it’ll be probably a lifelong journey, trying to learn to completely come to embody myself and know how I feel and what it is that I want.
Beth Crittenden: What’s your favorite way to be ‘exquisitely selfish’?
Veronica Monet: [laughs] Well… wow! You know what… I… My favorite way to be ‘exquisitely selfish’ is to express… as a woman, I feel like I really have to get into being able to say, “This is where my pleasure resides. This is how my body works; this is how it doesn’t work.” Okay, my dog taught me something. I have this dog. She’s a German Shepherd; she’s three years old, and I didn’t get her fixed right away, so I actually got to see her go through a few cycles. And she’s a purebred, so I was thinking about breeding her. And I have a male who is… he’s fixed, but he doesn’t know it. So every… every time she would go into cycle, he would try to put the moves on her, and she absolutely adored the oral sex. Now I didn’t even know dogs had oral sex.
Beth Crittenden: That’s interesting.
Veronica Monet: I didn’t know they kiss. I didn’t know a lot of stuff. They do BDSM… they do everything.
Veronica Monet: You come home and they’ve got the whips on the kitchen floor…
Beth Crittenden: No!
Veronica Monet: Then he’s got his jaws wrapped around her throat…
Beth Crittenden: Oh, wow.
Veronica Monet: …and he could just snap it in two, and that’s their idea of foreplay. So… and she’ll slap him in the face, and he’ll run away, and she’ll chase him down and stick her ass in his face. She’s completely shameless about, “Okay, yeah great; let’s do it… no, stop.” That, for me, was just… you know, in my brain always, “Oh, you don’t want to be a prick tease. You don’t want to like get the man all worked up and then tell him ‘okay, that’s it.’” And I’ll watch her do this over and over and over again; it’s like, “Okay, yeah okay, that was fun and I want you out now.” You know?
Veronica Monet: And/or, “Go back and do that other thing you were doing, but don’t do that.” And I learned from her that it was okay to say, “No, that’s not working for me right now. I need to stop doing that.” So I recently got a chance to actually… I actually just came off of a… like nine months of being abstinent, and started having a sex life again. And it was one of the things that was new for me, was to think of myself more as a flower unfolding and blossoming, so that I could really get in touch with my authentic sexual desire, and realize that for me I need my own pace, and if I need to stop something, you know like stop having intercourse before you even get started, or just do it for a few minutes and then stop, and not do it until tomorrow… that was okay. But it took me… you know, I didn’t learn that from my mom; I didn’t learn it from a book; I didn’t learn it from sixty hours of sex education! I didn’t learn it from fourteen years of being a prostitute. I learned it from watching my dog.
Beth Crittenden: Head shops everywhere are thrilled with you right now. Well we’re going to actually wrap up now. This has been so interesting.
Veronica Monet: That’s a really good place to stop! Everybody’s going to think, you know…
By the way, let’s mention the new book Flossophy; it’s spelled F-l-o-s-s-o-p-h-y.net… www.Flossophy.net. If you go to www.VeronicaMonet.com, and go to the ‘sex tour’ page, which is… there’s a little picture of me sitting in a fighter airplane; click on that and you’ll actually find a link to the website for the book. But Flossophy.net is the website for the new book, which isn’t published yet, and this one is going to be about bonobos, and it’s going to be about doggie sex, and basically… I’ll put it in the words of a friend of mine… Star Child put me on the Libertarian convention panel the day before yesterday, and he wrote that what I’m writing about is what we humans can learn culturally from animals, and the culture of other animals. And I specifically, of course, am focusing on what we can learn from animals sexually, because I think they are living in this beautiful shameless taboo-free environment that, you know, we could benefit a lot from if we just stop being so afraid.
Beth Crittenden: Thank you, Veronica Monet.
Veronica Monet: You bet.
Beth Crittenden: This has been A Taste of Sex: Guest Speaker Interviews from One Taste in San Francisco. You can get text and transcripts of the show by visiting www.PersonalLifeMedia.com. You can also email us any feedback at OneTaste@PersonalLifeMedia.com. If you’d like to see other speakers, if you’d like to see our calendar, if you would like to learn how can you learn the practice of orgasmic meditation, please visit the One Taste website at www.OneTasteSF.com. Thanks for joining us, and I encourage everyone to practice at least one thing you heard on this show… be really good to yourself, be good to others, and the orgasm will spread.
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