bonobo sex

Happy hump day! Once again we are half way through the week and I’d like to celebrate with another hump day post! Lets talk about Bonobos, or Pan paniscus.


Bonobos are often called pygmy chimps, as they look fairly similar to chimpanzee’s to the untrained eye. But once you’ve spent enough time around one species the difference are obvious. Personally I think that bonobos have much more human like features in comparison to chimps, and are known to walk bi-pedally much more often than other great apes.


Chimpanzees also tend to be very violent and have many war-like tendencies and live in a patriarchal society. Bonobos are much different in this regard. They are the great apes of love and are known for their… frisky personalities. They don’t discriminate against gender. Males have sex with males, females have sex with females, ect. Genital rubbing is a common greeting, even referred to as a ‘bonobo handshake’. They have make-up sex after fighting, welcome-home sex, and oh-hey-didn’t-know-I’d-run-into-you-at-the-watering-hole sex. Violence is rare in the bonobo society, they have traded it for love. They are also one of the only other species of animals (other than humans) that have sex face-to-face.

Mating pair of bonobos being disturbed by a jealous male. Bonobo (Pan paniscua)

2 thoughts on “bonobo sex”

  1. Bonobos are almost certainly my favourite animal species, though I’d have to argue about the bipedalism. Orang utans spend more time on 2 feet (admittedly in trees rather than on the ground) and this was one of the pieces of evidence that, prior to the advent of DNA analysis and the confirmation of the great ape family tree, suggested kinship between humans and orang utans rather than humans and the African great apes.

    I’m also unconvinced by the claims of face-to-face sex. While it is rare outside of humans and bonobos, I suspect that a number of dolphin species may – though I’m happy to be corrected if I’m wrong!

    Otherwise, great to hear more about these fantastic apes – we need to spread the word as too few people know anything about them!

    1. When was was talking about bipedalism I meant on the ground, not in trees, where orangs are more noted for their brachiation, but i hadnt heard about that being a piece of evidence that linked them to humans.
      I also didn’t say they were the only animals to have face to face sex because you’re right, cetaceans do, which I was saving for a different hump day post. 🙂 I didn’t want to detract from the bonobos by throwing dolphins in there. I want people to read it and gain some interesting tidbits about specific species that may make them more interested in the future and maybe even create more animal lovers by way of quick simple fun facts.

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