Bonobos in Paradise

The New York Observer reports that two books have used the same stock image…

(I know, shocking!)

…of two bonobos having some whoot-whoot in the standard operating position.


What makes it absolutely full of win? The same writer, Daphne Merkin, blurbed both books.

I hope you – and the bonobos – have a great weekend!

Thanks to Barb Ferrer for the link.


The Link-O-Lator

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  1. 1
    SonomaLass says:

    And her blurbs make both of the books sound worth reading!  Hmmm, like I needed more books on my list at the start of term.

    The bored look on the female bonobo’s face gives a whole new meaning to “monkey sex.”  (I know, they aren’t monkeys, they are apes.  But who ever says “hot ape sex”?  Seriously.)

  2. 2
    KellyMaher says:

    I am laughing over the fact that a woman whose last name is Merkin blurbed books on/about sex/relationships.

  3. 3
    che says:

    I’m gobsmacked because I thought humans were the only animals do it in the missionary position. Those bonobos look almost human.

  4. 4

    Okay, I’m a smart woman with a Master’s degree, and I don’t know what the word hermeneutics means…

  5. 5
    RfP says:

    I don’t know what the word hermeneutics means…

    Defining hermeneutics is kind of a can of worms, but it’s something this site dances around quite a bit.

    Hermeneutics = the study of how we interpret. It’s a field of epistemology (ways of knowing) that emphasizes human experience and social context, so it’s not about “objective facts” but more about human reactions to objects and the meanings we give to those reactions.  (Hermeneutics provides part of the rationale for teaching arts and having unstructured playtime in school, because cut-and-dried facts aren’t the only kind of knowledge or experience we value.)

    Basically, I would say a lot of the time when discussion on this site goes really “meta” (why do we think we think the things we think, rinse and repeat the thinking part) we’re working on a system of hermeneutics in an informal way.

    I don’t know how scholars have applied hermeneutics to romance, but I suppose the field could include a combination of motivations and processes like, erm, making stuff up here:

    - a hermeneutics of identity (this one comes up regularly in discussing cultural differences—in romance, maybe it would include the idea that how we understand fictional characters and various types of narratives—and different readers’ responses—depends on how closely they correspond to our own experiences)

    - a hermeneutics of feminine power (might look at readers’ self-image and re-imagining through narrative, responses to coming of age motifs, perceptions of the tamed/untamed hero)

    - a hermeneutics of justice (might address how we judge what makes a happy ending, who deserves it, what makes it “just”, whether our sense of fictional justice is mediated by our idea of RL law)

    People make up new hermeneutics all the time; I’m sure somewhere under the hermeneutics of self and other one could fit…
    – a hermeneutics of voyeurism (might look at how intense we like our stories, how we respond to seeing characters bare their vulnerabilities, or whether we see ourselves inside the story or controlling the story)

    And of course this site talks regularly about
    – a hermeneutics of online dialogue : )

    I’m totally making up these applications to romance without knowing the literature, but these are the *type* of terms you would see in other fields.

  6. 6
    Soccer Mom says:

    Am I the only one that finds it hilarious that sex books are being blurbed by someone named “Merkin”?

  7. 7
    Soccer Mom says:

    Oh good!  I see above that I’m not alone.  I hate feeling like the only dirty mind in the room.

  8. 8
    Melissa S. says:

    Getty Images should start retiring some of their more popular photos. Didn’t we see this on like two photos of the same woman but either reversed or something?

  9. 9
    Silver James says:

    I loved the explanation. More on those bonobo books – Daphne Merkin explains everything.

    And I so totally want to figure out how to use the word hermeneutics in a book.

  10. 10
    SonomaLass says:

    Wow, the explanation is pretty funny.  Interesting that bonobos making it is an image to associate with “unfettered lust.”  Especially since Mrs Bonobo looks more she’s experiencing “unfettered boredom.”

    In case anyone wonders, here is the humor we are finding in “merkin.”

  11. 11
    Karen says:

    Has anyone ever seen bonobos at the zoo?  Hot, wild, orgy sex…well maybe not hot, slightly disturbing.

  12. 12
    Alison says:

    Merkin! LOL!  I love that the article tries to be serious while repeatedly referring to “Ms. Merkin.” 

    It’s Merkin, MS. Merkin if you’re nasty…

  13. 13
    Amie Stuart says:

    both feature on their covers the same photo of two bonobos having sex with each other

    As opposed to what?? LOL

  14. 14
    Leslie says:

    Sorry if I missed an earlier post, but did anyone notice these covers?: and

    Up close, the corset is clearly the same corset, down to the lace trim. We have them both on the same table at BN

  15. 15
    Riana says:

    Hermeneutically speaking, I find it interesting and hilarious that this discussion contains references to: hermeneutics, bonobos boinking, and the definition of merkin.

    But it’s why I love you guys.

    I wish my catcha had been systems69 instead of 89.

  16. 16
    TarotByArwen says:

    Merkin? Her last name is Merkin?

    I’m so sorry. I’d seriously have to think about changing my name.

  17. 17
    J.C. Wilder says:

    This happens more than you would imagine. Several years ago Rosemary Laurey received her book cover from Kensington and when someone saw it, pointed out that Susan Squires had the Exact Same Cover.

    Right now there are two small presses with the exact same cover, same shading and everything.

  18. 18

    Daphne Merkin?  But, that was going to be my next nom de plume!

    What a great name for a romance writer!

  19. 19
    AgTigress says:

    I just do not believe that ‘Merkin’ is a genuine surname.  It must be an assumed name, surely?

  20. 20
    Kristie(J) says:

    I think my eyes cross or something when I read this one and I keep seeing Bonbon.  I clicked on the link expecting to see to weird chocolate covered cherries in close position.

  21. 21
    mirain says:

    Thanks for the great explanation of hermeneutics, RfP! I recently finished grad school, where this term was very trendy, but none of my professors used it in such a way that the term “studies” couldn’t have been substituted. I think they were just being pretentious and didn’t really no what it meant, either. You are more erudite than a dozen historians!

  22. 22
    Lita says:

    Someone else beat me to it, but this isn’t the only current title that shares a cover image:

    There is a new anthology featuring Robin Schone and a reprint of Sophie Gee’s The Scandal of the Season that share a corset and a pair of shoulders.

    Also, the Vampire Shrink and Lauren Dane’s Witches Knot – Celebration for the Dead use the same tattooed hottie.  I’ve seen this guy on several other EC titles as well.

  23. 23

    I know one of the authors (Francis Levy, his book is the one I recommended to Sarah) and I’ve met Daphne Merkin.  Hysterical but good publicity for Francis.

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