The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
Roach, Mary (Book - 2009 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

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Roach shows how and why sexual arousal and orgasm can be so hard to achieve and what science is doing to make the bedroom a more satisfying place.
Authors: Roach, Mary
Title: Bonk
the curious coupling of science and sex
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Co, 2009
Characteristics: 319, [7] p. :,ill. ;,21cm
Statement of Responsibility: Mary Roach
Notes: Published in hardcover: New York : W.W. Norton, c2008
Includes "Reading group guide" ([4] p.)
Contents: The sausage, the porcupine, and the agreeable Mrs. G : highlights from the pioneers of human sexual response
Dating the penis-camera : can a woman find happiness with a machine?
The princess and her pea : the woman who moved her clitoris, and other ruminations on intercourse orgasms
The upsuck chronicles : does orgasm boost fertility, and what do pigs know about it?
What's going on in there? : the diverting world of coital imaging
The Taiwanese fix and the penile pricking ring : creative approaches to impotence
The testicle pushers : if two are good, would three be better?
Re-member me : transplants, implants, and other penises of last resort
The lady's boner : is the clitoris a tiny penis?
The prescription-strength vibrator : masturbating for health
The immaculate orgasm : who needs genitals?
Mind over vagina : women are complicated
What would Allah say? : the strange, brave career of Ahmed Shafik
Monkey do : the secret sway of hormones
"Persons studied in pairs" : the lab that uncovered great sex
Summary: Roach shows how and why sexual arousal and orgasm can be so hard to achieve and what science is doing to make the bedroom a more satisfying place.
ISBN: 9780393334791
Branch Call Number: 612.6 R628b 2009
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. [307]-319)
Subject Headings: Sex (Biology) Popular works
Topical Term: Sex (Biology)
LCCN: 2007051990
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Library Staff

Following her book about cadavers (Stiff), Roach takes an in-depth look at the even more taboo topic of sex, exploring the rich human history of biology, expression and repression.

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Aug 07, 2013
  • artemishi rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A savvy, hilarious, and educational foray into the history of sexology, Roach takes a taboo subject and makes it charming. Whether you enjoy the history of sex research (which involves a lot of ridiculous ideas, out-of-the-box thinking and research, and ultimately not a few good surprises) or just enjoy writing that is both eloquent and hilarious, I highly recommend this book.

Oct 10, 2012
  • jmikesmith rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Another winner by science-humour writer Mary Roach. This time out, she tackles the science of sex. Very little was known about what happens to the body during sex until the 20th century, when researchers like Kinsey and Masters and Johnson started making detailed observations and examinations. There were also other, less well-known scientists and doctors, some of whom had very peculiar theories. Roach highlights them all, covering such topics as the nature and purpose of female orgasm, erectile dysfunction (impotence was, for a brief time, a crime in 17th-century France!), masturbation, and sex toys. Roach even volunteers for a couple of experiments because most research centres won't allow journalists to observe other subjects in sex research. She does get to watch a surgical procedure that has forever changed the way I look at oysters and parking meters! Through it all, Roach uses her trademark wit and footnote asides to explore the language, mystery, and absurdity of human sexuality.

Aug 17, 2012
  • tocch101 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A good read with a good research and an appealing way of addressing the audience. However, it doesn't seem to be quite as good as Stiff. A well defined approach and understanding.

May 23, 2012
  • gattaam05 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I love all of Mary Roach's books and this one is no exception. It's full of interesting facts and her humor translates perfectly over paper. I hope she writes another book soon!

Apr 25, 2011
  • marishkajuko rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Mary Roach is a great writer who makes it interesting while keeping it entertaining.

Nov 29, 2010
  • derekwolfgram rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Mary Roach is one funny lady. Her books always demonstrate thorough research and fascinating subject matter - she explores the history of her subjects as well as talking with current researchers in the field. After her breezy, lighthearted looks at dead bodies in Stiff and ghosts in Spook, she turns her attention to sex in Bonk. If you're a person who never reads footnotes, force yourself to break the habit: Roach's footnotes contain some of the funniest anecdotes and weird facts in her books. Roach's writing is cheeky, and at times I can see her mugging for the camera/reader a la Ferris Bueller. I want to find this narrative tic annoying, but she's so clever that I have to appreciate it every time.

Nov 13, 2010
  • nickb rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This was a solid book. Although, to be honest I thought it focused too much on women's sexuality. Not to say it didn't touch on men, but it seemed slanted.

This book has great footnotes, and is a well paced read. I'd recommend this or Stiff as an entry into Mary Roach's world of humor and science.

Jul 22, 2010
  • Spillie rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Highly entertaining yet at times you just had to cross your legs and hope you never come across some of the research tools.

Feb 26, 2010
  • lurkerlaine rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I'd previously read Mary Roach's Stiff and Spook. I found Bonk to be both entertaining and informative. Almost as good as Stiff and a lot better than Spook.


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Oct 24, 2012
  • wendybird rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Author Mary Roach has been called "The funniest science writer in the country" by veritable New Yorker staff, and I heartily agree. Looking for a dry, Hite-Report like tome on sexuality? You sure won't find it here -- but what you will find (and not for the sex-squeamish) is an often-hilarious look at the statistics & factual research behind many of our socially uncomfortable questions. I enjoyed this read so much that I will be tracking down her other best seller, "Stiff : the curious lives of human cadavers", and "Spook: science tackles the afterlife."


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