Bonk : The Curious Coupling of Sex and Science, Paperback

Bonk : The Curious Coupling of Sex and Science Paperback

4 out of 5 (4 ratings)


Few things are as fundamental to human happiness as sex, and few writers are as entertaining about the subject as Mary Roach. Can a woman think herself to orgasm? Is your penis three inches longer than you think? Why doesn't Viagra help women - or, for that matter, pandas?

Does orgasm boost fertility? Or cure hiccups? The study of sexual physiology - what happens, and why, and how to make it happen better - has been taking place behind closed doors for hundreds of years.

In this fascinating and funny book, Mary Roach steps inside laboratories, brothels, pig farms, sex-toy R&D labs - even Alfred Kinsey's attic - to tell us everything we wanted to know about sex, and a lot we'd never even thought to ask.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320 pages, ill
  • Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Physiology
  • ISBN: 9781847672360



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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

Light holiday reading on the beach. Giggle-tastic. Passes Bechdel quite happily as so many of the scientists Roach works with are women.

Review by

For a popular science book, the folksy, jokey tone the book is written in takes some getting used to. I understand that it's difficult to write about a topic like sex in a dry, scientific manner, but there are also other, better ways than innuendo and bad jokes.That said, once you get used to this and come to accept it, the book really takes on a life and personality of its own and becomes thoroughly enjoyable. It had me laughing in places and wide-eyed with surprise in others. Some of the research is fascinating and opens up a whole world of questions.Summary: if you're remotely interested in the "science of sex" (coition only) and you are looking for a very light-hearted approach to the topic, then this is worth your time.

Review by

Brilliant stuff, abut as funny as you might imagine science writing could be. Of course, the subject helps, but even when writing about leg-crossingly icky genital surgery Mary Roach makes it darkly humorous.

Review by

After getting over the giggles and settled down to read this seriously, I found this book educational, interesting and jaw-dropping. <b>If I'd recorded the soundtrack of me reading this it would be full of giggles, gasps, oh my gods and ewws.</b> Anyone listening would assume I <i>was</i> Bonking, instead of reading about it. <br/><br/><b>Mary Roach fully immerses herself in her research</b>, even taking part in some studies to experience the experiments for herself. I feel for her husband. Being married to her can mean finding yourself chatting to a strange man watching you having sex with your mad wife inside an MRI machine.<br/><br/>Her witty commentary on the history of sex research shows <b>the people behind the white coats weren't all perverts</b> and had a genuine scientific curiosity about sex, the most taboo subject in the world no matter time or place you live in. The negative effect this had on both their careers and their personal lives was sometimes staggering. <br/><br/>However, some of the experiments on animals...err...well, they were uncomfortable to read. Roach only reported on the humane ones but even those -I was questioning where the line between science and bestiality is, if there is one. I'm sorry, researchers but there was a gigantic EWW! moment involving a female primate. It was too weird.<br/><br/>Being female I was most interested in the female chapters than the male which tended to drag for me although penis re-attachment surgery was most...enlightening. *coughs to hide smile*<br/><br/>Certain statistics, anecdotes and trivia (e.g. items removed from naughty places that can't be explained without embarrassment) were spread throughout the book, many of which were in the footnotes so whatever you do, pay attention to those even if you, like some, don't particularly like Roach's writing. Her sense of humour won't be to everyone's taste, for me it's more hit than miss but I can understand why some see it as forced, trying too hard to evoke a laugh from her audience.<br/><br/>In an ideal world I'd want to give this to teenagers as part of their sex education. Anyone who might assume this is just some smutty perverted book just by looking at the cover, is wrong. Neither is it dry and boring, there will be no Zzzz's whilst reading this. If anything I'd warn people: <B>You must have a strong stomach</b>. There are graphic descriptions of surgical procedures that will have you involuntarily crossing your legs in sympathy.<br/><br/>So if you want to read about how men get erections, why some women orgasm and others don't then this book is for you. Have fun and try not to puke.

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