Okay, this is a really entertaining book. But the parts where Roach talks about ED and its treatments, plus a few other parts, made me feel, as the owner of a penis, rather uncomfortable. Aside from that, it's a thoroughly enjoyable and insightful work.
Mary Roach demonstrates a curiosity for all things unusual, and her investigations in "Bonk" are both candid and amusing. Although the book wanders a bit, Roach's self-deprecating style and great sense of humor keep the reading light, and her questions are consistent with those anyone might ask about how a scientist investigates "the act"...albeit with a red face.
In Mythbuster's style, Roach's self-guided inquiries into how sex and research meet are only slightly scientific, but almost always thoroughly amusing. Be prepared for candid discussions that may not be well-received in car full of kids (or neighbors).
Although one can't answer specific questions by using "Bonk" as a reference, the book does answer a great many questions that may have never been asked ....in the first place.
Well written and easy to read (hear).
EveLynn in Kissimmee
Great insight into the Science of Sex and where the two meet!! As a sexual energy professional, I found this an amazing resource to explain many things that I experience in my work.
Good stuff -
Enjoyed Stiff and loved Packing for Mars... but found this book tiresome to listen to and I almost gave up. In retrospect I should have. Oddly, the only chapter in Packing for Mars that I did not enjoy was the one about sex. Roach's style of writing - with all her asides and tangents – did not work with this material. I can't quite put my finger on it but her humor regarding sex was not funny for me, was too adolescent, and became incredibly tiresome. The information about sex was mostly interesting... but the information (mostly gossip) about the sex lives of the sex researchers was almost distasteful. If you liked the style of Packing for Mars you should try At Home by Bill Bryson (not about sex but delightful to listen to) and skip Bonk .
I read science, biographies, histories, mysteries, adventures, thrillers, educationals, linguistics but not no way, not no how, romances.
No surprise here, this is a fun, fantastical, exciting and sometimes awkward book about the men and women who have defied mores and more standard professional careers to examine human sexuality. If you've read Mary Roach before then you know what I'm going to say next: this book is funny, full of wonder and endlessly interesting. If you've never read her before then WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Her books never cease to engage an audience. Here you'll learn about how the dead can have orgasms, about how researchers paired strangers together and asked them to rate the quality of sex, how certain "enlargement", "reconnection" and "repair" procedures work, and how the author herself has sex with her husband while inside an MRI machine, just to see what the data would be like. The reader is great and brings her own humor and love to this work. You'll squirm, you sit on the edge of your seat, you'll laugh and you'll put your hand to your mouth in shock.
But you definitely won't be bored. Go ahead, buy it. Then buy the rest of her books!
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
I wish all roundups of the current state of research in a particular field were as enthusiastic and entertaining as this one. Roach does a terrific job of exploring the history of sexual research as well as investigating the ongoing activity. It's important to remember that her focus is on the scientific study of sex; her exposition is restricted to what has been studied. And what has been studied has been somewhat limited due to cultural factors such as attitudes about sex and the proper scope of scientific inquiry and the kind of people drawn to science and those willing to push the envelope. All these factors are explored in Roach's book. There is a certain irony that a subject of such universal interest to the human race should be so poorly documented from a scientific perspective, but we seem to be working hard to rectify that in recent times. That said, those limitations have not prevented Roach from coming up with a plethora of interesting scientfic (and not-so-scientific) attempts to investigate sex.
There was a lot of information, well presented, and funny.
Some of the details were amazing, gross, fantastic, sad - all the more so because they are true. I love Mary Roach books because of this.
What a kick! We are given details on studies, by professionals, who are trying to discover what makes us tick at the most intimate level...our sexuality. The writing is done with humor, without being ribald, and one does come away illuminated. The amazing part; the lengths to which "they" go in the discovery process.
I didn't think I was a prude, but I had to stop listening in the chapter about the arousal of sows in pig farming. I just didn't want to hear any more. I'm laughing as I'm typing this, because how many times in life are most people going to type that? Expertly written, but people like me are, I guess, the reason that sex research has been so limited throughout time. Unfortunate. Very interesting and important, even, but too much for me.