This was my first Mary Roach book. I've seen her interviewed and really thought I would enjoy her work. I choose this book because I thought it would be the most provocative of her subjects. Unfortunately, as vast and as strange as human sexuality is, I found her choices of topic to be rather uninteresting.More troubling was the reader. This is supposed to be a humorous book. I would have much rather heard the author read it, as the Sandar Burr has no sense of comic delivery.
Love to read, and Audible has made the two-hour daily commute enjoyable!
I read and enjoyed "Stiff" (Roach's very interesting and funny book on death and cadavers) and was fascinated to see how she would approach the topic of sex. I'm afraid that Roach's quirky sense of humor wasn't up to the task.
Do not look for this book to be remotely titillating - it's pretty clinical, and even drier than "Stiff" was.
I must say her husband is a real trooper to even help his wife with her research. I did learn some, but overall it wasn't that interesting to me.
EveLynn in Wisconsin
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 -
"You will laugh, cringe and learn something!" This book is a respectful and highly interesting look at what sex researchers do; past and present.
I cringed at how little we used to know and how long the misinformation went on.
I was impressed to learn from more than one study in this book that regular masturbation can help with a myriad of health sexual concerns.
I laughed at footnotes are filled dry humor and sarcasm that lightens those few dry moments.
I feel I need to mention that it wasn't till midway through the book that I realized why Roach spends so long in the beginning describing the the challenges of just being a sex researcher.
As I read I saw that these people are harshly judged and have to work very hard to legitimize their work, which IS important to human health.
Final thoughts: I would recommend this audiobook over the book as I found it easier to take in the information with all the footnotes more easily. I gave it 4 instead of 5 because of the few drier chapters.
This book was jam packed with the best sex studies and best general sex information possible. I loved every page. This is Roach's best book yet. Scientifically solid yet funny, she delivers copious amounts of hidden knowledge to her reader.
As a society, we tend to keep all of this information on the down low. Why? We should always talk about sex. Every person alive today is the result of sex. Even if you were born in a test tube, the eggs and sperm that carried along your genes did so because of sex. Sex feels good because we all have to do to continue passing along our genes. Let's celebrate how great it can be instead of pretending it doesn't exist. Somehow it became low class, less civilized, to talk about sex. Let's change that. Too uptight!. Hooray for Roach for writing this book.
Roach covers many studies, spanning decades (from pre-Kinsey to Masters & Johnson, to more current research). Some topics covered are masturbation, in depth and essential info about the clitoris, how to arouse your partner, what is the difference between gay and straight sex, what is sex like in the non-human animal kingdom, how is orgasm beneficial, and so much more. I highly recommend.
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.
Beaver Lake Bonner
Full of interesting information and great humor, I was "wowed" as much as I laighed. I recommend this book to anyone curious and interested in sex and how it is studied and, perhaps more importantly, to everyone who is ill, for any reason, because laughter heals and we laughed often! Thank you Mary Roach for bring kevity to the taboo.
In the middle on this one, it seems that every other paragraph or so ends with a snarky comment that becomes tedious.
Like the genre but will most likely stay away from other books by this author.
She does her best with the material
Once you get past the snark there are some nuggets of good information.
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!