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).
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.
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 -
"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.
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.