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Bonk: The Curious Coupling Of Sex And Science Paperback – 5 Jun 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 333 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books (5 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847672264
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847672261
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 2.3 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 839,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Eye-opening...compelling stuff.' -- Independent on Sunday

'Mary Roach writes hilariously...the reader is vastly entertained.' -- The Good Book Guide

'Roach puts her quick wit to good service in this entertaining romp through sex research.' -- Independent

Bonk contains everything you ever wanted to know about the science of sex but were too afraid to ask. -- Guardian

Mary Roach's tome is different. She...has a light touch and a readably flippant tone. -- London Lite

Spry, sharp-witted and charmingly self-deprecating... Delightful. -- Sunday Times on Six Feet Over

Witty and original... Packed with more arresting details elegantly and humorously expressed than one could hope for. -- Sunday Telegraph Sunday Telegraph on Six Feet Over

terrifically witty, hugely engaging study of the way we love -- Telegraph

Book Description

The bestselling author of Stiff and Six Feet Over sets her outrageous and insightful gaze on the most alluring scientific subject of them all: sex.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Joe HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 12 July 2008
Format: Hardcover
"Not everyone gets their (masturbation study) funding from research grants. Some masturbation professionals get their funding from the sales of Vibrating Port-A-Pussies and Mr. Fred Jelly Dongs." - Mary Roach in BONK

"To get inside a lubricated vagina, a penis needs to be hard enough to push against the opening with one to two pounds of force. That is approximately the amount of force required to open a swinging kitchen door." - Mary Roach in BONK

Mary Roach is the author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, the enormously instructive and entertaining book on the uses to which human cadavers are put. As far as I'm concerned, instructive AND entertaining is about as good as it gets. With BONK, Roach has outdone herself with a read that I couldn't put down.

Science pursues sex because, after all, it's what makes the world turn. Roach first establishes the history of the science, which pretty much reached mainstream acceptance with researchers Alfred Kinsey and then William Masters and Virginia Johnson. (An excellent film about the former, starring Liam Neeson, is Kinsey [2004].
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Miss E. Potten on 20 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I keep hearing about this little number from, ahem, 'satisfied customers' amongst the online bookish community on LibraryThing, so I thought I'd check it out for myself. Even though I had to stop reading 'Stiff' because it was making me so queasy, I had an idea I'd be safer with sex than dead bodies - fortunately, I was right! It's really a fascinating book. And Mary Roach is one helluva lady - no situation is too delicate, no question goes unasked, no naked body lies uncovered... She is also a fantastically funny writer, with a wry and self-deprecating sense of humour that acts as the perfect antidote to the cringeworthy, the ridiculous, and the downright embarrassing elements of the research she pulls together here.

Everything from female libido to erectile dysfunction to primate sex is covered, with research drawn from the most ancient of philosophers right through to the most cutting-edge modern studies. Roach even participates in some of the studies herself, in the name of science and finding out what the hell goes on behind the closed doors of sexual research institutions. All in all, a really excellent book, which managed to be incredibly interesting AND made me giggle every other page. Read it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Passionate Writer on 20 April 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was the title of this book that caught my attention and it didn't let me down. This is one of the funniest books about sex research you'll ever come across but no less informative for that.

Well researched itself, the author delves without embarrassment into the strange, sometimes devious and single minded focus of the famous, the infamous and some of the lesser known researchers into the physical and mental problems of sex and its enjoyment.

Along the way you'll discover a lot of 'facts' you either didn't know or have heard secondhand. You'll learn the truth about some of the real problems sex researchers have faced in their search for the 'truth' about orgasm and why we will do, almost, anything to get to it. You'll discover things about sex enhancement 'tools' that will surprise you as much as they shocked the author. In all your eyes will be opened to details of human sexuality that you would never have imagined.

You'll also find summations of areas of conflicting research which will confound some myths. For example does the fabled G spot really exist, and what have sex researchers done to find it? By putting the salient points of the variety of sex research into one book the author gives you a clearer understanding of what really makes us 'tick' sexually.

This is more than just a book about sex research. You'll learn a lot about the human sex drive (and animal too) and how, why and what turns people on. You'll come out of it better educated about sex and all its ramifications. You might even learn something about yourself and your partner. It may even encourage you to explore areas of sexual behaviour that you might not have considered.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dr. M. L. Poulter on 9 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback
Mary Roach brings two qualities to her history of sex research. Firstly, her sense of humour: she doesn't miss a chance for a witty aside, and this topic gives lots of opportunities for them. Her description of a visit to a sex toy factory had me absolutely howling, and there are moments like that throughout the book. Second is her dogged determination to track down the documents, people and um... apparatus that tell the history of sexology from all angles. Her appetite for understanding even led to volunteering herself and her husband as subjects in a sex study. In the hands of a lesser writer, this would have turned out as a puerile "naughty interesting facts" kind of book. Instead, it's a laugh-out-loud page-turner telling an often heroic and sometimes appalling story of how scientists have fought against (or often promoted) social or religious taboos, helping us understand our own and our partner's bodies and responses.
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