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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 17 February 2015
I think I thought I was fourteen again perhaps and studying the biology of sex (when I also had a stronger interest in science) when I chose this book in the bookshop I was browsing in. Although Roach makes the process as interesting as possible with joky asides and encounters with Danish pigs, sex machines and coital imaging the facts themselves that the book reveals about sex are often pretty dry as often science can be. Therefore not as ultimately appealing as one might have first thought. good but not great
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on 1 February 2011
In my little collection of books about the science of love and sex, "Bonk" is by far the most entertaining one. Not worrying too much about love and all the emotional baggage that we humans connect with it, Roach goes, chimp-like, straight to the core of the matter.

Which of course is a very tricky thing to do for somebody writing in English, the language of puritanism and all kinds of post Victorian hang-ups around human sexuality. Notwithstanding, Roach attacks the matter fearlessly and head-on, using her fine sense of humour to overcome any embarrassment she or some of her readers may be feeling.

The book is mainly about how scientists manage to survive in a field that suffers enormously from the above-mentioned hang-ups and prudishness and is therefore still the most under-developed part of human biology (remember that a large part of the clitoris was only discovered a few years ago!). One doesn't get much of an overview of what is known about love and sex, but one does get a good sense of the challenges -- resulting from nature, methodology, and from the weird attitude our society has towards the most natural of all inter-human activities -- and how the very small number of researchers in the field are facing them. As a bonus, one gets to LOL a lot.
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on 10 October 2008
The book was a brilliant read. Mary Roach can capture the significance of her research with a wonderful sense of humour. Her photo breaks in the book, had me giggling only to be followed by bellowed laughter in the context of the writing. I was the best way to learn. If this is your first book by Mary Roach, you will enjoy her previous books.

This book may also help explain certain aspects of your 'private' life. I certainly learnt more.
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on 12 January 2011
I have read Mary Roach's other book "Stiff" which I found superb, I will say I was a little disappointed with this book. Mary Roach is a fantastic author/researcher/journalist and her humour is great yet she deals with the topics of her books very well, and in this case the delicate subject of sex. Its very well written, although not a flowing as "Stiff", it seemed to jump from topic to topic. And quite a lot of the research seemed a bit dated - set in the 50s and 60s, and less of the modern post-1990s work (this could be due to the lack of reserch in the field I am not sure).

I will say this was a fascinating read, very well researched, I would recommend to anyone who is not squemish, and she does not shy away in some of the graphic detail.
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on 10 September 2014
Witty and well-written exploration of serious academic sex research, with useful footnotes and references to the primary literature. The only way the book could have been better is if some of the illustrations from original publications had been reproduced instead of merely described.
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on 14 July 2014
As interesting as ever, although not my favourite title by Mary Roach. Also she uses footnotes a lot which all appear at the end of the chapter on Kindle edition making it hard to remember how they fit in.
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on 29 March 2014
A very good bedtime book for everyone. Quite thorough investigation into the subject. Covers equally both male and female aspects. As I am an guy, I discovered many things about the female physiology that I did not know.
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on 31 May 2009
The previous reviewers give a good overview of the book, so I won't repeat that here. But two aspects I liked were that female sexual functioning is given as much prominence as the male and throughout we are guided by a wry female perspective. This subject matter covered by a male author would be much more likely to fall into cliché.
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on 28 August 2013
Often funny and at times quite intimidating, this book is a very well researched and brilliantly written book from start to finish. Not everything is covered but there are plenty of answers here for questions that would seldom if ever have crossed your mind. Buy it now.
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on 10 May 2013
A fascinating and amusing read touching on subjects you could hardly imagine. The author must have had a lot of fun along the way and I love the humour!
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