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Bonk: The Curious Coupling Of Sex And Science Paperback – 7 May 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (7 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847672361
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847672360
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 232,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"In this terrifically witty, hugely engaging study of the way we love, Mary Roach does meet some real oddballs, and on almost every page she tells you something to make you gasp aloud or snort with laughter" (Toby Clements Telegraph 2008-05-03)

"Roach certainly gets full marks for unflinching commitment to the job in hand . . . Bonk contains everything you ever wanted to know about the science of sex but were too afraid to ask." (PD Smith Saturday Guardian Review 2008-05-24)

"Roach puts her quick wit to good service in this entertaining romp through sex research. Her unshockability is contagious, and ultimately reassuring." (Gail Vines Independent 2008-06-13)

"When Mary Roach is seized by a subject, there is no stopping her: she is full-on, hands-on, and her lab coat is unbuttoned." (Iain Finlayson The Times 2008-05-17)

"Eye-opening . . . compelling stuff." (Tom Boncza Tomaszewski Independent On Sunday 2008-06-15)

"A bold, tenacious and insatiable reporter, Roach . . . could make an earthworm evisceration riveting and a hemispherectomy seem downright jolly." (Scotsman 2008-05-31)

"Bonkers, but brilliant." (Easy Living)

"The pithiest, wittiest writer on the subject since Woody Allen" (Saga)

"

Hair-raising in parts, hilarious in others.

" (Katie Law Evening Standard 2009-05-07)

"Roach marries enthusiasm and curiosity with unflagging humour while she intrepidly braves the "lurching tango of acadame and popular culture", rising to a passionate and playful, if not wholly penetrating, climax." (Anita Sethi Independent on Sunday 2009-05-31)

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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Everything you ever need to know about bonking. Lots of laughs, a perfect package of fact and funny.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is important to read to think about
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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mary Roach is clearly a natural, possibly even obsessive researcher and here she has turned her gaze upon the scientific exploration of human sexual behaviour. Almost no stone is unturned as she examines the work of Alfred Kinsey, Masters and Johnson, the design of "artificial coition machines" and penis cameras. The book is very much a random walk that takes us past scientists' probings into the physiology of the clitoris and penis, considering their investigations into the orgasm and research towards cures for male and female sexual dysfunctions. Along the way, we learn rather more than we would have wished about how Danish pig farmers stimulate their livestock, what Kinsey used his toothbrush for (no, not for brushing his teeth (or, at least, I hope not)) and the distance that the average man can project his seed (I just feel sorry for the cleaning lady at that laboratory).

The book is a fascinating one, absorbing and.. errr stimulating. Actually, that was a harmless pun, nothing here can really be described as, in any way, "titillating". Indeed it is astonishing just how straight faced were the scientists described in the book. Interestingly, Roach even took the opportunity to participate in a couple of scientific scenarios and the book is quite rightly dedicated to her long suffering husband.

Roach is not so straight faced herself and she injects a fair dose of her own humour into the account. While it adds to the enjoyment of the book, I did feel it went a little too far in places. Nevertheless, she doesn't lose sight of the serious aspect of the subject and she never steps beyond the boundaries of good taste.

This is a great read although you might want to steer clear if you are particularly prudish.
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