Bonk: Book summary and reviews of Bonk by Mary Roach

Bonk

The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex

by Mary Roach

Bonk

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Book Summary

The study of sexual physiology—what happens, and why, and how to make it happen better—has been a paying career or a diverting sideline for scientists as far-ranging as Leonardo da Vinci and James Watson. The research has taken place behind the closed doors of laboratories, brothels, MRI centers, pig farms, sex-toy R&D labs, and Alfred Kinsey's attic.

Mary Roach, "the funniest science writer in the country" (Burkhard Bilger of The New Yorker), devoted the past two years to stepping behind those doors. Can a person think herself to orgasm? Can a dead man get an erection? Is vaginal orgasm a myth? Why doesn't Viagra help women—or, for that matter, pandas? In Bonk, Roach shows us how and why sexual arousal and orgasm, two of the most complex, delightful, and amazing scientific phenomena on earth, can be so hard to achieve and what science is doing to slowly make the bedroom a more satisfying place. 16 illustrations.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[S]he handles the nuances of discussing sex and sexuality very nicely....Highly recommended" - Library Journal.

"The passion to know, in the face of censure and propriety, is what advances our understanding of the world. A lively, hilarious and informative look at science's dirty secrets." - Kirkus Reviews.

"Roach's forays offer fascinating evidence of the full range of human weirdness, the nonsense that has often passed for medical science and, more poignantly, the extreme lengths to which people will go to find sexual satisfaction." - Publishers Weekly.

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Author Information

Mary Roach Author Biography

Photo: John Madere

Mary Roach grew up in a small house in Etna, New Hampshire. She graduated from Wesleyan in 1981, and then moved out to San Francisco s. She spent a few years working as a freelance copy editor before landing a half-time PR job at the SF Zoo. During that time she wrote freelance articles for the local newspaper's Sunday magazine.

Though she mostly focuses on writing books, she writes the occasional magazine piece. These have run in Outside, National Geographic, New Scientist, Wired, and The New York Times Magazine, as well as many others. A 1995 article of herse called "How to Win at Germ Warfare" was a National Magazine Award Finalist, and in 1996, her article on earthquake-proof bamboo houses took the Engineering Journalism Award in the general interest ...

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