Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and…

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex (2008)

by Mary Roach

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,7511632,131 (3.81)261

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 261 mentions

English (164)  Dutch (1)  All languages (165)
Showing 1-5 of 164 (next | show all)
Bonk is a look into the history and study of sexual physiology. Mary Roach takes an interesting and humorous look into the world of sex research, exploring the weird methods used and the evolution of the field of study. Mary Roach has a unique style that has turned her into a household name. From a book about cadavers (Stiff), to more recently a look into the digestive track (Gulp).

This is my first Mary Roach book and I was immediately drawn to her writing style. I have never read her before, but I have heard so many good things. It was a toss-up between starting with Bonk or Stiff, but I am happy to finally have a chance to experience her writing. The blend of humour while teaching about science makes her an author I need to read more from. She has a style that I have always been interested in adopting for my blog; a balance between teaching and entertaining. Sadly my blog has been nothing but book reviews lately but I hope this will change in the near future.

I remember reading Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us by Jesse Bering a few years ago and found it completely fascinating. I wanted to learn more about the research side of sex but never read anything since then. While Perv looks at the psychological study of sex, Bonk focuses more on the physiological. There are so many topics to cover on the topic, so my biggest problem with Bonk is the fact that it was a very ‘broad-strokes’ approach to the topic. Although this is a good starting point to understand the science.

I was a little horrified with all the setbacks that happened in the study of sex. Whether they are religious or cultural reasons, there has been a lot of times research falls years behind just to save face. This topic alone would be an interesting one to explore, not just about sex but research in general. I am sure there are many times where science suffers due to public opinion. I wonder if there is a book that covers this topic (if you know of one let me know).

I am glad to have finally read Mary Roach and Bonk, I have discovered a new favourite author and a topic I need to learn more about. The more non-fiction I read, the more I wonder why I had an aversion towards it for so long. It was a non-fiction book that got me into reading and I am pretty much a non-fiction writer. I have so much to learn and I plan to learn more; hopefully this will reflect on my blog in the future. If you have an interest in reading about the research of sex both physiologically and psychologically, I recommend both Bonk and Perv.

This review originally appeared on my blog; http://www.knowledgelost.org/book-reviews/genre/non-fiction/bonk-the-curious-cou... ( )
  knowledge_lost | Nov 17, 2015 |
Mary Roach books are perfect car ride books. They are entertaining, funny, irreverent, and sometimes I even learn something.

First, a note about the narrator, who can make or break an audiobook. At normal speed, she broke it, unfortunately. She read slowly and in an almost monotonous manner. Thankfully, the audible app allows the reader to increase the speed as needed. At 1.25x speed, Sandra Burr's narration suddenly was at an acceptable pace and enjoyable to listen to.

Onto the content of the book itself. I loved it. This is only the third Mary Roach I've read, and I think my favorite so far. During points, I was laughing so hard I actually had to pull off the road. As with all her books, this is by no means the be-all, end-all book on the subject. Instead, it's a high-level look that combines her own personal experiences with the research and things she learns.

Highly highly enjoyable. ( )
  wisemetis | Aug 28, 2015 |
This book explores human sexuality backwards and forwards, up side down and inside out. From the pioneers in the field such as Alfred Kinsey and Masters and Johnson who published openly to little known, third world researchers such as Ahmed Shafik, who had to do his research under the covers (literally) through crazies and crackpots Ms. Roach manages to unearth them all. Nothing is off limits in this book, with Ms. Roach going so far as to involve her husband and herself in some experiments. But, if you are looking for a sexual how-to this is not the book to read. This is more of a tale about the difficulty of doing research about human sexuality; the difficult guidelines about what is acceptable and what is not, the difficulty in getting funding and the creativity of people seriously involved in the field. It answers some interesting questions and uncovers some little known facts throughout the history of human sexuality.

Ms. Roach approaches this book with her usual sense of humour and relaxed writing style, but most certainly does not skimp on her own research. She plowed through patent office records for information on sexual “aids” and “toys”, attended fetish meetings, visited sex museums and observed experiments involving artificial insemination of sows. She combed history books and science texts, spoke people who worked with Kinsey and Masters and Johnson, endlessly trying to get in touch with Virginia Johnson herself, and traveled the world to speak to participants in various testing and research. She literally left no stone unturned.

In reading this book it was very clear that sometimes her findings left her scratching her head in confusion or mystification and she shares that too! As entertaining and enlightening as I found this book to be, I did feel that a few less pages could have been devoted to subject of the sows … interesting, but definitely more than I ever needed or wanted to know about Norwegian animal husbandry practices.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
Often funny, occasionally academic, and generally informative, this book does a good job of summarizing how the scientific study of sex has developed over time. In probably the most honest and numerous section, the author talks her husband in to participating in a coital MRI--then describes it. However, after awhile, the reading was boring and clinical. My second Roach book, always well researched and written. ( )
  buffalogr | Jun 25, 2015 |
Sex, science, and Mary Roach. Three great tastes rolled into one. Roach has honed her craft and goes from chapter to chapter in very smooth fashion. The book is hilarious in and of itself, but her footnotes are simply fall down gut-busting and a style I'd like to mimic. As for the sex and science, both get a rigorous workover and her total personal immersion in the former is mildly shocking, but hey, journalistically responsible! Highly recommended for those interested who don't mind being caught reading this on the train.
  MartinBodek | Jun 11, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 164 (next | show all)
Ms. Roach does, however, clutter “Bonk” with so many long, chatty footnotes that she underscores how spotty and disorganized her material is
Surprisingly fun & informative, best when enjoyed with friends/spouse/significant other

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mary Roachprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burr, SandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For Woody
First words
A man sits in a room, manipulating his kneecaps.
The first prize must go to the Deodorizing and Sound-Muffling Anal Pad. The patent's background material details the sad decline of the human anal sphincter muscle, whose gripping capacity fades as we age. The absorbing Layer is said to "trap the sound of a flatus, " as though one might later drive it to a less populated area and release it.
There are also inflatable, rather than malleable, penile implants. Here you don't bend the penis, you pump it up. The surgeon implants a small bladder of saline or air above the pubic bone. This gets pumped into the implant by means of a hollow, squeezable bulb implanted in the scrotum and attached to the prothesis by a plastic tube. Inflatables are more popular because--unlike a malleable implant--they enlarge the girth of a penis, as would happen in an unaided erection. To many men, it seems more natural--except, of course, for the scrotum-squeezing aspect of the event
This book is a tribute to the men and women who dared. Who, to this day, endure ignorance, closed minds, righteousness, and prudery. Their lives are not easy. But their cocktail parties are the best.
Cheese crumbs spread in front of a copulating pair of rats may distract the female, but not the male.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393334791, Paperback)

“Rich in dexterous innuendo, laugh-out-loud humor and illuminating fact. It’s compulsively readable.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review

The best-selling author of Stiff turns her outrageous curiosity and insight on the most alluring scientific subject of all: sex.

16 illustrations

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:13 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Roach shows how and why sexual arousal and orgasm can be so hard to achieve and what science is doing to make the bedroom a more satisfying place.

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 avail.
669 wanted
7 pay11 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.81)
0.5 1
1 5
1.5 4
2 45
2.5 12
3 207
3.5 61
4 346
4.5 52
5 173


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393064646, 0393334791

Canongate Books

2 editions of this book were published by Canongate Books.

Editions: 1847672264, 1847672361

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alumn

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach was made available through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Sign up to possibly get pre-publication copies of books.

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 100,868,292 books! | Top bar: Always visible