Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “Bonk”

Alli’s #CBR4 Review #32: Bonk by Mary Roach

I remember hearing about Mary Roach and her book “Stiff” when it was featured on “Six Feet Under” and at the time I thought it would be an interesting read. Then when I was reading reviews on the CBR4 site I found out that Roach had written a book about the science of sex and I had to check it out for myself.

Bonk” is the humorous, unflinching, educational account of sexuality and the research that has gone into its study. Not for the squeamish, this book covers all the nitty gritty science behind the thing that got us all here.

Read the rest on my blog

narfna’s #CBR4 Review #44: Bonk by Mary Roach

Curiosity seems to be Mary Roach’s raison d’etre, and bless her heart for that.

In our culture, especially outside the hallowed halls of science and academia, sex is viewed as titillating and scandalous — not to be talked about, no matter the context. And while I’m not going to get political here — because I super hate it when people do that in inappropriate places — I think that’s a huge detriment to our culture, and to us as participants in that culture. So props to Mary Roach for writing this book, and for making it so dang readable.

Bonk chronicles Roach’s investigations into the long and interesting history of science and sex. Specifically it’s a funny and matter of fact history of people who — like Roach — were curious about sex and the way things worked, and decided to do something about it. The book is pretty large in scope, covering everything from Alfred Kinsey to bicycle dildo cameras. In a couple of memorable incidents, she even goes so far as to make herself (and her good-sprited husband) research subjects when it becomes clear that she won’t be able to witness experiments in any other way.

It’s been almost a month since I finished this book, so the details have largely slipped my mind, but what remains memorable (aside from a few details that I will make sure to pop out at inappropriate times disguised as small talk) is the way that Roach insists on asking the questions that everyone wants to know but are too embarrassed to ask.

This was my second Mary Roach book (finished Stiff a couple weeks later) after I read Packing For Mars last year, and although she definitely has a formula at this point, it’s a fun formula, and I’m in for whatever wacky avenue of inquiry she thinks up next.

Quorren’s #CBR4 Review #22 Bonk by Mary Roach

Bonk should’ve come with a soundtrack with such hits as “Afternoon Delight” by Starland Vocal Band,  “Fantasy” by Ludacris and”The Bad Touch” by The Bloodhound Gang.  Roach blends the scientific study of sex with her typical humorous irreverence.

Roach’s first book, and a good read at that, dealt with the study of death – specifically with cadavers.  Roach reminds me of that friend (everyone has a friend like this) that will never let a dare go.  While most of us would keep our curiosity to ourselves, lest we be labeled morbid weirdos, Roach goes right ahead and asks the the important questions about donating your body to science.  She does the same in Bonk, jumping into the work of sex science.

You’re guaranteed to learn something new from this book.  In fact, most of the time, you’ll be cocking your head to the side and going “huh” on a regular basis.  There’s many interesting sex factoids you can dazzle your friends with in here.  Like, the majority of the clitoris is actually internal.  Think of it like an iceburg next time you get your in the vicinity of one.  Or that Kinsey had a friend that said to him, “hey, you can sex studies in my attic, it won’t be weird at all!”  The great grand niece of Napolean was an early sexologist; her dissatisfaction with her love life lead her to study the female anatomy.  Also, a scientist once studied the effect of polyester on sexual arousal by putting rats in polyester pants.  No mention if disco music was also piped into the lab.

One bummer from the book, and it’s not really the book’s fault,  is that science really has no idea how the female sexuality works.  One issue is that female sexuality just isn’t as simple to measure as male is.  Another is that female sexuality wasn’t considered a main concern until recently, just in time for stricter review boards in the science field.  Kinsey wouldn’t be able to film his friends going at it in the attic and still be able to say it was all for science in this day and age.  Getting approval for any type of human testing is a chore, let alone approval for a couple to have sex in an MRI machine (although that did get to happen).  And let’s face it, people are still squeamish about talking about sex openly.  I even had reservations about writing this article.  I think the world would be a better place if we took some advice from Salt N Pepa.  Let’s talk about sex.

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