Monday, August 17, 2009

"Bonk" by Mary Roach

May I squeeze it? (183)
After reading Mary Roach's Stiff, I was enamored and ready to read her other books. So it didn't take me long to pick up Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex (2008). Roach turns her investigative eye in her latest book from death to sex, by researching past and present scientists and laymen who have studied the physiology of sex.
Marie Bonaparte was not willing to accept her destiny. Drastic measures were undertaken. The princess had her clitoris moved. (73)
Sex, much like death, is another topic that can get touchy for some people, but Roach handles it with an open-minded curiosity and enthusiasm, including a willingness to volunteer herself (and her husband) as subjects.
Dr. Deng never tells us to lie down, but it seems that that is what must happen. (125)

Later, in the lobby cafe, he will pass by my table and we will pretend not to recognize each other. (274)
I found myself laughing often as I read this book, partly in amazement at what kind of experiments are actually being done out there, and many times at Roach's droll humor. The book is a little bit all over the place, but consistently interesting, and often informative.
You may well be wondering why a dog would need prosthetic testicles. (163)

France in the late-sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was really and truly a place where you did not want to be an impotent male. (149)

Research by the Department for Nutrition and Reproduction at Denmark's National Committee for Pig Production showed that sexually stimulating a sow while you artificially inseminate her leads to a 6 percent improvement in fertility. (87)
For instance, I had no idea that one study has shown that when it comes to actual physical arousal, men are the ones who tend to be more picky about their porn. Show women any kind of porn and they'll have a physical--but not necessarily mental--reaction, while heterosexual men tended to only physically respond to heterosexual porn. Interesting stuff.
The best sex going on in Masters and Johnson's lab was the sex being had by the committed gay and lesbian couples. (300-301)
I was also intrigued by a section on women who could obtain orgasm without any physical touching, succeeding by using only their mind. Not one to back away from a challenge--any challenge, apparently--I gave it a go...and had a relatively frustrating experience. Oh well, maybe I just need more practice.
...You can ejaculate now. (126)

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