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Publisher's 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.
©2008 Mary Roach (P)2008 Brilliance Audio
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Critic Reviews

"Narrator Sandra Burr's enjoyment of Roach's descriptions and wry comments is obvious, making this a pleasure to hear." (Library Journal)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Jani on 05-13-09

Interesting-not as engaging as "Stiff"

Mary Roach certainly does her homework and the book covers in great detail the scientific (and not so scientific) explorations of sexuality. It starts a out bit slower than did "Stiff" and I found parts of it throughout read a bit slower as well. It is still worth the read (or listen). No matter what, you will come away knowing much more about the search and research behind orgasms, sexual theories and practice, and gender issues in general. I appreciate the interjection of humor throughout. This book is definitely not for the modest or frail (reading about humans masturbating monkeys and pigs had me sitting a bit on edge) but the author still comes away with a scientific view point and keeps focused on the major topics covered. For a biologist I did find it very informative and not in the least dry! Overall I would recommend it to anyone (except maybe those under the age of 15).

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28 of 28 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Gurmukh on 07-05-08

Absolutely Wonderful!

Bonk is one of those rare books that is wonderfully new and different from anything else I've read in it's field.

The author does not shy away from any related subject matter in her search for knowledge, even those that may make many people uncomfortable. As a result, this book is a treasure trove of information that few other people are comfortable even bringing up!

And the frankness with which she does bring them up is tremendously refreshing. Who else have you ever heard talk about experiments in manipulating the genitals of chimpanzees to gauge their orgasms? What other sex documentary has ever gone into detail on the methods for arousing female pigs? (They're the only animal other than humans who enjoy having their nipples being manipulated, BTW.)

I've never before heard such in-depth descriptions of the surgeries available for penis implants and the science behind them. She observes an actual surgery and apologizes for descriptions that will cause many men to cross their legs in discomfort. But to me the descriptions only enhanced the story.

If you're at all uncomfortable reading anything I just wrote, this may not be the book for you. This book, instead, is for those of us who are curious enough about these amazing and fascinating aspects of science and biology that concerns of "ickiness" take a back seat to a thirst for knowledge.

This book is a wonderful narrative of a journey through the world of sex research, including explorations of related side industries and events as part of a search for knowledge encompassing a wide variety of aspects of human sexuality.

The people are portrayed as vividly as though you'd met them yourself, and every situation is narrated with frankness and wit. I very highly recommend this book to anybody looking for knowledge about sex that only a few are brave enough to tell you.

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63 of 65 people found this review helpful

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