Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex

by Mary Roach
Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex

by Mary Roach


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

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781324036036
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 10/04/2022
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 52,291
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Mary Roach is the author of five best-selling works of nonfiction, including Grunt, Stiff, and, most recently, Fuzz. Her writing has appeared in National Geographic and the New York Times Magazine, among other publications. She lives in Oakland, California.


San Francisco, California

Place of Birth:

New Hampshire


B.A., Wesleyan University, 1981

Table of Contents

Foreplay 11

1 The Sausage, the Porcupine, and the Agreeable Mrs. G. 21

Highlights from the Pioneers of Human Sexual Response

2 Dating the Penis-Camera 47

Can a Woman Find Happiness with a Machine?

3 The Princess and Her Pea 65

The Woman Who Moved Her Clitoris, and Other Ruminations on Intercourse Orgasms

4 The Upsuck Chronicles 87

Does Orgasm Boost Fertility, and What Do Pigs Know aboin It?

5 What's Going On in There? 111

The Diverting World of Coital Imaging

6 The Taiwanese Fix and the Penile Pricking Ring 131

Creative Approaches to Impotence

7 The Testicle Pushers 157

If Two Are Good, Would Three Be Better?

8 Re-Member Me 177

Transplants, Implants, and Other Penises of Last Resort

9 The Lady's Boner 193

Is the Clitoris a Tiny Penis?

10 The Prescription-Strength Vibrator 205

Masturbating for Health

11 The Immaculate Orgasm 227

Who Needs Genitals?

12 Mind over Vagina 245

Women Are Complicated

13 What Would Allah Say? 263

The Strange, Brave Career of Ahmed Shafik

14 Monkey Do 279

The Secret Sway of Hormones

15 "Persons Studied in Pairs" 297

The Lab That Uncovered Great Sex

Acknowledgments 305

Bibliography 307

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