06 July 2015

Bonk by Mary Roach

I don’t even remember how this got added to my list. It’s probably because it sounded funny.

BONK: THE CURIOUS COUPLING OF SCIENCE AND SEX is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: an examination of the way that scientists have gone about studying sex, from the Greeks all the way up to the modern period. It examines how scientific views have changed over the years, as well as the breakthroughs in technology that have allowed us to better study human sexuality, and to treat sexual dysfunctions.

BONK is one of the most hilarious nonfictions I’ve read in some time. Mary Roach is not afraid of embarrassing herself in the name of her research, and she even drags her husband into some of her research, such as when she volunteered him (only halfway with his knowledge) to be MRI’d while having sex.


Not only are the situations amusing, but Roach’s prose sparkles with wit. One of my favorite passages is from a passage discussing research into pheremones:

Michael called the purported rhesus pheremones "copulins," a word I cannot write without picturing a race of small, randy beings taken aboard the starship Enterprise.

I absolutely adored BONK. I’ve already added Roach’s other books to my list.