For scientists as far-reaching as Leonardo da Vinci and James Watson, the study of sexual physiology - what happens, and why, and how to make it happen better - has been a paid career or a diverting sideline. The research took place behind the closed doors of laboratories, brothels, MRI centres, pig... farms, sex-toy R&D laboratories and the attic of Alfred Kinsey.
Mary Roach, "the country's most funniest science writer" (Burkhard Bilger of 'The New Yorker'), has spent the past two years stepping behind those doors. Can a person think to orgasm themselves? Can a mortal get an erection? Does vaginal orgasm represent a myth? Why is it that Viagra does not help women, or pandas for that matter?
In 'Bonk,' Roach shows us how and why sexual excitement and orgasm, two of the most complex, delightful, and amazing scientific phenomena on earth, can be so difficult to accomplish and what science is doing to make the bedroom slowly more satisfying. 16 Pictures.
Footnote: In 1998, a woman in Saline, Michigan received a patent for a Decorative Penile Wrap...The patent included three pages of drawings, including a penis wearing a ghost outfit, another in the robes of the Grim Reaper, and one dressed up to look like a snowman.
The paper does not provide the exact number of penises eaten by ducks, but the author says there have been enough over the years to prompt the coining of a popular saying: 'I better get home or the ducks will have something to eat.
Anne Marie's beauty and style belie a down-and-dirty education in the particulars of practical AI (artificial insemination). She has miked a boar of his prodigious ejaculate--over two hundred milliliters (a cup), as compared to a man's three milliliters--and she has done it with her hand. For, unlike stallions and bulls, boars don't cotton to artificial vaginas. (in part, because their penis, like their tail, is corkscrewed.) AI techs must squeeze the organ in their hand--hard and without letup--for the entire duration of the ejaculation: from five to fifteen minutes. "You should see the size of their hands," she says, of the men and women who regular ejaculate boars.
Reviews of Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
Apart from its considerable comic value, the book also emulates its predecessors by illustrating a precept of scientific research: The passion to know, in the face of censure and propriety, is what advances our understanding of the world.
He is, his office manager tells Roach, a holdover from the 19th century, “when science was undertaken simply for the sake of understanding the world.”
In cases in which the medical community proves ill equipped to respond to her relentless queries, Roach gamely approaches the corporate world.
Participatory journalist Mary Roach has made a tidy career for herself from breezy pop-science books with one-syllable titles: Stiff (what happens to cadavers?) and Spook (how do you investigate the afterlife?).