Friday, January 29, 2010

Book 38: Bonk

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

I really enjoyed Stiff so it didn't take me long to pick up her other two books, Bonk and Spook. Since I've heard a lot more about Bonk, I read that one first. Like Stiff, Bonk is meticulously researched, and the information is presented with a nice amount of humor. Her research took her all over the world, including a penis surgeon in Asia and the pig inseminators in North Europe.

I had a few moments of epiphany while reading the book as well, where after reading a certain comment or section, I would just think, "oh, that explains . . ." (I'm not going to get too specific here since my dad reads this and really doesn't need to know). I also think it's very impressive that Roach was willing to participate in research as a subject if this would help her gain access to information.

Still, I think I preferred Stiff to Bonk. I think there are two reasons for this: it's much more fun to read about sex when you're actually having it on occasion. Instead, it was just a bitter reminder of what I'm not doing. Also, while Roach uncovered many things I didn't know about sex and sex research in the book, there were a few things I already was familiar with. I think part of the reason I liked Stiff so much is that I really had no clue about the topic (except for what I'd seen on Six Feet Under) - in comparison, I've already read The Technology of Orgasm, one book which she cited, and I've also read a biography of Kinsey. While these are only two of her sources, it still meant I already knew a little bit coming in so it wasn't quite as revealing and enlightening for me as Stiff.

However, it is still an incredibly entertaining and informative book, and I would definitely recommend it. I really think I was just bitter about all the fun everyone else was having with the research that I'm missing out on.

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