Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex is a 2008 book by Mary Roach. It follows the winding history of science and its exploration of human sexuality, going back as far as Aristotle and finally ending with recent discoveries about the origination and anatomy of the female orgasm. Throughout, Mary Roach provides a humorous and often very personal view—both as a participant and observer—of humans, scientists, animals, and sex machines. Of the book's numerous accounts, Roach discusses artificial insemination of sows in Denmark, the notorious history of sex machines, as well as much discussion and commentary on Kinsey's notorious attic sex experiments. Her footnotes provide additional humor; as in a sentence which includes several DSM diagnoses listed as acronyms she adds "And from HAFD (hyperactive acronym formation disorder)".[1] In the book, Mary Roach describes a session in which she and her husband Ed volunteer to have sex while being recorded by a groundbreaking 4D ultrasound in the interests of science. During the experiment, a doctor looks on, making suggestions, and finally telling Ed that he "may ejaculate now."[2]

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
First edition
AuthorMary Roach
CountryUnited States
SubjectScience, Sex, Human Biology
PublisherW. W. Norton & Company
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardback, Paperback)

In 2008, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, was a New York Times Top 10 Bestseller as well as a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice, it was a San Francisco Chronicle #1 bestseller, and was in the Boston Sunday Globe′s Top 5 Science Books. Bonk was also a Booksense Independent Bestseller and the Publishers Weekly 2008 Staff Pick.[3]

In an interview with D. J. Grothe, Roach observed about her book tour audiences for Bonk: "It takes a while for the first person to raise a hand, but once one person has asked a question about sex, then you get ten people raising their hand and asking fairly explicit questions. And I do get the sense that it's kind of liberating for people to be able to just talk freely and ask questions using those words — it's the words themselves — I think everybody should just spend an hour just saying: 'clitoris, masturbation, penis, penis, penis, clitoris, clitoris' — just saying it over and over until it doesn't sound strange. Because eventually, it becomes like any other word. And some people are there already, of course, but for some people, it just feels kind of scary to say those words in a public setting with strangers."[4]


  1. ^ "Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex". The A&P Professor. Retrieved 2011-01-19.
  2. ^ Roach, Mary (2009). Bonk : the curious coupling of science and sex. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. p. 126. ISBN 9780393334791.
  3. ^ Roach, Mary. "Bonk". Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  4. ^ Grothe, D. J. (10 Apr 2009). "Mary Roach - Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex". Point of Inquiry. Retrieved 25 May 2016.

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