Earlier today, Chris posted a schedule for our C.P. Snow blog discussion. I’ll be participating in that of course, but am also hosting another conversation on Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, which I’m currently reading as part of the research for my next book. Here’s the plan…
First, those interested should get a copy. I’m not one for scheduling assignments so there’s no official calender on when sections must be complete. We’ll begin in a couple weeks and everyone is invited to contribute to the conversation–even if you’re not reading along.
I’ll write about some of the most interesting subjects from Roach’s book and from there, I hope you’ll offer ideas and insights on topic or suggest a different direction about something else you find particularly fascinating. We’ll develop an ongoing conversation that will evolve over several threads. Here’s the table of contents to give everyone an idea of what we’re in for:
- The Sausage, the Porcupine, and the Agreeable Mrs. G: Highlights from the pioneers of human sexual response
- Dating the Penis-Camera: Can a woman find happiness with a machine?
- The Princess and Her Pea: The woman who moved her clitoris, and other ruminations on intercourse orgasms
- The Upsuck Chronicles: Does orgasm boost fertility, and what do pigs know about it?
- What’s Going On In There? The diverting world of coital imaging
- The Taiwanese Fix and the Penile Pricking Ring: Creative approaches to impotence
- The Testicle Pushers: If two are good, would three be better:
- Re-Member Me: Transplants, implants, and other penises of last resort
- The Lady’s Boner: Is the clitoris a tiny penis?
- The Prescription-Strength Vibrator: Masturbating for health
- The Immaculate Orgasm: Who needs genitals?
- Mind over Vagina: Women are complicated
- Would Would Allah Say? The strange, brave career of Ahmed Shafik
- Monkey Do: The secret sway of hormones
- “Persons Studied in Pairs”: The lab that uncovered great sex
Unlike reading a lecture, Bonk is just as good out of order. I started with the prologue, which immediately raises questions about the unusual challenges related to conducting sex research. Just yesterday, I randomly opened the book and started at the nearest chapter, which happened to be #7. Without giving too much away, I’ll say it was a thought-provoking section. I learned that the first testicle transplants came from rather unexpected donors with some surprising results. Then I turned back to the beginning and discovered that artificial insemination of pigs involves far more preparation than one would expect.
So far Bonk is funny and very enjoyable, but make no mistake… This NYTimes bestseller is grounded in science, while providing the context, history, and meaning of some very common–but rarely discussed–behaviors.