Mary Roach wrote Stiff, the book about cadavers and Spook, the book about the scientific study of the afterlife. Bonk chronicles the people that have done serious scientific studies in human sexuality.
This is an excellent example of a book that I never would have read if it hadn’t been picked for my book club. Which is fine, because that’s why I participate in a book club. I don’t read much science; my non-fiction habits are very much in the History section. So Roach’s style – very chatty and maintaining a sense of humor -worked for me. Although admittedly, she had a bit too much fun being punny.
There was some pre-20th Century medicine. So. Ew. Good thing I wasn’t listening to the audio book. I don’t know how you’d even do the audio, as there were so, so many footnotes. Many of them were worthy of a look, so I wouldn’t want to cut them out.
I learned more than I wanted to know about Viagra, and re-attaching a severed penis. I learned that many paraplegic and quadriplegic people can have orgasms, which was used in a study to determine exactly what is the source of the orgasm. (I understood the conclusion to be that the orgasm is primarily an involuntary muscle response. If your bladder still works and your digestive system still works, your chances of being able to have an orgasm are decent, even after a severe spinal injury.)
Obviously, this title isn’t for everyone. But I am glad I read it.